The Hawk: September 2, 2016

September 2, 2016 8:00 am
Have a great weekend everyone.  Here's the first edition of The Hawk….

“The Hawk”


Dear IACS Community,


It was wonderful to see our school filled with students this week.   Watching students and staff reconnect reminds me of how vibrant our IACS community is and how much we all have to look forward to this year.  For those who are new to IACS, “The Hawk” is our weekly newsletter intended to keep you updated on school events.  On that note, I’d like to extend an invitation to the entire IACS community to a celebration on Wednesday, September 14th at 1 pm.  


Last June the IACS Board of Trustees voted to formally name our main building on campus, which primarily houses grades 7-12, as Linn Murdoch Hall.  Those of you who are familiar with our school’s rich history may know that from 1999-2006, we were known as the Murdoch Middle School, and then became Innovation Academy Charter School in 2007 when we expanded our program to include a high school.   


Linn was a founding board member and parent, who was instrumental in writing our original charter in 1995.  You might consider Linn one of our “Founding Mothers”.  Sadly, Linn passed away far too soon in 1999 after a courageous fight with cancer, but her vision for what a 21st Century education should be is lived out daily in our classrooms over twenty years after our charter was written.   


Because September 14th is an early release Wednesday, we hope that both students and families will be able to attend.  The ceremony will include a few brief speeches and a cookout to follow.  While no RSVPs are required, anyone who would like to volunteer for this event can email me directly.  


Thanks for reading and here’s to a great year!


In partnership,


Greg Orpen

Head of School



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All School News


Morning Drop Off and Afternoon Dismissal Reminders: As a school with a large numbers students arriving by car, we’d like to send a few reminders:


Morning Drop Off : When dropping off on the middle school side, please make sure to drive all the way down to the stop sign near the track & field.  This allows the maximum number of cars into the parking lot and off of the street.  


Afternoon Dismissals & Pick Up:  Please send in notes with your children or call the main office ahead of time if you are dismissing your child between 2:15 and 3:00.  Having advanced notice also allows the front desk to communicate with teachers so dismissals can be better managed.


Lastly, we want to maintain our status as “good neighbors” with everyone on Tyng Road.  To that end, please be sure to honor the posted speed limits- yes even on those days when you’re running late!  As families who often drive will attest, it is common for the Tyngsboro Police Department to monitor traffic during peak hours.  Thanks for keeping the community safe.


IACS School Nutrition Program:  The September Breakfast & 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.


Calendar: The 2016-2017 school year calendar is attached. On early release Wednesdays, our staff is on campus involved in professional development, team and curricular meetings until 4 pm. We appreciate your commitment to helping us carve out that time for our staff to collaborate in serving students best. Please note to check the google calendar on our homepage as events are often added or updated.


Substitute Teacher Training: If you are interested in substitute teaching at IACS this year, we are holding trainings on Tuesday, 9/13 and Thursday, 9/22 at 8:15 am. Come to either training to learn more about substitute teacher training and to complete paperwork to get started. We are lucky to have many caring IACS parents in our substitute teaching pool.


Middle School News


Back to School Night: Middle School Back to School Night is Thursday, September 15th from 6-8 pm. Mark your calendars! Come meet your child’s teachers and follow a modified version of their day to hear more about the curriculum.


Volunteer Opportunity: We are arranging volunteers to help take away some of the administrative tasks that teachers need to complete in order to give more time to focus on teaching and learning. If you are interested in making a regular (weekly or biweekly) commitment to help with making photocopies for classes, please contact Sandy Turner at


Upcoming 7th/8th Grade Overnight Field Trip: Seventh and eighth grade students were given an information packet and paperwork to complete for the upcoming Sargent Center trip today in advisory. There will be an information session for students during the school day on 9/13. Later that evening, families are invited to attend an information session with Sargent Center staff from 7-8 pm. Students on the Self-Direction Team (Advisories: Edwards, Johnson, Lozeau, Quinorp, Leedberg, Schmalz, O’Donnell, and Mrs. Pererya) will leave Monday, 9/26 and return on Wednesday, 9/28 at 2 pm. Students on the Problem-Solving Team (Advisories: O’Neil-Willoughby, Leonard, Jones, Graber, Mr. Pererya, Uyaguari, Pisco, and McCarthy) will leave Wednesday, 9/28 and return on Friday, 9/30. Paperwork for the trip, along with any medication that will be needed to the trip, is due to school no later than Friday, September 16th.


After School Art:  We are excited to offer after school art classes for middle school students again this year! Classes start the week of 9/12 and are offered on Tuesday or Thursday. During this 8 week open studio session, students will have access to a wide variety of media and tools in the art room. This session is intended to provide students with the space and time to create work of their choosing among a group of peers. Instruction is given based on students' interest and skill. Available media include, but are not limited to, drawing, painting, printmaking, mixed media sculpture, collage, book making, photography, and paper mache. Please fill out the registration form and return with $60 payment by 9/9/16.  Email for further information about the class or scholarships.


IACS MS Band is starting up again soon! Rehearsals will begin the week of 9/12. There are two groups open to new members; our beginner group meets Mondays and Thursdays and our advanced group meets Tuesdays and Fridays. Both groups meet after school until 4:30. If your child is interested in learning how to play a band instrument and read music, or already plays a band instrument and wants to be part of an awesome group, email Ms. Destramp at


IACS MS Chorus: Mrs. Lane looks forward to welcoming all interested singers to the After-School Middle School Chorus! Chorus will meet after school on Mondays from 3:00-4:30 and Wednesdays from12:30-2:00pm.  The first rehearsal will be on Monday, September 12th. Students will be given time for a snack break prior to rehearsal. Please make sure that your child has a water bottle and a snack on chorus days.  Mrs. Lane will meet MS Chorus students on the patio after school and bring them into the High School where we will rehearse in room 146 and then walk them out to the patio for dismissal.


*Students are to be picked up promptly at the Middle School Patio by parents at 4:30pm on Mondays and 2:00pm on Wednesdays. Middle School Concerts with the Chorus & Band will be held on 12/12/16, 3/6/17 and 6/5/17 at 7:00pm.


*Middle School Chorus will not meet on Full School Wednesdays. If there are schedule changes beyond that, Mrs. Lane will send out an email to notify you of any changes.


IACS MS Literary Magazine — The Scribbler

Calling all artists and writers! Looking to find a place to publish your work?

We're looking for editors and anyone interested in putting together a literary magazine for the year. This is a yearlong commitment, and we are looking for students in good academic standing, who are hardworking and dedicated to publish a literary magazine by the end of the year.


The Scribbler will meet on Thursdays after school from 3:00-4:30 PM in Room 408.

Mr. Pisco is the Literary Magazine Advisor. Meetings begin on Thursday, October 6, 2016.

To join, return a signed permission slip to Mr. Pisco.


Volunteer Opportunity: We are arranging volunteers to help take away some of the administrative tasks that teachers need to complete in order to give more time to focus on teaching and learning. If you are interested in making a regular (weekly or biweekly) commitment to help with making photocopies for classes, please contact Sandy Turner at


High School News


It was a great opening for the 2016-2017 school year and I hope all of the students enjoyed their first few days back to school. Enjoy the long weekend!


2016-2017 Student and Family Handbook

The updated Student and Family Handbook is linked above and is available on our newly redesigned website as well. With the warm weather, I wanted to remind all students and families of our expectations with regards to student dress. In particular, please note that midriff tops are not allowed to be worn at school.


Senior of the Month

The Student-Principal Advisory Council from last year wanted to do something special for senior parking. What we decided on was to have two reserved parking spots for a month for selected seniors. Any faculty or staff person can nominate a senior for any reason they deem appropriate (e.g., leadership, being helpful, academic reasons, improvement, overcoming personal challenges, random acts of kindness, etc…). The first two seniors will be selected Tuesday afternoon and can start parking there on Wednesday.


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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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