The Hawk: October 1, 2016

January 1, 1970 12:00 am

Stay dry everyone…

“The Hawk”

Dear IACS Community,

In my role as Head of School, one of the most exciting parts of my day involves watching students and staff applying our Outcomes inside and outside of the classroom.  On Friday morning, I had an equally enjoyable moment connecting one of our newly minted alum, Jake Vitali, Class of 2016.  A month into his first year at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (North Adams), Jake launched a variety show, which runs every Friday from 8-10 am, on his college’s radio station WJJW.

This platform not only allows Jake to broadcast his favorite music, but he also plans to talk about current events.  Former teachers and classmates know that Jake loves politics, and in that vein he asked me to be a guest for his first show to answer some questions regarding the upcoming state ballot Question 2.   True to form, Jake asked me a series of questions that were thoughtfully crafted in a way that made it clear he understood the core issues on this important question to allow more charter schools in Massachusetts.  It was impressive to witness Jake apply his effective communication skills on air, as well as exercise the self-direction to secure his own radio show.  I was also proud that Jake’s experience at IACS prompted him to generate public dialogue on a topic that had personal meaning to him.

So here’s to Jake and all of the other IACS alumni out there who continue to embody our school Outcomes everyday!

In partnership,

Greg Orpen

Head of School

All School News

IACS Fall Festival:  Friday, October 14th

This event is designed to build community across all grades as they engage in fun activities.  Students and staff will apply our school outcomes to tackle different challenges during the school day.  

Families are welcome to watch the festivities on campus after 3:15pm  when the parking lot has cleared from dismissal and there is room to park. There will be some performances highlighting student talent, followed by a High School Boys Varsity Soccer game at 4pm. We will have light food and refreshments as well as some activities for younger family members.

Save the date! We hope to see you then!

IACS Gear:  IACS Student Government and National Honors Society have teamed up to launch a fundraising event.  All proceeds will benefit both organizations.  Beginning September 29th, IACS Swag is available for purchase. Please complete the attached order form and submit with payment. (Cash or Check)

Merchandise will be available to view at varying Long Passes, in the auditorium lobby, and at Fall Festival.  We hope you will consider supporting our organizations!

IACA Meeting: The IACA will be holding its first meeting of the year on Tuesday, October 4th at 7 pm.

IACA Boxtops:  Are you clipping? We're having a contest till NEXT MONDAY to see which advisory brings in the most BoxTops! Who will win? Please send in your clipped, non-expired BoxTops along with your child's name and advisory name. They can drop them off at the main office or in the blue BoxTops box in the cafe!

IACS School Nutrition Program:  The OctoberBreakfast & Lunch Menu is posted here. To better serve IACS families, an innovative point of sale (POS) system, specifically designed for school nutrition programs, is being implemented this year.  This eliminates the need to pre-order meals. More information can be found on our website: IACS School Nutrition Program.  Contact Karen Drake if you have any questions about the School Nutrition Program.

Collection for Camp Sunshine:  IACS National Honor Society and Middle School are proud to join forces to support Camp Sunshine, a retreat, located in Casco, Maine, that caters to the needs of children dealing with life-threatening illnesses. Camp Sunshine was brought to our attention by Ms. Kerrie Pratt, our IACS High School Math teacher, who has been a volunteer counselor for many years.  It is our goal to support this charity, and Ms. Pratt, by collecting various supplies needed for the November Bereavement Weekend.   Please click here for a list of supplies that we are collecting.

“Founded in 1984, Camp Sunshine provides retreats combining respite, recreation and support, while enabling hope and promoting joy, for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families through the various stages of a child’s illness.”

Our collection bins will be located in Landberg Hall and in Linn Murdoch Hall, Room 106. Deadline for all contributions is October 28th.

We hope you will help support our efforts!

For more information on Camp Sunshine, and the programs they offer, please follow this link.  

Middle School News


Fifth graders learn how a graph can visually “tell a story” as they make Behavior-over-Time graphs in Critical Thinking and Reading (CTR) class

Frogs, Turtles and Jellyfish – OH MY!

While nature journaling on Wednesday, members of the Bresnahan/Wait advisories made a unique discovery.  Our IACS pond has Freshwater Jellyfish!  While not unheard of, they are rarely seen and word has spread throughout the middle school.  The NH Department of Environmental Services viewed the video of the organism and confirmed that it does appear that our pond does contain freshwater jellyfish (Craspedacusta sowerbii).  After more research, there is not enough information to conclude if it is an indicator species for water quality and we are encouraging the kids to check it out soon because as the NHDES webpage shows "Don’t count on seeing them in the same pond two years in a row; they may appear again in a few years or not at all! This is one aspect that has made researching the freshwater jellyfish so difficult."

MS Parent/Principal Advisory Council:

The MS Parent/Principal Advisory Council will meet five Fridays a year from 7:45-8:30 am. This year the council will be meeting on 10/21, 12/2, 2/3 , 3/17, and 5/19. Parents that join the group are asked to commit to the council for one year. The purpose of the council is to assist in developing short and long-term goals for the school and to provide input and feedback. Any parent that is interested in joining should email MS Principal Melissa Kapeckas at by October 17th.

MS Parent Night: MS Grading System and x2 Aspen Follett Training- Wednesday, 10/12 6-7 pm

Recently middle school families received x2 parent and student portal passwords and a written overview of our middle school grading system. Do you have follow-up questions about our middle school grading system? Would you like a tutorial on how to use x2 Aspen Follett to support student learning? If so, please come to a parent night on Wednesday, 10/12 from 6-7 pm. Bring a laptop, if you have one. We’ll also have school chromebooks available.

Join Garden Club: The IACS Hawkmoths are the school's outdoor experts! Come join us in Garden Club from 12:30-1:45pm on Wednesday half days, and 3-4pm on Wednesday full days. We will plant in the garden, learn about and enjoy the land around our beautiful school, make and maintain wildlife habitats, and grow food and flowers! New this year, we'll enjoy indoor projects as we continue Garden Club over the winter!

To sign up, fill out the form on the JOIN page at The password for the JOIN page is GettinDirty2013 .

Our first meeting will be Wednesday, October 5th! See you there!

Join Crochet Club: Learn to crochet or join others in crochet club. Come learn the basics of crocheting, practice new stitches, learn to make scarves, hats, bags, blankets, etc., or work on your own project in the company of others who share your passion. Supplies will be provided for those who do not wish to bring their own. This club will meet once a week, on Mondays, from 3-4pm. Our first meeting will be Monday, October 3rd. Parents are welcome. Please contact Ellen Vig,, 978-944-3519 for more information. Feel free to check out some of Ellen's completed projects at:

Extracurriculars: Crochet Club, Garden Club, MS Band, MS Chorus, Dungeons and Dragons, Yearbook, After school Art classes, and the Literary Magazine are all accepting new members. Look for more information on the extracurricular page of our website:

High School News

Student Health 101:  Check out the newest IACS student made Video!  

Just a reminder that Student Health 101, an on-line magazine is now accessible to all parents.  IACS/Student Health 101, will soon be used in 10th grade health classes.  By clicking on the above link you will be brought to the magazine. Once on the site,  you may sign up for automatic email or text message reminders as new issues are published. Stay connected to your teens regarding some of the most important issues in their lives with Student Health 101.

Paying for College

LGBT Workshop with Regards to College Admissions

Photo of the Week

Submissions can be emailed to

On Thursday, Mrs. Hinkle’s Earth and Space Science students left a nice and sunny IACS only to find a totally different environment at Plum Island in Newburyport. The students braved the elements in order to take baseline measurements of the beach. After the winter storms, students will return to beach in the spring to take measurements and see how much erosion occurred over the winter.


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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