The Hawk: September 18, 2020 16:47

September 18, 2020 10:00 pm
 

IACS Hawk

Week ending September 18, 2020

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,

Week 1 is in the books in this most unusual year and I’ve been so impressed to see how students and teachers have adapted to teaching and learning in a virtual world. It’s been inspiring to see our community start to re-establish connections and see the creativity our teachers have brought to their classes. This reopening week has served as another reminder of why we practice and develop Problem-Solving, Self-Direction, Effective Communication, and Community Membership. These IACS Outcomes are essential to navigating a constantly evolving world. On a note of improvement, I want to acknowledge that we are aware of some isolated, unauthorized class interruptions (known as “Zoom Bombs”). We’re not the first nor last school to experience these episodes, but please know that we will be implementing short- and long-term solutions to minimize these interruptions.

Academic programming aside, one event which caught some people’s attention was this week’s update to the Massachusetts “traffic light” map, which showed Tyngsborough shaded red for the first time. While having a red, yellow, and green shading system can be a helpful convention, the Departments of Education and Public Health always intended the map to be examined for multiple weeks. Therefore, staff and families should not expect IACS (or any other school) to shift models by a single color change when the map is updated on Wednesday nights. Conversely, schools would more likely experience a sudden change based on events specific to a school community. Last week you may have read of a couple of high schools in Metro Boston, located in unshaded towns, who had to make an immediate shift to remote because of unsafe student gatherings outside of school. Point being, the traffic light map should be a tool for longer term planning, not day-to-day changes.

Thank you for your continued support and I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

In partnership,

Greg Orpen

Head of School

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All School News

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School Breakfast & Lunch Program

Details regarding the IACS Breakfast & Lunch program can be found here: SY21 Welcome Letter Breakfast & Lunch Program. Alternatively, FREE meals are available to ALL students at open sites if you prefer a closer pick up location. The open sites are typically your town’s public school. Visit meals for kids or email kdrake@innovationcharter.org for an open site near you.

If you would prefer to participate in the IACS meal program, you must complete the enrollment survey. Once you complete the survey, you DO NOT need to re-enroll for future dates in September. To make changes to a submitted enrollment form email kdrake@innovationcharter.org

Contact Karen Drake, Director of Food Services kdrake@innovationcharter.org if you have any questions.

 
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A HUGE Thank You!

The Health Office staff thanks you for your help in making this past week a smooth transition for those students who returned to campus.

  • Thank-you for remembering to fill out the Student Health Screening every morning!

  • Thank-you for being proactive and keeping your child home when ill, even if only for mild symptoms, for keeping them home when other household members are not feeling well and for following the IACS Return to School Protocols !

One additional request– In an effort to keep all staff and students healthy, school nurses are following up on students who do not report to campus on their designated day. Please email or call the health office if your student will not be present for on-campus learning on their assigned day. This will help the school nurses with tracking and will help avoid unnecessary phone calls home for follow up. You may reach the health office at 978-649-0432, ext. 2104 or at healthoffice@innovationcharter.org .

Thank you again for your patience and cooperation! We are in this together, the IACS community at it’s best!

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Zoom Waiting Rooms

Students attending Zoom classes may be familiar with a waiting room, where participants wait before being let into the virtual classroom. Teachers allow all the students in at the start of class. If a student is late to class, it may take a few minutes for teachers to notice someone in the waiting room as they may be actively presenting a lesson. Please be patient. If you have been waiting more than 5 minutes, email the teacher or text a fellow classmate for assistance.

Name & Image for Zoom

Students should check to make sure that they have their correct name set on their Zoom account before they try to enter a class, especially in cases where students share devices with family members. Teachers may not let you into the Zoom meeting if they do not recognize your name as a member of the class. In addition, please make sure that your Zoom avatar/image is appropriate. You can choose a photo of yourself, an image that represents you, or leave it blank so just your name shows. Please do not use images of other students or images that are inappropriate for school.

Per diem Substitute Teachers Needed

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.

We are offering 2 upcoming virtual trainings:

Wednesday, 9/23 at 9 am

Join Zoom Meeting

https://zoom.us/j/94752733458?pwd=aEt2aFpTbGpLRHFvWG1hYkpTR3lXUT09

Meeting ID: 947 5273 3458

Passcode: 6Gp2lad082

Or Thursday, 10/1 at 2 pm

Join Zoom Meeting

https://zoom.us/j/94445979816?pwd=dC9QbFhQSnQ0V3VNcE9rVlViMGI3dz09

Meeting ID: 944 4597 9816

Passcode: 3q1iOgHmZu

Visitors to Schools

As we reopen, a reminder that we will be holding all meetings with families virtually so that we do not have anyone other than staff and students in the building to ensure spacing.

Attendance

Teachers will take attendance at the start of each virtual class If your student will not be attending their virtual or in person support classes for the day please notify the main office by 8am. Staff will follow up with families of students not attending classes. The main office can be reached at 978-649-0432 x0 or mainoffice@innovationcharter.org.

School Messenger Opt In

IACS uses School Messenger as a way to communicate with families.

In order to make sure that you get a text message, please make sure that you have the correct phone number listed in our school database (Aspen).

  • The first two student “Contacts” listed in X2 must have correct phone numbers. A daily report from X2 is sent to School Messenger and those numbers are matched with our unique code. ‘

  • You must “Opt In” to the system. Text “Y” or “Yes” to the number: 67587. You may opt out of this system by replying “STOP” to any text sent by the school.

 

Middle School News

Thank you!

Thanks for your support in making it a different but great first week of school! We anticipated some wrinkles with so many new procedures and classes. That said, we’ve appreciated students and families reaching out if something was unclear to them so we can problem-solve together. Attendance has been strong this first week and staff have been so excited to see students again!

Upcoming Dates

Middle School Family Orientation: Thursday 9/24 6-7 pm

Our family orientation was so popular that we’re running another session on Thursday, 9/24 from 6-7 pm. Apologies to those of you that tried to sign in last week, but we’re limited by space.

The information to sign on is:

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83628000382

Meeting ID: 836 2800 0382

Passcode: wRsq1W

We also made a recording of last week’s session: Family Orientation presentation

Thursday, October 1st- Middle School Back to School Night from 6-8 pm. Attend this virtual meeting to meet your child’s teachers and hear about what they will be learning this year!

In-Person Remote Support Reminders

For students that will be on campus for in-person for support with remote learning, we ask that students bring these materials each day in a backpack:

  • Computer with charger

  • School Planner

  • Materials from School Supply List

  • Masks- wear one on a lanyard (and pack a spare)

  • Refillable Water bottle

  • Lunch (unless buying)

  • Beach towel (optional- for picnic style lunches!)

  • Independent Reading book

Students should arrive between 7:45 – 7:55 am. Please be sure that the attestation form is complete and students have a mask on as they exit the car. Students will enter one at a time and sanitize their hands on the way in.

Note: USDA has authorized universal FREE school meals – which means ALL students are eligible for FREE breakfast and lunch meals thru 12/31 (or until funds run out).

Specials Classes This Year

Specials

Some of you have probably noticed that we scheduled our specials classes differently this year. Based on feedback from students and families that it was difficult to juggle expectations of many classes simultaneously while remote, we decided to have students work through a rotation of their specials classes so that they will only have 1 special at a time. The schedule is below:

 
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Aspen Accounts

We are hoping to issue accounts for our Aspen database for new students and families by the end of next week. Returning students and families keep the same password. Reach out to our main office or MS Admin Assistant Ning Sisouvanh if you need your password reset or a reminder of what it is.

Middle School Planners

Middle School planners were sent home in virtual learning kits. Typically, we ask families to purchase these planners at a cost of $5. You can do submit your payment using this online form: https://forms.diamondmindinc.com/iacs/msplanner Thank you!

Virtual Learning Kits

If you weren’t able to attend the advisory meet up this week, please arrange with the main office to pick up your student’s virtual learning kit sometime soon. Please come anytime between 8:30-4, but please avoid dismissal time between 2:45-3:15 pm. Families should call ahead and buzz the building when you arrive. Our main office staff will bring it to you outside, like curb-side pick-up!

Please fill out the Chromebook user contract form if your student needs to borrow an IACS Chromebook and arrange with the main office to pick it up. Please come anytime between 8:30-4, but please avoid dismissal time between 2:45-3:15 pm. Families should call ahead and buzz the building when you arrive. Our main office staff will bring it to you outside, like curb-side pick-up!

Looking Ahead to the Hybrid Model

When we eventually move to the hybrid model, you likely are wondering which days your child will be attending. (Remember we will evaluate a possible shift to this model 4 weeks into the start of the school year).

The advisories on the left are assigned “A” days. During the hybrid model, they would attend in-person on Mondays and Tuesdays. The advisories on the right are assigned “B” days. During the hybrid model, they would attend in-person on Thursdays and Fridays. Please note that we took input from families over the summer to inform having siblings and carpools on the same day, and we are no longer able to make placement changes.

 
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High School News

HS Calendar Dates

October 2nd – Honors Declarations Due by 3pm

October 8th – Virtual Back to School Night, 6-8pm

October 14th – Virtual ILP Conferences

October 21st – Virtual ILP Conferences

October 30th – Semester 1 Progress Report 1 due

 

Materials Pick Up

Thank you to all the families that have arranged to come pick up materials. Due to schedule changes and shipping delays some teachers still have materials to distribute. Your teacher will notify you if this applies to your class.

IACS Graduate Achieves Gold Award for Girl Scouts Project

Congratulations to Alexya Lee, Class of 2019, for earning the Gold Award for the research project she conducted on the the history of slavery that is tied to the Tyng family. Our school is on the property of the former Tyng Mansion and Alexya was able to discover that the family had two slaves actually fight in the Revolutionary War, survived the war, and then had to return to slavery for the Tyng family. Read about her impressive project HERE. Nice work Lexie!

School Messenger

Please opt in to school messenger to receive text updates from the school. Directions are at the beginning of this newsletter under ALL School News.

Academic Planners Available

We have planners for sale for $3. Reach out to Crystal McKiel to arrange a pickup time.

Chromebooks

If you need to request a Chromebook please complete this online Chromebook user contract form. We will contact you when it is available for pickup.

Work Permits

Students needing a work permit need to fill out this work application. Your employer might give you a copy at your interview. Once completed, email a copy to Crystal McKiel, cmckiel@innovationcharter.org or Steph Kelly, skelly@innovationcharter.org. MS students should email Mr. Pereyra, fpereyra@innovationcharter.org. We will issue a work permit to you. While we do work over the Summer there are reduced hours so please allow us 3 business days to process your permit. Employers fill out and sign the first page, and parents and students must also sign the second page (pediatricians must sign the second page for students who are 14 or 15 years old).

 

Athletics News

Please click here to find a document outlining the specific procedures that all fall athletes must follow in order to participate. Note that the document includes links to sport-specific guidelines from the MIAA, be sure to review the MIAA document that applies to your individual sport.

Please click here to find preliminary practice schedules for each team, including start dates.

7th and 8th grade students are eligible to play high school soccer this fall. Click here for more information.

We are still accepting registrations!:

Click here to register for high school sports

Click here to register for middle school sports

Please contact Nolan McKinnon (Athletic Director) at nmckinnon@innovationcharter.org or Grace Nealey (Assistant Athletic Director) at gnealey@innovationcharter.org with any questions or concerns.

 

IACA News

Hoping your first week of school went well!