About IACS

Innovation Academy Charter School is a tuition free, college preparatory Massachusetts, public charter school serving students in grades five through twelve. The school was founded in 1996 by a group of Chelmsford residents interested in having a choice in public middle school education in the Chelmsford area. Currently, the school serves students from more than 10 Massachusetts communities including Chelmsford, Lowell, Billerica, Dracut, Groton, Tewksbury, Tyngsboro and Westford.

At Innovation Academy Charter School (IACS), our mission is to prepare students for the 21st century – this means preparing our students for success in the academic rigors of college and life beyond college.

To accomplish these goals, the IACS program is designed differently than many schools.

Here are some of the ways we are different:

  • We are a school that values hands-on education and we believe that people learn best by doing. Courses at IACS are designed to prepare students for the rigors of college and life and take a depth over breadth approach. Ideally, education is something that students pursue, driven by their own effort and interests. It is not something that is being done to them.
  • We value collaboration and we emphasize the importance of team work. We recognize that a good education is one that helps people develop the ability to interact effectively and successfully with the world beyond the walls of the school, and a big part of this is learning how to work with, teach and lead others.
  • We believe that learning is a growth process that requires constant revision and reconsideration of previously completed work. All students maintain portfolios of their work and are frequently given the opportunity to improve and build on prior assignments.
  • Being able to talk about your learning and growth is a key part of your development as a learner. All students present their work regularly throughout the school year for their peers, teachers, parents and community members. At the end of 6th and 8th grades, students are required to successfully present their portfolios to an audience and all high school students do year-end presentations of their learning in order to progress to the next grade level. All graduating seniors complete senior research projects and present these projects and papers to a public audience.
  • The arts are integrated into learning throughout the school. We do this not only for the sake of wonderful student art itself, but also because we see the value that the concepts of art and design have on other fields.
  • Innovation Academy takes the tradition of intellectual rigor seriously and, through our curriculum, we prepare students for success on the state required MCAS tests and the SAT tests and ACT tests required for college admission. At Innovation you will work harder than you’ve ever worked, but you will have fun doing it and be confident in knowing you will be prepared for the next level of learning when you leave to attend college.
  • We expect all students to perform at a high level. We believe that all students who are willing to make their best effort, when given the proper support, can meet with success in a challenging academic program.
  • Innovation Academy depends on the support of families as we educate their children. This support starts in the home, with the maintenance of an environment fit for students to complete their homework and get ample rest for the coming school day. We ask parents to stay up to date with their student’s grades and reach out to teachers and faculty with any questions or concerns. This support extends to the opportunity to take part in multiple volunteer opportunities at the school, to provide a donation to the school’s annual fund, to participate in the Innovation Academy Community Association and, in some cases, to join the school’s Board of Trustees.

Innovation Academy was founded in 1996 with fewer than 150 students in grades 5-8 by a group of parents who, simply put, wanted their middle school children to be challenged by their school work and to maintain their excitement about learning through the middle school years. 15 years later, with 600 students in grades 5-12, our founders’ hopes are being realized like never before.

I hope you will take the time to review our website and that you will consider a visit to the school as this is the best way to get to know our amazing community. Please click here to learn about visiting opportunities. Thanks for your interest in Innovation Academy Charter School!