September 2, 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.
Dear IACS Community,
The first week back to school is always an exciting time and this week felt doubly exciting given that it’s been 18 months since we’ve had all of our students learning on campus. The classrooms are already buzzing in ways that were harder to create last year when protocols required students to be seated in rows all facing forward, which as we all know is not the norm at IACS. In non-academic news, I want to send a few reminders and updates.
Health Office Protocols: We continue to be grateful for proactive family communication on all matters, especially COVID-related matters. We’ve had strong enrollment in the COVID safety testing programs (pooled testing and rapid diagnostic testing) referenced last week. CLICK HERE TO ENROLL. Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC) is still preparing to start this program for all public schools in Massachusetts and we will notify our community when CIC launches their work. Families are also reminded that rapid-testing, which is part of the "test and stay" program is only designed to support students who are identified as close contacts while at school. CIC and DESE have made it abundantly clear that this program cannot be used for students identified as close contacts because of off campus interactions.
Morning Drop Off and Afternoon Pick Up: Every year these procedures operate at their least efficient during our first few weeks of school. As extracurricular activities pick up, extra help sessions are offered, and students/families make carpool arrangements, much of the congestion eases up naturally over time. With that said, there are a few ways families can help make the morning and afternoon run smoothly. First, please make sure that all high school pick ups or carpools with a mix of middle school and high school students go to the high school lot (next to the greenhouse). Second, please do not park on Tyng Road. We want to be good neighbors to everyone on Tyng Road and when students cross our parking lot it creates a safety hazard to cars who are leaving. We will continue to monitor morning and afternoon procedures to improve efficiency, but in the meantime please follow the directions from staff who are on duty.
Have a wonderful four day weekend.
Head of School
All School News
The energy is back at IACS! We all enjoyed seeing everyone in school again and I think the first 3 days went pretty well. We hope they had a good first 3 days and we look forward to seeing everyone on Tuesday. Grades 5-8 went through an orientation session with their advisory and at the high school, Assistant Principal, Ms. Kelly, and I were able to meet with each grade to go over school policies and procedures. This included safety procedures with regards to COVID. I am linking the High School 2021-2022 Student and Family Handbook and the Middle School Student and Family Handbook for you to review here. Enjoy the long weekend and we look forward to seeing everyone again on Tuesday.
The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has published family guides to learning standards to make it easy to see at a glance what are the most important skills students are learning at each grade level. They are available in many different languages at: https://www.doe.mass.edu/highstandards/default.html
SEPAC Members Needed! Innovation Academy seeks parents and other family members to assist us in forming a Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC). The SEPAC is a parent-led group that works with school administrators to advise on issues related to students with disabilities and can also serve as a source of support and advice to families within the school community. We are especially in need of parents interested in sharing a leadership role within the group. Training and support will be provided by the Federation for Children with Special Needs MASSPAC. If interested please email Aimee Voleti at firstname.lastname@example.org
We want to remind families whose students would like to take the LRTA bus (Route 17) that this year IACS will cover the ticket costs for students. At the beginning of the year students riding the bus will be given individual tickets, but we will transition to granting monthly passes. For questions regarding the LRTA bus program to/from IACS, please contact Transportation Manager, Marybeth Bush (email@example.com).
Families who complete the form will get a link to an interactive map of carpooling families to enable you to quickly find contact information for IACS families near you. We’ll also share the data with you in spreadsheet form. Both digital formats will update in real time as other families complete the form, so check back often if you do not see anyone that lives around you. Feel free to contact anyone on the list that looks like they will be a helpful match for you!
Share your information using our google form and you will be added to the list of parents that would like to carpool.. (Please note that once you submit your information, it will be shared with everyone else who joins the list.)
We have a couple of suggestions that we believe will help speed up the process for drivers when family members drop off or pick up students at IACS.
When leaving the middle school parking lot, please take a right onto Tyng Road. To get to 3A, simply take the first left at the stop sign, which just so happens to be named “1st Street”. Then you can take a left or right onto 3A.
For those leaving the high school parking lot, please take a left to 3A.
If we all followed these directions, it should avoid the huge backups from cars trying to turn onto 3A. These backups at the intersection of 3A and Tyng Road go up to our entrances on Tyng Road and prevent cars from leaving our campus. If the two parking lots (MS & HS) exited in these different directions, it should greatly reduce the traffic jam at 3A and Tyng Road.
IACS Families should enroll in School Messenger to receive text notices of school closures, student absences and other school notifications.
Text Y or Yes
Families should report all absences, tardies and dismissals to the mainoffice by 8am. The mainoffice can be contacted at 978-649-0432 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
* We are offering Substitute Training Campus in Murdoch Hall, room 238 on Wednesday 9/8/2021 at 11:15. Visitors should check in at the Main Office. Masks are required. *
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 email@example.com or go to the School Nutrition page for more information.
Middle School News
Friday, October 15th (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 mid October.
All students will need to have a laptop or a Chromebook. If your students need to borrow an IACS Chromebook please fill out the Chromebook user contract form. Chromebooks can be picked up at the Library Monday through Friday 8:30 am – 3:00 pm, if possible please avoid dismissal time between 2:45 pm – 3:15 pm.
Planners will be distributed by advisors to 5th and 6th graders on the first day of school. We ask families to purchase these planners at a cost of $5, you can make a payment via credit card using this online form here, cash, or check made out to IACS. Thank you!
Aspen credentials for new students and families have been issued. 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.
After School Program
This year we are offering an After School Program for our 5th through 8th graders. The program provides safe and flexible supervised care. During the after school program, each day there are snacks followed by quiet time for homework. After homework time, students participate in a variety of activities based on student interest and weather – from playing outdoors to indoor activities like board games and art projects. For more details please visit our website.
After School Middle School Band & Chorus is back at IACS!!!
Rehearsals will start the week of September 27th.
Beginning Band meets Mondays & Thursdays 3:00-4:00 pm.
Advanced Band meets Wednesdays & Fridays 3:00-4:00 pm.
Chorus meets on Wednesdays from 12:25 -1:30.
MS Chorus is open to all students in grades 5-8. Students participating in Band and Chorus must have transportation home.
Stay tuned for a Google Form in next week’s Hawk to sign-up!
Questions? Email Mrs. Porter (Band) or Mrs. Lane (Chorus)
8th grade science students problem-solving to build models of molecules.
High School News
Requests for a schedule change will be accepted until 9/9. Students have been emailed the change request form. This form ensures that all requests are tracked and not lost in email.
The HS is BYOD, Bring your own device. We ask all high schoolers to bring a computer to school. This letter provides an overview of why we believe this program is good for our school and how families can acquire a device to support their students. We do have Chromebooks available to borrow for a day or for the entire year through our library borrowing program. You may request one by completing this Chromebook Loaner Contract and then stopping by the library to pick it up.
Planners are $5 (cash or check made out to IACS) and you will be able to get them through your advisor during the first week of school or from Ms. McKiel. You are not required to have an IACS planner. You can also pick one up at Walgreens, Staples or wherever.
Students driving themselves to school will need to get a parking permit. Permits must be renewed each school year. The form to apply for a parking permit can be found here. Please make sure you complete all questions. Any forms you are unable to attach to the form may be brought to Ms. McKiel.
This is Anatomy and Physiology students considering what they already know about human body systems.
High school and middle school fall athletics registration is still open for certain sports. Anyone who is interested in joining a team should contact the Athletic Department, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interested in coaching?
The Athletic Department is looking for assistant coaches for fall sports (cross country, soccer, and volleyball). Individuals who are interested should contact Nolan McKinnon, email@example.com.
Hope everyone had a great first week!