The Hawk: November 6, 2015

January 1, 1970 12:00 am



“The Hawk”

This week IACS received some exciting news from The Boston Foundation. Innovation Academy has been nominated for the Pozen Prize which was established in 2013 to recognize charter schools that are achieving excellent academic results with their students. Here is an excerpt from the letter that we received:

Congratulations!  Your school is one of three Commonwealth Charter schools that are being invited to apply for The 2016 Pozen Prize for Charter Schools. The invited schools are Commonwealth Charters that have met or exceeded the state’s average proficiency rates on the English/Language Arts & Math MCAS exams each year for the past three years for all students, and in the most recent year for high needs subgroups.  In addition, the invited schools have student enrollment rates in key high needs subgroups that resemble the enrollment rates of their sending district.

A panel of civic and community leaders will serve as the selection panel, and will conduct site visits to each of the semi-finalist schools in the spring.  Based on those visits, application materials and quantitative analyses, the Boston Foundation and an independent selection panel will choose one winning school that has demonstrated academic excellence to receive an $80,000 prize.  The majority of the funds will go to the school, with some portion of the funding being awarded to the key educational staff at the school.

While a winner will not be selected until June, it is an honor to be nominated and gratifying to know that others outside our community are recognizing the great work that Innovation teachers and students have been doing for years. Keep your fingers crossed!

Another new addition to the physical education curriculum has been completed. IACS has purchased 30 mountain bikes to be used by students during PE and possibly other events such as Endersession. Fifteen used bikes were purchased at a steep discount from Loon Mountain in New Hampshire and fifteen new bikes were purchased at cost from Gear Works Cyclery in Leominster. Many thanks go to IACS community members Janice and Greg Reynolds for helping to arrange the purchase from Loon and for transporting the bikes to IACS. A big thank you also goes to Gene Kalajian, owner of Gear Works, for helping to arrange for the purchase of 15 new mountain bikes at cost from Haro bikes. We look forward to using the bikes on our network of trails and it wouldn't have been possible without the help of such great supporters of education.

Lastly, I would like to encourage all community members to get their tickets to the fall production of Footloose. I’ve seen five shows in my short time at IACS and I’ve never been disappointed. The students and staff work incredibly hard to put on an amazing performance and I guarantee you will be impressed with our many talented students.

Erik Arnold, Ed.D.

High School Principal

All School News

Panoramic view of the IACS Outcomes Challenge…


Results from the Outcomes Challenge:

The winner of the IACS Outcomes Challenge winning a total of $250.00 to the Pheasant Lane Mall was: "Let's Think of A Better Name Later." The students were Luke Sheehan, Kaitlyn Fraser, Emily Gibbs, Victoria Miller and former IACS teacher Elliott Read. The runner up, winning a total of $125.00 to the Pheasant Lane Mall was: "Four Fab Outcomes." The students were Kerry Matthews, Marissa Quinn, Nathan Paladino, Emily Koutoufis and staff member CJ Matthews.

Also congrats to all the participants!

Team Smith: Emily Lyons, Benjamin Smith, Meghan Spence, Cameron Frasier and parent, Laura Smith

The Flying Rainbow Ba-nae-roe Pigs: Rebecca Serodio, Mia Bisso, Sophia Emery, Cienna Norman and parent, Cristina Serodio


The Reindeer Squad: Megan Jillet, Lucy Lannon, Eftihia Malvers, Chisom Ogukwe and parent, Angela Lannon


The Shadows: Sydney Warner, Ashley Fahey, Abigail Noel, Natalie Williams and IACS staff member, Mr. Friedlander


The Kapeckas Krusaders: Michael Ballou, Nathan Barnes, Isabella Shaffer, Seth Lupo and Middle School Principal, Mrs.Kapeckas


The Pineapple Hippies: Kaitlyn Koutsoufis, Surabhi Keesara, Hannah Goldthwait, Cassie McKiel and parent, Tim McKiel

Team Kappa: Spencer Evans-Cole, Angelo Theokas, Paul Torres, Carlo Gulia and parent, Alex Cole


The Kids Club:  Felicia Stephens, Isabelle Coit, Julia Carr, Pankti Bhagat and Middle School Dean of Students, Mrs. LaRoche


The Money Mustaches: registration form passed in late. Names to be published later.

Dates At a Glance:

November 7 – SAT Exam 8:00 – 1:30 pm

November 9 – Board of Trustees: Ownership Linkage Committee 7 pm

November 9-13  Scholastic Book Fair

November 11 – No School Veteran’s Day

November 12-  High School Information Session 6:00- 8:00 pm

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

November 18 – Early 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 25 – Early Release – NO H/S Internship

November 26 & 27 – No School – Thanksgiving Break


Click the link below to see what's going on in the IACS Library (hint: it begins with Book and ends with Fair)

Lost & Found

Please encourage your child to look through the lost and found bins. The contents will be removed and donated to local charities on Friday, 11/13, as we do not have space to store the growing items!

Supporting MA Charter Schools   

As members of the Massachusetts Charter Public School Association, IACS asks you to voice your support.  As you may know, there is much conversation occurring at on Beacon Hill regarding the expansion of charter schools in Massachusetts.   Earlier this month, hundreds of parents packed Gardner Auditorium at the State House to urge the Joint Committee on Education to support Governor Baker’s bill HB3804, “An Act to Improve and Expand Education Opportunities," that will lift the charter school cap. Lawmakers need to hear from the IACS community. Please click here to ask your lawmakers to lift the cap and provide parents with more quality choices in public education.  Right now, 37,000 children are on waiting lists for charter public schools, and the legislature needs to hear from you!

Please click here to easily send personalized letters to your own legislators.

Once you've taken action, please ask your friends and neighbors to join you in putting some pressure on Beacon Hill on behalf of quality education for all children!

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.

Enrollment Information

Opportunity for Support IACS:  We are about to enter the “recruitment season” at IACS.  In addition to sending application materials to local organizations, we also advertise for our Open House/Information Sessions.  If any families would be willing to hang a banner or lawn sign advertising these events (see picture below), please email Greg Orpen ( and we can buy one for your yard.  The sign wouldn’t need be a permanent addition to your landscaping; posting it in the weeks prior to the events would be great.  Middle School sessions are Jan 9 & Feb 11; High School sessions are Nov 12 & Jan 30.   Thanks for considering.


For Grade 8 Students & Families:  Our high school will be holding its first public information session on Thursday, November 12th at 6 pm.  While IACS 8th graders only have to complete re-enrollment forms (as opposed to entering the lottery), this event gives students and families a great opportunity to hear from current high school parents, students, and faculty who can offer unique perspectives about what makes our program unique.   The second information session will be held on Saturday, January 30th at 10 am.

 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


Members of the MS Girls Cross Country celebrate their EAA league championship at the fall festival

Quarter 1 Assessments: Quarter 1 closed today. 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

Book Fair Schedule- Week of 11/9

Students will go to the book fair in advisory on these days:



Monday 11/9

Tuesday 11/10

Thursday 11/12

Friday 11/13

7/8 Advisories


Leedberg/Schmalz O’Donnell/ Ms. Pereya

Johnson/Edwards Quinorp/Lozeau

Jones/Graber Pisco/McCarthy

Leonard/Willoughby Uyaguari/Mr. Pereyra






5/6 Advisories 11:33-12:03




Maier/Leach Krakauer/Destramp,

Angelone/Kapeckas  Patterson/Muhigi

Kyles /Shaby    Caffrey/Anderson

Got Newspapers?: The middle school art program is looking for newspapers. If you have some, please send them in with your student to Ms. Shaby.

Boxtop Winners Announced

Fall Boxtop Winner Pisco Advisory 2015.jpg

Congratulations to Advisory Pisco for winning the MS Fall Boxtop contest.   Enjoy your new recess equipment!  Also congratulations to our HS Winner – Mrs. DiCarlo’s Advisory.  They received a gift certificate to use toward their next advisory outing.  The next boxtop contest will be announced soon.


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

  • Mountain Bikes for PE

  • Article on the New SAT Exam

  • How to Avoid Five Common College Planning Mistakes

  • Signing-up for Winter Sports

  • Pat Modrich, 

    Main Office Admin
    Innovation Academy Charter School
    p. 978-649-0432
    f.  978-649-6337