Week ending December 13
Dear IACS Community:
We are in the midst of making some shifts to our portfolio system as well as public presentations of learning to focus more deeply on our school outcomes of community membership, self-direction, effective communication, problem solving. Fifth and sixth grade students are also moving to digital portfolios of work. From this year on, a student’s portfolio will follow them from grades 5-12, allowing them to see their growth over time more readily. On January 16th, middle school students will spend the last day of the semester, uploading work to their digital portfolios and writing reflections on their progress in the school outcomes. Our aim with this shift is to help students deepen their understanding and growth in the school outcomes during their time at IACS.
Students will practice their skills of effective communication this winter through public presentations. Seventh and eighth graders made their Quality Night presentations last night and fifth and sixth graders will present on Tuesday evening. The high school Exhibition Night is scheduled for January 9th. Thank you for your support of these events! Having an audience to share student work makes it an authentic, meaningful experience for students.
Middle School Principal
All School News
Survey from the Board of Trustees
As promised, here’s our first brief (5 min) survey designed to get a sense of where families like to engage with our school community. We would truly appreciate a few moments of your time completing this survey. Why not click and complete it now, while you’re reading this message? We promise it’s brief! Thank you for your time.
We’ve had a few students and families notify us of problem in their Aspen Portals. It appears that the Recent Activity box is not displaying recent assignments. This is an Aspen-wide problem following a recent update to the system, and not specific to IACS. Aspen hopes to have the problem resolved soon.
In the meantime, recent grades can be found by clicking on ACADEMICS Top Tab and view recent scores by subject and assignment.
Upcoming Middle School Enrollment Open Houses
We have 2 upcoming enrollment open house sessions at the middle school- Saturday, January 4th 10-12 as well as February 13th from 6-8 pm. During the open house, tour groups cycle through sessions by teachers and students to learn about the middle school curriculum at IACS. Please spread the word to friends and neighbors.
Join us for an Open Mic Night
Daniella Chavez is hosting an open mic night on Thursday, December 19th in order to fundraise money for IACS Fest! She hopes it will be a great way to integrate some fun time between the high schoolers and middle schoolers. There will be a bake sale and raffles to pie Dr Arnold, Ms Ringwall or Mr Thorton in the face which only adds to the fun!
Middle School News
Congratulations to the middle school band and chorus for a successful concert this week as well as performance at community meeting! (Pictured below)
Middle School Ski/Snowboarding Club
We are piloting a new ski and snowboard club for the ski season of 2020 for students that already ski/snowboard or would like to learn. The club will meet for 6 weeks on Fridays at Nashoba Valley
and we have an arrangement with the ski area for a discounted ticket, lesson and rental packages as needed. There will also be a possible parent carpool.
Join us on Friday, January 3rd from 3:15 to 4:00pm for an initial informational meeting for parents and students. Ski you later!
If you have any questions, please feel free to email parent organizer/ski patrol Jude Reveley at
5th/6th grade Quality Night
Quality Night for fifth and sixth graders is Tuesday, December 17 6-7:15 pm.
Please remind your child to dress professionally. A suit or fancy dress is not necessary, but a nice shirt, slacks, and/or skirt would all be good choices. After they present, we encourage you to visit IACA’s bake sale in the cafeteria for a post-presentation treat and to connect and celebrate with other students and families.
8th Grade High School Presentation
All eighth graders will participate in an assembly to learn more about our high school program from HS Principal Erik Arnold and a panel of students on Thursday, 12/19. Ask your eighth grader about it!
After School Program
The After School Program will not be available on Wednesday, December 18th or on Friday, December 20th, the day before the December break. Please make alternative arrangements for your child on these dates. Thank you! Please email Katy Angelone with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org" -Katy Angelone -After School Program Coordinator
After School Art – Winter Session
8-week Winter Session registration is open!
Offered on Mondays or Thursdays from 3:00 – 4:30, the after school art program allows students access to a wide variety of materials and tools in the art room in order to create work of their choosing. The fee for the session is $60 and can be paid online.
The session begins Monday, January 6 and runs through Thursday, March 5. Please submit payment of $60 by Friday, December 20 to be registered. Email email@example.com with questions or to inquire about scholarships.
To register, please follow the link below:
High School News
Seniors of the Month for December and January
Since this is getting announced in mid-December and both December and January are months that are cut short due to holidays, these students will be recognized for the remainder of December and January.
While Riley Lennon’s first love is basketball, he displayed heart, quiet leadership, and authenticity as a member of the IACS High School Cross Country Team this fall. Riley was a leader on the team in how he approached all of his workouts at practice. During meets Riley, (aka “The Beacon”), was able to block the view of the trail from his competitors due to his ridiculous height, thereby confusing them into running in the wrong direction (mostly untrue:) Riley is also an excellent student and community member and has consistently led by example.
Our second Senior of the Month is Hannah George. Hannah is the model of community membership. She is always helpful with the underclassmen in her Instrumental Ensemble class. Whenever she plays her instrument out of tune or misses notes, it is only because she is trying to make her fellow musicians feel better about their own skills (totally made up:) Her work with the Farm to School program is also commendable. Hannah even led some advisories through a gratitude activity in which students wrote “thank you” cards for the farmers that supply some of the produce to the school lunch program.
Nick Famolare is our third Senior of the Month. Nick has received the most nominations of any senior this year. I’m not saying he has been campaigning for this, but it would not surprise me if he is soon running for a local political office. He even convinced one freshman that barely knows him to say: “Nick is a kind and respectful person who is always ready to give a helping hand. His years of hard work and perseverance deserve recognition.” (not a freshman and the student does know him:) Nick is a steady presence in the school and is kind to others. His occasional grumpiness is just an act because he doesn’t want his classmates to think he is too happy.
Congratulations to Riley, Hannah, and Nick!
Concert Choir & Chorale Perform at The American Legion Hall
Members of the IACS Concert Choir & Chorale sang Carols at the American Legion Hall’s Christmas Party this past Sunday December 8th. IACS Students helped kids with crafts, sang carols as people were eating lunch and helped get the kids excited for Santa’s arrival into the party.
IACS Senior to Play Division 1 Lacrosse at Merrimack College
Congratulations to Matthew Lucozzi signed recently to play lacrosse at Merrimack College. Matt only started playing Lacrosse in Middle School, but picked up the sport very fast. He went on to play for the HGR Elite club team and became a face-off specialist thanks to the help of Coach Joe Nardella. Matthew was able to play on the new lacrosse co-op with Nashoba Tech last year and became a team captain and team MVP.
Save the Date – Thursday, Jan 9th!
Exhibition Night will be held on Thursday, January 9th. Join us as the school is transformed into a gallery of student exhibits and presentations. All students will be contributing at least one piece. This is a great way to see the project-based work that our students create during the school year. Come celebrate our students’ achievements.
Come early for a multicultural potluck in the cafe from 5-6pm. Sign up to bring a dish!
Exhibits & Presentations begin at 6pm.
The Combined Choral & Chorale will give us a quick preview of their upcoming winter concert.
Our 2nd Annual Endersession Fair was held the last 20 minutes of school on Wednesday. Staff members were stationed at tables ready to describe their proposed Endersession and give the students a chance to ask questions. Students need to submit their top four choices for Endersession and accompanying paperwork by January 16th. Proposals were emailed to families before the holidays in order to give families time to discuss which options would be the best match for their student(s).
Notes from the College Counseling Office
This week, students who took the PSAT in October were able to access their online score reports on the College Board site. Students received an email from the College Board with instructions on how to log into and access their score reports. Paper copies of all scores were also given to students on Thursday during advisory.
There is a lot of information and data on the score reports (though there is much more on the website) and the College Board has created, “Understanding Your PSAT/NMSQT Results,” to assist you if needed. Although it’s a little longer, this video (10 minutes) is also a fantastic explanation of PSAT results.
Juniors should now begin to develop a study plan for either the SAT or ACT tests. Here is a guide to SAT/ACT Prep Options! Most juniors will test this spring (in May or June). Information on how to register will be sent from the College Counseling office.
Yearbooks are on sale, so get them soon before the price goes up! They are $35 until December 31, after which they will be $40. Please order and pay online at https://forms.diamondmindinc.com/iacs/hs yearbook. The online order form includes personalization options (i.e. your name and icons). The deadline for ordering is Friday, April 3, 2020. Also, senior portraits, baby pictures, and parent pages are due very soon: Friday, January 3!
Photos of the week
Students from La Cultura del Machismo read Like Water for Chocolate (Spanish Version of course), and as part of their project, they had to replicate the recipes within the book. They did a wonderful job understanding the story, and its relationship with the food.
Students enjoy Cross Country Skiing during last week’s choice block.
IACS is incredibly grateful to the families and community members who have given to our Annual Giving Campaign, either on Giving Tuesday or by responding to the Giving Campaign mailer. With your help we’ll be able to update our technology here at IACS and make sure that students and staff have the tools they need to be successful.
Thank you for your support.
Didn’t have a chance to make a tax deductible donation, but you’d still like to? www.innovationcharter.org/give
Innovation Academy Charter School
Enjoying the snow!