The Hawk: September 25, 2020

September 24, 2020 6:48 pm

IACS Hawk

Week ending September 25, 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,

As Week 2 comes to a close, all of us- students, staff, and parents- are adjusting to new routines and getting a better sense of what is working well and where we can improve. So far, most of the conversations we’ve had with families and the postings we’ve read on social media have been positive. Thank you for affirming the incredibly hard work of our teachers and of course we can’t do it without support on the home front.

And while we’re encouraged by this feedback IACS remains committed to continuous improvement. To that end, please be on the lookout for a short but important survey regarding our "remote plus" model as well as other elements of our reopening plan. We expect this survey to be sent Tuesday morning in a "Hawk Extra".

The weather forecast looks nice this weekend and I hope that the entire IACS community can find time to enjoy some fresh air and sunshine. If you’ve never had the chance to hike our trail system, then perhaps this is the perfect weekend to do it!

In partnership,

Greg Orpen

Head of School

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.

Some answers to Frequently Asked Questions from our Health Office.

Updated FAQ’s from IACS Health Office

A note from the Racial Justice Committee

This past June, staff members collaborated to request the formation of a Racial Justice Committee at IACS. This committe will address issues of inequity within IACS and specifically lead our mission to become an anti-racist community. The Board of Trustees moved to support this request in July and has made a commitment to pursuing this work as an institution.

The Racial Justice Committee’s (RJC) goal is to systematically reevaluate the school from an anti-racist perspective. It will be composed of representatives of all stakeholders (students, parents, staff, admin, and board members), along with the advice of experts, and consideration of existing data. Its approach would provide an appropriately transparent and collaborative process to address problems and create meaningful change around a variety of issues including staff diversity, professional development, the role of our school resource officer, anti-racism curriculum, and restorative practices.

Since its inception, the work of the RJC has been pushed forward by a larger group of staff identified as the Staff for Racial Justice (SRJ). The SRJ will continue to support the RJC throughout the school year. We have appointed the faculty members of the RJC, representing both MS and HS faculty and administration.

OPPORTUNITY TO ENGAGE

The existing RJC is seeking out additional members from the community to fill the committee. Specifically, we are looking for students (2 MS and 3 HS), 2 alumni, 2 parents, and 1 board member. The RJC is deliberately seeking out students and families of Color to elevate these voices and inform the process and future initiatives of this work. If you are interested in applying for a position on the RJC, please send an email to racialjustice@innovationcharter.org. Please include a short statement of intent expressing why you would like to be involved in this work. Video submissions will also be accepted. Please contact racialjustice@innovationcharter.org with your submissions by October 16, 2020 in order to be considered for a position on the RJC.

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 an upcoming virtual training:

Thursday, 10/1 at 2 pm

Join Zoom Meeting

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

Meeting ID: 944 4597 9816

Passcode: 3q1iOgHmZu

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

    Back to School School Night- Thursday, 10/1 6-8 pm

    Attend this virtual meeting to meet your child’s teachers and hear about what they will be learning this year! See this document for the links to log in.

    Aspen Log-Ins

    Aspen is the database our school uses. Your log-in information to the student or family portal allows you to view your students’ schedule, current grades, missing assignments, attendance information, and keep your contact information up-to-date. Aspen log-ins were emailed out to families to IACS this week. If you ever need your password reset, please reach out to the main office or our Middle School Administrative Assistant, Ning Sisouvanh.

    Did you miss our Middle School Family Orientation?

    Here’s a recording: Family Orientation presentation

    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!

    Chromebooks

    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

    National Merit Scholarship Commendation

    IACS is proud to announce that three high school students have been named Commended Students in the National Merit Scholarship Program in 2019.

    Nam Bui

    Nathan Smith

    Isabel Stanley-Kemler

    Commended Students place among the top 50,000 scorers of more than 1.5 million students who took the 2019 PSAT. Congratulations Nam, Nathan and Isabel!!

    Honors Classes

    All classes may be taken for honors credit and will require work of additional depth and/or complexity that must be completed at a high level of quality. Students must sign up for honors at the beginning of the semester. All students were emailed a google form that they will fill out if they wish to take a class for Honors. Students may drop Honors without penalty by November 6th.

    Google Classroom Tip for High School Families

    Mr. Hinkle has put together this quick document on How to See Grades & Missing Work in Google Classroom.

    Seniors: Financial Aid Seminars for the Students/families

    Traditionally, each fall IACS hosts a Financial Aid Night for the parents/guardians of our seniors applying to college. We invite a representative from MEFA (a nonprofit for MA families) to be our guest speaker and go through the entire aid process. Of course, we will not be able to host this event in person this fall, but the good news is that we now have multiple online options!!

    This year, MEFA is offering Massachusetts families many different opportunities to attend a live seminar that will walk you through the process. You can see the entire list here:

    https://www.mefa.org/events/category/college-financing

    If I could recommend one, I would try to attend the seminar hosted by Gail Holt on September 29th at 6:30pm. When I worked in financial aid, Gail was the leader of our office, and she is fantastic.

    The FAFSA becomes available on October 1st; you most likely will need to file it between December and February (every college has a different deadline)! Let me know if you have any questions–I used to work in financial aid and I can help! Jill Deknatel, jdekantel@innovationcharter.org, x4141

    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.

    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.

    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. 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

    Congratulations!

    If you run into Ms. Grace Nealy, our Assistant Athletics Director, please be sure to offer your congratulations. She recently graduated summa cum laude from UMass Lowell with a B.A. in American Studies. Way to go Grace!

    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

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    Look for IACA on Facebook, we’d love to "meet" you there.