The Hawk: September 23, 2016

September 23, 2016 8:00 am

“The Hawk”

Dear IACS Families:

The year is off to a terrific start at the middle school. Fifth and sixth graders are getting settled into the routine of their new schedules and building connections with peers and classmates. Our seventh and eighth graders are looking forward to team-building on the ropes course at the Sargent Center next week. It’s been a full and exciting start to the school year.

As returning families may remember, over the last year and a half, the middle school staff has been working on making changes to our middle school grading system. I am excited to share this overview of our middle school grading system with you. The overview will also be mailed home to middle school families next week, along with x2 Follett passwords. While our school has always implemented a standards-based grading system, we utilized feedback from staff and families to make some needed adjustments to ensure improved clarity for all stakeholders (students, families, and staff). Over the course of last year, a staff committee worked over the course of the year to look at current research, analyze various components of the grading system, and thoughtfully consider shifts. The MS Parent/Principal Advisory council gave feedback on drafts along the way. The work continues as each middle school department digs into ensuring that regular assessments give students valuable feedback and measure the most essential skills.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to me if you have questions or thoughts to share about your child’s experience  


Melissa Kapeckas

Middle School Principal


All School News


Yankee Candle Fundraiser:  Please support our school!  Our annual Yankee Candle Fundraiser is kicking off this Friday, September 23 and running until October 7.

The packets were issued to all students this week.  You can order two ways:

  • Fill out the order form and return with payment to the school

  • Order online: and enter group code 990035230 in the “Start Shopping” box

  • All items will ship to the school where we will then distribute them to the students.

    Items come in 3-4 weeks after the close of the fundraiser.  We will send out notices when we get the items in.

    Any questions please contact Annette Famolare at

    Thank you for your support!

    Parent Survey: Thanks to the over 250 families who have completed the short survey sent out this week.  This survey will allow us to know your preferences for how the school uses you contact information as well as names/images for students in publications.  If you haven’t completed it already please CLICK HERE TO TAKE THE SURVEY

    Performing Arts News:  

    Congratulations to the IACS Performing Arts Program! Check out their first international magazine spread! Way to go, IACS Actors!

    Tickets are selling for THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS! See the attached ticket order form, and note that the lowest ticket prices go to those who order through September! Order forms are also available in front of the main office. Join us for a hilarious romp through Wonderland!

    Soon, Middle Schoolers will SHINE on the IACS Stage! Starting in November, the Innovation Players will run on Wednesday half days. Please see the attached forms for detailed information and turn them into the main office.

    We are looking for adults  to help out with our upcoming musical! If you think you can lend a hand, please email rhawthorne@innovationcharter,org and we will happily plug you in!

    High Schoolers: SAVE THE DATE FOR AUDITIONS FOR THE NEXT SHOW! Auditions will be held on November 29, 3:00-5:30pm – details to come!

    Any drama questions? Please email rhawthorne@innovationcharter,org/

    Check out the photos from the Summer Performing Arts Program and our start to this year at

    See clips of our lessons with Hamilton/ Broadway stars Leslie Odom Junior, Anthony Ramos, Okieriete Onaodowan and Sasha Hutchings, as well as Broadway writer, director and performer, Ryan Scott Oliver. Thank you for a terrific summer, Campers! IACS is VERY proud of you and your work!

    Middle School News


    Join Garden Club: The IACS Hawkmoths are the school's outdoor experts! Come join us in Garden Club from 12:30-1:45pm on Wednesday half days, and 3-4pm on Wednesday full days. We will plant in the garden, learn about and enjoy the land around our beautiful school, make and maintain wildlife habitats, and grow food and flowers! New this year, we'll enjoy indoor projects as we continue Garden Club over the winter!

    To sign up, fill out the form on the JOIN page at The password for the JOIN page is GettinDirty2013 .


    Our first meeting will be Wednesday, October 5th! See you there!

    Join Crochet Club: Learn to crochet or join others in crochet club. Come learn the basics of crocheting, practice new stitches, learn to make scarves, hats, bags, blankets, etc., or work on your own project in the company of others who share your passion. Supplies will be provided for those who do not wish to bring their own. This club will meet once a week, on Mondays, from 3-4pm. Our first meeting will be Monday, October 3rd. Parents are welcome. Please contact Ellen Vig,, 978-944-3519 for more information. Feel free to check out some of Ellen's completed projects at:

    Sargent Center reminder: The Sargent Center trip is next week. Students on the Self-Direction team will be away Monday-Wednesday, while students on the Problem-Solving team will be away Wednesday-Friday. A reminder for families on the SD team: students will not return from the trip in time for the early release dismissal. Please arrange pick up for your child at 2pm on Wednesday or make arrangements with Springboard for aftercare.

    Extracurriculars: 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

    Back To School Night, Thursday, September 29th 6-8pm

    Student Health 101 comes to IACS! Just a reminder that Student Health 101, an on-line magazine is now accessible to all parents.  IACS/Student Health 101, will soon be used in 10th grade health classes.  By clicking on the above link you will be brought to the magazine. Once on the site,  you may sign up for automatic email or text message reminders as new issues are published. Stay connected to your teens regarding some of the most important issues in their lives with Student Health 101. Stop by the table at the high school Back to School Night, Thursday, September 29th for a free demo and more information!

    College Counseling News for September

    PSAT’s, SAT’s, Financial Aid Workshops and more…

    Dear 12th and 11th Grade Parents/Students:

    In collaboration with Tyngsboro High School, Innovation Academy is once again offering parents and students the opportunity to attend a presentation onCOLLEGE FINANCING. The one-hour seminar will be held on THURSDAY October 27th at 6:30 PM hosted by TYNGSBORO HIGH SCHOOL (in the school gymnasium) and is offered through MEFA, the Commonwealth’s resource on planning, saving and paying for college. An experienced MEFA representative will provide an overview of the financial aid process, including types of financial aid, how to apply, and determining financing options for your family.

    Understanding Financial Aid 101 and Senior Year Financial Aid Timeline:



    MEFA's College Financing Seminar demystifies the entire financial aid application process, breaking it down into straightforward concepts that every family can understand. They explain the nuts and bolts of how financial aid works and offer strategies for smoothly navigating the college financing process from beginning to end. Topics include:

  • Financial aid applications and eligibility

  • The types of financial aid available

  • How colleges determine how much aid to offer

  • Understanding award letters


    Families are strongly encouraged to download a copy of the e-book beforehand at and may also want to view the PowerPoint presentation at  (there will be some copies of the presentation for note taking at the evening event as well).


    Lastly, all parents/guardians should sign up for MEFA’s hints and tips on planning, saving, and paying for college. You’ll receive emails with information that applies to you, whether your children will enroll in college next year or down the road:

    With the major changes to financial aid in the college process including a much earlier financial aid timeline, parents (especially of seniors) are highly encouraged to attend.

    —IACS College Counseling

    PSAT Commended.JPG

    Congratulations to Spencer Royston and Keegan Lennon for being recognized as “Commended Students” by the College Board. They are being recognized for their exceptional academic promise. Commended Students placed among the top five percent of more than 1.6 million student who entered the 2017 competition by taking the 2015 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT).


    Photo of the Week

    Submissions can be emailed to

    “The Agony of Defeat”

    “The Thrill of Victory”


    Pat Modrich, 

    Main Office Admin
    Innovation Academy Charter School
    p. 978-649-0432
    f.  978-649-6337