The Hawk: May 12, 2017

May 12, 2017 6:00 pm

“The Hawk”

May 12, 2017

Dear IACS Community,

This week exemplified many of our school core beliefs, as 5th and 7th grade students presented at Quality Night, 6th and 8th graders continued preparations for their Jury Presentations, and our high school students delivered their Presentations of Learning (Grades 9-11) and Senior Projects (12).  Seeing all elements of this work is truly one of the biggest gifts of my job and I’d like to share a few thoughts:

Deeper Learning Requires Reflection:  Most schools in the United States continue to emphasize teaching content, and often “more” is considered “better”.  Yet piles of research shows this approach is often short sighted. (Pop quiz: What’s the capital of West Virginia?)  This is not to say that facts don’t matter. However, when we ask students to connect facts to practical applications, including their own growth as a learner, they become better positioned to learn in the future.  Think of it as an investment, even if all the immediate returns might seem less obvious.  

Presenting to Families Adds Impact: At last night’s Quality Night, I witnessed adults authentically curious about the work of students whom they’ve never met.  Parents asked great questions, wrote thoughtful feedback, and made students feel like their work was valued.  Similarly, parents who came to the high school presentations consistently commented to me how proud they were of their student(s) and often acknowledged that “I could never have done that when I was in high school.”  

Student Presentations Build Community:  While it’s easy to focus on the formal presentation skills (visuals, speaking voice, interactions with audience), it’s amazing for me to see how genuinely engaged and supportive students were of each other.   Evidence of this support can be seen by middle school students rehearsing to each other as they get prepared or the group hugs/high fives exchanged after a senior completes their final presentation.  To see a school spirit driven by student work inspires me and would be the envy of educators nationwide.  

In addition to the courage of students and support of families, I’d like to also give a tip of the hat to the teachers (especially fitting since this was Teacher Appreciation Week) who helped make deeper learning, this week and in all weeks, possible.  They coached students during rehearsals, helped problem solve last minute presentation snafus, and model on a daily basis what it means to be a lifelong learner.

In partnership,

Greg Orpen

Head of School

Important Upcoming Dates

Important Dates:  

  • The first day of school will be Tuesday, August 29th; a complete calendar with vacation and early release days will be released within the next few weeks.  IACS is still waiting for the Department of Education to confirm dates for next year’s MCAS testing.

  • May 15

    Board of Trustee meeting 6:30 – 8:30 pm

    May 16

    HS MCAS Math testing

    HS Junior/Senior Awards Night  6:30 – 8:00 pm

    May 17

    Full Day Wednesday

    HS MCAS Math testing

    Last day HS Internships

    May 18

    HS Field Trip to MA Envirothon State Competition (Ms. Hinkle)

    HS family Orientation 3:30 – 4:30 pm

    HS Drama Production 7:00 pm

    May 19

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

    HS Internship Breakfast Celebration 8:15-9: 15 am

    MS Innovation Morning for Prospective Families (8:30 am)

    HS Drama Production 7:00 pm

    May 20

    Drama Performance 2:00 and 7:00 pm

    May 24

    Full Day Wednesday

    May 25

    HS family Orientation 5:00 – 6:00 pm

    May 26

    Early Release

    Band Festival  6:30 am – 4:45 pm

    May 29

    No School Memorial Day

    May 30 – June 2

    HS  Endersession Week

    May 30 – June 2

    MS 6th Grade Jury Presentations

    May 31

    Full Day Wednesday

    June 1

    Enrollment Lottery 4:00 pm

    June 2

    HS Graduation Rehearsal 4:00 – 5:30pm

    HS Senior Night  5:30 – 7:30 pm

    June 3

    HS Graduation 10:00 am

    SAT Exam 8:00 – 1:00 pm

    June 5 – June 9

    MS 8th Grade Jury Presentations

    June 5

    HS MCAS Science Testing

    HS family Orientation 3:30 – 4;30pm

    MS Band and Chorus Concert 7:00 – 9:00 pm

    June 6

    HS MCAS Science testing

    June 7

    Early Release

    MS 5th & 6th Grade “School of Rock” Auditions  12:30 – 2:30pm

    June 8

    MS 7th & 8th Grade ‘School of Rock” Auditions 3:00 – 5:30pm

    MS Sports Awards

    June 9

    MS Art Show 7:00 – 9:00 pm

    June 10

    MS 8th Grade Semi Formal

    June 12

    HS Informational  Internship Meeting for rising Juniors & Seniors

    HS Spring Sports Award Night  6:00pm

    June 14

    Early Release

    June 16

    HS College Essay Workshop

    June 19

    MS 8th Grade Moving Up ceremony 8:15 am (Limit: 2 guests)

    Board of Trustee Meeting 6:30 pm

    June 20

    Last Day of School, Dismissal at 1:00 pm

    All School News

    IACS School Nutrition Program:  The May Breakfast & Lunch Menu is posted here. Contact Karen Drake if you have any questions about the School Nutrition Program.

    IACA News  


    Our LAST meeting of the year is scheduled for Wednesday, June 14 at 7pm.  Join us for Potluck at 6:30pm.  Come learn about Volunteer opportunities for next year!

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

    BoxTops End-of-Year Contest!

    Keep clipping! This is the last opportunity to get those BoxTops in for your child's advisory! The winning Middle School and High School advisories will receive a pizza party! Please remember to label your bags of BoxTops with your child's name and advisory name, and remove any expired BoxTops before submitting. This contest runs till May 24th. Thank you!

    Graduation Reception (6/3/17)

    We are still looking for a few more volunteers to help out with the Graduation reception.  Junior parents, this is a great place to volunteer – even if you've never volunteered before!  It will be your turn to sit back and enjoy next year!  Please contact Lisa Reed:

    Last Bash (6/3/17)

    We are looking for volunteers who can give us two hours of their time overnight for Last Bash!  This event will take place at the NEW Tyngsboro Sports Center from 10pm June 3 through 6am June 4.  We need people to help with setup, overnight chaperoning and cleanup.   Please contact the Last Bash committee at .  

    8th Grade Semi (6/10/17)

    The 8th Grade Semi-formal is in a month!!!  Your 8th Grader's invitation for June 10 should be arriving soon!  We are looking for donations to make this event successful! Please contact Donna Martin at for more details.

    End of Year BBQ (6/20/17)

    Our Annual End of Year BBQ is coming up and we need YOUR help to get things offf and running! Please see the attached flyer for information and links to needs, as well as the email address for contacting Kerry with your support:

    Screen Shot 2017-05-05 at 12.36.58 PM.png

    To volunteer or donate – please visit the most current list of needs at (case sensitive) then kindly respond with your selection. Kerry Wellenstein at

    Performing Arts News:  

    *$5 tickets for IACS Students for Opening Night of the May Show! Don’t miss the plays “Shards” and “Darts”  written and directed by Josie Brody, Spencer Royston and Joe Harrington for a mere $5! Ticket order forms are at the main office and are available at the door on Thursday, May 18 at 7pm! See you there!

    "Shards" is the story of a pre-adult's journey through herself and towards her future and "Darts" is a hilarious musical tribute to childhood, where neon guns with orange darts lead to a friendly neighborhood war.

    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!


    June 7, 12:30-2:30: Grades 5 and 6 audition

    June 8, 3:00-5:30: Grades 7 through 11 audition

    For details on all of these opportunities check out:

    Questions? Email

    Click here for registration information about camp!

    Middle School News

    OutdoorClassroom Photo 1.JPG

    Thank you and congratulations to Ms. Krakauer and a group of her students who won a contest that funded the creation of an outdoor classroom at IACS. We are all excited to use this new space!


    Thank you for your support of Quality Night!

    Middle School Art Show

    Join us on Friday, June 9 from 7 – 9 for an exhibition of student work from semester 2. We're excited to feature drawings, paintings & prints by 5th graders, stop motion animation by 7th graders, and design projects by 8th graders. Hope to see you there!

    Volunteers needed for MS Art Show Preparation

    We are looking for some help preparing and hanging work for the June 9th middle school art show. Volunteers are needed during the following times:

    Monday 6/5, Wednesday 6/7 and Thursday 6/8  from 3:00 – 4:30

    Friday 6/9 from 1:00 – 7:00 to set up

    Friday 6/9 from 9:00 pm – 10:00 pm for clean up

    Please contact Jennifer Shaby at if you're able to help out. Thank you so much!

    Jury Volunteers Needed

    Sixth and eighth grade students will be making their jury portfolio presentations this spring and we are looking for community members to sit in on the presentations. Staff members act as assessors for the presentations; we have found that it enriches the presentation to have a second adult present to both listen and ask questions of the student presenter. It’s also a lot of fun and a terrific way to learn more about student work at IACS! We are looking for volunteers during the week of May 30th and June 5th that have one or more hours free during the school day to attend a presentation. Please sign up with the main office the next time you stop in or email to sign up for a time slot. Spread the word to grandparents, neighbors, etc. that you think might be interested!

    Save the Date- Events for 8th graders

    The 8th Grade Moving Up Assembly will be held in our school auditorium from 8:15-9:15 am on Monday, June 19th.  8th Grade Semi-Formal: Saturday, June 10th from 7:00- 10:00 PM.  Click here for more details.

    Sixth and Eighth Grade Jury Packets- Click here for more information

    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

    Presentation of Learning & Senior Projects

    Congratulations to everyone for a great Senior Project/POL week. The feedback on presentations from parents, students, teachers and administrators has been overwhelmingly positive. People were impressed with how prepared students were and with the professional manner in which they conducted their presentations. I was also impressed with how respectful student audience members were towards their peers during presentations and with the positive feedback students gave to the presenter. I’m sure it was an exhausting week for everyone, but it was another reminder for me of what a special community we have here at IACS. Well done!

    Virtual College Fair

    Reminder: The Math MCAS exam is Tuesday and Wednesday next week for all sophomores. Yeah! Please come to school well-rested and ready to go for this graduation requirement and important measure of student learning.

    NHS Inducts 25 New Members

    STEM Workshop for Girls in Grades 7-12

    Senior Project:  Crisis In Syria and Ways You Can Help

    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!!

    Photos of the Week

    Seniors Jeffrey Taylor & Spencer Royston hosted their final edition of “Lecture Hall Live” on Thursday. They had a great 3-year run hosting the event and they ended with an epic reenactment of a scene from  Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith. Thank you both for all of your efforts to entertain us over the years! Who will be the next students to take on the leadership of Lecture Hall Live and make sure this tradition continues???

    Dance Unlimited Choice Block group performs a great routine at the Lecture Hall Live finale.

    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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