The Hawk: December 14, 2015

January 1, 1970 12:00 am

“The Hawk”

Dear IACS Community,


20 years ago,  IACS was founded as a school that served 150 students, primarily from a single town.  Housed in 20,000 square feet of rented office space, it did not yet have the capacity to offer a bold academic program with many extracurricular offerings. Contrast that with where we are today:  a school of nearly 800 students from all over the Merrimack Valley situated on our own beautiful 200-acre campus.  Our academic program has never been stronger and our extracurricular options continue to grow.  I know that our school community, from our students to staff to families, wants to see this progress continue.  


Now that IACS has reached its enrollment maximum, expanding our academic and extracurricular offerings will require careful management of our existing income — over 95% of which comes from state tuition and federal grants — and finding additional revenue streams.  We look for new grants resources, creative ways to rent our facility, and sponsorship by corporations and foundations.


I also invite all the members of our community to support our Annual Giving Campaign.  Please keep an eye on your mailbox for a letter with a donation card this week. We have updated our school website with thoughtful reflections from faculty and former students who experienced the impact of our work these past twenty years.  Check it out at:    Contributions to IACS through this campaign are tax-deductible and any payment received by December 31st will be credited in 2015.  


Thank you in advance for your consideration.  As the testimonials on our website show, our collective investment in students and families will have a life-long impact.


In partnership,


Greg Orpen

Head of School

Innovation Academy Charter School


p.s.   In celebration of our 20th year, any donation of $20 or more will receive a special edition car magnet!


All School News


Dates At a Glance:


December 14- MS Winter Concert 7 pm

December 15– Quality Night Grades 5 & 7, 6-7:15 pm

December 16– Early Release

December 23– Early Release

December 24January 3rd Vacation


Message from the High School Green Team

You may have noticed new signs around the parking lot reminding you not to idle your car.  The High School Green team, in an effort to keep the school in compliance with Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 90, section 16A, is launching an anti-idling campaign at the school.   Not idling your car is a great step that you can take to benefit the air quality of our school, help your car, and save you money.  For more information read sophomore Mary O’Flaherty’s opinion piece in The Innovator and read more about the law here.


Upcoming MA Archaeological Society Lecture about the Tyng Mansion site (that IACS is situated on)

Tuesday, December 15, 2015 7:00 pm at the R.S. Peabody Museum of Archaeology

Phillips Academy, 175 Main Street, Andover, MA


Dr. Christa Beranek,  archaeologist at the Andrew Fiske Memorial Center for Archaeological Research at UMass Boston will speak about the Tyng Mansion site. The Tyng Mansion was home to several generations of the Tyng family from the late 17th century to the end of the 18th century. This talk will examine three facets of the site’s long history: how the land was used by multiple generations to shape their identities; what the architecture and excavated artifacts say about the role of Eleazer Tyng as a broker between communities; and how the site was remembered and transformed in subsequent centuries to shape today’s public memory.

For additional information:


Reminders from the Health Office


As we approach the cold and flu season, the Health Office would like to remind families of the Guidelines for Return to School After an Illness.  After an illness students may return to school when:


  • they are fever free, (temperature less than 100 degrees), for 24 hours , without the use of fever-reducing medications

  • it has been at least 12 hours since they last vomited or had diarrhea

  • they have received a full 24 hours of antibiotics for strep throat


    Please also be reminded that per school policy, no student (regardless of age), is  allowed to carry medications on themselves.  All medications must be distributed through the Health Office.  


    You can find more information regarding Health Office policies and general information under the Health Office tab on the IACS web page.  You may also reach us at  978-649-0432, ext. 2104.  Thank-you for your help in keeping our students and staff healthy during the winter season!

    Gayle Nutile-Pimm, RN  and Janice Reynolds, RN


    IACS Lunch Program


    December Breakfast & Lunch Menu has been posted. Click HERE to place your order. For more information about the IACS breakfast & lunch visit IACS School Meals  or email


    Middle School NewsIMG_4948.JPG


    Thanks for your support of Quality Night!

    5th & 7th grade Quality Night Tuesday 12/15 ~ 6-7:15 pm  


    MS Winter Concert: Come join the middle school music program for our annual winter concert in the auditorium on Monday, December 14th at 7PM! The chorus and two concert bands will be performing some festive arrangements, as well as other pieces they've been hard at work on since September. Admission is free, so bring plenty of family and friends.


    School Pictures: Class pictures and school pictures have been distributed to students. Picture retakes will occur on Tuesday, 12/15.


    Middle School  Drama:  Our Middle School Winter Drama Workshop is FULL! Thank you for all of your interest! If you would like to be placed on the waiting list, please email


    Quality Night:

    Students worked hard this week at Quality Night prep times to revise work, plan their Quality Night presentation, and create the display of their work. Families can help ensure readiness for this important event by listening to the presentation. Asking your child questions about how the work relates to the real-world and making connections to the four school outcomes as well as providing feedback about their presentation skills will help your child polish their presentation.


    Guests are asked to review short student presentations of their work and are given the opportunity to provide feedback to students. Quality Nights give students the opportunity to share an example of their best work with the public. We believe that this is not only an experience for adults to learn about what we do at Innovation Academy, but an opportunity for students to learn very important public speaking and presentation skills.


    Presenting at Quality Night is a promotion requirement. Fifth and seventh graders will present twice throughout the school year. Sixth and eighth graders will present in December and turn their focus

    to preparing for their gateway jury presentation in the spring. Family participation at Quality Night is essential in providing students individualized feedback about their work. Please do not hesitate to invite other guests (grandparents, aunts/uncles, neighbors, etc.) that are interested in supporting your child and seeing some examples of the project-based work IACS students do.


    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.


    High School News


    Driver Education Parent/Guardian Class – If you are the Parent or Guardian of a 15 – 17 year old student that is planning on getting their Driver’s License within the next couple years, then you will need to attend a 2-Hour Class as required by the Massachusetts RMV.  This no-charge class is being held at Innovation Academy Charter School on Monday, December 14th from 6:00 – 8:00pm. Regardless of which Driving School you choose, your attendance at this class will satisfy the RMV requirement for 5-Years.  Space is limited, so pre-registration is required.  Visit to register. To request more information, send an email to .Future Drivers of America currently offers Classroom Instruction at Innovation Academy.


    2016 Summer Opportunities Fair

    Sunday, January 24, 2016Noon to 3PM


    Programs for Middle & High School Students



    Representatives from 100 local, national, and international programs.

    Focus on academic programs, language study, community service, camps, sports, arts, research, internships, outdoor adventure, international travel, & gap year opportunities they also offer employment and scholarship opportunities.


    Sponsored by Parents of Students of Phillips Academy (PSPA)

    Contact Teresa Kelley: or (978)618-8151

    Speaker from 3:00 PM to 3:30 PM – Fair 3:30 PM to 5:30 PM



    Also held on Sunday, January 24th

    Phillips Academy Andover – Borden Gym

    Contact Taylor Ware (978) 749-4150



    ORDER YEARBOOKS NOW. The early bird deadline to purchase a yearbook is approaching quickly! After December 23, the price of ordering a yearbook will go up from $30 to $35.

  • Order forms were handed out in the past month, and you can also order online at

  • SENIOR REMINDER. All senior stuff (pictures, quotes, remember you fors, class wills) is due JANUARY 29!

    SUBMIT PHOTOS. You can still submit photos by texting them to 657-666-8755, emailing, submitting through the ReplayIt App, or DMing the yearbook Twitter (@IACSyearbook) or the yearbook Instagram (@iacs.yearbook).


    Click the blue link for the full text…

    Students Skype with Astronaut Scott Kelly at MOS

    College Acceptances on Twitter



    Great Exhibition Night!

    Thank you to all of the students, parents, and guests that were present for Exhibition Night. It was a great night and a huge crowd of guests were able to see all of the great projects the students have been working on in English, Science, Art & Music, as well as fantastic performances by the IACS Garage Band, Dance Unlimited, and of course the night culminated with the choir and chorale performing in the Winter Concert. Very impressive! We are looking forward to seeing projects from History, Spanish, & Math in the Spring…as well as another concert.

    2 minute Concert Video


    PE & Proper Dress for the Winter

    Click here to Reply or Forward

    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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