The Hawk: November 1, 2019

October 31, 2019 6:48 pm


Week ending November 1

Dear Families of IACS,

In my role as the High School Social Worker, I have been talking to many students and have been struck by some of the themes coming up in our conversations.

Please share this letter with your IACS student.

An Open Letter to IACS Students

My Dear Students,

I’ve had conversations with many of you and as a result, these thoughts have continued to surface for me. Here’s what I want you to know:

  1. YOU MATTER. I mean this wholeheartedly. You, as your own unique self, matter. You don’t need to earn straight As or get the lead role or get into your #1 college of choice or score the game-winning goal to matter. You matter as someone who will make mistakes (as we all do), who overcomes challenges and hardships, and is trying their hardest to figure it all out. Your worth and value as a person are not conditional. Whatever is going on in your life right now and however things are playing out in school, at home, at work, or in extracurriculars does not determine your worth. In this moment, right now, you are of value. You are more than enough, just as you are.

  2. When you are feeling stressed, stuck, or overwhelmed, just focus on doing the next right thing. You don’t need to think about next week, next month, or next year. But right now, this moment counts. Sometimes, the next right thing may be taking a shower or getting out of bed and getting yourself to school. It might be taking 30 seconds to think about the things you’re grateful for in your life. When we look at one choice, one moment at a time, things start to feel much more manageable and we gain momentum.

  3. Your mood is dramatically influenced by how & what you eat. There are these chemical messengers in our bodies called neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters influence whether we feel tense or relaxed, if we feel happy or sad, if we feel motivated or unmotivated. These chemical messengers are produced in direct response to what we eat. I want you to think about what you put into your body over the last 24 hours–did it contain a lot of sugar? Did you only eat one meal, or perhaps less? Did you eat a lot of processed foods (think things that come in a box or a package)? An easy first step is to reduce the amount of sugar and processed foods you are eating and replace them with whole foods, like fruits and vegetables.

  4. You are not your thoughts. Our thoughts are incredibly powerful messengers. They provide a set of instructions to our brain and our emotions and choices often follow. If you are a person who struggles to see the good in things and are consistently telling yourself, “Nothing is going to get better,” then it is very likely that statement will become your reality. If you often make declarative statements like, “This is how it has always been so this is how it will continue to be,” you are essentially prescribing your future. You are telling your brain that change and improvement and feeling better are not in the cards. Conversely, if you tell yourself that you believe in your own potential, that you can do hard things, and you are grateful for what is good in your life at this moment, you are creating the potential to start to feel better.

Remember, you are part of a community that cares about you and is here to support you.

With Peace, Love, & Gratitude,


High School Social Worker

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For up to date details, please use this link to the school calendar on our website.

Information about the Nutrition Program here & links to the online cafe payments.

All School News

Lost and Found:

Our Lost and Found bins are overflowing. Please encourage your child to check the bins. We’ll be cleaning them out and donating items to local charities after the Veterans’ Day weekend.

Pumpkin Waste: Every Halloween season, according to the U.S Department of Energy, close to 1.3 BILLION pounds of pumpkin are sent to landfills and emit greenhouse gasses. To prevent this effect and waste, do not throw away your pumpkins. Instead, compost your pumpkins! Or drop them off at Hawk Valley Farm in Lowell this Saturday, Nov 2nd! 3:30- 5pm 🙂

Middle School News

Congratulations Profe Ashley!

We are so proud to announce that Ashley Uyaguari has been named winner of the Massachusetts Foreign Language Teacher of the Year at the annual conference this past week. Here Ashley is pictured with last year’s recipient after accepting her award. Please congratulate Ashley when you see her!

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Community Service

All advisories participated in community service this week. Many groups were off-campus working at local homeless shelters, food pantries, spreading cheer at nursing homes, raking leaves for local seniors, and preparing the Tyngsborough Commons for the holidays. Other groups were on-campus preparing care packages for the military, creating cat toys for the Lowell MSPCA, or working in our own library. Please ask your child about their own experience. We’ll share some photos on our website and in the Hawk in the coming weeks.

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Happy Halloween from the Toy Story Crew otherwise known as the 7th/8th grade team!

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Trunk or Treat Fun!

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Ms. Baerg turned her chemistry lab into a Halloween potions fest complete with decorations and Halloween tunes.

High School News

John and Abigail Adams Scholarship Recipients 2020

This year 34 seniors, representing 39% of the Class of 2020, at Innovation Academy Charter School (IACS) earned the John and Abigail Adams scholarship. This award marks high achievement on the Math, English Language Arts, and Biology MCAS exams. To qualify for this scholarship, students have to earn Advanced on either the Math or English exam and Proficient or Advanced on the other two. Their combined score for these three exams must be in the top 25% of their class at IACS, or in the top 25% of their home district. Recipients of this four-year scholarship are granted a tuition credit each year. The amount will depend on the specific state college or university a student attends, but at UMass it is currently equivalent to $1575 per year. This year’s recipients are: Kavya Adabala, Jacob Babcock, Amy Clements, Tess Colella, Parker Digiovanni, Declan Donahue, Sam Emery, Joshua Fastert, Morgan Frazier, Hannah George, Ethan Gierke, Isabella Green, Anita Gulia, Eli Henry, James Kaldi, Michael Kelsey, Kaitlyn Koutsoufis, Isaiah Krehbiel, Riley Lennon, Grace Madonna, Emily Matthews, Bridget McAndrews, Meridith McCauley, Cassie McKiel, Jaden Ndouop, Yaw Obeng, Colin O’Neill, Madison Pinette, Gabrielle Renaud, Isabela Schmalz, Sonakshi Srivastava, My My Tran, Alexis Vitorino, Teshi Waruingi. Congratulations to all for earning this recognition.

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Endersession Information Sessions

  1. Ireland – Ms. Theep is planning an Endersession trip to Ireland. An informational meeting will be held on Thursday, November 7th, at 3:15p in Room 145, for students and parents.

  2. Greece – Does an Endersession in Greece sound interesting? Check out the itinerary and come hear all about this amazing Endersession with Around the World Travel November 4th 5:30 pm in Room 153! Or email Mrs. Talbot at or Mr. Grip if you cannot make the meeting but would like more information!

  3. Dominican Republice – Service (and fun!) in the Dominican Republic! A reminder that the DR info session with IACS alumni will be held during first lunch on Tuesday, November 26. Come see your favorite alums during their Thanksgiving break, Skype in with the program director in the DR, and learn more about this special service work program!

CONGRATULATIONSto the representatives of the IACS Slam Poetry Team on their WIN on Friday evening! It was a tight race with a fantastic competitor (a combined team from Billerica/Lowell) but IACS pulled out the win (by a mere .7 of a point!)

Monica Namulondo, Nickeyla Samuel, and Rhoda Kaddu performed five original poems and made us all proud.

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Farm to School Update: Today 14 students from Ms. Schrader’s 5th grade science classes visited Ms. Cynar’s Sustainable Food System course to teach them about composting. High school students shared that they learned about four different ways to compost, the ratio of brown and green components needed for successful composting, and that banana slugs can be used for composting! Ms. Cynar’s class will be using what they learned in their upcoming soil health and food waste units. Later in the semester the food system students will be conducting food waste audits at our school and will share their data with the 5th graders. Earlier in the week Food System Honors students visited Ms. Schrader’s and Ms. Patterson’s classes to set up vermiculture (worm) bins. These collaborations are part of our school’s Farm to School initiatives.

Coast Sweep Volunteer Opportunity!

The National Honor Society has a volunteer opportunity for anyone interested in joining – The North Shore Public Coast Sweep at Salem South River & Neighboring Parks Sunday, November 3rd from 10am – 12pm! Kids are also welcome to come and help out! Please email if you’re interested.

Student Government

Save the Date: Chipotle Dining For a Cause Fundraiser Dec 4th

Multicultural Potluck (Volunteers to Bring a Dish Needed!):

Student Government will be hosting a Multicultural Potluck at Exhibition Night on January 9th, 2020. The goal of this event to bring the community together in a fun and delicious way! We are looking for volunteers to bring a dish to share. If you are interested in bringing a dish, please fill out the attached form by December 10th!

Donations for Winter Semi-Formal 2020!

This year’s Winter Semi-Formal is on January 24, 2020! The theme this year is going to be Rose Gold! Student Government is looking for some donations, we have a list below for some materials that we need. Please email if you are interested in donating. We appreciate all the help we could get!

  • Smores Ingredients – Marshmallows, Gram crackers, Hershey chocolate

  • Metal smores skewers/sticks

  • Any Rose Gold, Pink or White Decorations

  • Single Serve Hot Chocolate mix

  • Lemonade/Fruit Punch Mix

  • Candies & Chocolates ~ no nuts, please!

  • White String Lights

  • Plastic utensils

  • Paper Napkins

  • Finger Foods

  • Desserts ~ No nuts, please

  • White Tablecloths ~ Rectangle

  • Any Snacks ~ No nuts, please!

  • Plastic Cups

  • Wire Command Hooks
  • Halloween Costume Winners:

    Drama News

    Tickets are on sale for our productions of BRING IT ON and So You Want to Be A Cheerleader!

    Please get all your tickets here:

    For ticket purchase instructions and a great synopsis of these great shows by clicking here.

    Performances are November 14 and 15 at 7pm and November 16 at 2pm and 7pm. Keep an eye on!

    Email IACS Drama if you have questions! We are so excited to fill this auditorium!!!

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    Les Miserables!

    High School and Middle School: Mark Your Calendars for auditions for the enthralling musical LES MISERABLES! Auditions will take place on November 21 – 3:00-5:00. Join us for the fun and excitement!


    IACS Coach on Chopped!

    IACS coach Jeffrey Salazar will be featured in an episode of the Food Network show Chopped this week! Along with coaching our middle school girls junior varsity basketball team, Jeffrey is the executive chef at Parsnip Restaurant & Lounge in Cambridge. His episode will air this Tuesday 11/5 at 9 pm. Be sure to tune in!

    MS Winter Sports Registration Deadline Extended!

    The MS winter sports registration deadline has been extended until Tuesday, November 5th. We welcome athletes of all skill levels and abilities and do not cut at the middle school level. We also encourage athletes to try multiple extracurriculars, and most teams allow for a degree of flexibility. Please find the MS winter registration packet here. We are offering the following sports to MS students this winter: basketball, cheerleading, archery, and indoor track & field. Information about teams offered, schedules, coaches, and instructions to register can all be found in the registration packet.

    Email the Athletic Department at with any questions or concerns.

    Gratitude Corner

    IACS is grateful to everyone who made the Pumpkin Run a success!

    We are especially thankful to all the volunteers who did everything from organizing the Trunk or Treat cars, to baking, cooking or serving food, the facilities department for helping with setup and clean up, those who helped with registration, and ALL the NHS volunteers who did a little bit of everything to help. A super shout out to Vera Crane for capturing some of the fun moments and sharing them with all of us, click this link to see them on our facebook page or here to see them on Vera’s website

    The Cash Calendar payouts begin today!

    Watch social media (Twitter: @iacharterschool, Facebook: @IACStyngsborough and Instagram: IACSofficial) to see who won each day and what the Surprise Prize is on Saturdays.

    Winners will be notified by phone or email as well. Good Luck!

    Here’s a video of our first drawing!

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    IACA News

    Please join us for the IACA Meeting coming up on 11/13.

    Thank you to all of the wonderful volunteers who made the Fall dances a big success!