Okma Weekly Message August 28, 2020

Principal's Message

Dear Families,

Thank you for helping make the start to remote learning a success.  As expected, we encountered a few minor technology problems which were quickly resolved. Our staff is enjoying the student connections and appreciate how they are engaging in large and small group discussions.  Students have started their mornings with their seminar course to communicate remote learning expectations and foster relationships among their classmates. While this year has started differently, the environment within the virtual classrooms feels very similar to a typical school day. 

Below are some important updates that include Attendance protocols, Welcome Back Night, Canvas login information, PSAT/SAT testing, and Parent/Guardian Teacher conferences.  

Attendance protocols for students

  • If a student is going to be absent, a parent/guardian must call in the absence to the attendance office.

  • The attendance secretary will email the student and teacher when a student must leave class early.  

  • Students are expected to maintain their attendance during Zoom breakout sessions.  Their camera should remain on unless there is an arrangement that has been made with the teacher.


Welcome Back Night

  • Teachers are creating a recorded teacher presentation for each course.  These presentations will be posted through Canvas by the evening of September 2nd.  

  • You will use your Canvas login and then click on each of your student’s courses to view the videos which will detail course expectations


Parent/Guardian Canvas Login Information

  • Go to:  ia.instructure.com/login/canvas

  • Login with MiStar ID:  P200xxxxx ---DON'T FORGET THE PRECEDING P

  • Enter your password (please note - your MISTAR password MUST be at least 9 characters in order to sync with CANVAS)

    • if you have previously changed your password to less than 9 characters, please update it at once to include at least 9. The accounts must then re-sync Monday night (and Tuesday) for your CANVAS account creation to be successful.

  • You should now have access to your student’s courses

  • Parents who need their log in info can retrieve it by going to 


and choosing the link below the input box - the Pin and Password - you will be prompted to input the same email address you have on file in the Student Information System (the same email to which you are receiving this message ). 

Parent Connect Log in retrieval


PSAT/SAT testing

  • As of today*, students are scheduled to take state required testing in the building.  We will communicate details once we have information on the specific arrangements.

  • October 14th:
    • 12th grade SAT (7:45am-12:00pm)
  • October 28th:
    • 9th grade PSAT (7:45am-11:00am)
    • 12th grade SAT make-up
  • October 29th:
    • 11th grade PSAT/NMSQT (7:45-12:00pm)
    • 10th grade PSAT (7:45-12:00pm)

*this could change

Parent/Guardian Teacher Conferences

Conferences will be held virtually. Parents/guardians will receive sign-up information as we near these dates.  

October 28th:



October 29th:


Next week, we will provide you with some highlights of what students are learning in their academic courses.  Additionally, we will be sending you a survey asking you to comment on the first 10 days of school.  The feedback from the surveys we sent in the spring was essential to making positive changes for the start of this school year.  We appreciate your willingness to share your experiences with us.



Technology Items


We are back!  Six days down and we are cruising along.  While it has felt like we have been chasing our tails the past few weeks while jumping into a sea of uncertainty, things are finally calming down and we are feeling like "we got this"!  It seems like the kids are doing fine too.  Canvas is new to us all, and we are finding it to be a great virtual platform for providing consistency across all the classes. 

There are the usual hiccups that happen along the way and we have provided kids with this form to report issues as completely as possible since the occasional email that states " I couldn't access..." without any further info as to what or where is not the most efficient method to get issues resolved (LOL).  So, if your student has trouble, remind them of this form.  It can also be found on our Quick Links for Students page under the School Life tab of our website.

Canvas and Google Docs are integrated and should sync.  There have been issues when students are logged in to a personal Google Account and the syncing gets confused.  Here is the remedy we have found:

The log in issue with Google on Canvas is a known issue.

Please read through some of these remedies.

In particular, students have found that logging completely out of GMAIL as well as Chrome and turning off sync has resolved the issue.

You then have to re-authorize.

Yes, You Can Still Check Books out from our Library!

Enrichment Graphic

Message from the Counseling Office

Dear IA Families,

Welcome to another school year at the International Academy! We are excited to be with you and look forward to getting to know you. The remote start to the school year seems to be going well- thank you for your patience, flexibility and support.

Every week the Counseling Department sends out a newsletter with timely and valuable information for students and parents.  It is embedded below.  Please be sure to check it out! 

Our first virtual Coffee with the Counselors will be on Wednesday, September 9 at 9:15 am.  The focus of the coffee will be on the freshman year. A Zoom link will be provided in the IA Okma Events calendar and in the Counseling Weekly Newsletter.

Fee free to contact us with any questions or concerns.

Stay well,

Lisa Acton, lacton@bloomfield.org

Jane Dittus, jdittus@bloomfield.org


Virtual Learning Attendance Reminders....


Please be sure to  call in your student's attendance on 248.341.5910

Examples include:

  • out ill for the entire day
  • arriving late or leaving early.  
  • home school athletics/events

Please provide specifics as to when your child logs in if they arrive late, or if they are logging back on after an appointment.  Have them either respond to the ePass, if they receive one or email -   iaattendance@bloomfield.org.



Sept 4-7 Labor Day

Oct 30 - Nov 1 Three Day Weekend 

Nov 25-29 Thanksgiving

Dec 21-Jan 3 Winter Break

Jan 23-24 End of Semester

Feb 13 - 21 Mid-Winter Break

Mar 27-Apr 4 Spring Break

May 29-31 Memorial Day


What an amazing day... thanks to all the volunteers that came out to help support one of student’s Eagle Scout projects!!!!  It was incredible the amount of landscaping 40 hardworking people were able to do in 2 hours on Sunday, August 9th.  The school has never looked better!!

A big shout out goes to the IA Beautification chairs, Tracy Burroughs and Christine Schmidt.

New PTIA Mentor Program 

We have had a very successful launch to our new PTIA Parent Mentors program, with 29 mentors and 63 new families signed up! Mentors are providing the new families with information and helping them make connections during their transition to a new school in the midst of these uncertain times. Small groups have been able to get together to get to know each other, set up study groups and potential car-pools for the hoped-for return to school. We had a wonderful turn-out for our in-person and online meet-ups last week before the start of school. Mentors will continue to interact with the new families and let them know about opportunities to get involved as the year goes on.

New families – it is not too late to participate! If you would like to be paired up with a veteran family from your district, just sign up here!


A sign-up will come out in the spring for those interested in being a mentor for next year.

Contact Janet Raymond raymondfamily@ameritech.net or Tracy Burroughs Tracy tracyburroughs@hotmail.com with any questions!

PTIA Website 

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Follow the OKMA PTIA on Facebook

What an amazing day... thanks to all the volunteers that came out to help Kate Tang, a Junior student, with her Eagle Scout projects!!!!  Kate selected her school as a community project.  Kate even found a generous donor in our community to complete this project.  It was incredible the amount of landscaping 40 hardworking people were able to do in 2 hours on Sunday, August 9th.  The school has never looked better!!

A big shout out goes to the IA Beautification chairs, Tracy Burroughs and Christine Schmidt.

Thanks to the Workers on the Beautification Project!