The Hawk: March 12, 2016

March 12, 2016 7:00 am

“The Hawk”


Dear IACS Community,


Yesterday I joined a team of six staff and twenty students from IACS who participated at “DynamiqueST”, a celebration of student work that uses Systems Thinking to deepen understanding of curricular topics.   We were joined by other students and educators from Brookline, Arlington, Carlisle, and Lexington as well as professionals in the Systems Thinking field and faculty members from our host at WPI.   During the morning session students presented work in a forum very similar to our Quality Nights.  The rich variety of presentations I observed included 2nd graders exploring the relationship between bike helmet policies and head injuries, (IACS) middle school students explain how farming techniques in Neolithic civilizations impacted population grown, and (IACS) high school students exploring the increasing opioid epidemic ravaging our local communities.   

In the afternoon, student and adults broke into groups to play a short game (“Group Juggle”) which models a reality most of us can relate to:  the struggle to keep up with tasks and responsibilities when we put too much on our plate.  Groups then analyzed this game with guided facilitation from professional system dynamicists. (see pictures)  This culminated by using a computer simulation to see how the group could change their strategies to improve their performance.




The event represented so much of what IACS values most:  students and adults grappling with real-world problems, using systems thinking to make critical thinking visible, and sharing that work with others.  Our students and staff did an amazing job representing IACS.  I can’t think of a better way to end the week!


I’d invite anyone who wants to learn more about the role Systems Thinking plays in our work at IACS to check out our website, which includes a short video created from last year’s DynamiqueST conference.  

Have a great weekend,


Greg Orpen

Head of School


All School News


Dates At a Glance:


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

April 1:    Prom Craft Night 5:00 – 8:00 pm

April 4:    Last day of MS Quarter 3

April 6:    Early Release

April 7:   Innovation Morning for Prospective High School Parents/Guardians 8:30 – 9:30 am

April 9:   SAT Prep Class Practice SAT

April 11: Board of Trustee Meeting  6:30 – 8:30 pm

April 12: MS Parent Advisory Council 7:45 – 8:30 am

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

April 13:  Early Release

        IACA Meeting 7:00 – 8:30 pm

April 18 – 22   April School Vacation


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.


IACA News:  

10K Raffle: Support your school AND take a chance on a $5000 prize! Tickets will be going home within the next couple of weeks.  

 "Mixed Bag" Fundraising:  Our Spring fundraising has begun! 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! Order forms are due. Here is our online link if you'd like to take a peek! Great Online Fundraising & Raising Money Ideas For Schools & Team | Reusable Shopping Bags & Insulated Lunch Bags | Mixed Bag Designs










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Big Time Social: This year, our Big Time Social/Casino Night will be held at Lenzi's on April 15th. Please contact Jo Anne Frazier at if you would like to help with the event.

IACA Board Position Open: Seeking-Secretarial Skills Engineer: Must be organized and available for meetings, good-note taking skills a must! Please contact Jo Anne Frazier at for more information.


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


Drama News


Auditions for the middle school play will occur on March 16, 12:30-2:30 in the auditorium! You need a signed audition agreement available at the main office and at  Thank you – we hope to see you there! If you have additional questions, please contact Rhonda Hawthorne @  


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




Middle School News


Hindu Tofu-San.png

5th and 6th grade Social Studies students  visited 5 houses of worship this week as part of their study on world religion.


Interesting Read

One of our staff members recently shared this Washington Post article, “Top 10 Skills Middle School Students Need to Thrive and How Parents Can Help” Click here to check it out


5th grade Quality Night Prep- Supply "Store"


Fifth graders will work on preparing for Quality Night next Monday and Tuesday. If your child is in need of supplies, we will have the following available to purchase at school:


Tri-fold Display Boards ( white,  24x 48)        $2.00 each

Markers                                                             $2.00 each set

Sharpies                                                            $1.00 each

Glue Sticks                                                       $1.00 each

Index cards                                                       $.50 per set of 10

Colored Pencils                                                 $2.00 per package


We will be selling these items in the library. If possible, please provide single dollar bills for your child to use for their purchases. Thank you!


MS Band & Chorus Concert:

Come support the middle school band and chorus at their performance on Monday, 3/14 at 7 pm in the auditorium. The word on the street is that the band has some video game musical favorites up their sleeves….


Spring Athletics Paperwork:

Paperwork for middle school athletics is due on March 16th. Spring sports include track & field (Grades 5-8), dance (Grades 5-8), boy’s baseball (grades 6-8), girl’s softball (grades 7-12). Students were given registration packets in advisory. Additional copies can be picked up at the main office.


Fifth Grade Quality Night Approaches:

Fifth graders recently selected the project that they will share for their second Quality Night of the year. Quality Night prep days are scheduled for Monday, March 14th and Tuesday, March 15th. During Quality Night prep, students will make any necessary revisions,  prepare their presentation, and create a display. Students should come prepared with note cards, a trifold or poster board, and art supplies. In between Quality Night prep day and their scheduled Quality Night, students should practice their presentation at home. 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.


Quality Nights give students the opportunity to share 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. 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.


5th grade Quality Night: Tuesday, 3/22 6 pm

A reminder that 7th graders will present on Thursday, 5/19 at 6 pm. Sixth and eighth graders will prepare for their jury presentation this spring in lieu of participating in a spring Quality Night.


Click the blue links for more information:


Eighth Grade Jury Packets


Spring Cleaning? Middle School Art Needs Your Recyclables!


Middle School Yearbooks on Sale


High School News


You’re invited to….

“Driver Education” Parent/Guardian Class presented by Future Drivers of America

Wednesday, March 23rd from 6-8pm

This FREE class is being held at IACS.  Pre-registration is required.  

Sign up at or by calling 978-455-0290

If you are the Parent or Guardian of a 15-17 year old student that is planning to get their license within the next 5 years then at some point, you will need to attend a 2-hour class as required by the Massachusetts RMV.  Regardless of which Driving School you choose, attendance at this class will satisfy the RMV requirement for 5 years.     


Click the blue link for the full text…


IACS Students Participate in DynamiQueST 2016


Congrats to Destination Imagination Team


Update on the New SAT Exam


College Acceptance Update


Slides from Scheduling Presentation


Save the Date!

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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