The Hawk: October 30, 2015

January 1, 1970 12:00 am

———- Forwarded message ———-


“The Hawk”


Dear IACS Community:


Thank you for your recent support of the ILP (Individual Learning Plan) conference process. At each student’s ILP conference, we consider past strengths and obstacles to create goals for the year and map out a plan of strategies to achieve them. This parallels the work we do as a school and staff each year. As a school, we believe that it is important to continually examine our programs and practices in order to set goals to help us develop and refine our school. We shared two middle school goals with our staff in August, which in turn will be a focus of our professional development this year. Staff set their own goals this fall, considering appropriate next steps in their growth. At IACS, we view this process of reflection and goal-setting critical to the development of both individuals- students, staff, administration and our learning organization.


I would like to introduce you to the two school goals we are focused on this year at the middle school. The first goal involves examining the roots of project-based learning as one important aspect of the IACS mission. This work looks slightly different for each curricular team. One curricular team is considering ways to increase the amount of project-based learning in their course. Another curricular team is considering ways to break down large end-of-unit projects into more frequent projects that are smaller in scale. A third team is making changes to projects to ensure more real-world applications. We are excited to see how this work translates to the classroom.


Our second goal involves an examination and revision of our quarterly assessments (report cards) in order to make shifts for the 2016-2017 school year. Thank you for your initial feedback during the spring family survey. Curriculum coordinators have spent some time examining what is working well about the assessment system and areas for improvement. As we seek to make revisions to the quarterly assessment system for the future, our ultimate goal is to ensure that the grading system gives clear, purposeful feedback to students and families about their progress and achievement. As I work with staff over the course of the year to consider changes, I look forward to sharing this work with the community and gathering additional input.


I hope to see you at tomorrow’s Fall Festival. Enjoy a safe, happy Halloween!



Melissa Kapeckas

Middle School Principal


All School News


The “Inside Out Crew” (Sadness, anger, joy, fear and disgust) is expecting to see you at the Fall Festival tomorrow…




Dates At a Glance:


October 31-  IACS Fall Festival

November 2 – Board of Trustees: Nominations Committee 6 pm

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

November 3 – Innovation Morning for Prospective M/S 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 – 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


Supporting MA Charter Schools   

As members of the Massachusetts Charter Public School Association, IACS asking 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

The National Honor Society and IACS Middle School are joining forces and will launch a Thanksgiving nonperishable food drive on November 2.  This service project, running from November 2 through 20, will benefit the Merrimack Valley Food Bank in Lowell. Donation bins will be located in the high school and Landberg Hall lobbies. Also, on Friday mornings, NHS members will be located at the front doors of the high school and Landberg Hall with bins for easy donation drop-off. Donations will be delivered to Merrimack Valley Food Bank on November 20th.  We hope you will support our efforts in helping those in need. (Click here to see the list of donation needs.)


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

Opportunity for Support IACS:  We are about 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.


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


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.


Opioid Awareness Film Screening/Community Discussion:  

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IACS Athletics News


Middle School winter sports packets were given out to students in Advisory. They are due back to the main office by Tuesday, November 3, 2015. If you need a new one they can be picked up at the main Office or Athletic Office. Practices start Thursday, November 5, 2015. If you have any questions, please email


High School registration is now open and can accessed through: Registration closes at 11:59pm on Thursday, November 5, 2015. Practices start Monday, November 30, 2015. If you have any questions, please email


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 Newsphoto 2.JPG

Both the MS Girls and Boys Soccer teams brought home EAA League championships this week. Congratulations Hawks


Happy Halloween from the MS Staff

L to R: The Grammar Police (calling in for back-up on semi-colons)

Ms. Frizzle

The Sun, Moon, & the Stars


7th/8th grade Field Trip- 11/6

The 7th/8th grade team is headed to the Museum of Science on Friday to view an exhibit on how math, science, and computer science are applied to create Pixar movies. Please make sure your permission slip has been handed in to your advisor and remember to pack a bag lunch!


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.


High School News


Click the blue link for the full text…

  • Article on the New SAT Exam

  • Halloween Dance is tonight!

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  • How to Avoid Five Common College Planning Mistakes


  • IACS student represents at All-National Honor Mixed Choir

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  • Fall Festival October 31st

  • Signing-up for Winter Sports


    Melissa Kapeckas
    Middle School Principal
    Innovation Academy Charter School
    72 Tyng Rd.
    Tyngsboro, MA  01879
    978-649-0432 x2229