The Hawk: October 8, 2021

October 7, 2021 6:48 pm


October 8, 2021

This digital newsletter can be translated by clicking on the translate button on the right (or above if on a mobile device) and choosing your preferred language.

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Dear IACS Community,

It’s hard to beat the weather we’ve had the past two days and I hope it continues for all of our sake. In recognition of Indigenious Peoples Day, I wanted to share a fews ways in which IACS has acknowledged lives and cultures that shaped our campus’s history. For starters, most people see, but likely cannot read from a moving car, the plaque installed on the boulder near Tyng Road and 3A. In 2009, IACS worked with state historians to install this plaque in honor of Wannalancet, a important Native American leader in this section of the Merrimack Valley.

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Additionally, the official name of our mascot is the Red-Tailed Hawk (though we often go by "Hawks") because in many Native American cultures, the red-tail feathers are considered sacred. Of course, students and staff know that we have multiple actual red-tail hawks who currently live on our campus! Finally, as part of a senior project last year, a Land Acknowledgement statement was drafted with support from the Massachusetts Center for Native American Awareness. The statement reads: "The students of Innovation Academy acknowledge the violent history of the land these Peace Poles are planted on. We acknowledge this land as the unceded territory of the Pawtucket, Pennacock, Wabanaki (Dawnland Confederacy), and Abenaki/Abénaquis Tribes who have stewarded these lands for centuries. To these Indigenous peoples: we stand for you and with you in solidarity. Additionally, we acknowledge the history of enslavement on our school’s land. The Tyng family colonized this piece of land in the 1600s, and enslaved people of African descent, including Boston and Cornwell Tyng. We will use our privilege of benefiting from this land to support the ancestors of these Indigenous and Black peoples. As inhabitants of this place of learning, we commit to becoming ever more aware of the violent past and to become good allies. We will use our experiences and exploration to make changes within ourselves and our community to prevent repetitions of this history and to work for a more just and peaceful future. At the end of this project, a donation was made to the Massachusetts Center for Native American Awareness (MCNAA) and the Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust to support BIPOC through reparations and the work of local organizations.

Have a wonderful long weekend and let’s keep our fingers crossed for some more glorious weather.

In partnership,

Greg Orpen

Head of School

For more educational resources and information on Native American and Indigenous people, please visit

All School News

Let us know….

Families should report all absences, tardies and dismissals to the main office by 8am. The main office can be contacted at 978-649-0432 or

Special Education Workshop on Basic Rights: Evaluation and Identification presented by the Federation for Children with Special Needs to be held Tuesday, November 9th from 6:30 -8:30pm. This virtual workshop will cover evaluation and eligibility for special education services. Please see the attached flier for more information. Participants must register here: Registration Link in order to receive the meeting link and password. This workshop is open to all and is not limited to the IACS community.

Preview attachment Basic Rights Evaluation and Eligiblity Workshop.pdf

Per diem Substitute Teachers Needed

Substitutes are valued members of our community that we rely heavily on to ensure your student receives uninterrupted learning. We are looking for a few more people to join our substitute teacher pool. If you or a friend are interested in learning more about becoming a substitute at IACS please fill out the availability form. Half day and full day subbing opportunities are available. IACS pays $25 per hour up to $100 per day maximum.

It’s Destination Imagination (DI) Time!

Not sure what DI is? Come learn more about this STEM-based, after school activity where kids team up to creatively solve challenges! Kids get to build and strengthen critical thinking, problem-solving, and team-building skills while discovering new solutions to scientific, engineering, fine arts, and other challenges. DI’s ground rule of “If it doesn’t say you can’t, then you can,” opens up a lot of creative problem-solving while a set of rules and requirements per challenge provide structure. The teams then go to a regional tournament to show off their work. The teams with the most points move to State and possibly Nationals/Internationals.

We will also work on establishing teams and volunteers for Team Managers (this is not run by the school but by volunteer/parents).

There will be a meeting on Monday, October 11th from 6:30 – 7:30 pm via Zoom:…

Meeting ID: 784 7978 5426

Passcode: iacsDI21

The meeting will cover: what Destination Imagination is, what’s in it for the kids, what’s involved for the kids and parents, the timeline, the cost, and a brief description of this year’s challenges. Hope to see you there!! If you aren’t able to make the meeting but are interested, please contact Nicole Guiliano at

School Breakfast & Lunch Program

IACS is providing FREE breakfast and FREE lunch meals to ALL students under the USDA’s Child Nutrition Program. All students enrolled at IACS are eligible for these free meals regardless of eligibility through June 30, 2022. Email or go to the School Nutrition page for more information.

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Middle School News

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Fifth grade science students dissected owl pellets this week.

Upcoming Dates:

10/6 ILP conferences – ILP stands for Individual Learning Plan. These are student run meetings with parents/guardians and advisor. ILPs allow us as a whole team to check in about how the year is going, concerns, set goals, and reflect on those goals. Conferences can be in-person or via zoom. If you haven’t scheduled your meeting yet please reach out to your student’s advisor or to the school for assistance.

10/12 Grades Close for Progress Report #1

10/15 Middle School Picture Day (rain date of 10/22). This picture will be published in the Middle School Yearbook. Please visit Coffee Pond Photography and Yearbook’s website for photo package information and online ordering (select City & State and School). Paper Order forms will be sent home a week before picture day.

10/18 Progress Report 1 will be Published to Aspen Family Portals


This is a space for Middle School students to learn and talk about racism and how it impacts our lives and the lives of others. We will learn what being “anti-racist” means. We will share our cultures with one another and learn about the many different cultures at our school. We will talk about current events.

ARIACS meets Tuesdays from 3-4 pm beginning October 12th. Email Ms. Giasullo or Ms. Patterson to join:

High School News

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Students in HS Spanish classes wrote and performed skits based on the theme of the “Doctor’s office”, complete with toy props to make us laugh together.

Seniors of the Month for October

Congratulations to Kerry Mathews and Nate Rose for being recognized as Seniors of the Month for October. Kerry was nominated by multiple people for her cheerfulness and incredibly positive attitude, but it is her willingness to help others that really made her stand out. Kerry is one of the main leaders of the Interact Club and her commitment to the greater community is commendable. Kerry is also the first to help a classmate or a student new to a class and her teachers appreciate this leadership greatly. Nate was also recognized for his leadership during a recent science class excursion on the trails. Several students stepped on a wasp nest out in the woods that was just off the trail. While the teacher tried to help the injured students, Nate took charge and organized the group to complete the next step of the activity, helped to keep others away from the wasp nest, gathered up student belongings that had been dropped, and helped to get everyone back to the classroom safely. Thanks to Kerry and Nate for their great examples of community membership during September!

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The Adventure Club had its inaugural outing this past weekend on Saturday, October 2nd on Mt Watatic. We had perfect weather and the group did a great job on the hike. We will be heading out on adventures the first Saturday of every month. To join us in the future, join the choice block or look for signups in morning announcements. We particularly encourage anyone new to hiking, camping, or spending time outdoors to join us! Trips are free and all of our equipment is supplied by the Appalachian Mountain Club.

Upcoming Events:

10/12 Grades Close for Progress Report #1

10/13 PSAT Testing – Only students that have pre-registered will be taking the test.

10/18 Progress Report 1 will be Published to Aspen Family Portals

10/22 Last Day to Drop Classes for Honors Credit.

10/26 HS Picture Re-take Day

School Pictures have Arrived!

School Pictures have arrived and were sent home this week. Every student who had their photo taken will either receive their portrait order or a proof of their photo. If a family purchased a digital export, it will be sent via email. Online Ordering Instructions.

Parents w/ questions (such as about order forms; late orders; missing orders & refunds etc.) should contact Coffee Ponds dedicated Lifeguards:

By phone: 1-800-632-2323 ext ‘0’, By email:

Retake Day is Tuesday, October 26th

Any Students that did not have their picture taken in September should have it taken on this day. Any student that has purchased images, and would like to have their photo retaken should bring in their original purchase and give it to the photographer on Retake Day. These retakes will automatically have a new package ordered to replace the returned package, and there is no charge for the exchange.

NOTE: A new ID will not be created for students having their photo taken again. ID’s are only created for students having their picture taken for the first time this year. Coffee Pond Retake Information. Order Form for Students that did not have their photo taken yet this year.

Customer Care information:, 508-907-6633 ext 0

HS Photos of the Week:

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A sampling of some of the new student artwork that is on display in our halls. Thanks to Mr. Barry and Ms. Pendleton for the pieces from their 2D Art and Photo & Video classes.

Theatre News

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Don’t forget, No School on Monday!