The Hawk: March 24, 2017

March 24, 2017 8:00 am

“The Hawk”

Dear IACS Families:

Over the past few years, we have worked to develop students’ community membership by involving all students in at least one advisory community service project each year. As we have grown our efforts, it has been exciting to see our school build partnerships with many community organizations doing important service work.

The Lozeau Advisory went to Caitie’s Closet to sort clothing donations back in February. During the month of March, they held a clothing drive, donating hundreds of pounds of clothes to help children in need. IMAG2884.jpg


The Pererya Advisory visited D’Youville Nursing Home, planning an putting on a cafe and musical bingo for residents.

We are very proud of our students as they invested a lot of heart into their service projects. Thank you for supporting their efforts!


Melissa Kapeckas

Middle School Principal

Important Upcoming Dates

March 28 MS Innovation Morning for Prospective Parents 8:30 am

March 29 Early Release

MS Auditions for May Show 12:30 – 3:00 pm

March 30 HS Field Trip to Plum Island (Mrs. Hinkle)

March 31 Big Time Social/Casino Night

April 3 5th/6th Grade ELA MCAS testing

April 4 5th/6th Grade ELA MCAS testing

HS Field trip to Model UN Conference (Ms. Gonsalo)

April 5 Early Release – No High School Internships

HS Field trip to Model UN Conference (Ms. Gonsalo)

5th Grade ELA MCAS testing

HS Spring Exhibition

April 6 HS Field Trip to Fenway Behind the Scenes (Ms. Tupaj)

HS Field trip to Model UN Conference (Ms. Gonsalo)

7th/8th Grade ELA MCAS testing`

HS Innovation Morning for Prospective Parents 8:30 am

April 7 7th/8th Grade ELA MCAS testing

April 8 Envirothon Field Trip to ALden (Mrs. Hinkle)

April 10 5th/6th Grade Math MCAS testing

Board of Trustee Meeting

April 11 5th/6th Grade Math MCAS testing

April 12 Full Day Wednesday

7th/8th Grade Math MCAS testing

HS Community Service Field Trips

April 13 7th/8th Grade Math MCAS testing

April 14 No School – Good Friday

April 17 – 21 No School April Vacation

All School News

Substitute Cafeteria Workers:

IACS is looking to hire substitute cafeteria workers to perform various duties associated with running the school breakfast and lunch program. These tasks include, but are not limited to, daily setup and breakdown, food preparation, serving breakfast and lunch meals to staff and students, breakdown, clean-up and sanitizing of all work areas. Must be  able to work in a fast paced environment.  Prior experience working in a school cafeteria is preferred but not required.  Training will be provided.  Per diem $12.00 per hour. Contact

Lost & Found

Our lost and found bins are overflowing again. We’ll be emptying them out on Monday, 3/27, and donating the contents to local charities. Please remind your child to check through the bins for any lost items.

IACA News  

  • Casino Night is next week! Have you bought your tickets yet? IACA Casino night and Silent Auction is our parent group's biggest fundraiser of the year, in years past we have purchased chromebooks for the school, a sprinkler system, the AV system in the auditorium and most recently the new IACS mini bus.  The event begins at 7pm on March 31st at The UMass Inn and Conference center, 50 Warren Street Lowell Ma. (free parking- enter via the conference center driveway)  This will include dinner, cash bar, music, casino games, silent auction, Live dessert auction and a lot of fun. Tickets are $35 each and a table of 10 is $300. And check out all the great raffle donations on our IACA Facebook page!  For more information, contact Heather Landis at

  • Mixed Bag Designs Fundraiser– Order tonight! -Last day for orders is 3/24!  Did you get a chance to put in your order? It's not too late! This is a great fundraiser for our school and it goes beyond just bags! Take a look at the online catalog- and your child can earn prizes as well. Please do not collect tax and make check payable to IACA. Friends and family can order online at: Contact Donna Martin with questions.

  • Eighth Grade Semi-Formal: We're starting to plan our Eighth Grade Semi! What a blast for the kids! Here is a message from Donna Martin, who is chairing the committee as she has done for the past three years.The semi is on Saturday June 10th at 7:00.  We will be needing people to help pass out food and chaperone the dance ( this is only open to parents who do not have 8th graders).  If you can’t make it that night we could use help with food donations, decoration ideas, help with invitations, favors etc.  Once I get a committee together I will schedule a meeting of the minds.  It helps to talk about ideas and figure out who is willing and able to do what.  It is going to be a fun event to help with!  Please email me as soon as possible if you are interested  

  • Last Bash planning is starting up! If you aren't familiar with Last Bash – this is the safe, all night, lock-in party for Seniors that takes place the night of Graduation!  If you are interested in helping to plan the event (scheduled for June 3, 2017), please email Holly Ballam and Lynn Smith at lastbash@innovationcharter. org . We have a meeting scheduled for 7pm at Panera in Drum Hill for April 12th.  

  • We are looking for new leaders to join IACA! Contact iacapresident@gmail. com if interested in learning more. Come to our next meeting to see what IACA is all about!

  • IACA Scholarship Committee– can you help?  We are looking for judges for our HS Scholarship Committee. Volunteer judges cannot be employed in the high school, nor can they have a student in 11th or 12th grade. For more information, please contact Michelle Balbat at  

  • Performing Arts News:  

  • Congratulations to the Cast and Crew of Man of La Mancha on a fantastic run of a beautiful show! MANY THANKS to the countless parents who volunteered their time and talents to the program!

  • Auditions for the MIDDLE SCHOOL PLAY are on Wednesday, March 29, 12:30-3:00pm in the auditorium! It's an early release day so bring a lunch! We hope to see you there so you can have your turn to light up the IACS stage! Auditions are open to any current middle school students – with or without acting experience! The play, which features numerous monologues as well as full scenes, is called "Game of Tiaras" and you can find details about the hilarious spoof at Rehearsals will be on half day Wednesdays, 12:30-3:00, and performances are on May 20 at 2pm and 7pm.

  • BELIEVE IT OR NOT, SUMMER IS COMING! Join us for 3 Performing Arts Camps right here on the IACS Campus! Camps are open to students finishing 4th through 12th grades.

  • * July 10-July 14: Drama Camp 8:30-3:30 daily with a performance of Ghostbusters on Friday night

    * July 17-July 21: Glee Camp 8:30-3:30 daily with a performance of songs and scenes from School of Rock on Friday night

    * July 24-July 28: Improv Camp 8:30-3:30 daily with a performance created ON THE SPOT by the campers on Friday night

    **The first ten Improv Camp students finishing grades 8 through 12 have the option of going to Broadway to see Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 on the Wednesday of Improv Camp! (Unfortunately, the NYC component of Drama Camp and Glee Camp trips are full.)

    **There is still availability for at all three camps for every age!

    Middle School News


    Middle school students are in the thick of getting their portfolios complete for the year. At this juncture, they should have 3-4 project pieces in their portfolio. Students have a requirement for each class, selecting a piece that represents their best work. Additionally, students show their proficiency in systems thinking, practical application skills, independent and collaborative skills through their portfolio. Teachers and advisors will be reaching out to families when students are not on track for portfolio completion to share specific information about what the student needs to complete.

    MCAS Approaches:

    The MCAS schedule is as follows:

    4/3-4/4 Grades 5 and 6 English/Language Arts

    4/5  Grade 5 English/Language Arts

    4/6-4/7 Grades 7 and 8 English/Language Arts

    4/10-4/11 Grades 5 and 6 Mathematics

    4/12-4/13 Grades 7 and 8 Mathematics

    4/25 & 4/27 Grades 5 and 8 Science/Technology/Engineering

    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. For more detailed information about MCAS, see our website here. If you have any questions about MCAS testing, please do not hesitate to contact me at or 978-649-0432 x 2229.

    Sixth and Eighth Grade Jury Packets

    Sixth and eighth grade students will soon begin preparing for their spring gateway jury presentation. During this time, sixth and eighth graders present their portfolios to a team of assessors in a jury presentation. Sixth grade juries participate in a 20 minute  jury presentation.  Eighth graders participate in a 30 minute jury presentation. The team of assessors is typically made up of two adults including a staff member and an outside community member (an IACS parent or otherwise). A younger peer also attends to learn about the process and provide additional support. Students share pieces of work and provide evidence of why they believe they are ready to be promoted to the next grade. Following the jury presentation, students receive feedback from the assessor, including a final jury grade. Successful completion of a jury presentation is a promotion requirement for sixth and eighth graders.  

    Students received their jury packets this week, with their rubrics, organizers, and assigned time/date.  Please ask your child about their jury and add their jury date to your family calendar. Sixth grade juries will occur during the week of May 30th. Eighth grade juries will occur during the week of June 5th. Your child should be working to ensure they are finishing their portfolio requirements by mid-April so that they can shift gears to start preparing their presentation thereafter. Thank you for your support.

    Middle School Yearbook:

    It is the time to create 8th Grade Personal Pages and find 8th Grade Baby Pictures for the 2016-2017 Middle School Yearbook.  Due Friday, 4/28. See the yearbook page for more information.

    To guarantee delivery of a 2016-2017 Middle School Yearbook on the last day of school, order at the regular price of $27 by Friday, May 19, 2017.

    High School News

    IACS Student Wins Literary Award

    Thank You!

    Our sophomore’s just finished taking the ELA MCAS exam and it looked like they took the exam very seriously and put forward their best effort. Each morning we provide the test-takers with a light breakfast to make sure they are ready for testing. A big thank you to Sue Hickey for leading this effort each year, as well as Clare Ringwall, Steph Kelly, Lise Brody, and Karen Schneider for their assistance with the breakfast each morning. I also want to thank Karen Drake for preparing snacks for the students during their break. Nobody enjoys testing for several hours each day, but thanks to our incredible staff, we try to make it as painless as possible.

    Transitional Resource Fair at Lowell High School

    This is a great opportunity for IEP/504 students and their families to learn about resources available to them as they prepare for life after high school. It will be held at Lowell High School on March 28th from 6-8pm.

    High School Future Sports Survey

    The Athletics Department is requesting all parents of high school students take the survey below.    These surveys will provide the Athletic Department with important information to consider when looking at the future addition of sports to our program.  If you have any questions, please email Nolan McKinnon at .

    Winter Athletic Awards Night

    The Athletic Department honored all of the winter athletes last night. Congratulations to our AD, Nolan McKinnon, and all of the student-athletes on a great season!

    2016-2017 HS Athletic Survey: )

    Student Health 101

    The  March  IACS Student Health 101 and the accompanying Student Advocate for parents and supporters are now available online. For the months of March and April you can enter your student to win $500 simply by reading an article and answering a few questions!  We have already had a $100…let’s get us a few $500 winners!!

    High School Yearbook

    This weekend is your last weekend to order a Yearbook online! Yearbook sales close Sunday online and we will not be selling any Yearbooks after that. We won't be selling any the last few days of school so be sure to get yours this weekend. Order online at

    Photo of the Week

    HS Admin Assistant Crystal McKiel thinks of everything! She had the forethought to remind elevator passengers to keep quiet because of MCAS testing on the 3rd floor this week…thanks Crystal!

    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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