The Hawk: December 18, 2015

January 1, 1970 12:00 am

“The Hawk”

All School News

Dear IACS Community,


This month’s Wellness letter comes from Nancy Tripp, one of our  Clinical Social Workers. What perfect timing for her to reflect on her own recent personal accomplishment and to remind us all of the power of our minds as related to our overall wellness.


Enjoy the vacation!


Gayle Nutile-Pimm

Director of Health and Wellness


During the frenetic pace that this time of year typically brings, a marathon, mindfulness and the Winter Solstice may be an unlikely combination of “gifts”, but please consider what each individually has to offer in terms of health and wellness.


A marathon is a 26.2 mile endurance race involving difficult training/conditioning, concentrated effort and unwavering determination (similar to the pace of life, yes?).  Running a marathon never crossed my mind as I’ve always been a short distance runner.  Miles beyond my early race registration, pages through my training log with my niece as coach and sister as avid supporter and virtual running partner, I was becoming a marathoner.  On my long runs, I tuned into my body, focused on my breathing and pace, welcomed the fresh air, marveled at the beauty and bounty of nature and, when things became difficult, ran with my heart as encouraged by my coach.  Throughout my journey to becoming a marathon finisher, I incorporated yoga routines and practiced mindfulness.


Mindfulness refers to the practice of intentionally bringing your full attention to the present moment while observing your thoughts and feelings without any judgment allowing you to awaken to and embrace each experience you have. Jon Kabat-Zin, a well known teacher of mindfulness meditation and founder of the University of Massachusetts Medical Center’s Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program, defines mindfulness as, “… paying attention in a particular way; On purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.” The physical and mental health benefits of  practicing mindfulness are well documented.  Regular practice ultimately allows the opportunity to effectively manage the stressors of daily living.


The solstice happens at the same time for everyone on earth (pretty cool ~ we are ALL connected in untold and astounding ways) and is often a time of celebration and reflection (our thoughts, energy and feelings matter and directly impact our collective physical and mental functioning) as the sun is essential for survival and THE source of light and warmth.  Although Winter Solstice is when we experience the fewest hours of daylight and the most hours of darkness, it is only through the darkness that an appreciation for the light is born.


Check out my marathon results here:

Practice mindfulness (at no charge):       Celebrate solstice in whatever way matters most to you and know that brighter days filled with warmth and sunshine are returning.


May the peace and joy of the Season fill your hearts with light and love that endures well beyond the coming  New Year.

                                                                                              With gratitude ~ Nancy

Dates At a Glance:

December 23:  Early Release – No M/S or H/S Drama

December 24 – January 3:  Winter Vacation

January 4:  Classes Resume

January 6, 13, 20 and 27:   Early Release

January 9, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm:   Open House for Prospective Middle School Families

January 14, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm:  IACA Meeting (Potluck)

January 15: HS Semester 1 classes end

January 15: H/S Talent Show

January 18, Martin Luther King Jr. Day:  No School

January 22, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm:  7th/8th Grade Social

January 29, 7:00-10:00pm – HS Winter White Semi-Formal Dance

January 30, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm:   Open House for Prospective High School Families


Annual Giving Campaign (AGC)

This week you may have received a friendly phone call from an IACS high school student confirming that you received an AGC packet in the mail.  While the mailing contains a donation form and return envelope, donations can also be made online:   All donations are tax deductible; any contributions made online on/before December 31st or letters postmarked by that date will receive a letter in January for 2015 tax records.  If you have additional questions, please contact: Thank you to all the families who have emailed with supportive messages!




We will be holding an IACA meeting on Monday, December 21st at 7pm in the Library. All are welcome to attend. We will not be having our usual Community Conversation at this meeting, however, we will be discussing the following:


– Finalizing the 2015-2016 budget

– Planning our Winter Social ( Middle School and Embrace Winter)

– 10K Raffle


Remember to "Like" us on Facebook!


A Message from Emma Chaitin (Class of 2017) and the staff at her internship site, the Thom Anne Sullivan Center:

Thank you so much to all who donated to the Holiday Giving Tree! It was a huge success. 134 gifts were collected worth $1,645. We want to thank all of you, students, staff and parents, from the bottoms of our hearts. These will go to so many local families in need who would not have had any holiday gifts if it wasn't for all of our donations. Below is a picture of all of the gifts!!


Happy holidays!

-Emma Chaitin and all of the staff at the Thom Anne Sullivan Center




Cleaning House before Break: Please remind your child to check the Lost & Found bin before we depart for break and remind them to empty their locker of any valuables and leave their lock off of their locker. We will be donating the materials in our Lost & Found bin to make space on Wednesday. Our facilities staff also checks lockers before we leave to make sure that there are no food items left in lockers over the break. Any locked lockers may have their locks cut off, so please remind your child of this next week. Thanks for your help!


Coin War:  Please begin searching your house/car for loose/extra change this week.  Beginning on Monday, January 4th, students will be able to start filling coin collection jars throughout the school.  All proceeds will be donated to the Lowell Transitional Living Center.  More details to follow…


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Middle School News


Thanks for your support of Quality Night!

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

High School News



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…


    "Winter White" Semi-Formal Dance 1/29 Seeking Donations & Volunteers

    This semi-formal dance is meant to bring students together in a fun and safe environment. Now, is a great opportunity to donate to and take part in the IACS community. Student Government is looking for parent volunteers to chaperone the dance from 6:30-10pm. They have also made a list of things families may donate towards the event.

    -Cookies (chocolate chip, sugar, snickerdoodles, butter scotch, oreos, nut free, etc…)

    -Candy Canes

    -Gallons of Blue Gatorade

    -Milk (Almond, White, Chocolate)

    -Chocolate Bars (any kind: milk, dark, white, peppermint, etc.)

    -Marshmallows & Graham Crackers

    -Wooden sticks for roasting marshmallows

    -Fire Wood


    -White Christmas Lights (Any Kind) – lend w/ name of owner or donate

    (If you are interested, email you,

    Jen S. & S.G. Peeps


    Winter White - Save The Date.jpg

    College Counseling Alumni Panel



    College Acceptances on Twitter



    Pat Modrich, 

    Main Office Admin
    Innovation Academy Charter School
    p. 978-649-0432
    f.  978-649-6337