The Hawk: November 22, 2019

November 21, 2019 6:48 pm


Week ending November 22

Dear IACS community:

We’re so proud to share that Middle School Spanish Teacher Ashley Uyaguari (or Profe to her students) was recently recognized as the 2019 Massachusetts Foreign Language Teacher of the Year.

Ashley has embarked on a journey to put students at the center of learning and inspired the department to join her in a unique approach to learning language. Ashley led the Spanish department in adopting an immersion, proficiency-based approach. Ashley helps students participate from the very first day of Spanish class with lots of games, near constant physical activity and team-building exercises. It is hard to put into words just how joyful learning is in Spanish class. Students are encouraged to speak as often as possible and errors are embraced as a natural part of learning a language. This results in amazing gains for students in terms of their language production as well as their confidence to communicate with others.

Ashley is also a leader in the world language community. She has made presentations each year since 2015 at the ACTFL (American Council of Teachers of Foreign Language) national convention. She has hosted many teacher visitors in her classroom and has traveled as far away as Hong Kong to work with language teachers. Ashley’s “Inspired Proficiency” podcast is in its fourth season with 42 episodes and 77,000 downloads. Ashley is the consummate cheerleader for others, encouraging other teachers both at IACS and around the world to try new things and stretch themselves in the classroom.

Profe Ashley MAFLA Teacher Of The Year

Students congratulated Ashley at this week’s community meeting by sharing the video above and unveiling a new banner hanging out in front of our school. Congratulations to Ashley on this well-deserved recognition!


Melissa Kapeckas

Middle School Principal

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

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

All School News

Emma Chaitin is an IACS alumnus and during her internship at the Thom Anne Sullivan Center, she worked to create a present drive to help the families connected to this organization. Thom Anne Sullivan Center is a non-profit, early intervention center for infants, toddlers and their families. This holiday season, the Giving Tree fundraiser will be running from November 18th to December 13th to donate gifts and living essentials to those in need. Gifts will be donated to local families with infants up to teens. However, household items are welcome for parents and guardians.

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

  1. Take a mitten or snowman from the tree! The mitten/snowman will contain the gender of the child, the age, and the gifts that are suggested.

  2. Purchase one of the gifts listed on the mitten/snowman or an appropriate gift for the age group on your mitten/snowman. GIFTS MUST BE NEWLY PURCHASED. PLEASE LEAVE ALL GIFTS UNWRAPPED.
  3. Bring the gift back by the date of Friday, December 13th and drop it in the bin located next to the tree in the cafeteria. You do not need to bring your mitten or snowman back.

If you would like to donate without taking a mitten/snowman, 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.

If you have any questions contact Thank you !

Farm to School Fundraiser!

Do you like to garden? Do you know anyone who would appreciate a gift of flower and vegetable seeds? Support our Farm to School Program by purchasing individual seed packets and seed gift boxes from High Mowing Organic Seeds in Vermont. 50% of each purchase will help fund farm and food based activities in advisory and classes as well as school garden and greenhouse supplies.

Please contact Ms. Cynar ( for more details and to purchase seeds. The full list of seeds can be found here. The fundraiser starts Monday Nov. 18th. Orders and payment (cash or checks written out to Innovation Academy Charter School) are due by first period on Friday Dec. 6th. Help us get growing!

Middle School News

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The Middle School Chorus was all smiles this week as they practice for their Winter Concert on Wednesday, December 11th at 6:00 pm with the Middle School Band!

School Pictures

School pictures were distributed by advisors today. Picture Retake day is Wednesday, December 4th. Families should keep the class picture provided in the original package. However, the individual prints should be returned if you are choosing to have the photograph retaken. All students that were absent on Picture Day should have their photos taken on 12/4.

Recyclables Needed

Middle School Art needs your recyclables! We’re in need of the following materials for upcoming projects: newspapers, cereal boxes, paper bags, plastic bags (both shopping bags and dry cleaning bags) and old plugs and cords. Thank you so much!

After School Program

The After School Program will not be available on Wednesday, November 27th before the Thanksgiving Break, Wednesday, December 18th or on Friday, December 20th, the day before the December break. Please make alternative arrangements for your child on these dates. Thank you! Please email Katy Angelone with any questions at"

Progress Report # 2

The 2nd Progress Report of Semester 1 will be released early next week. Progress reports will be available on your Aspen Family Portal. Not sure of your login/password? Contact Katie Hoyer, or 978-649-0432 x2142.

After School Art – Winter Session

8-week Winter Session registration is open!

Offered on Mondays or Thursdays from 3:00 – 4:30, the after school art program allows students access to a wide variety of materials and tools in the art room in order to create work of their choosing. The fee for the session is $60 and can be paid online.

The session begins Monday, January 6 and runs through Thursday, March 5. Please submit payment of $60 by Friday, December 20 to be registered. Email with questions or to inquire about scholarships.

To register, please follow this link: Art After School Payment Form

Yearbook Cover Competition Is On!

Calling all middle school artists! The yearbook cover competition is on! See more details here. Entries are due Friday, 12/16.

Save the Date- Quality Night

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:

  • Quality Night for seventh and eighth graders is Thursday, December 12 6-7:15 pm.

  • Quality Night for fifth and sixth graders is Tuesday, December 17 6-7:15 pm.

  • Note: Quality Night prep time will be during the school day on December 3 and 5. Students will need index cards. Most students in grades 5-7 will need a poster board or trifold board to create a visual display. For students in grade 8, we encourage them to create their visual on Google slides instead of on a poster. For families’ convenience, IACA will host a store during Quality Night prep in the library for students to pick up supplies. Here is the flyer with prices.

    Middle School Photo of the Week

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    High School News

    Please come and support your school community by purchasing food at Chipotle located at Drum Hill in Chelmsford on Wednesday, December 4th between 5:00 and 9:00 PM. The proceeds will benefit the high school students of IACS for an end of year celebration.

    Progress Report # 2

    The 2nd Progress Report of Semester 1 will be released early next week. Progress reports will be available on your Aspen Family Portal. Not sure of your login/password? Contact Crystal McKiel, or 978-649-0432 x2004.

    Save the Date – Thursday, Jan 9th!

    Exhibition Night will be held on Thursday, January 9th. Join us as the school is transformed into a gallery of student exhibits and presentations. All students will be contributing at least one piece. This is a great way to see the project-based work that our students create during the school year. Come celebrate our students’ achievements.

  • Come early for a multicultural potluck in the cafe from 5-6pm. Sign up to bring a dish!

  • Exhibits & Presentations begin at 6pm.

  • The Combined Choral & Chorale will give us a quick preview of their upcoming winter concert.

  • Picture Re-takes

    All students that sat for picture re-takes received their photos or proof this week. Students can purchase a student ID for $5 from Ms. MacKinnon in room 230.

    Peer Leadership Program

    A representative from the ADL visited IACS yesterday to inform the students about our new Peer Leader Program, known as “A World of Difference”. It was a great presentation and the students were an excellent audience. An application form to be a peer leader was emailed to all sophomores and juniors. Students that are selected for the program will participate in 3-days of training to help prepare them for this new role. Thank you to English teacher Lise Brody for advising the new program at IACS.

    Notes from the College Counseling Office

    Shortly after the Thanksgiving break, sophomores and juniors will receive their PSAT results, so students should be checking their email! At the start of the second semester, our college counselor will soon begin working with the junior class as they prepare to think about transitioning from IACS. College-bound students should study for either the SAT or ACT (usually, the spring of junior year is the first time to test). Here is a guide to SAT/ACT Prep Options!

    More volunteers needed for Multicultural Night!

    We are looking for more people to bring in a dish for Multicultural Night that will happen on Exhibition night: January 9th, 2020 at 5pm. The goal of this event to bring the community together in a fun and delicious way! Please fill out this form by December 10th to sign-up to bring a dish!

    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!

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    Photo of the Week:

    Nations Day was celebrated today at IACS. Thank you to the Color Affinity Group for organizing and putting together this awesome mural that reflects our community at IACS.

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    My My and Hannah in traditional clothing for Nations Day today.


    This winter, we are offering the following sports to HS athletes: basketball, cheerleading, indoor track & field, swim.

  • Registration instructions, along with information about tryouts and practice times/days are here.
  • The link to FamilyID (the online registration portal) is here.
  • Please contact the Athletic Department at with any questions or concerns.

    Gratitude Corner

    IACS is very grateful to the Lowell Memorial Auditorium. They donated a 4 pack of passes to a Charlie Brown Christmas – Live on Stage for our Cash Calendar raffle and we are sure that some lucky family is going to really enjoy this prize. Thank you for your generosity and community partnership!

    The holiday season is just around the corner, and we invite you to kick it off with us on Giving Tuesday! Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving back. On the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, December 2nd, you’ll have the chance to join people around the world and support a cause close to your heart. This Giving Tuesday, help us give our students the tools they need to be productive and successful. By joining the movement, you’ll be helping us improve our technology for the benefit of our entire community. Mark your calendars, spread the word, and stay tuned for more details!

    Can’t wait till Giving Tuesday? Donate today.

    IACA News

    Please pick up fundraising pies on Monday Nov 25th from 2:00- 3:15 in the Cafeteria.

    Scrips – please see links to order forms and detailed explanation here:

    The link to the order form is here

    For all other questions or comments related to orders, please contact Cindi Hevner at or 978-866-8380 (call or text).

    Lowell River Hawks – Ice Hockey

    Join us for our 1st annual Innovation Academy Charter School Night at the River Hawks on December 7th. Tickets are only $11 and are available here:

    Questions? contact Dawn at

    No IACA meeting in December.