Innovation Academy Charter School

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Innovation Academy Charter School
72 Tyng Road,
Tyngsborough, MA 01879

United States
Type Public charter
Motto Think. Connect. Apply. Innovate.
School district Innovation Academy Charter District
Dean Erin Attfield Quinlan
Clare Fox Ringwall
Stephanie Kelly
Charlene LaRoche (2011-2016)[1]
Principal Gregory J. Orpen (-2014)
Erik Arnold (2014-present)
Melissa Kapeckas[2]
Head of school Gregory J. Orpen[3]
Faculty 67.1[4]
Grades 5-12
Enrollment 766[5]
Color(s) Red, White, and Blue
Average SAT scores 543 verbal
526 math
521 writing
1590 total (2015-2016)[6]
Newspaper The Innovator

Innovation Academy Charter School (IACS), is a small charter school in Tyngsborough, Massachusetts. The school was founded in 1996, under the name Chelmsford Public Charter School by a small group of parents from Chelmsford, Massachusetts. While initially a middle school serving only the town of Chelmsford, IACS has since expanded, establishing a high school and serving multiple towns within Massachusetts.

History of IACS[edit]

Innovation Academy Charter School was created in 1996 by a group of parents in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, its first class of middle school, grades 5-8, was made up of 150 students.[7] Originally called Chelmsford Public Charter School [8] it served students in Chelmsford only. A few years later the school was renamed Murdoch Middle School. It then served 3 main towns; Chelmsford, Billerica, and Lowell. It remained in Chelmsford for several years, while growing in size. Walter Landberg became the executive director and the school was renamed to Innovation Academy Charter Public School. The school then moved to Tyngsborough, Massachusetts where it became known as a regional charter school, expanding to also serve the towns of Dracut, Groton, Tewksbury, and Westford.[7] Walter Landberg left the school, after completing building projects for a new track and field and a building for the 5th and 6th grades named after him as Landberg Hall.

IACS Today[edit]

IACS has since expanded the original school into grades 5-12, a full middle school and high school.[7] The school has 4 outcomes, problem solving, community membership, effective communication, and self-direction.[8]

High School[edit]

The first graduation class of the high school was spring of 2011. The graduating class had 100% acceptance into a 4-year college. The students are split into groups of approximately 9 students called an "advisory". The advisory is led by a member of the high school staff who helps the students with school work and high school life. The school year is semester based with reports sent home 1/3 and 2/3 of the way through the semester. Grading is A, B, C, D, and F. Honors in individual classes are achieved by doing extra work assigned by the teacher and raises the GPA of that class by .5. Honors credit is not received with a D or F grade in that class.[9]

Middle School[edit]

Middle school is divided into 4 "teams". 2 teams are grades 5 and 6, and 2 others are grades 7 and 8. These teams are named after the outcome of the school listed above. The teams are further divided into advisories of 12-13 people. The middle school is made up of about 400 students. The school year is divided into quarters, with reports sent home at the end of every quarter. Students wishing to achieve honor roll must receive at least 3 P's and no grade below an A/P (see Grading). Distinguished honor roll requires no grade below a P and at least 1 D.[10]


The middle school uses a unique grading system. D, P, A, N, and W.[10] D stands for distinguished and is the same as an A+. P stands for Proficient and is the same as a A-. A stands for apprentice and is the same as a C. N stands for Novice and is the same as a D. W stands for warning and is the same as an F. Students are graded on Application, Comprehension, and the school outcomes.[10]


Middle School[edit]

The fall middle school sports teams consists of boys soccer grades 5-8, girls soccer grades 5-8, JV Volleyball grades 5-7, Varsity Volleyball grades 6-8, and cross-country grades 5-8.[11] Boys soccer won their league championship in the 2010 season and the 2014 season. The girls won their league championship in 2013. In 2011 the cross-country team placed 14 at a USATF New England Cross Country Invitational meet.[12] Winter middle school sports are indoor track grades 5-8, cheerleading grades 5-8, boys JV basketball, girls JV basketball, boys varsity basketball, and girls varsity basketball.[11] Indoor track was added in the winter of 2011, as was cheerleading. Spring sports offered are Kickball grade 5, Softball grades 6-8, Baseball grades 6-8,0 Dance grades 5-8, and Co-ed Track & Field grades 5-8. Softball, baseball, dance, and kickball were all added in the 2012 spring season. IACS dance has been very successful in the past, receiving golds, high golds, platinums, and high platinum awards both at regionals and nationals, as well as many overall awards, including 1st place! IACS middle school track and field had a successful second season in spring 2011 when four middle school boys set the New England 4 × 400 metres relay record with a time of 3:44.63.[13] In the 2012 season, the boys placed 2nd in the state meet and girls placed 9th in the state.[13]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°39′32″N 71°24′30″W / 42.6588°N 71.4082°W / 42.6588; -71.4082