The Hawk: November 13, 2015

January 1, 1970 12:00 am

“The Hawk”


Dear IACS Community,


Driving to work today I was thinking about a topic that would be most fitting for my community letter.  On Beacon Hill, there is spirited debate about the charter school expansion.  In Malden, Commissioner Chester has released his official recommendations for what kinds of standardized tests Massachusetts should use in the years to come.  While the future of IACS will be affected by both debates, seeing the following note -Martin Luther King Jr.’s “function of education”- stuck to my office door made those issues feel a bit less important:




To what did I owe this pleasure? Last night, while over 50 families attended our first High School Open House, members of our National Honor Society Executive Committee were secretly conducting their covert “Positive Post-It” campaign. Unique, inspirational quotes were posted to every high school locker as well as office doors.




This campaign celebrated “World Kindness Day” (yes, first I’ve heard of it too!) in which students were reminded that kindness “Pays Forward”.  While this new day of observance might not have the same clout in the U.S. as it does in other countries, it certainly aligns with a month in which we all try to slow down and give thanks.  On that note, I’d like to give thanks to Ellynmarie Theep (NHS Advisor),  and the NHS Executive Council (Rosie, Hannah, Maggie, Kaitlyn, Matt, and Maria) for organizing.  It’s a great systems thinking reminder that we all benefit from the kindness we extend to others.  


I’d also like to thank those people, be it famous leaders like MLK or families in our own community, who have championed the need to put critical thinking and character development at the center of education. Without that vision and conviction, schools like IACS wouldn’t exist.  So here’s to more kindness and the confidence that our students will continue to “pay it forward” for many years to come.




Greg Orpen

Head of School


All School News


Dates At a Glance:


November 16 – Board of Trustee Meeting 6:30 – 8:30 pm

November 18Early Release

November 19, 20, 21 – Footloose Production

November 20 – SAT Class registration and Payment Due

November 24 – High School Production Auditions 3:00 – 5:30pm

November 25Early Release – NO H/S Internship

November 26 & 27 – No School – Thanksgiving Break

December 1 – Innovation Morning for prospective H/S Students 8:30 – 9:30 am

December 3 – Financial Aid Night at Tyngsboro High School 6:30 – 8:00 pm

December 4 – Second Semester Choice Block begins

December 5 – SAT Exam 8:00 – 1:30

December 8 – Middle School Parent Advisory Council 7:15 am

December 9Early Release – No High School Internships

December 9 – Middle School Drama Workshop

December 10 – Innovation Morning for prospective M/S Students 8:30 – 9:30 am

December 10 – Quality Nigh Grades 6 & 8


Fall Festival Omission


Congrats also to “The Awesome Four” (Emily Matthews, Sonakshi Srivastava, Anita Gulia, Sophia Yurkus and parent, Alan Matthews) who participated in the Outcomes Challenge on October 31st.  Lastly, the following advisories also won a pizza lunch for having the highest participation in the Outcomes Challenge:  Caffery, Kapeckas, LaRoche, and Leach.  


Food Drive

Did you miss Friday's food drive drop? Don't fret! There's still time.

The National Honor Society and IACS Middle School launched a Thanksgiving nonperishable food drive which will run until November 20. In addition to NHS members collecting on Fridays at morning carpool, donation bins are located in the high school auditorium and Landberg Hall lobbies.  We hope you will support our efforts to fill the shelves at the Merrimack Valley Food Bank in Lowell.  Click here to see the list of donation needs.


 IACS School Nutrition Program:  

November Breakfast & Lunch Menu has been posted. Click HERE to place your order. For more information about the IACS breakfast & lunch visit IACS School Meals  or email


IACS Athletics News


Fall Sports Awards:  The Athletic Award Ceremonies for Fall are on the following dates:

Monday 11/23 – High School Awards Ceremony 6pm-8pm @ IACS

Tuesday 11/24 – Middle School Awards Ceremony 6pm-8pm @ IACS


IACS Drama News


Join us for the middle and high school production of the Broadway musical FOOTLOOSE! Details and ticket order forms can be found at the main office and here:


We are looking for adult volunteers to help with Footloose! If you think you could help in any of these areas: publicity, set creation, tech, refreshments, hair and makeup, house management, chaperoning rehearsals and backstage during productions, costuming, prop management, and just about anything else – please contact . Thank you!


Mark your Calendars!


Our Winter Middle School Acting Workshop is coming and will run on 1/2 Day Wednesdays. More information is coming here:


High School Winter Production Auditions will be on Tuesday, November 24, 3:00-5:30. All you need is an audition agreement form. These are available at the main office and


Middle School News


 Seventh and eighth graders enjoyed learning about how math and science are applied in Pixar films at the Museum of Science


Quality Night- coming in December!:


December 1st and 2nd mark our first Quality Night Prep Day in advance of Quality Night. Students will be selecting one of their projects to present at Quality Night. During Quality Night prep time, students will make any revisions, if necessary, prepare their presentation, and create a display. Students should come prepared with note cards, a trifold or poster board, and art supplies. In between Quality Night prep day and their scheduled Quality Night, students should practice their presentation at home. Families can help ensure readiness for this important event by listening to the presentation. Asking your child questions about how the work relates to the real-world and making connections to the four school outcomes as well as providing feedback about their presentation skills will help your child polish their presentation.


Guests are asked to review short student presentations of their work and are given the opportunity to provide feedback to students. Quality Nights give students the opportunity to share an example of their best work with the public. We believe that this is not only an experience for adults to learn about what we do at Innovation Academy, but an opportunity for students to learn very important public speaking and presentation skills.


Presenting at Quality Night is a promotion requirement. Fifth and seventh graders will present twice throughout the school year. Sixth and eighth graders will present in December and turn their focus

to preparing for their gateway jury presentation in the spring. Family participation at Quality Night is essential in providing students individualized feedback about their work. Please do not hesitate to invite other guests (grandparents, aunts/uncles, neighbors, etc.) that are interested in supporting your child and seeing some examples of the project-based work IACS students do. Mark your calendars:


6th & 8th grade Quality Night Thursday  12/10 ~ 6-7:15 pm

5th & 7th grade Quality Night Tuesday 12/15 ~ 6-7:15 pm  

Please remind your child to dress professionally. A suit or fancy dress is not necessary, but a nice shirt, slacks, and/or skirt  would all be good choices.


Quarter 1 Assessments: Quarter 1 closed last Friday. Quarter 1 Assessments (report cards) will be published to the x2 family portal by Monday, November 23rd. An email will be sent home to alert you when the document has been posted with instructions on how to view and/or print, if you like. Paper copies a will not be provided unless it is requested to the main office. This will help us save resources and provide the information in the timeliest way possible. Throughout the quarter, please set a weekly time to check x2 with your child to help monitor their academic progress and ensure they are staying up-to-date with assignments. If an account becomes disabled, please email the main office at .


For 8th graders Applying to Technical or Independent Schools

Please be aware that deadlines can be quite early. Please provide 2 weeks or more notice for letter of recommendations. Any requests for other documents (transcripts, attendance/conduct record, etc.) can be made to Charlene LaRoche, Dean of Students.


Middle School Technology & Robotics Club will meet on the following five Mondays: December 7th, 14th and January 4th, 11th and 25th. Students have a choice of activities, including the opportunity to build and program robots using Lego Mindstorms, including Artbotics robots, making art that responds to its environment using sensors and motors. Students may need to share a robot so sign up with a friend! Alternatively, students can try out Android App Inventor, which is on-line software for making android apps, and test them on android tablets. Club meets from 3:00-4:30 (Mondays) in room 241 of the high school. There is no cost for this club but space is limited. Please sign up by emailing Donna Harrington at


High School News


Click the blue link for the full text…


High School Robotics Club will be starting up after school on December 8th. This club will meet in room 241 on Tuesdays from 3-4:30 to start to prepare for participation in the Botball Robotics tournament which takes place in April. Students are welcome to come and try out robotics even if they aren't sure if they want to do Botball. To sign up, please email Donna Harrington at


  • IACS Rock Band Performs – Innovation students were treated to a special performance of Lecture Hall Live today. Lecture Hall Live, a creation that began last year by juniors Spencer Royston and Jeffrey Taylor, returned to the stage today. Innovations new rock band choice block, managed by music royalty's Mr. Sciolla, led off the show with a reggae rendition of OutKast's "Hey Ya!" Improv choice block also performed and we had a democratic candidate for president debate between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. The debate ended in a dance off which both candidates lost upon injuring themselves. A good time was had by all! Thank you to the members of the band that performed today: Hannah Goldthwait, Joseph Harrington, Nicholas Kaffine, Eric Knight, Anna Lamontagne, Cameron Merullo, Gabriella Silva, Cody West, Aria Zegdoun.

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  • From the College Counseling Office

  • Veterans Day
  • 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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