The Hawk: October 28, 2016

January 1, 1970 12:00 am

“The Hawk”

Dear IACS Community:


This year represents the first year of our newest 5-year “charter term” (2016-2021). With each charter renewal, we create school goals as part of our school’s accountability plan to align our academic program with our school’s mission and charter.  As part of this process, our school identifies “key design elements” and develops corresponding objectives and measures which help us monitor performance.


To support this plan, we developed school wide rubrics for faculty to use as tools in the classroom related to four key areas of student learning: independent skills, collaborative skills, systems thinking, and practical applications. This helps us develop a common language school-wide and consider the various sub-skills as we build student capacity in each area. Students will demonstrate their proficiency in each of these areas through their portfolio.


Why are each important?

  • Systems thinking provides students with a set of visual tools to help explain the complexity of a system.  When students use these tools they can express greater insight to why and how things change over time.  The assumption with all systems tools is that they are a means to help improve critical thinking that will ultimately improve other skills such as reading, writing, scientific and mathematical thinking, presentations, etc.  

  • The ability to make practical applications allows learners to transfer skills, knowledge, and understandings from one context to another, make relevant connections between topics in class and experience in the “real world”, and build an ever-increasing capacity to acquire new knowledge.

  • Effective collaboration allows members of a working team to bring their strengths, questions, interests, perspectives, and needs to their shared work. When teams effectively collaborate, their work and learning often exceed what they could have achieved independently.

  • The ability to work independently allows learners to set challenging goals and make meaningful progress, showing themselves and others what they can achieve independently and giving them the tools to be life-long learners and agents of change.


    While each of these skills have always been a cornerstone of our school, we are excited about involving students in reflection on their progress in each of these areas through their portfolio work. I encourage you to ask your child more about each of these skills and how they are reflected in their portfolio over the course of the year.




    Melissa Kapeckas

    Middle School Principal

    All School News


    High School Open House for 8th grade families:  This Saturday (tomorrow), October 29th, the high school will be hosting an Open House from 10am to Noon so students and families can learn more about the high school program. Attendees will rotate through three groups in order to provide you with a complete picture of the Innovation Academy High School experience. The three groups are: parents of current high school students, high school students, and the high school Curriculum Coordinators. You will have an opportunity to ask questions of each group.


    We hope to see you there, but if you are unable to make it this Saturday, there will be two more Open House opportunities: December 7th from 5-7pm and January 18th from 6-8pm.


    Drama for MS & HS:


    Join us for The IACS Production of

    THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS this November 17-19!

    See the ticket order form at

    for information about tickets and about purchasing space in the program! Please note that ticket prices go up on November 1, and we can only accept program space requests until October 31.


    The fall and winter middle school drama workshop is already filling up! Please see information and registration forms at   for details!


    What's the next IACS Production? The March show will be the Broadway musical, Man of La Mancha! See at   for details and an audition agreement form! We would love to see you at auditions – whether you've been in numerous shows or have never even seen a show! Students in grade 8 may audition with the high schoolers on November 29. 3:00-5:30.


    Students in grades 5-7 may take part in the show as a dancer. Rehearsals will be Mondays, 3:00-4:00. Auditions will take place on Monday, November 28, 3:00-4:00.


    Questions about the performing arts program? Please email


    Health and Wellness Update:  As part of  our ongoing  commitment to providing a safe, healthy and supportive environment for our students, IACS has updated the  Substance Use Prevention and Education Policy.  You may find it here, on the  IACS website under the Health Office link, under the Policies, Protocols and Resources tab.


    Special Education Workshop:

    Innovation Academy will host a workshop covering Basic Rights in Special Education on November 3rd from 6:30 to 8:30.  This workshop will be led by a representative from the Federation for Children with Special Needs and will provide an overview of special education laws and procedures with time for questions as well.  RSVP at is encouraged but not required.   

    Lost and Found Bins Overflowing

    Our lost and found bins are overflowing. We’ll be cleaning them out and donating the items to local charities on 10/31. Please ask your student to look through them or come by school if you are missing items.


    IACA News



    Quality Night (Dec. 13 and 15)  and Embrace Winter Social   (Feb. 10) : If you have volunteered to assist with our Quality Night and Embrace Winter social, you will be contacted within the next two weeks with more information. If you would like to help, please be sure to fill out our Volunteer form on the IACA website Volunteer!


    7th/8th grade Halloween Social: Get ready for some spooky fun! Our 7/8th grade social is TONIGHT Friday, October 28 from 7-9pm. Thank you to everyone who volunteered for this event! Costumes are optional, but we will have a prize for the best boy and girl costume, and photo ops with some spooky Halloween props! We are still in need of snacks for the event- 100 calorie snack-packs, or small bags of popcorn, goldfish, Rice Krispy treats or fruit snacks will work as well. We'll have water available but juice boxes are welcome too. Please contact Dawn Chandonnet at if you are able to help with the event!


    Yankee Candle: Yankee Candle orders have been collected and submitted. This is a very profitable fundraiser for our school- thank you to everyone who participated!


    Middle School News


    7th/8th grade advisories competed in the “Candy Corn Challenge” this week, attempting to build the tallest candy corn tower with a set of limited materials.


    MS Progress Reports

    Middle school progress reports were published to the X2 Aspen portal on Thursday, 10/27. Families and students should have received an email when the progress report was published to the portal. Please log on to view the progress report on our portal. If you need your password reset, please reach out to the main office.


    2016-2017 IACS MS Yearbook Cover Competition

    The Yearbook Committee is holding a contest open to everyone in the Middle School.  

    Entries may include original photographs and collages, as well as original drawings.  Winning entries will be used for the front and back covers and the student artists will receive a free yearbook.

    Other entries may be featured inside. The theme this year is – Community: Together, we can move mountains! Entries may be submitted digitally or as a hard copy but must fit vertically on the 8 ½ x11 cover. Please include a completed cover sheet with your name, advisory and an artist’s statement. You may submit a maximum of three entries. Cover sheets are available on the website and by the Main Office.

    Deadline Friday December 16, 2016

    Submit to a Yearbook Staff Member or Peggy Stephens-North

    Please contact any of us with questions or email


    MS After School Art: The second session of after school art classes are starting soon!  Classes begin the week of November 8, and students can sign up for either the Tuesday or Thursday session. Like previous sessions, this 8 week open studio class allows students access to a wide variety of materials and tools in the art room. The intention is to provide students with the space and time to create work of their choosing among a group of peers. Available media include drawing, painting, printmaking, mixed media sculpture, collage, book making, photography, paper mache and more.  The Registration form can be found here. The deadline for registration is 11/4. For more information, email


    Middle School Art Needs Your Recyclables: We are in need of clean cereal boxes or other similar cardboard packaging for an upcoming 6th grade project. Please have students bring materials to the art room. Please no packaging from foods containing nuts.  Thank you!


    MS Winter Sports:  Winter sports packets were handed out to all middle school students. All paperwork is due back to the Athletic Department by Tuesday, November 1st. Please read through the packet information to see if your child is interested in any of the winter sports that are offered. If you have any questions regarding paperwork or winter sports in general, please feel free to contact the Athletic Office 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

    Happy Period Project

    Student Josivett Lopez has organized a collection drive to benefit women at a local shelter.  The collection bin will be located near Dr. Arnold’s office.  Feminine hygiene products such as pads, tampons, panty liners, menstrual cups and intimate cleansing & deodorants will be collected at school for the month of November. Thank you to Josie for organizing this charitable drive.


    Student Health 101–our  on-line wellness magazine– -check out the current issue of  Student Advocate, the Student Health 101 supplement specifically for  parents and staff. Read about how less screen time can improve your teen's life or how to pay for college when you can't: college students share.  


    Prom Dress Collection Drive


    IACS Science Teacher Becomes NPR Celebrity!


    Camp Sunshine Fundraiser


    Photo of the Week

    Submissions can be emailed to


    Photo #1

    The IACS Volleyball Team – submitted by Kaylin Donoghue

    Photo #2

    A big thank you to our own Colin Kennedy for building these two beautiful guitar storage cabinets. Paul gives his approval!



    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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