Common Principles for Uncommon Schools

Innovation Academy Charter School

Innovation Academy Charter School Contact Information:

72 Tyng Road
Tynsboro, MA 01879

Phone: 978-649-0432

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Innovation Academy Charter School is a Massachusetts public charter school serving students in grades five through twelve. The school was founded in 1996 by a group of Chelmsford residents interested in having a choice in public middle school education in the Chelmsford area. Currently, the school serves students from more than 10 Massachusetts communities including Chelmsford, Lowell, Billerica, Dracut, Groton, Tewksbury, Tyngsboro and Westford.

Our 2016 Essential Question:

How do we stay true to our mission while remaining responsive to changing demands and shifting priorities?

How do keep student and adult learning at the center of all we do?

How do we safeguard teacher autonomy while fostering collaboration among stakeholders?

Our Competencies and Strengths:

We are a school that values hands-on education and we believe that people learn best by doing. Courses at IACS are designed to prepare students for the rigors of college and life and take a depth over breadth approach. Ideally, education is something that students pursue, driven by their own effort and interests. It is not something that is being done to them.

We value collaboration and we emphasize the importance of team work. We recognize that a good education is one that helps people develop the ability to interact effectively and successfully with the world beyond the walls of the school, and a big part of this is learning how to work with, teach and lead others.

We believe that learning is a growth process that requires constant revision and reconsideration of previously completed work. All students maintain portfolios of their work and are frequently given the opportunity to improve and build on prior assignments.

Being able to talk about your learning and growth is a key part of your development as a learner. All students present their work regularly throughout the school year for their peers, teachers, parents and community members. At the end of 6th and 8th grades, students are required to successfully present their portfolios to an audience and all high school students do year-end presentations of their learning in order to progress to the next grade level. All graduating seniors complete senior research projects and present these projects and papers to a public audience.

The arts are integrated into learning throughout the school. We do this not only for the sake of wonderful student art itself, but also because we see the value that the concepts of art and design have on other fields.