The Hawk: April 14, 2017

April 14, 2017 6:00 pm

“The Hawk”

April 14, 2017

Dear IACS Community,

In my Hawk letter last year at this time, I made the analogy of the school year being a marathon and I must say that the stretch between February and April vacation certainly feels like Heartbreak Hill!  I’d like to thank all of the students for persevering through this difficult section of the year, not to mention parents and staff who kept students focused and moving forward.  

In addition to making sure everyone gets extra time to rest, I’d also like to encourage families to take some time this vacation to discuss important dates in the weeks ahead.  

Middle School:  Has your 5th or 7th graders selected a piece of work to present for the May 11th Quality Night? Is your 6th or 8th grader aware of when their Jury is being held?  If so, what kind of planning and support will they need to be prepared?

High School:  Does your student know when their Presentation of Learning (Grade 9-11) or Senior Project presentation is being held?  How is that planning going?    

Families of students in Grades 7-12 may also find it helpful to review their student’s digital portfolio. (Grades 5 & 6 have paper-based portfolios.) You can find the unique website address for digital portfolios on X2 by clicking on the “My Info” tab.  If you have any questions, please send your student’s advisor an email after school resumes on April 24th.  

Engaging in conversations and reviewing student work can go a long way towards helping your student cross the finish line.  We expect students, just like marathon finishers, to feel tired come June, but we also want them to feel accomplished!

In partnership,

Greg Orpen

Head of School

Important Upcoming Dates

Important Dates:  

  • Barring further school cancellations, our last day of school will be Tuesday, June 20th

  • We can confirm that next year the first day of school will be Tuesday, August 29th; a complete calendar with vacation and early release days will be released within the next few weeks.

  • April 14

    No School – Good Friday

    April 17 – 21

    No School April Vacation

    April 25

    MS 5th – 8th MCAS Science Testing

    HS Field trip to Franconia Notch (Ms. Hinkle)

    April 26

    Early Release

    April 27

    MS 5th – 8th MCAS Science Testing

    May 1

    HS Orientation for Newly Admitted Families (5 pm)

    May 2

    HS Innovation Morning for Prospective Students (8:30 am)

    May 3

    Early Release

    MS Innovation Morning for Prospective Students (8:30 am)

    May 4

    HS National Society Induction, 6:00 pm

    May 5

    HS Senior Projects and POL’s

    May 6

    SAT Test 8:00 – 1:00 pm

    May 8

    HS Senior Projects and POL’s

    May 9

    HS Senior Projects and POL’s

    HS Family Orientation   5:00 – 6:00 pm

    May 10

    HS Senior Projects and POL’s

    Early Release

    May 11

    HS Senior Projects and POL’s

    MS 5th & 7th Grade Quality Night  6:00 – 7;15pm

    May 12

    HS Junior/Senior Prom 6:00 – 11:00 pm

    May 15

    Board of Trustee meeting 6:30 – 8:30 pm

    May 16

    HS MCAS Math testing

    HS Junior/Senior Awards Night  6:30 – 8:00 pm

    May 17

    Full Day Wednesday

    HS MCAS Math testing

    Last day HS Internships

    May 18

    HS Field Trip to MA Envirothon State Competition (Ms. Hinkle)

    HS family Orientation 3:30 – 4:30 pm

    HS Drama Production 7:00 pm

    May 19

    MS Parent- Principal Advisory Council   7:45- 8:30 am

    HS Internship Breakfast Celebration 8:15-9;15 am

    MS Innovation Morning for Prospective students

    HS Drama Production 7:00 pm

    May 20

    Drama Performance 2:00 and 7:00 pm

    All School News

    April Menu is posted here.  In addition to the daily lunch special, the following items are offered: Garden, Chef & Seasoned Chicken Salad, Ham or Turkey & Cheese Sub, Sunbutter & Jelly, Sunbutter & Fluff or Tuna Sandwich and Fresh Fruit Yogurt Parfait.  See the April Menu for breakfast choices, daily lunch specials and pricing.

    IACA News  

  • Eighth Grade Semi-Formal: We're starting to plan our Eighth Grade Semi! What a blast for the kids! Here is a message from Donna Martin, who is chairing the committee as she has done for the past three years.The semi is on Saturday June 10th at 7:00.  We will be needing people to help pass out food and chaperone the dance ( this is only open to parents who do not have 8th graders).  If you can’t make it that night we could use help with food donations, decoration ideas, help with invitations, favors etc.  Please email me as soon as possible if you are interested  

  • Last Bash planning is starting up! If you aren't familiar with Last Bash – this is the safe, all night, lock-in party for Seniors that takes place the night of Graduation!  If you are interested in helping to plan the event (scheduled for June 3, 2017), please email Holly Ballam and Lynn Smith at lastbash@innovationcharter. org . We have a meeting scheduled for 7pm at Panera in Drum Hill for April 12th.  

  • We are looking for new leaders to join IACA! Contact iacapresident@gmail. com if interested in learning more. Come to our next meeting to see what IACA is all about!

  • IACA Scholarship Committee- can you help?  We are looking for judges for our HS Scholarship Committee. Volunteer judges cannot be employed in the high school, nor can they have a student in 11th or 12th grade. For more information, please contact Michelle Balbat at  

  • Performing Arts News:  

    Join us for the May productions! The ticket order form is attached!

    The Musical Darts is Written by IACS Seniors Jocelyn Brody, Joseph Harrington, and Spencer Royston and is Performed by High School Students

    The Play Shards is Written by IACS Senior Jocelyn Brody and is Performed by High School Students

    The Play May the Best Fan Win is performed by IACS Staff

    The Play Game of Tiaras is performed by Middle School Students

    The Play I’m a Teenager – Get Me Out of This Family is performed by High School Students

    *IACS Student Tickets for Thursday, May 18 – $5!*

    May 18 and 19, 7pm  Shows: Darts and Shards

    May 20, 2pm  Shows: May the Best Fan Win, Game of Tiaras, I’m a Teenager – Get Me Out of This Family! and Darts

    May 20, 7pm  Shows: Game of Tiaras, I’m a Teenager – Get Me Out of This Family! and Darts

  • THE WEATHER IS TELLING US: SUMMER IS COMING! Join us for 3 Performing Arts Camps right here on the IACS Campus! Camps are open to students finishing 4th through 12th grades.

  • * July 10-July 14: Drama Camp 8:30-3:30 daily with a performance of Ghostbusters on Friday night

    * July 17-July 21: Glee Camp 8:30-3:30 daily with a performance of songs and scenes from School of Rock on Friday night

    * July 24-July 28: Improv Camp 8:30-3:30 daily with a performance created ON THE SPOT by the campers on Friday night

    **The first ten Improv Camp students finishing grades 8 through 12 have the option of going to Broadway to see The Great Comet of 1812 on the Wednesday of Improv Camp! (Unfortunately, the NYC component of Drama Camp and Glee Camp trips are full.)

    **There is still availability for at all three camps for every age!

    Click here for registration information about camp!

    Middle School News

    The MCAS schedule is as follows:

    4/3-4/4 Grades 5 and 6 English/Language Arts

    4/5  Grade 5 English/Language Arts

    4/6-4/7 Grades 7 and 8 English/Language Arts

    4/10-4/11 Grades 5 and 6 Mathematics

    4/12-4/13 Grades 7 and 8 Mathematics

    4/25 & 4/27 Grades 5 and 8 Science/Technology/Engineering

    Families often ask us what they can do at home to help their child be prepared and do their best on the day of the exam. Please be sure your child is well rested and eats a healthy breakfast on testing days. Remind your child that the tests are not timed and s/he is well prepared for the exams. We want our students to remember to go back into the passages as they work through the tests and to check all of their work prior to finishing. Be certain to arrive to school on time. Once a testing session has begun, students who are tardy are not permitted to enter the testing room. For more detailed information about MCAS, see our website here. If you have any questions about MCAS testing, please do not hesitate to contact me at or 978-649-0432 x 2229.

    Save the Date- Quality Night 5/11

    Quality Night for Grades 5 and 7 is scheduled for May 11th from 6:00-7:15 PM. Attendance is mandatory for all fifth and seventh graders as a promotion requirement as students get important practice in formal presentation as well as feedback, leading up to their sixth and eighth grade jury presentation. Please mark your calendars. Quality Night/jury prep time  will be Monday, May 1st and Tuesday, May 2nd. Students preparing for Quality Night should bring note cards, art supplies, and a poster boards to school on prep day.

    Jury Volunteers Needed

    Sixth and eighth grade students will be making their jury portfolio presentations this spring and we are looking for community members to sit in on the presentations. Staff members act as assessors for the presentations; we have found that it enriches the presentation to have a second adult present to both listen and ask questions of the student presenter. It’s also a lot of fun and a terrific way to learn more about student work at IACS! We are looking for volunteers during the week of May 30th and June 5th that have one or more hours free during the school day to attend a presentation. Please sign up with the main office the next time you stop in or email to sign up for a time slot. Spread the word to grandparents, neighbors, etc. that you think might be interested!

    Save the Date- Events for 8th graders

    The 8th Grade Moving Up Assembly will be held in our school auditorium from 8:15-9:15 am on Monday, June 19th.  8th Grade Semi-Formal: Saturday, June 10th from 7:00- 10:00 PM.  Click here for more details.

    Sixth and Eighth Grade Jury Packets- Click here for more information

    Middle School Yearbook:

    It is the time to create 8th Grade Personal Pages and find 8th Grade Baby Pictures for the 2016-2017 Middle School Yearbook.  Due Friday, 4/28. See the yearbook page for more information.

    To guarantee delivery of a 2016-2017 Middle School Yearbook on the last day of school, order at the regular price of $27 by Friday, May 19, 2017.

    High School News

    Senior Project – Fundraiser for Rosie’s Place this Saturday – Read about it in the Lowell Sun!

    Senior Series, Junior Portfolios, & Alumni Art Exhibitions: April 25-May 1 at High 5 Arts in Lowell

    IACS Students Accepted to Art All-State 2017

    Senior Project Panel on Health Professions

    National Honor Society Fundraiser:  Have any broken or old electronics that you want to get rid of? NHS is holding a fundraiser to help you recycle them! Come to IACS on Saturday, April 29th from 10am to 4pm and pay a small fee to send your useless electronics off, and support our chapter of NHS at the same time! We can take anything electronic, big or small. This can be from small electronics to kitchen appliances. Fees range depending on the item, from $5 to about $25. Feel free to email or for a full list of items and prices, or if you have any questions!

    Have Fun Painting and help raise money for the London/Ireland Endersession Trip

    Student Health 101

    The  March  IACS Student Health 101 and the accompanying Student Advocate for parents and supporters are now available online. For the months of March and April you can enter your student to win $500 simply by reading an article and answering a few questions!  We have already had a $100…let’s get us a few $500 winners!!

    High School Yearbook

    This weekend is your last weekend to order a Yearbook online! Yearbook sales close Sunday online and we will not be selling any Yearbooks after that. We won't be selling any the last few days of school so be sure to get yours this weekend. Order online at

    Photo of the Week

    Three freshmen advisories decided to play mini-golf in the rain this past Wednesday…what could be better? Oh yeah…ice cream in the rain could be better!

    Greg Orpen

    Head of School
    Innovation Academy Charter School
    72 Tyng Road
    Tyngsboro, MA 01879
    Phone: (978) 649-0432 x3141
    Fax: 978-649-6337

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