The Hawk: October 23, 2015

January 1, 1970 12:00 am

“The Hawk”


Dear IACS Community,


As Innovation Academy celebrates its twentieth year, I wanted to share some personal and professional memories dating back to our earliest years.  I can remember when the charter school was only an idea of a small parent group whose members were committed to creating a charter that defines a different approach to educating children. As their draft became a working model, it was shared at a public forum hosted by an educational alliance in Chelmsford. Described at this meeting was an interdisciplinary approach to subject matter, a focus on real world application of knowledge, and an approach that would also embrace community involvement and a strong home-school partnership. The seed had been planted in the community and those in attendance were now excited by a holistic approach to educating children.


In looking back at each phase of the school’s development, I have been amazed at the willingness of families to band together with board members and staff to make things happen. In the summer of 1996, the administration was scurrying to prepare a leased space in need of considerable retrofitting to convert into individual classrooms. That summer our community was working tirelessly to secure student desks, chairs, file cabinets, and office furniture through donations from other schools and/or businesses that were replacing their inventory. Many community members worked hours upon hours to patch walls, paint and clean and students showed their investment by painting over scars of used, donated student desks.  


Because of the amazing support of our parents, IACS continue to help us transition into three additional campuses. Over the Labor Day weekend 2002 with little time remaining to open our new school on Brick Kiln Road in Chelmsford, our community responded by flooding the school with volunteers to get furniture moved and computers in place so that school would open smoothly.  This same commitment was essential to preparing for our 2007 launch of the high school, located at Chelmsford’s Old Town Hall.  Finally, helping hands of many were needed as we made our final move to our current campus in 2008. Once again the dedicated parents, students, and staff members worked together at a feverish pace to meet key deadlines.


Our growth as an organization, with the opportunities and challenges it presents, highlights the strength of our IACS community. Our 20-year history provides many examples of the support from our families, both financially and through volunteer hours, to enhance our program for students.  It is exciting to consider the possibilities awaiting us in the future!


Charlene LaRoche

Middle School Dean of Students

Parent of 6th Grade Student of the Founding Year 1996


All School News


Dates At a Glance:

October 23- 5th & 6th Grade Middle School Dance 7:00 – 9:00 pm

October 27 – MS Parent Advisory Council 7:15- 8:00 am

October 28 – Early Release

October 30 – Grade 5 & 6 Advisory Breakfast

October 30 – High School Halloween Dance 7:00 – 10:00 pm

October 31–  IACS Fall Festival

November 3 – H/S Grade 10 & 11 Earth and Space Field Trip

November 3 – Innovation Morning for Prospective Middle School Parents/Guardians (8:30 – 9:30 am)

November 3 – IACA Meeting 7:00 – 8:30 pm (see more information below)

November 4 – Early Release

November 6 – M/S Grade 7 & 8 Museum of Science Field Trip

November 7 – SAT Exam 8:00 – 1:30 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


The IACS Fall Festival is coming


We’re excited with the morning we have planned next weekend.  To see the schedule of events, check out the “News” posting on our website.  One question we’ve been asked is if there are costs to the event.  There is no admissions cost to the boys soccer game or any of the children’s activities (balloon characters, face painting, pumpkin carving/decorating).   


The “meal deal” (drink, burger/hot dog/veggie burger, side, fruit) will be $3 and there is a small fee for the pancake breakfast, as it is a Student Government fundraiser.   The entry fee for the Outcomes Challenge is $10/team. (Remember- teams are competing for a $250 gift certificate to the Pheasant Lane Mall.)

IACA Meeting & Community Conversation- 11/3 7:00-8:30 pm

Sexual Health and Puberty Education: Too Much Too Soon or Too Little Too Late?


Share in a discussion with other parents and IACS Health Educators about raising sexually healthy and responsible young adults.  The evening will provide an overview of the current trends, issues and concerns regarding growing up in a society that has become increasingly sexualized.  This presentation will also highlight current research showing that parents continue to be the most powerful, positive, influence in regards to their child’s behaviors relating to sex.

We aim to be your partners in educating and supporting your children. With that in mind, the evening will also be an opportunity to hear more about school’s Sexual Health curriculum.  Health Educators will discuss the content of our puberty education classes for grades 5 and grades 6, and the Sexual Health curriculum for grades 7, 8 and  10. You will see examples of lessons and class activities across all grades, and have the chance to ask clarifying questions regarding our Sexual Health/Puberty curriculum. We hope you will join us for this important and engaging discussion.


Enrollment Information


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.

Sibling Enrollment Reminder:  Student recruitment for the 2016-17 school year has begun.  In accordance with our admission policy, siblings of current students, have priority over all other new students.  Please be sure to fill out an application and submit it by February 29th for any siblings applying to IACS. All siblings must still go through the lottery process, even if they have a sibling here at IACS,  in order to get selected for any open spots for each grade.  Please be sure to check out our website under the Enrollment tab for upcoming info sessions for our High School and Middle Schools.


 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

SALT Program:  This year the Innovation Academy Athletic Department is offering a Student Athlete Leadership Training Class (SALT). The SALT program is designed to target Middle School & High School athletes(grade 7-12) from each sport to further define their leadership potential. Through the SALT program, these students will develop into stronger leaders and role models for their school and respective sports. We will meet once a month to discuss topics that include but are not limited to, influential figures, integrity, servant leadership, sportsmanship, barriers and/or stereotypes at school and in athletics, and much more. Included in this email is a brief curriculum guideline which outlines what we will be covering in the SALT program as well as the registration form. In order to register for the SALT program your child must participate in at least one season of IACS athletics and currently be in grades 7-12. Part of the class is made up of athletes that were identified by coaches as good candidates, and the remainder of the class will be made up of student-athletes who are interested in attending the class. This message is to inform the community that interested student-athletes may now register for the class. There are limited space available in the SALT program and spots will fill up fast. If you wish for your child to participate, please fill out the attached registration information sheet and return to the Athletic Office or Main Office no later than Friday 10/30/15 @ 3pm. Unfortunately, late registrations will not be accepted. While the open registration forms are due on 10/30, the spots in the class will be awarded as the forms come in until the class is full.  So it is like a "first come first serve" system.


As a member, you are asked to make the following commitments:

1) Once you have made a commitment to be a part of this program, honor that commitment.

2) Attend all meetings as scheduled (see below).

3) Be a leader amongst your peers in school, athletics, and the community.

4) All members of SALT will be paired with a new SALT team member the following year, and they will be their accountability partner and mentor.


We will be meeting on the following half days for the 2015-2016 School Year:

11/4/15- 12:30pm-3:30pm

12/16/15- 12:30pm-3:30pm

1/20/16- 12:30pm-3:30pm

2/24/16- 12:30pm-3:30pm

3/9/16- 12:30pm-3:30pm

4/6/16- 12:30pm-3:30pm

5/27/16- 12:30pm-3:30pm

6/8/16- 12:30pm-3:30pm

*** Students should bring a lunch to eat at the start of each session***

Winter Registration:  The Middle School and High School Winter Sports Registration are now open. Middle school packets were sent home with all students through Advisory. High School Registration is open online @ The due date is 11/3/15 for middle school and 11/5/15 for high school.


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 make-up, 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


Executive Function Lecture:

The Chelmsford Council of Schools (CCOS) is hosting a lecture by Dr. Joyce Cooper-Kahn, a specialist in executive function, and an invitation is extended Innovation's faculty and parents.

Dr. Joyce Cooper-Kahn has written two books which have been well-received by both parents and educators, "Late, Lost and Unprepared: A Parent's Guide to Helping Children with Executive Functioning" and "Boosting Executive Function in the Classroom: A Practical Guide for Educators."


Her talk will be given Sunday, November 1, from 6-8pm in the Chelmsford Performing Arts Center, and a flyer providing further information is attached.


Middle School News



Uyaguari Advisory Field Trip to Parlee Farms

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.


5th and 6th grade Welcome Breakfast: 5th and 6th grade families are invited to join us at breakfast on Friday, October 30th from 8 – 9 am. This is an opportunity to meet other students and families associated with your child’s advisory.


Middle School Parent-Principal Advisory Council: We’re still looking for a few more parent/guardians to join the Middle School Parent-Principal Advisory Council. We will meet five Tuesdays a year from 7:15-8:00 am in the morning. This year the council will be meeting on 10/27, 12/8, 2/9, 4/12, and 5/24. Parents that are selected would be 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. Please email Melissa Kapeckas if you are interested in joining by 10/23/2015.


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High School News


Click the blue link for the full text…


  • IACS Students Compete at WPI Math Meet

  • National Honor Society makes blankets for Veterans

  • IMG_0426.JPG

  • Executive Functioning Presentation for Parents

  • Fall Festival October 31st

  • Signing-up for Winter Sports

  • Educational Opportunity Available at MIT

  • IACS Internship Program

  • Student Video Challenge – Win $$

  • 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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