The Hawk: April 9, 2016

April 9, 2016 8:00 am

“The Hawk”

All School News


Dear IACS Community,


This week I participated in a webinar hosted by Ken Kay, CEO of EdLeader21; Kay  has vast experience interacting among schools, government organizations, and the private sector.   His most notable work focuses on what skills are most important for students to have in the 21st century.  Keep in mind that the founders of IACS were grappling with what “21st Century Skills” would look like when they were writing our first charter in 1994.  


Kay shared insights from the 2015 World Economic Forum, where a group of 300 Human Resource Directors was asked to identify the list of the most important competencies needed for employees.   They were then asked to identify what attributes they predicted would be most important in 2020.  I’ll let you read for a minute…


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I would hope that any IACS community member- student, staff, or parent- would see that list and say, “Hey, that’s what we do!”  And yet Kay’s experience traveling all across the country has been that schools, even those excited about these 21st century skills, have a very hard time changing their practices to explicitly develop these outcomes with students.  This example highlights one reason why charter schools were incorporated in the MA Education Reform Act of 1993- to be “laboratories of innovation” which could be more responsive to change and new ideas in education.

The fact that IACS has been actively developing these skills since 1996 is a testament to the wisdom of our founders.  By choosing and supporting IACS, you continue to endorse our mission-driven work focused on developing 21st century skills.


Have a great weekend,


Greg Orpen

Head of School


Dates At a Glance:


April 9:   SAT Prep Class Practice SAT

        Envirothon Competition Practice  8:00 – 3:00 pm

April 11: Board of Trustee Meeting  6:30 – 8:30 pm

April 12: Innovation Morning for Prospective Middle School Parents/Guardians 8:30 – 9:30 am

April 13:  Early Release

        IACA Meeting 7:00 – 8:30 pm

April 18 – 22   April School Vacation

April 26- 28  M/S 5 – 8 PARCC ELA Testing

April 27  Full Day Wednesday

April 28  H/S National Honor Society Induction 6:00 pm

       H/S Mill City Grows Community Service – Pratt

May 2-6  M/S 5 – 8 PARCC Math Testing

May 4     Early Release

May 6     M/S Social 6:00 – 9:00 pm

May 7       SAT Exam 8:00

May 10   M/S Grades 5 & 8 Science MCAS Testing

              Innovation Morning for Prospective High School Parents/Guardians 8:30 – 9:30 am

              IACA Meeting (Potluck) 7:00 – 8:30pm

May 11  Early Release

May 12  MS Grades 5 & 8 Science MCAS Testing

     State Envirothon Competition – Ms. Hinkle/Green Team 8:00 – 3:00 pm

May 13 Spring Drama Production  7:00 pm

May 14 Spring Drama Production  2:00 & 7:00 pm

May 16 Internship Breakfast Celebration 8;45pm

             High School Orientation Meeting 5:00 pm

      Board of Trustee Beeting   6:30 pm

May 17 H/S MCAS Testing

            H/S Junior and Senior Awards Night

May 18 Full Day Wednesday

     H/S MCAS Testing

May 19 7th Grade Middle School Quality Night 7:00 pm

May 20  H/S Presentation of Learning; Innovation Morning for Prospective Middle School Parents/Guardians 8:30 – 9:30 am


May 21 8th Grade Semi Formal 7:00 pm

May 23 H/S Presentation of Learning

May 24 H/S Presentation of Learning; MS parent Advisory Council 7:45 am

May 25 Full Day Wednesday

     H/S Presentation of Learning

     H/S Orientation Meeting 5:00 pm

May 26 H/S Presentation of Learning

     H/S Orientation Meeting 3:30 pm

May 27  Early Release

          H/S Promenade 6:00 pm; H/S Prom 7:00 pm



IACS School Nutrition Program


The April Breakfast and Lunch Menus have been posted.  CLICK HERE TO ORDER.  

While pre-ordering is preferred, all meals are available cash & carry. To preview menus going to Breakfast & Lunch Menu. Please email if you have any questions, comments or requests about the School Nutrition Programs your feedback is always welcome.

Do you have a younger child that would like to begin learning Spanish?

We are offering a class after school for children ages 6 to 9. Profe Ashley Uyaguari and a group of middle schoolers will be leading this all Spanish time for children to discover and play with the language. We will meet on Thursdays 4:00-4:45, starting May 5th for 6 weeks. Cost is $40. Please contact Ashley to sign-up:


IACS Board of Trustees: Nominations Committee

The IACS Board of Trustees is currently accepting applications for new board members.  To learn more about the work of the board, interested candidates are encouraged to read the Board of Trustees section of the website, with special attention to the “Getting Involved” page.  Skills and experience in the area of grant writing, public relations, fundraising, or marketing are especially desirable at this time.

IACA News:


Our next IACA meeting will be April 13th from 7-8:30pm in the Library.

Big Time Social/Casino Night! – Please note the new start time.

Seats for Casino Night are still available!!!  Cocktail hour  begins at 6pm on April 15, with dinner being served at 7pm.  Please join us for an evening of fun, games, and auctions. Please see the attached flyer.  

10K Raffle

Please continue to sell Raffle Tickets!!!  We are far from our goal of being able to draw our winners next Friday night, but we want  to!!!  If you need more tickets, email and let me know which advisory to send them to with your student's name, and I'll make sure you get them.  Or, spread the online link to buy raffle tickets. Just remember to forward the receipt to so your student receives credit!!!  Here is the link to copy and paste in your browser.


"Last Bash" for HS Seniors

It's hard to believe the end of the year is nigh upon us, and yet here we are!  The time for planning Last Bash is upon us, and I'd like to have those interested in helping to put it together meet the week after vacation!!!  Please email Jo Anne Frazier at to be put on the list and I'll email details for the first meeting before vacation begins! Help comes in the form of ideas, donations, and planning, not just chaperoning.  Please let me know that you'd like to join us!!!


Eighth Grade "Moving Up" Ceremony

Please contact Sarah San Clemente  at


HS Grad Reception

Annie Accettullo will be leading this event. Please contact her at  if you are able to help.


End of Year BBQ

Please keep your eyes open for requests for volunteers for this event.  Planning for this will begin in May.  Kerry Wellenstien will be leading the charge,and we are seeking someone to shadow her next year when she has a senior.  If you are interested and would like to shadow this year as well, we would welcome the opportunity.  


Mixed Bag Orders

Mixed Bag orders should be arriving early next week.  Once they arrive, we will be distributing the orders to the advisories of your students.


Open roles – please contact JoAnne Frazier at if you are interested.


Drama News


The Actor’s Nightmare by Christopher Durang*

Impromptu by Tad Moesel*

The Rehearsal by Don Zolidis*

15 Reasons NOT to Do a Play by Alan Haehnel*

OMG It’s Another Play by Rich Orloff*

Ticket order forms at theater and at the main office!


SUMMER IS COMING and we want you to join us for

IACS Performing Arts Camps

for students completing grades 4-12

July 11-15: Improv Camp!

July 18-22: Glee Camp!

With a Middle School Performance of

Star Wars the Musical


a High School Performance of Scenes & Songs from Hamilton

**Please note: Students finishing grades 8 through 12 are invited to a trip to NYC on the Wednesday of Glee Camp! To register, students’ forms need to be entirely filled out and paid for and in the main office on April 6. If there are more registrants than we are able to take, we will choose them lottery-style. There will be an extra $50 charge for those going on the NYC trip, collected during or before camp.**

July 25-29: Drama Camp!

With a Middle School Performance of Treasure Island and

a High School Performance of Sherlock Holmes



JUNE 1, 12:30-2:30: CURRENT GRADES 5-7


Math students measuring volume


Middle School News:


For 8th grade Students & Families- 8th Grade Semi-Formal

The annual 8th grade semi-formal dance will be held on Saturday, May 21st at the school from 7:00- 10:00 PM. This is always a fun night, and we are hoping to have 100% student participation. We want to be sure that students understand how this dance is different from a formal event, like a prom. Boys may opt to wear a collared dress shirt and dress pants. Tuxedos are not permitted. Girls may opt to wear a simple party dress. Long gowns, short mini-dresses or other revealing dresses are not permitted. Limousines are not permitted. There will be an announcement about ticket sales as the event approaches.


For 8th grade Students & Families- Moving Up Ceremony

The Moving Up ceremony for 8th graders will be held this year on Wednesday, June 15th from 8:15 am to 9:15 am with a reception to follow. Eighth grade students have a ceremony including a retrospective account of middle school written by students and recognition of students’ completion of middle school. This will be followed by a continental breakfast for students and their guests. Due to space constraints in the auditorium, students are limited to no more than 2 guests at the assembly. Please respect this rule to ensure all that attend can be seated.


Jury Volunteers Needed


Sixth and eighth grade gateway jury presentations are soon upon us! Sixth grade juries participate in a 20 minute jury presentation. Eighth graders participate in a 30 minute jury presentation. Students share pieces of work and provide evidence of why they believe they are ready to be promoted to the next grade. Successful completion of a jury presentation is a promotion requirement for sixth and eighth graders. Student juries are assessed by an IACS faculty member.  A younger peer also attends to learn about the process and provide additional support. We will need many community members to volunteer as a member of a jury panel. Contact: Michelle & Pat in the main office at


Juries will occur during the school day on the afternoons of 5/31, 6/3, 6/6, and 6/9. If you can volunteer for 30 minutes or more on any of these days, we would love to have your participation. Please spread the word to grandparents, prospective families, or other community members as this is also a wonderful way to learn more about our middle school program.


Sign Up for Garden Club

"The Hawkmoths" is our Middle School garden club! We make and conserve habitat for butterflies and pollinators, learn about native plants and gardening techniques, and actively beautify our school grounds. Come join us to learn about conservation and nature and have a great time being in the great outdoors!

Check out our website at:

We meet out in the garden by the Landberg Hall on good weather days and in the Landberg Hall conference room on rainy or freezing days.  The meeting times are early release Wednesdays at 12:30-2:30pm, and full Wednesdays 3-4pm.

Ask for a sign-up sheet in the main office, or go to: to sign up online.


Quarter 3 Close

Quarter 3 assessments will be shared via the x2 Aspen student and family portal on April 15th.


MS Literary Magazine Orders

Students that write and edit for our middle school literary magazine otherwise known as The Scribbler have been hard at work this year. Their first ever edition is available for ordering here. Order by April 15th for the low price of $5.


MS Yearbook


Eighth Graders have been invited to submit a childhood picture and personal page for the 2015-2016 Middle School Yearbook.  Details are available on forms they received in ELA 8 (additional forms are available on the website, ttp://

and in the rack by the main office.)  Deadline for submissions is April 29th – no exceptions.


Middle School Yearbooks are still available to order at the regular price of $27 until June 3, 2016.  Order by June 3, in order to guarantee receipt of this colorful book full of memories of IACS 20th Year.  Order forms were distributed in Advisory and are available on the website:


For Eighth Grade Families- A Note from the Enrollment Office

Many of you have already secured your child’s spot for next year. If you are planning on having your child return, please return your re-enrollment form as soon as possible. If your child is not planning to accept a spot as a freshman at IACS, please fill in and return the Record Release/withdrawal form and the survey by May 1st.


April/May Testing Schedule              

The schedule for PARCC and MCAS testing is below:


April 26 – April 28  Grades 5-8 English/Language Arts PARCC testing

April 29   Makeup ELA PARCC testing (honored with a medical excuse)

May 2-5  Grades 5-8 Mathematics PARCC testing

May 6     Grade 5 Mathematics PARCC testing (Fifth graders have an additional test session)

May 9     Makeup Math PARCC testing (honored with a medical excuse)

May 10   Grades 5 and 8 Science MCAS testing

May 12   Grades 5 and 8 Science MCAS testing

May 13   Makeup testing (honored with a medical excuse)


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 s/he is well prepared for the exams. We want our students to remember to use their active reading skills as they work through the tests and to check 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 and would need a medical excuse to participate in the makeup exam. For specific questions about testing, please contact MS Principal Melissa Kapeckas.


Click the blue links for more information:

Sign up for MS Robotics Club


Sixth and Eighth Grade Jury Presentations


Spring Cleaning? Middle School Art Needs Your Recyclables!



High School News


Click the blue link for the full text…

Victoria Miller Postcard.jpg

Student Art Exhibitions at the Brush Gallery



IACS Students Participate in Student Government Day

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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