The Hawk: March 23, 2018

March 22, 2018 6:48 pm


IACS Newsletter for the week ending March 23 2018

Dear IACS Community,

On Thursday, March 1st IACS held its primary enrollment lottery for the 2018-2019 school year and set an all time record by collecting 540 applications, smashing last year’s previous high of 367 applications. Just look at this growth over the past 8 years!

This increase in applications comes from our school’s growing reputation for excellence. For example, in the past three weeks IACS students have:

  • Played in the girls and boys MIAA high school basketball tournaments, while our middle school girls gear up for an EAA championship game Saturday.

  • Performed Gilligan’s Island in front of the show’s producers who traveled from NYC to IACS in order to see our show.

  • Presented original work that used systems thinking to an audience of teachers, students, and university professors during the World Climate summit at WPI.

  • This list represents just a small window into our work this year and none of it would be possible without dedicated teachers, coaches, and families. Thank you for all of your ongoing support!

    In partnership,

    Greg Orpen

    Head of School

    Important Dates:

    March 23 HS Athletic Awards Night

    March 28 Full Day Wednesday

    Grade 11 & 12 Community Service noon – 3:00 pm

    March 30 No School – Good Friday

    April 2 MS ⅚ ELA MCAS Testing

    April 3 MS 5/6 ELA MCAS Testing

    IACA Meeting 6:30 pm

    April 4 Early Release Wednesday

    Driver’s Ed 12:30pm

    April 6 HS Innovation Tour for Parents of Prospective Students 8:30 – 9:30 am

    Casino Night 7:00 – 10:00 pm

    April 9 MS ⅞ ELA MCAS Testing

    April 10 MS ⅞ ELA MCAS Testing

    April 11 Early Release Wednesday

    Driver’s Ed 12:30pm

    April 12 HS Shadow Day for Accepted Students

    April 16 – April 20 No School April Vacation

    April 23 IACS Board of Trustee Meeting 6:30 – 9:00 pm

    April 24 HS Exhibition Night 6:00 – 8:30 pm

    April 25 Full Day Wednesday

    April 26 MS Parent/Principal Advisory Council 7:45- 8:30 am

    MS Innovation Tour for Parents of Prospective Students 8:30 – 9:30 am

    April 28 SAT Prep “Bootcamp” for HS Juniors 9:00 – 1:00 pm

    April 29 SAT Prep “Bootcamp” for HS Juniors 9:00 – 1:00 pm

    April 30 MS ⅚ MATH MCAS Testing

    $10,000 Raffle WILL be drawn at Casino Night!

    Do you have $10,000 raffle tickets at home? Please send them in, our winner will be drawn on April 6th. Students who are trying to win the $1,000 prize for selling the most tickets MUST turn in all tickets by April 5th.

    Way to go Ringwall and Lozeau Advisories, each group sold over 25 $10,000 raffle tickets and we celebrated their hard work with a Pizza Party! Here’s hoping we’ll have another group of advisories next week that have qualified. Wanna help them? Purchase your tickets online here !

    Book Club rescheduled to March 29th

    IACS Community Book Club – Rescheduled

    For the next Book Club meeting, we will be reading Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. This book is about suburban mother-daughter duo living in a small town in Cleveland and the lives they lead. Join us on March 29th in the library from 3:15-4:15 for snacks and discussion! At last month’s meeting we had a great group of Parents, Staff, Students and Community Members, All are welcome!

    IACS School Nutrition Program:The March Breakfast and Lunch Menu is posted here. This month’s menu features: Pasta w/ choice of Pesto or Marinara Sauce, BBQ Chicken, Vegetarian Pad Thai and much more made with fresh wholesome ingredients in the IACS kitchen. Contact Karen Drake if have any questions about the School Nutrition Program.

    Theatre News

    We are looking forward to summer and 3 weeks of Performing Arts Camp that are open to the Community of and outside IACS! Camps are open to any students finishing grades 4 through 12. Camp begins at 8:30am and finishes at 3:30pm daily.

    July 9-13: GLEE CAMP with free, public performance of the students’ work on Friday, July 13 at 5pm! For an additional cost, the first 10 students entering grades 9 and up who sign up will have the option of traveling into New York City to see the matinee show of Phantom of the Opera on Broadway on Thursday, July 12!

    July 16-20: HAMILPROV WEEK where students will spend 1/2 the day learning about the Broadway sensation Hamilton, and 1/2 the day working on Improvisational games, activities & skills. Free, public performance of the students’ work on Friday, July 20 at 5pm! For an additional cost, the first 10 students entering grades 9 and up who sign up will have the option of traveling into New York City to see Hamilton on Wednesday, July 18!

    July 23-27: DRAMA CAMP! Where we will learn the play THE GOOD DOCTOR which we will perform at a theater, right off Broadway (RIGHT next to Kinky Boots!!!) on Tuesday, July 31!

    For more information please check out and sign up at about camp, May show auditions, Phantom of the Opera Auditions, and all else that is coming up!


    MCAS Testing Update

    The MCAS schedule is as follows:

    April 2-3- 5th/6th grade MCAS ELA testing

    April 9-10- 7th/8th grade MCAS ELA testing

    April 30-May 1st- 5th/6th grade MCAS Math testing

    May 3-4- 7th/8th grade MCAS Math testing

    May 8-9- Science MCAS testing for grades 5 and 8 only

    Massachusetts is in the midst of transitioning to computer-based testing and this year, all middle school grades will participate in computer-based testing. In preparation for this, we’ll have all students participate in a tutorial to show students how to utilize the TestNav platform and a practice test. This will help students become familiar with the computer-based platform before they utilize it for testing and help our IT department and staff ensure everything is running smoothly before testing. This will occur on Thursday, 3/22 for students in grades 5 and 6 and Tuesday, 3/27 for students in grades 7 and 8. If you’d like to see the TestNav tutorial and/or review computer-based or paper-based practice tests, they are available at this website:

    Families often ask us what they can do at home to help their child be prepared and do their best on the day of the exam. Please be sure your child is well rested and eats a healthy breakfast on testing days. Remind your child that the tests are not timed and s/he is well prepared for the exams. We want our students to remember to go back into the passages as they work through the tests and to check all of their work prior to finishing. Be certain to arrive to school on time. Once a testing session has begun, students who are tardy are not permitted to enter the testing room. If you have any questions about MCAS testing, please do not hesitate to contact me at or 978-649-0432 x 2229.

    Big picture

    Hundreds of students participated in the national walkout in protest of school shootings. As students walked back into the building, they were surprised by hundreds of sticky notes all over the building. These read: Stand Up, We are beautiful, We are brave, and We are bold. Thanks for the students that surprised the community with these inspirational positive messages around school.

    Come support the Varsity MS Girls Basketball Team: The girls varsity middle school basketball team has made it to the EAA league championship game and will be playing Ste Jeanne D’Arc school for the title this Saturday 3/24 at 6:15 pm at the Costello Gym at UMass Lowell. Admissions to the game are $5 for adults and $2 for children.

    Robotics Showcase: Our middle school robotics club will show off their latest robotic creations on Monday, 3/27 at 4 pm in Room 241. Come check it out!

    Calling all Middle Schoolers who like to sing!

    The next session of Middle School Chorus will start after school on Wednesday March 14th.

    Middle School Chorus meets on Half Day Wednesdays from 12:25-1:45 in the Middle School Music Room. Students must have transportation home at 1:45 and bring a lunch. MS Chorus will be working toward our last concert of the year which is Wednesday May 30th. The concert will be a combined effort with the High School groups and will include MS Chorus, Band, HS Chorus, Chorale and Instrumental Ensemble. The MS Chorus will sing a few songs on their own and one song together with the HS Chorus! This is a new project for the Music Department and we are very excited!

    Questions: email Mrs. Lane –

    The 2017-2018 Middle School Yearbook

    Is now for sale at the Early Bird price of $20 until Friday, April 13, 2018

    Yearbook Order Form 2017-2018

    High School News

    Important HS Dates

    March 27-29 ELA MCAS for grade 10

    Scheduling Process for 2018-2019

    Student Walkout

    Hundreds of IACS students participated in the national walkout to speak out against school shootings on Tuesday at 10am, albeit delayed due to the snow storm on 3/14. This was a message I sent to students and faculty after the event:

    I’ve never been more impressed by a group of hundreds of students, both high school and middle school. Thank you to our student government, led by co-presidents Sebastian Chavez & Jade King, for taking the lead on organizing this event. Thank you also to the students that gave speeches today: Nickeyla Samuel, Theresa Namulondo, Eva Richards, Ian Fastert, Sarah Yoken, and Jacob Babcock…very well done by all of you. Thank you also to the teachers that stayed with their students that chose not to walk out, but I am sorry all were not able to witness it in person. All of the students that participated were thoughtful and respectful. Innovation Academy’s four social outcomes were very visible today: self-directed learning, problem solving, effective communication, and community membership. It was nice to see part of our mission in action. I encourage all of you to remain active in the issues that you care about and not to give up hope. History shows that there is a long record of improvements in our country from activism such as that which you participated in today. It is not always easy, it can take decades sometimes, and there are some failures, but on an issue as important as school safety and reducing gun violence…it’s worth the fight. As Thomas Jefferson said, "…a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical."

    April Events at the Tyngsborough Public Library

    March Seniors of the Month

    HS Photo of the Week

    IACS students listened intently as students spoke during the walkout on Tuesday.

    STUDENT HEALTH 101 – our Online Wellness Magazine

    The March issue of Student Health 101 as well as the accompanying parent issue, Student Advocate is here! If you’re looking for a new fun (and healthy!) snack, look no further than this safe-to-eat “Raw” Cookie Dough Recipe! Take advantage of this resource by downloading the Student Health 101 app and take a look at the official IACS SH101 Twitter page. Don’t forget to fill the SH101 survey after reading an article, and be entered for a chance to win $100!

    IACA News

    CALLING ALL BAKERS: When’s the last time your treats fetched $100? It’s true…they can, and often do! The Casino night committee is looking for up to 3-6 dozen of your specialty to create decadent delights for our bidders. Contact to contribute.

    DO YOU LIKE TO READ? Scholarship committee is a wonderful chance to get to know some of the fantastic kids in our senior class! Two application review nights are currently being planned for late April. Contact committee chairperson if you think you might be interested in helping out.

    VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT: Be sure to head over to our website to get to know Heather Landis, this month’s volunteer in the Spotlight. Heather is an avid volunteer and the mastermind behind IACA’s Big Time Social, Casino Night, set for April 6th.

    CASINO NIGHT: Speaking of April 6th, tickets for this fantastic, fun, adults-only night of entertainment at the UMass Inn and Conference Center are nearly sold out, but Heather can fit you in. Send her an email at

    APRIL IACA MEETING: Hope to see you Monday, April 2 at 6:30 in the Library and will be a potluck!

    BURRITOS, ANYONE?: Or tacos, or salads, if you’re hankering for Mexican on a school night, be sure to come to Chipotle in Billerica on Tuesday, April 10th. This fantastic fundraiser has been rescheduled due to last month’s snow, and generates 50% of proceeds from every guest with a flyer. See you there!