The Hawk: November 17, 2017

November 16, 2017 6:48 pm


IACS Newsletter for the week ending November 17, 2017

Dear IACS Community,

Last weekend we held our 2-day strategic planning conference titled: IACS 2025. The event brought together students, staff, parents, board members, alumni, and community members to engage in deep conversations that not only celebrated our past and present, but also co-created a vision for our future. Over the course of the conference several themes emerged as priorities for the school. Among the broad themes we saw in our future were:

  • Students and staff supported to be even more inspired as lifelong learners and critical thinkers.

  • A school community that becomes increasingly diverse and honors that diversity in our teaching and learning.

  • A highly engaged community where parents, students, faculty and alumni stay actively involved in the evolution of the school.

  • A campus that expands facilities to support academic and extracurricular programs.

  • A commitment to “green” initiatives, ranging from the systems in our building to use of our land.

  • Increasing the capacity to raise funds to support initiatives in our school.

  • In the coming months, drafts of our strategic plan will outline specific objectives and timelines. Being successful will certainly require the efforts of the entire community. I’ve made a personal pledge to be more direct in asking for help, so thank you in advance for your support!

    In partnership,

    Greg Orpen

    Head of School

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    Important Dates

    November 17 IACS Production of “School of Rock” 7:00 – 9:30 pm

    November 18 IACS Production of “School of Rock” 2:00 pm & 7:00 pm

    November 20 Middle School Fall Athletics Awards Night 6:00 – 8:00 pm

    IACS Board of Trustee Meeting 6:30 – 9:00 pm

    November 21 High School Fall Athletics Awards Night 6:00 – 8:00 pm

    November 22 Early Release Wednesday

    November 23 No School Thanksgiving

    November 24 No School Thanksgiving Recess

    November 27 IACA Book Fair

    November 28 IACA Book Fair

    November 29 IACA Book Fair

    Early Release Wednesday

    November 30 IACA Book Fair

    Middle School Parent Advisory Council Meeting 7:45- 8:30 am

    Middle & High School Auditions for “Gilligan’s Island, the Musical” 3:00 – 5:30pm

    December 1 IACA Book Fair

    All School News

    Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving back.

    On the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, you’ll have the chance to join people around the world and support a cause close to your heart.


    Emma’s Giving Tree

    During Emma’s junior year of at IACS in 2016 she worked through her internship at the Thom Anne Sullivan Center to create a present drive to help the families connected to this organization. Thom Anne Sullivan Center is located in Lowell. It is an non-profit, early intervention center for infants, toddlers and their families. Not only is it an organization for children and families with early development issues, but there is a lot of community outreach done here to Lowell and the surrounding communities. This holiday season, a mitten tree fundraiser will be running from Monday, November 27th to Thursday, December 21st to help donate gifts and living essentials to those in need. The gifts will be donated to local families with infants all the way through teens.

    How it works! The mitten tree along with the donation box can be found in the cafeteria.

  • Take a mitten from the tree!
  • The mitten will contain the gender of the child, the age, and the gifts that are suggested
  • Purchase one of the gifts listed on the mitten or an appropriate gift for the age group on your mitten.
  • Bring the gift back by Thursday, December 21st and drop it in the bin located next to the tree in the cafeteria. You do not need to bring your mitten back.
  • If you would like to donate without taking a mitten, gloves, hats, diapers, infant pajamas and winter-wear is greatly appreciated. Once again, make sure it is all NEWLY PURCHASED AND UNWRAPPED. Bring your gift to the bin in the cafeteria as you would if you were giving a mitten gift.

    Note: Please try your best to fulfill your commitment to bringing this gift to donate once a mitten is taken. If you CANNOT bring in the gift after a mitten is taken, please put the mitten back on the tree or contact me so I can make a new one.

    Thank you so much for your participation, Let’s make it even better than last year!

    If you have any questions contact Emma Chaitin at or Kyle Thornton at

    The IACS Health Office is looking for an RN to join their team as a per diem school nurse. The per diem nurse would join two other RN’s in providing daily health assessment and treatment to our student body of 800 students, grade 5-12. In addition to direct care, you may be asked to participate in vision and hearing screenings and or to help with data entry and state reports.

    Orientation to health office policy/ procedures and protocol will be provided. Pediatric experience is preferred, but not necessary. Interested candidates should send their resume to Gayle Nutile-Pimm at . Please feel free to email or call Gayle with any additional questions concerning the position at 978-649-0432, ext. 2104.

    Looking for a spot on the Christianson Bus? There is space for one more student on Bus #1, which makes stops at Route 129 Plaza (at 258 Salem St, in Billerica) and the Stadium Plaza (Rt 38 on the Lowell /Tewksbury line). If you are interested, please contact Transportation Manager, Marybeth Bush:

    IACS School Nutrition Program:The November Breakfast and Lunch Menu is posted here. This month’s menu features Thanksgiving Turkey Sandwich, Chicken Fajita, Steak & Cheese Sub, homemade soup and much more. Monday’s are meatless and we offer gluten-free and vegetarian options daily. To better serve IACS families, an innovative point of sale (POS) system, specifically designed for school nutrition programs, is available to all families. To create an account or to add funds to an existing account go to our website: IACS School Nutrition Program. We also accept cash and checks at the register as well. Contact Karen Drake if have any questions about the School Nutrition Program.

    Theatre News

    School of Rock – Thurs 16th, Fri 17th , Sat 18th

    Our kids have been working hard to put on an AMAZING show! Don’t have tickets? It’s not too late- tickets are on sale for $22 at the door. See you there!

    Like us on Facebook! Did you know that we have a theater Facebook page? Find us at Innovation Academy Performing Arts to see news, photos and videos of our IACS "rock stars!"

    Next up: Gilligan’s Island- The Musical!

    Calling all CAST-aways! Our winter production is Gilligan’s Island- The Musical! Don’t know who Gilligan is? Just ask your parents!

    Seriously, though- you don’t have to know anything about the popular TV show to have a blast with friends and family in our winter musical!

    Middle and High school students are invited to audition on Thursday, November 30th from 3:00pm-5:30pm. If middle school students cannot stay for the entire audition time it’s ok! All you need is a signed agreement form. No experience necessary- just come and prepare to have fun!

    The Middle School cast will have rehearsals on Wednesday half days, 12:30-3:00. Half the time will be spent in Drama Workshop with fun games and activities, and the other half will be spent in rehearsal! Students may also choose to spend the entire time in Drama Workshop by simply emailing rhawthorne@innovationcharter. org.

    Athletics News

    Athletics wants to remind all fall athletes that our two fall awards nights are next week.

    Middle school awards are on Monday 11/20 at 6 pm. High school awards are on Tuesday 11/21 at 6 pm. Both ceremonies will be in the IACS auditorium.

    Middle School News


    School photos are in and will be distributed by your child’s advisor. Re-take day is on Monday, 12/4.

    Middle School Yearbook Announcements

    1. There has been a delay in the completion of the 8-page 2016-2017 Supplement. It will be delivered to those who ordered a 2016-2017 yearbook later in the year.

    2. The Middle School Yearbook Committee will be starting up after the production of School of Rock is over. Therefore, our first meeting will take place after Thanksgiving break, in room 408 from 3:00 AM – 4:00 PM. Permission slips are available by the Main Office.

    Staff Celebrations:

    Kudos to middle school staff members that have been sharing best practices at area conferences!

    Ashley Uyaguari is in Nashville, TN at the American Council of Teachers of Foreign Language National Conference presenting on “Movement in the Classroom” and “Feedback Practices”. She recently presented at the Massachusetts Association of Foreign Language Teachers conferences on “Team Challenges in the Target Language”.

    Sara Krakauer recently presented “Budding Activists in the the Classroom” at the Teachers for Global Classrooms Alumni Leadership Conference in Washington, DC.

    Quality Night- coming in December:

    Please be certain to mark your calendars. All middle school students are required to present at Quality Night.

    Fifth and Sixth Grade Quality Night ~ Thursday, 12/14 6-7:15 pm

    Seventh and Eighth Grade~ Tuesday, 12/19 6-7:15 pm

    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 in order to give staff adequate time. Any requests for other documents (transcripts, attendance/conduct record, etc.) can be made to Federico Pererya, Dean of Students.

    Upcoming 7th & 8th grade Advisory Field Trip:

    7th & 8th Grade Advisories are headed to Boda Borg in Boston! Please be sure to send permission slips to advisors, with $33 and complete the online waiver. Problem Solving Team is going on December 7th, and the Self Direction Team is going on December 8th.

    Links: ​

    Boda Borg Permission Slip- Problem Solving.doc​​

    Boda Borg Permission Slip- Self Direction.doc


    After School Art Winter Session

    Tuesday or Thursday from 3:00 – 4:30

    Starts Tuesday, November 28 or Thursday, November 30.

    This 8 week open studio session is designed to give students access to a wide variety of materials and tools in the art room in order to create work of their choosing. Available media include drawing, painting, printmaking, mixed-media sculpture, collage, book making, paper mache, stop motion animation and more! There is a $60 fee for this program. Please fill out the registration form and submit payment by Friday, November 17. You can now submit your payment online!

    Questions about the program or to inquire about a scholarship, please email

    Recruiting Parent Volunteers for Extracurriculars

    We are looking to recruit parent volunteers to act as a team manager for Destination Imagination as well as a parent to run a Chess Club or Board Game club after school. If you are interested in either of these, please contact MS Principal, Melissa Kapeckas.

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    High School News

    The next couple months are going to be busy for our students with a lot of great activities, and here is a list of some of those events…

    11/16-11/18 School of Rock Musical Performances

    11/21 Garage Band/Instrumental Ensemble Concert during Advisory

    11/22 Grades close for 2nd round of Progress Reports

    11/28 Progress Reports shared with students and families

    12/1 Winter Choice Blocks Begin

    12/4 Sexual Harassment Assembly during Advisory (follow-up in Advisory on 12/5 & 12/7)

    12/15 Chorus/Chorale Concert during Advisory

    12/19 Endersession Packets shared with students and families

    12/19 Winter Exhibition Night 6:00-8:40pm

    12/21 Lecture Hall Live during Advisory

    2018 Summer Opportunities Fair for Students

    Sunday, January 21, 2018 – Noon to 3 PM. PHILLIPS ACADEMY ANDOVER — SMITH CENTER. Programs for Middle & High School Students. FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

    STUDENT HEALTH 101 – our Online Wellness Magazine

    The November issue of Student Health 101 is here! From in-the-moment mindfulness tricks, real facts about vaping, or useful tips for getting your priorities straight, Student Health 101 has something for everyone. If you’re looking for even more ways to access this wonderful tool download the Student Health 101 app, and take a look at the official IACS SH101 Twitter page! Just search @SH101atIACS within the Twitter app, tap that follow button, and be sure to turn on those post notifications to receive alerts about future articles!

    For parents, there is a Student Health 101 experience designed specifically for you at .


    Don’t forget to order your high school yearbook! Extra order forms are available outside of Ms. Kelly’s office. Order forms should be turned in at the main office. Orders can also be placed online at The early bird deadline to purchase a yearbook for $30 is December 22. After December 22, the price will go up from to $35.

    Families of Seniors: Please make sure to submit senior portraits, baby photos, and parent pages to by January 5, 2018.

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    IACA News

    WINTER IS COMING! And so is the IACA Scholastic Book Fair!!!

    The Book Fair is coming, and IACA needs your help!!! We need 2 volunteers from 10:30am to 12:30pm on the following days: 11/27, 11/28 and 11/30.

    (We have already filled the volunteer need for 12/1!)

    Rachel Henry and Laurel Richmanhave blessed us with their coordination of this event for well over 5 years at this point. It is time to pass the torch to a willing volunteer. If you are interested in shadowing (you’d need to contact them to know exactly what that entails), please do so.

    If you are able to help during the book fair, or are ready to step up and help keep the book fair running next year, please contact Laurel and Rachel at

    Since we know many of you like to volunteer when your child’s advisory is attending, here is the schedule:

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    IACA Quality Night Store

    IACA needs volunteers to staff the Quality Night store – a convenience offered for those students who don’t get a chance to get out and buy their quality night supplies. We are looking for people to staff 2 hour shifts on the days listed below, Please contact Angela Caputo Griswold at if you are able to help out.

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    MONDAYS are BROTHER’S PIZZA DAYS: Ordering lunch out on a Monday? Call Brother’s Pizza next door to Innovation Academy! They’ll donate 9% of your order back to the school. Be sure to mention Innovation Academy when you place your order. Dine in or dine out orders apply. MONDAY IS COMING!!!

    DINING FOR A CAUSE – Tuesday December 12: Come to the 99’s in Tewksbury for our next Dining for a Cause event! Catch up with your friends and re-connect with your family during the crazy holiday season. We’ll have another great raffle prize to offer, too! Congratulations to Lea Gonsalo who won our delicious fall basket at Owen and Ollie’s!