The Hawk: September 21, 2018

September 20, 2018 6:48 pm


IACS Newsletter for the week ending September 21st

Dear IACS Community –

ILP (Individual Learning Plan) conferences started this week. It is always rewarding to work in collaboration with families to help students craft meaningful goals. We will also meet

mid-year to review student progress toward their goals and make adjustments, as needed. Thank you for your support of this work.

Over the course of the year, we’ll be working with the Middlesex Programs for youth to offer a variety of workshops focused on student health and safety. This coming week, we’ll offer our first parent workshop in partnership with the Middlesex Programs for Youth on Wednesday, 9/26 at 6:45 pm. Entitled, “Navigating the Cyber World”, the workshop reviews the challenges and dangerous situations that can arise through use of internet, social media, and smartphones. The workshop will outline popular apps, social media sites, and programs commonly used by adolescents and teenagers. The workshop will also explain issues and possible consequences of cyberbullying, sexting, and revealing identifying information to strangers. This past week, we hosted a student assembly geared for 5th and 6th graders on this topic and will have a session geared for 7th and 8th graders on October 3rd. It certainly is a complicated, digital world and we anticipate this workshop will be a resource to families as you navigate this with your children. We are looking forward to hosting workshops on other topics later in the year. Hope you can make it!


Melissa Kapeckas

Middle School Principal

Important Dates

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All School News

Reminder: If any community member would like to join one of the three IACS 2025 committees (Classroom, Community, Campus) please contact Greg Orpen: by Friday, September 21st. These groups will work collaboratively to move forward the initiatives articulated in our strategic plan.

Innovation Academy will host a workshop covering Basic Rights in Special Education on Thursday, September 27th from 6:30-8:30 pm in room 100. 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 to is appreciated but not required.

No Snow Days yet but….

IACS uses a program called "School Messenger" to alert the community with more urgent messages: weather delays/closings, power outages, etc.

To make sure you receive these messages, you need to opt into the School Messenger System. It’s really easy:

Step 1. Confirm that we have your cell phone number in X2. You should be able to see this when you login then go to my info/details.

Step 2. Send Y or Yes to 67587

Not sure if you’ve already opted in? Please feel free to send Y to 67587, doing it again will not cause any problems and will insure that you get all updates and messages.

IACS School Nutrition Program:

If you have any questions about the School Nutrition Program, contact Karen Drake, Director of Food Services,

Middle School News

MS Picture Day:

MS Picture Day is this coming Wednesday, 9/26. Order forms were distributed in advisory today. Students can bring in the form to order or orders can be placed online.

Upcoming Field Trips:

All fifth and sixth graders have field trips coming soon. On 10/4, all students on the Effective Communication Team will be off-campus. Fifth graders will travel to work with the Nashua River Watershed Association to do water monitoring and canoeing with their science classes. Sixth graders will travel to the Old North Bridge as well as the Boston Tea Party Museum with their social studies classes. Students on the Community Membership team will have their Science or Social Studies trip on 10/5. Please be sure to return the permission slip to your child’s teacher. There are scholarships available for field trips if the associated fee presents a hardship for your family. Please reach out to Mr. Pereyra, Dean of Students, if your family requires a field trip scholarship at

Technology Update

A reminder that log-in information for our x2 Aspen database has been emailed out to all new families. The database allows students and families to access information about attendance along with current progess in each class. We also will post progress reports and report cards to x2. Please ensure that you can log-in to your account. If you have any difficulty accessing your account, please reach out to the main office. In general, we recommend families log on once per week to review their child’s progress.

We also recently sent invitations for Google Classroom. Google Classroom is a tool to support students. When they access their account, they can see a posting of homework assignment and important reference materials, such as rubrics. Parents that accept the invitation to Google Classroom will get a weekly summary of their child’s account. While it is less comprehensive than x2 from the parent view, many families enjoy having the weekly email summary sent to them for review.

MS Parent/Principal Advisory Council:

The MS Parent/Principal Advisory Council will meet five mornings this year from 7:45-8:30 am. This year the council will be meeting on 10/11, 11/27, 1/8, 3/14, and 5/14. 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 1st.

High School News

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HS Calendar Magnets were mailed home this week. We hope you received yours. If not please check your home address in X2 to make sure it is up to date. You can request a magnet from the main office while supplies last.

Back to School Night is this Thursday at 5:50pm!

We hope you’ll join us at Back to School Night to learn about your child’s classes. We’ll have student planners for sale, information regarding Driver’s Ed, the Breakfast/Lunch Program, Chromebook borrowing as well as Dr. Arnold, Ms. Kelly, Ms. Deknatel and Debi Rogers on hand.

Here is the schedule of the evening:

Schedule of Events:

5:50 – 6pm Parent Arrival – pick up student schedule outside of the auditorium

6:00 – 6:05 Auditorium, Welcome from Principal, Dr. Arnold

6:10 – 6:20 Advisory

6:25 – 6:35 Block A

6:40 – 6:50 Block B

6:55 – 7:05 Block C

7:10 – 7:20 Block D

7:25 – 7:35 Block E

7:40 – 7:50 Block F

7:55 Auditorium, Q & A with Principal, Dr. Arnold

Senior Portraits for the Yearbook

Driver’s Ed Future Driver’s of America will again be holding classes at our IACS campus on Wednesday afternoons. Classes will begin on Wednesday, October 10th. The class dates and registration information can be found on this flyer.


Students driving themselves to school will need to apply for a parking permit. Forms are available outside of Ms. Kelly’s office or by following this link. Please make sure you complete all parts and bring the copies of required documents before turning them into the main office.


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On September 15th, 22 members of our IACS community (teachers, students, and families) joined the Outing Club’s September event. We went to Plum Island in Newburyport to participate in COASTSWEEP, our statewide coastal cleanup. We categorized and recorded all of the trash we collected and the data will be used to inform environmental policy

and education resources for consumers.

FALL FUNDRAISER ENDS 9/24!: The Meadow Farms PIES and catalog fundraiser forms are due September 24th. Please note, pies cannot be ordered online, and require prompt pickup when orders come in. Be sure to return both copies of your paper order form with your orders; the white copy will be returned to you at pickup. Visit and enter IACS school ID 1019080. Questions? Contact Annette Famolare at or Cindi Hevner at

ARE YOU "IN THE KNOW"? As a regional school, Innovation Academy is blessed with a diverse community of students from a host of surrounding towns, but sometimes we can feel disconnected from the public school systems of our hometowns. IACA is looking for volunteers to serve as community liaisons between the towns we serve and our organization. As a community liaison, you would keep IACA up on relevant events happening in your town that might be fun for our school community to know about, and share school news back with your town (via the town’s FB page, for example). We’re currently still in need of voices from Lowell, Dracut, Billerica, Chelmsford, and Tyngsboro. Interested? Contact

BOXTOPS:Get your BoxTops into advisories by next Friday, September 28. Group your clippings in batches of 50, labeled with your child’s name and advisor. The one MS and one HS advisory with the most BoxTops wins a PIZZA PARTY!

FALL SOCIALS: Our 5/6 and 7/8 Halloween dances will be here before you know it, and we would love some volunteers! Chaperones and parents who can donate packaged snacks would be a big help! Can you make it on October 12 (7/8) or October 19 (5/6)?

ENTER THE BOXTOPS SWEEPSTAKES from Sept 17-23 and we could win DOUBLE our earnings this Fall! Visit for more information.