January 20, 2023

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,

Yesterday we closed out the first semester and I hope everyone was able to use today's day off to decompress a bit. Whether you enjoyed some extra sleep, cheffed up a delicious breakfast, or enjoyed the beautiful snow, these rest days are critical, especially at the halfway point of a long academic year. For the nature lovers out there (and I hope there are many), our reading teacher, Kimberly Knight, captured an amazing video today of an American Bald Eagle near her home. You can check it out here:

The eagle has landed!

On a scheduling note, please keep in mind that Semester 2 classes begin Monday morning. High school students will start the day in their "Flex Block" location, where they will pick up paper copies of their schedules. (Students can also see their schedules in Aspen.) On Friday, February 3th Semester 1 report cards will be posted to Aspen.

Have a wonderful weekend and here's to the beginning of Semester 2.

In partnership,

Greg Orpen,

Head of School

All School News

IACS Board of Trustees Seeking new members

Over the last few months, the IACS Board of Trustees has been working on modernizing the IACS mission statement in conjunction with other stakeholders as well as getting prepared for the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education January site visit for continued accreditation.

Each year, we look for new Board Members who support our mission. This year, we are specifically looking for a community member with experience in the financial field, as well as other committed and interested individuals. If this is of interest to you, please click here to learn more or reach out to the nominations committee at: board.nominations@innovationcharter.org

Equity and Counseling Updates:

New State Behavioral Health Help Line

The Department of Mental Health has launched a new Behavioral Health Help Line

https://www.masshelpline.com/ that people can call or text at 833-773-2445.

It is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week in more than 200 languages. The help line can help individuals and families navigate the behavioral health system and access treatment, including mobile crisis services. District and school leaders are asked to please share this resource with staff, families, and students, where helpful. For more information, please see the FAQ https://www.masshelpline.com/faq/

SEPAC (Special Education Parent Advisory Council)

The role of SEPAC is to advise the school district on matters that pertain to the safety and education of students with disabilities. A specific page within the IACS website has been assigned for SEPAC (click here to go directly to the SEPAC page or you can find us by... going to main page of IACS, click Current Students and Families, click Families, and click SEPAC) You can find our SEPAC meeting notes from all our meetings for this school year on the SEPAC page (scroll down all the way down). Or you can click directly below

The next meeting will be a workshop about Bullying: What Parents Need to Know presented by FCSN on Monday, January 30, 2023 at 7pm (Virtual). Please register in advance!


Please note that the registration form is prepared FCSN...you are only required to fill out the information with asterisk (*), the other questions in the registration form are completely voluntary.

School Messenger

IACS Families can enroll in School Messenger to receive text notices of school closures, delays and other school notifications.

Text Y or Yes to 67587

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Multicultural Potluck

The Students of Color Affinity Group is hosting a Multicultural Potluck at Exhibition IACS on Tuesday, March 21, 2023 at 5:00 PM.

The goal of this event is to bring the community together in a fun and delicious way as we share our cultures and cuisines.

We are looking for volunteers to bring a dish to share. Volunteers are asked to bring their dish and serving utensils, as well as serve the food during the event.

If you are interested in bringing a dish, please fill out this form by Thursday, February 16th!

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Middle School News

Upcoming Dates:

1/23/23 Semester 2 Begins

2/3/23 Semester 1 Report Cards Published

Check out the all school calendar for 2022-2023

Student Planners

Student planners are available for purchase for anyone who would like one! They are $5 a planner, and students can either ask their advisor or Miss Un in Room 502 about purchasing one.

Attention All Mathy Middle-Schoolers!!!

We are looking to form a MS (5th-8th grade) Math Team that meets weekly from 3:00-4:00pm

The main / end "goal" is to compete in the free, online, international competition that is sponsored by Purple Comet Math in April.

The weekly objectives of the team will be to (1) encourage curiosity and number sense, (2) foster enjoyment in mathematics, and (3) build a community of problem-solvers.

Please click HERE to express interest and share your availability! (or, if you are having trouble with the link, feel free to email our Dean of STEM, Mr. Craig, via acraig@innovationcharter.org)

Book Returns

Ms Spence would like to offer a friendly reminder to return your checked out library books!

As the first semester wraps up, students should return any books that they are done with to the library! Students who have overdue books should have received an email from the library as a reminder today.

Seeing a record player for the library

The library has received a donation of some cool vinyl records and would love to be able to allow students to play them in the library. If anyone has a record player that they would like to donate to the library, we would be very appreciative.

Middle School Photo of the Week:

The Middle School Concert is Wed Jan 25th!

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High School News

Upcoming Dates:

1/23 Semester 2 Begins

1/27 Last day to Submit Schedule Change Request Form

2/3 Semester 1 Report Cards

2/3 Deadline to Register for Honors Credit in HS Classes

2/8 Early Release: ILP Conferences

2/20-24 No School, February Vacation

Seniors of the Month for December!

We are working to recognize students from the class of 2023 that have been nominated by staff and peers. It was tough to narrow it down, but the two recipients of the Senior of the Month recognition go to:

Seth Lupo

Seth did incredible work with Mr.Hinkle to add some magic to our homepage (coding the snowflakes). He was always willing to help no matter the problem at hand, demonstrating his

commitment to building a better community and lifting up those around him.

Alani Vasconcelos

She is such a sweetheart and the funniest person I know! Alani and I became good friends last year in advisory, and what I’ve learned since that is that she is a mood-maker. Anytime I’m feeling stressed or tired, just talking with her brightens up my day! She always knows what to say in various situations and can always be trusted to bring a smile to your face.

ILP Conferences: Wednesday, Feb 8th

All of our students create Individual Learning Plans (ILP), which articulate the goals students have been creating for themselves. These are student run meetings with parent/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. A typical ILP is 20-30 minutes. Advisors will be reaching out to schedule your students' meetings. If you haven't already connected with your student's advisor, please book a meeting on the afternoon of February 8th and March 1st.

For new families who have not participated in an ILP conference you are invited to check out the following ILP Video we created several years ago. , It is only about 5 minutes long but will hopefully give you a deeper understanding of why we've been holding these conferences for over 25 years.

Semester 2 is Here!!!

Semester 2 will officially start on Monday, January 23rd. Students & Families can see the semester 2 schedule in Aspen. Students will start Monday in their flex pair advisory rooms (the same location we use on Wednesday mornings). After a brief advisory check in regarding semester 2 we will resume a normal Monday schedule.

Students have 5 days into the semester to request a schedule change. Requests must be submitted by January 27th.

Schedule Change Request Forms as well as the following information has been emailed to all students.

Only students that are logged into their school gmail account can complete this form. If it is not working for you, try logging out of your personal gmail account.

DO NOT EMAIL please, use the form. There is space to write whatever you would like in the form and it helps us keep all schedule requests organized. If you can’t find the form in your email, reach out to Ms. Crystal. She can re-send the form to you.

Submit a separate form for each class you would like to change.

Check the master schedule to see if there is another class you could take during the same block as the class you would like to change before you even request a change. You must also remember that classes highlighted in RED are already full.

We will not switch you into different sections of the same classes just so you can be with more of your friends.

It takes time to address all of the requests we receive, so don't expect an immediate change. If we can't make the change you requested, we will send you a brief email stating why. If we can make the change, we will not send anything, you should check Aspen regularly.

Endersession, June 12-16th

This year’s Endersession courses will occur during the week of June 12-16. Seniors will be graduating on June 3rd, but all seniors are still encouraged to participate in Endersession. Endersession Week is part of the regular school year and it is expected that all students will take part. While Endersession course grades are not figured into a student’s GPA, they are graded on the IACS Outcomes and will therefore appear on the Semester 2 report card.

Peruse the full list of options in the Endersession Packet 2023. If you have any questions about what might be asked of students for a specific course, please reach out to the teacher that is organizing the Endersession course. Staff names and endersession costs are available in the above link.

  • January 27, 2023

    • Endersession packets due to Assistant Principal (Selection Forms, Permission Slips, and Medical Release)

  • February 10, 2023

    • Students will be notified of their Endersession placement during Advisory. This assumes that students have turned their paperwork in on time.

  • February 15, 2023

    • Endersession groups to meet with leaders. More detailed information provided to students about the Endersession course with a parent/guardian acknowledgement of the details to be signed and returned.

  • March 3, 2023

    • Deposit due for any Endersession that involves airlines or overnight lodging.

Please return all forms directly to Ms. Kelly or Ms. Crystal.

Yearbook Notes for Senior Families

If you have a high school senior in the house, then you have a lot going on. So we wanted to remind you that the yearbook is in the works and we are looking for you to provide us with a ½ page of praise and or congratulations to your Senior. What is a parent page? We’re glad you asked. Click here to learn more about what a parent page is, how to create one and even a sample.

Parent Pages are due February 10th.

Senior Photos are due February 17th.

Please feel free to reach out with any questions. Questions and photos can be submitted to yearbook@innovationcharter.org.

Parking Permit Application

Students that drive to school must fill out an online Parking Permit Application. The cost is $15 and maybe paid online or in person to Crystal McKiel.

HS Photo of the Week

A team of HS students in their Earth and Space Science class constructing a "three-story structure that could best handle an earthquake."

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Coming to the middle school band concert on January 25th? Make it dinner and a show! Red Robin in Pheasant Lane Mall will give 20% of food sales between 5pm and 9pm to Innovation Academy Community Association! Not coming to the concert? Give yourself the night off anyway!

Place to-go orders by following these steps:

  1. Start your order at https://order.redrobin.com/ and select the restaurant above. If the link does not work, please copy and paste it into your browser.

  2. Once in the menu, go to the category labeled “Fundraisers".

  3. Open "Spirit Night (To-Go) Fundraiser".

  4. Add organization name to the Special Instructions in the Spirit Night item, then add it to the cart. (Note: if you add the item prior to entering your information, you can still edit it from your cart)

  5. Add your meal items then check out.

  6. Arrive at Red Robin, pull into a designated curbside spot where available, and call the phone number on the sign. Our Team Members will bring your order to your car.

For Dine-In, simply inform your server that you are there for your organization's fundraiser.

Ongoing IACA Fundraisers

IACA has a couple fundraisers that run constantly, cost you nothing, and take virtually no effort! These are Amazon Smile and Box Tops for Education. Please visit our fundraising page for a video tutorial on setting up Amazon Smile and links to install the Box Tops app so that you can help the school with the shopping you do everyday.

Stay in Touch

To make sure that you are in the know for everything IACA does throughout the year, please bookmark our website and follow us on social media.

Enjoy the Snow!