The Hawk: May 20, 2016

May 20, 2016 8:00 am

“The Hawk”

Dear IACS Community,


In this month’s letter, Donna Harrington, one of our high school Wellness teachers, shares her thoughts about the benefits of yoga practice with high school students. Her teaching philosophy highlights how IACS Wellness classes go beyond the realm of physical health, encouraging young adults to become ambassadors of the own health.   


Be well.


Gayle Nutile-Pimm

Director of Health and Wellness


I often tell my students the following story:


A lecturer, when explaining stress management to her class, raised a glass of water and asked, “How heavy is this glass of water?” Students called out, guessing the weight.  The lecturer replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long you try to hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it’s not very heavy. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll start to feel pain. If I hold it for a day, you’ll have to call an ambulance.”  My point in telling them this is that I consider one of the goals of my class to be a chance for their brains to “put down the glass of water.”


One way my health and wellness class can help students relax their brains this is with yoga.  I regularly offer yoga to my high school wellness students and also to middle school advisories. We practice basic elements of yoga such as postures, breathing, and relaxation techniques. I also add one more element: fun music. I rarely meet a student who doesn’t welcome and fully participate in deep relaxation techniques, and I think it’s because students are craving a chance to “put down the glass of water.”


We also learn to put down the water in other ways such as team play and time in nature. As Stuart Brown, author of the book Play, says: “Play is critical not only to being happy, but also to sustaining social relationships and being a creative, innovative person.”  Students have shown that taking a walks through natural settings increases performance on memory and attention tests, so we take advantage of our 200 acres as often as possible. I love to see students put down their phones and worries and hike in the woods, looking relaxed and happy, and believe that when they return to their other classes they’ll be more successful.



Donna Harrington

HS Wellness Teacher


All School News


Dates At a Glance:


May 21 Board of Trustees Retreat

            8th Grade Semi Formal 7:00 pm

May 23 H/S Presentation of Learning

May 24 H/S Presentation of Learning

     M/S parent Advisory Council 7:45 am

May 25 Full Day Wednesday

     H/S Presentation of Learning

     H/S Orientation Meeting 5:00 pm

May 26 H/S Presentation of Learning

     H/S Orientation Meeting 3:30 pm

May 27  Early Release Friday

          H/S Promenade 6:00 pm

     H/S Prom 7:00 pm

May 30 No School- Memorial Day

May 31 6th & 8th Grade Jury presentations

    High School Orientation 5:00 pm

    Spring Concert     6:00 pm

June 1  HS MCAS Science Testing

    Early Release

    Middle School (grades 5 – 7) Auditions for fall show 12:30 – 2:30

June 2    HS MCAS Science Testing

    6th & 8th Grade Jury presentations

    Admissions Lottery 4:00 pm

June 3    MS Art Show 7:00 -9:00 pm

June 4    SAT Exam 8:00 – 1:30pm

June 6 – 10 HS Endersession Week

June 6  6th & 8th Grade Jury presentations

IACA Meeting 7:00 – 8:30pm

Middle School Band and Chorus Concert 7:00 – 8:00 pm

June 8 Early Release

June 9 6th & 8th Grade Jury presentations

          Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast 8:15- 9:15 am

June 11 HS Graduation 10:00 am  – 12:00

           Rain Date for HS Outdoor Movie Night 8:00 – 10:00 pm

June 15 Board of Trustee Meeting 6:30 – 8:30 pm

          Grade 8 Moving Up Ceremony 8:15-9:15 am

    Early Release

June 16 Last Day of School, End of Year BBQ


Family Survey Update:  On Tuesday afternoon, we emailed our 2016 Family Survey to all families.  As of Friday afternoon we have received 140 responses.  While this is a great start, we want the strongest participation possible.  Also, all families who take the survey by next Friday, May 27th can enter a raffle to win a free Chromebook.   


The survey should take about 15-20 minutes of your time and is extremely helpful for our continued growth.  Thanks in advance for your support.


IACS Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast June 9th:  Please join IACS Head of School, Greg Orpen on Thursday, June 9th from 8:15-9:15 in the IACS Cafe for our annual IACS Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast.  Kindly, RSVP to by May 23rd.


Library Updates

Please click here:  to see what's going on in the Library!



5K Raffle Reminder! Help IACS achieve our goal of installing water filling stations in our buildings.  The most efficient method to purchase tickets is to go online at:

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All of these events happen in August, so we need to start planning as soon as possible. Please click here for our volunteer sign-up.


   2016 IACS Student and Staff Year-End BBQ


    Thursday June 16th

Dismissal will be at 1:00 p.m.


It’s time to celebrate the last day of school with the IACS Staff & Student Year-End BBQ.

(Due to planning considerations, we are not able to accommodate family members)


To make this a success, your help is needed!


      Set-up Crew:                8:30 a.m.

        Cooks:                                 8:30 a.m.

        Servers:                      9:00-12:30 p.m.

        Kitchen clean-up crew: 10:30 a.m. (2 people – 1 with IACS kitchen experience)

        Clean-up Crew:             10:30 a.m.       

Items to be provided by the IACA:


        Hot Dogs

        Boca/Veggie Patties



Items needed for donation (please have to school by 8:30 a.m. on the 18th)

      Salads (pasta, potato, garden and fruit)

        Rolls (hamburger and hotdog ~ by the dozen)

        Desserts (NUT-FREE cookies or brownies ~ by the dozen)

        Sliced Watermelon

        Chips (family size bags of 40% reduced fat Cape Cod brand)

        Condiments (Ketchup, Mustard and Relish)

        Paper plates


To volunteer or donate – please visit the most current list of needs at (case sensitive) then kindly respond to

Kerry Wellenstein at


Drama News:


Drama News!

Congratulations to all five casts and the crew of The Night of Comedy Production last weekend! Special thanks to all of the amazing volunteers who made the show possible!

Extra special congratulations to all of the directors who worked so hard on a terrific show!



MAY 24, 3:00-5:30: CURRENT GRADES 8-11

JUNE 1, 12:30-2:30: CURRENT GRADES 5-7

No preparation or experience is needed, but you do need a signed audition agreement form available at the main office and at



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 & Songs from Hamilton


July 25-29: Drama Camp!

With a Middle School Performance of Treasure Island and

a High School Performance of Sherlock Holmes


Forms available at the main office and at


Middle School News:


Middle School Art Show

Our annual Middle School Art Show is on Friday, June 3 from 7 – 9 pm.  This year we are excited to display paintings, drawings and prints by the ⅚ students, stop-motion animated movies created by 7th graders, and garments created from recycled materials by the 8th graders. In order to prepare for this event, your help is crucial!  Volunteers can assist in a variety of ways, both on the day of the show and the weeks prior. Here are some ways you can help:

* Editing artist statements (can be done anytime between 5/16 – 5/27 via Google Docs)

* Mounting student artwork (at school)

 Thursday 5/19 3:00 – 4:30

 Monday 5/23Thursday 5/26 3:00 – 4:30

 Tuesday 5/31 3:00 – 4:30

 Thursday 6/2 3:00 – 4:30

* Setting up on 6/3

 Anytime between 10:00 am – 7:00 pm

* Breaking down after the show on 6/3

 9:00 pm


If you’re able to help out, please email

Please consider lending a hand – with over 400 students in the middle school, there is much

need for your support!  Even if you’re not able to help out, the art show is always a fun and well-attended event, and we hope to see you on June 3!


Jury Volunteers Needed


Sixth and eighth grade gateway jury presentations are soon upon us! Sixth grade juries participate in a 20 minute jury presentation. Eighth graders participate in a 30 minute jury presentation. Students share pieces of work and provide evidence of why they believe they are ready to be promoted to the next grade. Successful completion of a jury presentation is a promotion requirement for sixth and eighth graders. Student juries are assessed by an IACS faculty member.  A younger peer also attends to learn about the process and provide additional support. We will need many community members to volunteer as a member of a jury panel. Contact: Michelle & Pat in the main office at


Juries will occur during the school day on the afternoons of 5/31, 6/3, 6/6, and 6/9. If you can volunteer for 30 minutes or more on any of these days, we would love to have your participation. Please spread the word to grandparents, prospective families, or other community members as this is also a wonderful way to learn more about our middle school program.


Click the blue links for more information:

For 8th grade Students & Families- Moving Up Ceremony


Sign Up for Garden Club


MS Yearbook- Orders and 8th grade personal pages


Sixth and Eighth Grade Jury Presentations


High School News


Click the blue link for the full text…


Presentations of Learning & Senior Project Presentations Begin!


Outdoor Movie Night this Friday 5/20!


Thank you to our Internship Partners!


STEM Event for Girls at UMASS Lowell 5/21

Prom Committee Looking for Parent Volunteers

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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