The Hawk: January 29, 2016

January 29, 2016 7:00 am

“The Hawk”

Dear IACS Community:

Making arrangements for your child on our early release Wednesdays is not an easy task for most families. We appreciate your efforts to manage these logistics as it enables our faculty to have regular, in-depth professional development time. Each early release Wednesday, our faculty is involved in a series of professional development activities: peer coaching groups, study groups, advisory team meetings, and workshops. This helps our staff continually examine and build our collective practice and better serve students.

Earlier this year, I shared two goals that we are working on at the middle school this year- examining the roots of project-based learning as one important aspect of the IACS mission and revising our quarterly assessments (report cards) to make future shifts. The middle school staff has self-selected one of these two goals to work on as part of our Wednesday professional development series.

The assessment system (report card) committee has assessed our current system and reviewed parent survey data to consider a list of strengths and areas to change. At our last meeting, we looked at 8 different standards-based report cards as a jumping off point as we consider various elements in detail in coming meetings. One takeaway from the group: Format matters! It was interesting to observe how much the format of the document impacts the readability. As we get further along in the process, we will gather additional parent input on drafts of the new middle school report card document.

The Project-Based Learning group is working in small department-based groups to add and/or refine project-based work to the curriculum. For example, one team just created a new project to accompany an algebra unit. Another team is looking at how to add more reflection across the curriculum and another is revising projects to add more real-world elements.

Again, thank you for your commitment to our Wednesday early release calendar. This truly gives our faculty time to take a deeper dive into important work that is otherwise hard to get to during the busy school day.


Melissa Kapeckas

Middle School Principal

All School News

Dates At a Glance:

January 29:  H/S Winter White Semi-Formal Dance  7:00-10:00pm –

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

January 31: FAFSA Day   1:00 – 3:00 pm

February 3: Early Release

     Middle School Drama Workshop    `1:30 – 2:30 pm

February 5: Embrace Winter Family Social  7:00 – 9:00 pm

February 6: Destination Imagination Training 8:00 – 4:00

February 8: Board of Trustee Meeting  6:30 – 8:00 pm

     IACA Meeting  7:00 – 8:30 pm

February 9: MS Parent Advisory Council  7:45- 8:30 am

February 10: Full Day Wednesday

February 11: Innovation Morning for Prospective Middle School Parents/Guardians 6:00-8:00 pm

February 12: MS Grade 5 & 6 Social 7:00 – 9:00 pm

February 15 – February 20 – NO SCHOOL VACATION

February 17: NO H/S Internships

February 21: FAFSA Day   1:00 – 3:00 pm

February 22 – 26 High School Spirit Week

February 24: Early Release K


       Middle School Drama Workshop    1:30 – 2:30 pm

February 25: Innovation Morning for Prospective H/S Parents/Guardians 8:30 – 9:30 am

       IACS/THS College Fair  6:30 – 8:00 pm

Spring ILPs are on the way: Stay tuned for more information from your child’s advisor about signing up for an Individual Learning Plan conference to look back with your child at their learning goals. Conferences will take place February 24th and March 9th. One of our school’s accountability goals is to achieve 90% or higher participation at ILP conferences from families. ILP conferences are an important way for students to reflect upon their learning and set goals with feedback from their family and teachers.

Annual Giving Campaign Update:  We have already heard from over one hundred families supporting this school year's annual giving campaign and raised over $22,000! If you have not yet responded to the campaign, it's not too late. Whether you can give $20 a month, $20 a quarter, or a one-time $20 gift in honor of our 20th year celebration, all donors will receive our limited run 20th anniversary car magnet as a thank you for participating in the campaign. Giving can be done online (click here), by check or money order using the campaign pledge form that can be downloaded here, (click here), or by donating cash/check in person to the front desk. All gifts to the annual giving campaign will go toward funding current year spending needs and priorities of the school. All gifts make an impact!   Please check out our Annual Giving Campaign page for more information. Thank you for your support.

IACA News 1/22:

So much news to share for late January and February! Remember that you can always find the latest IACA news on our Facebook page and on our IACA website.

  • Embrace Winter Social Feb 5th: Come join us for a fun night of winter fun! IACS students will be performing, including the High School Chorus groups, a sneak preview of the High School Drama March shows, and the high school choice blocks: “Garage Band”, Poetry Slam, and Dance troop.   Also, we will have local vendors with displays, and tickets will be available for our BIG raffle!  If you own a small business and are interested in selling your products at this event, please check out our  website vendor signup page.    Volunteers will receive a free ticket for one of our vendor gift prizes.

  • 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 at our Embrace Winter Social. Tickets are $20 each.

  • 5/6 Grade Social: Our 5/6 Grade social will be on February 12th from 7-9pm. We are always looking for chaperone help and snack donations. For more information, visit our website page–socials.html

  • Boxtop Contest: Whose advisory will win this year!?? Please continue to send in all of your Boxtops! Every Boxtop is worth 10 cents and since last year we've made $1700.

  • IACA Board Position Open: Are you able to attend monthly meetings and take notes? This may be the board position for you!  For more information, please contact  Jo Anne Frazier at

  • IACS School Nutrition Program

    The New Breakfast and Lunch Menus for February have been posted.  CLICK HERE TO ORDER or preview menus by going to Breakfast & Lunch Menu.  While pre-ordering is preferred, all meals are available cash & carry.

    Check out this month’s new Breakfast & Lunch Menu  items featuring; Breakfast Quesadilla and Chicken Scampi.  Breakfast is served daily from 7:40-7:55 for Middle School and 9:17-9:33 for High School. Breakfast costs $2.00 and includes whole grains, fresh fruit, milk or 100% juice. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!  It provides the energy and nutrients that leads to increased concentration in the classroom, reduces the visits to the nurse’s office and helps in maintaining a healthy weight.

    Lunch cost $3.85 when pre-ordered or $4.00 cash & carry and includes; lean protein, whole grains, fresh fruit, vegetables and milk.  In addition to daily hot lunches, a variety of sandwiches including; Old Neighborhood Buffalo Chicken and Thin & Trim Baked Ham, all white-meat Tuna and Sunbutter & Jelly are available for only $2.00 or make it a meal by adding fresh fruit, veggies, and milk for $4.00. Each Friday, we offer Domino’s Smart Slice Pizza with a garden salad, fresh fruit, baby carrots and milk. Vegetarian options are available daily. Contact if your child has special dietary needs.

    IACS proudly serves breakfast and lunch as part of the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs.Your children may qualify for either free or reduced priced breakfast $0.30 and lunch $0.40.  The eligibility criteria and instructions for applying may be found here Free & Reduced Application.  Our meals meet and often exceed USDA guidelines for the National School Breakfast & Lunch Programs.  For more about these guidelines go to NSLP.

    IACS High School Proudly Presents the Modern Musicals

    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

    Mark your calendar for Middle School Auditions for the Spring Play! March 16, 12:30-2:30.  High School Auditions for the Spring Play are March 22, 3:00-5:00!

    No preparation or experience needed – see you there!

    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 and Songs from Hamilton

    and Star Wars the Musical

    July 25-29: Drama Camp!

    With a Middle School Performance of Treasure Island


    a High School Performance of Sherlock Holmes

    Camp is 8:30-3:30 daily, with a public performance on Friday night!

    Staff includes Rhonda Hawthorne, Alec Willis, Jen Shaby, Melissa Connors Rodgers,

    Lauren Boucher (Hunt) and Andrea Watson!

    More information and registration forms at


    Middle School News


    6th grade Spanish students work on a poster to practice their Spanish writing skills.

    After School Art Classes:

    The final 8 week session for after school art begins the week after February break and is offered on either Monday or Tuesday from 3:00 – 4:30. The class is set up as an open studio, where students can work with a wide variety of media to create work independently or with others. The cost for the program is $60. Space is limited, so sign up early. Please send registration form  and payment to MS After School Art Class via the main office.

    5th/6th grade Social Studies Curriculum:

    5th and 6th grade Social Studies have started their Holy COW unit, studying world geography, religion, and cultures of the world (“COW” in the unit title). Click here to read teacher Sara Krakauer’s blog to see recent pictures of student work and activities.

    Close of Quarter 2: Quarter 2 Assessments will be shared via the x2 Aspen student and family portal on February 5th.

    Middle School Technology & Robotics Club: The second session of the MS Technology & Robotics Club will meet on the following five Mondays: February 8th, 22nd, 29th and March 7th and 14th. Students have a choice of activities, including the opportunity to build and program robots using Lego Mindstorms, or make Artbotics (art that responds to its environment using sensors and motors). Students may need to share a robot so sign up with a friend! Alternatively, students can try out Android App Inventor, which is on-line software for making android apps, and test them on android tablets. Club meets from 3:00-4:30 (Mondays) in room 241 of the high school. There is no cost for this club but space is limited. Please sign up by emailing Donna Harrington at

    High School Information Session for 8th Graders and their Families

    Families of 8th graders should plan to attend our High School Information Session for prospective students and families on Saturday, 1/30 from 10-­12 pm, if you missed the information session this fall. Come learn more about our high school program and prepare your student for this important transition.

    Outdoor ClothingClick the link for this reminder about outdoor recess and challenge.

    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

    Click the blue link for the full text…

    Talent Show Highlight Video

    Screen Shot 2016-01-29 at 4.23.40 PM.png

    Affordable College Degree

    Students Present at Museum of Science

    Got Skates? IACS is looking for used pairs…

    Boys Basketball Photos


    Order your Yearbooks today! If you order before February 12 (or have already ordered), you'll be entered into a raffle to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card! You can get an order form at the main office, or order online at The absolute last day to order a Yearbook is March 25! We will not be selling any Yearbooks after that date. Please don't forget to order yours today!

    Seniors- please submit your baby pictures as soon as possible! They are due no later than February 26.

    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).

    High School Robotics Club meets in room 241 on Tuesdays from 3-4:30. Students who join can start to prepare for participation in the Botball Robotics tournament which takes place on April 30. Students are welcome to come and try out robotics even if they aren't sure if they want to do Botball. To sign up, please email Donna Harrington at

    Melissa Kapeckas
    Middle School Principal
    Innovation Academy Charter School
    72 Tyng Rd.
    Tyngsboro, MA  01879
    978-649-0432 x2229