The Hawk: February 26, 2016

February 26, 2016 7:00 am

“The Hawk”

All School News

Dear IACS Community:

One of the best parts of my day consistently is time with my advisory. I don’t think I’m unique in this; I think the majority of advisors and students would say this as well. So, what is advisory and what makes it so special? It is difficult to put into words….let me try.

Advisory is dual-purposed; students are supported both in their academic and social/emotional growth. In advisory, students set ILP goals, track them, and reflect on them. With their advisor’s guidance, students check x2 to consider their progress and make improvement plans. They also work to prepare for public presentations of learning, like Quality Night. This smaller community (12-13 students) becomes a homebase for students. We build teamwork and camaraderie and students build connections help one another problem-solve through regular class meetings. Advisory becomes a special place– a place where students can celebrate with one another or gain support from peers and their advisor when we are presented with obstacles or the tough stuff that life sometimes gives us.

Three years ago, we began the transition to an advisory program at the middle school. While the same goals were present in our former middle school model, our middle school staff worked together to take a step back and consider how we might restructure our program to better support students academic and social/emotional needs. Since we have introduced advisory at the middle school, we have seen a sharp reduction in the number of students on Academic Probation each quarter and an increase in students on the honor roll. While difficult to measure, students also seem to feel an even greater sense of being an important part of the community and appreciate how advisory helps them develop as individuals.


Melissa Kapeckas

Middle School Principal

Students in the Kapeckas advisory do a problem solving activity. Four students hold on to the same pen, working together to draw an image.

Dates At a Glance:

February 29: Board of Trustee Finance Meeting

March 1:      Admissions Lottery @ 4:00 pm

March 2:     Early Release

March 5:     SAT Exam 8:00 am

March 8:     IACA Pot Luck Meeting 7:00 pm

March 9:    Early Release


March 10:  Innovation Morning for Prospective Middle School Parents/Guardians 8:30 – 9:30 am

March 10-12 Winter Drama Production    7:00 pm

March 14:   Board of Trustee Meeting 6:30 – 8:30 pm

         Middle School Band and Chorus Concert 7:00 – 8:00 pm

March 16:   Early Release

March 22:   5th Grade Quality Night 6:00 – 7:15 pm

          HS MCAS ELA Testing

March 23:   HS MCAS ELA Testing

                 Full Day Wednesday

March 24: HS MCAS ELA Testing

March 25: No School – Good Friday

March 29: Innovation Morning for Prospective Middle School Parents/Guardians 8:30 – 9:30 am

March 30: Early Release

          No HS Internships

          HS Exhibition Night 6:00 – 8:00 pm

Parent Health & Wellness Survey

As part of our ongoing assessment of wellness education, programs, and  initiatives at IACS, we are seeking parental input.  Below is a link to a quick five question survey that we are hoping all parents will take a few moments to complete.  The answers will provide feedback that will directly impact our planning.  In order to collect meaningful data,  we ask that you complete one survey for each child enrolled at  IACS. Many thanks for your partnership in developing  a culture of wellness here at IACS.  

Lastly, as I look toward next year, I intend to more actively engage parents in discussions and decisions regarding our wellness program. At the end of the survey, please share your name and contact information if you are interested in becoming a more formal part of these ongoing discussions. The time commitment would be minimal (in fact, the  hope is that much of your support/input can be obtained via online conversations.)  

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to reach out to me at

Click here to complete the survey. Thank you in advance for your time and support.

Technology Update

Students and Families,

Beginning this week, we will be providing internet filtering for all chromebooks logged with accounts off campus as well as here at school. This filtering will ensure that we are  up to date with federal requirements for students who receive loaned devices from the school, but it will affect all students who log into the "chrome" browser or a chromebook with an account. Students are used to seeing filtered internet at school, but they may find some pages blocked that weren't before when they are on their home network or at another location providing internet access.

Though the software solution we use to filter internet access for all student chrome accounts also allows monitoring of student internet use, we see little benefit to the routine monitoring of students at home and have disabled this feature outside of school hours.

Families participating in our BYOD program should be aware that students who own their own machine can circumvent our filtering outside of school by simply using a browser other than chrome, or not logging into their browser with an account. Families looking to filter or monitor internet use at home should use their own measures to do so; here are links to Comcast and Verizon support pages on setting up parental filters at home. If you want the school filters to be in use all of the time, the best option is to set up a student with a chromebook and ensure that only logins are allowed (instructions for limiting who can sign into a chromebook are here).

If you have questions about internet filtering or other matters, please feel free to contact me directly at

Tom Hinkle

Director of Instructional Technology

IACS School Nutrition Program

The March 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.

<p style="color:rgb(51,51,51);Trebuchet MS';font-size:13px;Offer vs Serve" Program  – Per the USDA, an Offer Versus Serve program states that an “Offer versus serve or OVS is a concept that applies to menu planning and the meal service. OVS allows students to decline some of the food offered in a reimbursable lunch or breakfast. The goals of OVS are to reduce food waste and to permit students to choose the foods they want to eat. Because students may choose fewer selections under OVS, guidance is provided on what constitutes a reimbursable lunch and breakfast.”  The complete policy can be found at   

When pre-ordering; reimbursable meals are categorized as either a Combo (reimbursable meal) or A la carte (non-reimbursable meal).  For reimbursable meals, prices will reflect each family’s eligibility level of full price, free or reduced price.  A la carte options prices reflect that these items are for sales and but are not part of the NSLP.  

Additionally, monthly menus also identify reimbursable meals vs a la carte choices and are posted on the school website ( and displayed at various places within the school as well as at the beginning of the lunch service line.

Reimbursable Meal


Meal Full Price

Free or Reduced Price

A la carte


Breakfast (offer 4 food items/3 food components;  must take 3 food items including ½  cup fruit)




$1.00 for additional meal item

(ie bagel or breakfast sandwich)

$0.50 milk or juice

Lunch (offer 5 components;  must take 3 including at least ½ cup fruit or ½ cup vegetable)

$3.85 when pre-ordered

$4.00 cash & carry

$2.00 sandwich meal*



$2.00 sandwich, yogurt parfait

$3.00 soup

$1.00 extra slice  pizza

$0.50 milk or juice

IACS Breakfast and Lunch program encourages all students to eat a healthy well balanced meal. All student are given a variety of choices and multiple opportunities to select all of the food components which when taken make up a reimbursable meal. IACS cannot seek reimbursement when students refuse to take the components of a reimbursable meal.  

Contact Karen Drake, School Nutrition Director if you have questions about this program.

Lost & Found

Our lost and found bins are overflowing again. Please ask your students to look through them. We will clean them out on March 9th and donating items to local charities.

IACA News:  

  • 10K Raffle: Ten thousand dollars! Well, actually, two five thousand dollar prizes will go to our lucky winners! We'll be kicking off this amazing raffle the week after school vacation . Tickets are $20 each.

  • "Mixed Bag" Fundraising:  Look for Mixed Bag fundraising materials when your student returns after break! Mixed Bag Designs offers bags for all occasions ( beach, anyone?) as well as items for your home and kitchen.  The school will receive 50% of total sales!

  • Save the Date: Our Big Time Social (Casino Night) will take place on April 15.


    Remember that you can always find the latest IACA news on our Facebook page and on our IACA website.

    Drama News

    What is the most demanding show the high school at IACS has ever put on? That would be our upcoming production of 35MM/ 21 CHUMP STREET! Come see why other high schools don't dare to try this beast of a show, and why its next stop will be Broadway! Tickets are available at the main office and

    35MM: A Musical Exhibition

    by Ryan Scott and Michael Murphy

    with 21 Chump Street

    by Lin-Manuel Miranda

    March 10 & 11 at 7pm,

    March 12 at 2pm and 7pm, 2016

    Ticket order forms at the main office and

    Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 2.35.11 PM.png

    Thinking about CAMP NOW?!

    That's right! We have 3 Performing Arts Camps for students finishing grades 4 through 12 this summer! Improv Camp, Glee Camp and Drama Camp! Tuition is lowest until the end of February, so sign up now and save a bunch! Please see the forms at for information!

    And what is next for Drama? AUDITIONS FOR OUR PAY PRODUCTION! Middle Schoolers audition on March 16, 12:30-2:30, and High Schoolers audition on March 22, 3:00-5:00pm. All you need is a signed audition form, available at the main office and at


    Students in the O’Donnell, Jones, and S. Pererya advisories recently visited with residents at D’Youville Senior Care

    Upcoming 5th and 6th grade Field Trips: All fifth and sixth graders were will be going on a field trip sometime in mid-March. Students that are in Science project will be headed to the planetarium at the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center. Fifth and sixth grade Social Studies students are in the midst of their unit learning about religion around the world and how it influences culture. They will be visiting 5 different houses of worship on the trip. Please look for more details on your child’s permission slip.

    Eighth Grade Jury Packets: Eighth graders received packets that outline their responsibilities for their gateway jury presentation this week during advisory. The packet includes the rubric and information about the student’s assigned jury time. Families will be mailed their own copy of the packet next week, which outlines the process and how you can support your student’s preparation at home. Sixth grade students will have their jury packets distributed on March 14th.

    Spring Cleaning? Middle School Art Needs Your Recyclables!

    We are in need of a wide variety of recycled materials for an upcoming 8th grade project. We will gladly accept items such as: newspapers, plastic bags, brown paper bags, packaging materials, dry cleaning bags, old cords for out-of-date electronics, CDs, cassette tapes, bubble wrap, or other items of this sort.  Please do not send along food packaging this time around. We also need empty shoe boxes of all sizes. Email if you have any questions. Thank you, and be sure to come to the end of year art show on June 3rd to see how we've turned your trash into treasures!

    8th grade/HS Shadowing – Click the blue link to read more

    Save the Date for Spring Quality Night

    We’ve needed to make some changes in our spring calendar now that the state testing window has been finalized.

    Please save the date for upcoming spring Quality Nights-

    5th graders- March 22nd 6-7:15 pm

    7th graders- May 19th 6-7:15 pm


    Middle School Yearbooks on SaleClick the link for more info

    High School News

    Driver’s Ed Classes at IACS  – We will again be offering a Driver's Ed class at IACS that is run by Future Drivers of America, a professional driving company, licensed by the MA RMV. Classes will be held on Early Release Wednesdays and on Tuesday's during the Spring Choice Block. Classes will begin on Wednesday, March 9th.   Students must register through Future Driver's of America to take the classes.   Registration can be done on the Future Driver's Website, or by calling 978-455-0290.  Attached you will find a flyer that lists the pricing, payment options and class schedule.   

    Future Driver's is conveniently located down the street in North Chelmsford.   If students need to miss a class they can schedule with the Future Driver's office to make up the missed lesson at their location.

    Below is the class schedule for your perusal:

    Date                    Day                   Time
    3/9/2016     Wednesday    12:30-3:30
    3/16/2016    Wednesday    12:30-3:30
    3/29/2016    Tuesday         10:50-12:02
    3/30/2016    Wednesday    12:30-3:30
    4/5/2016    Tuesday         10:50-12:02
    4/6/2016     Wednesday    12:30-3:30
    4/12/2016    Tuesday        10:50-12:02
    4/13/2016    Wednesday    12:30-3:30
    4/26/2016     Tuesday         10:50-12:02
    5/3/2016     Tuesday          10:50-12:02
    5/4/2016     Wednesday    12:30-3:30
    5/10/2016    Tuesday          10:50-12:02
    5/11/2016     Wednesday    12:30-3:30
    5/17/2016    NO CLASS Due to MCAS Testing    
    5/24/2106    NO CLASS Due to POL's    
    5/31/2016     Tuesday        10:50-12:02
    6/1/2016     Wednesday    12:30-3:30pm

    If you have any questions please don't hesitate to reach out to Future Driver's at 978-455-0290, email: or contact Crystal McKiel, IACS HS Admin, at or  978-649-0432 ext 2004.  

    Click the blue link for the full text…

    Slides from Scheduling Presentation

    Great College Fair Turnout

    Save the Date!

    Pat Modrich, 

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

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