Kennedy Newsletter for Families

September 2022 Family Newsletter

A Note from the Principal

Kennedy Families,

Happy September! I hope your child(ren) are enjoying our school year so far. We've had a lot going on this week! Progress Reports have come out, we had Family Conferences, and KPD came out to do a demonstration with their awesome equipment. It was very, very cool!

We have several things coming up so pay attention to your emails and Class Dojo messages.

Right now, our "Spooky Fest" is scheduled for October 25. This is our Fall Festival (that includes our old "Spooky Literacy Night elements) that is sponsored by our PTA. Students can wear costumes, trick-or-treat with their favorite teachers, and more! There is always a huge turn out and you won't want to miss it.

I'm someone who is lucky enough to love my job. This school is amazing and the students, community, faculty and staff are too. Let me know if you need anything

Also, GBO!

Proud to serve you and the Lynn Garden Community,

Janice Irvin, Ed. D.

Proud Principal

Kennedy Elementary

Important Info from our Nurse

What if I need to contact the JFK Nurse?

Did your child wake up not feeling well? Are you trying to figure out whether to send them or not? Please feel free to contact Lorrie Linkous, our fabulous school nurse!

Emails sent to the email address below go to Lorrie Linkous' regular email --but this one might be easier to remember. Use as needed!

Upcoming Events

1: Progress Reports
2: Parent Teacher Conference Day / No School
4-10: National Suicide Prevention Week
5: Labor Day / No School / ASC Closed
6: Classes Resume
11: Patriot Day
13: BOE Meeting
16: National Teacher’s Assistant Day
19: Deadline for Insight KCS Applications
20: National IT Professionals Day
22: First Day of Fall
23: Insight KCS (Session 1 of 6)
27: BOE Work Session
30: End of 1st 9 Weeks


25:Kennedy Spooky Literacy Night/Fall Festival (So fun!!!)

The Book Fair is Coming!

From Scholastic:

We have your in-person Scholastic Fall 22 Book Fair scheduled for 10/24/22- 10/28/2022. Just like your students we are eager to bring one of the most anticipated events back to your site! It is always exciting to be a kid at the Scholastic book fair. Your students are going to love our fall lineup this 2022 season! It is always our privilege to help you host your book fair and get new books into the hands of your young readers. There is nothing like the freedom to choose their own book and be on their way to becoming a bolder, prouder stronger reader!

You've got to check this out!

Our Kennedy PTA has put together an incredible website. It includes links to request assistance from our PTA and a "store". It shows parents how they can sign-up to volunteer and outlines up coming events sponsored by the PTA. You can find it here!

Notes from our August PTA Meeting

Attendees: Janice Irvin, Meaghann Malone, Rebecca May, Stephanie Hoeppner, Julie


Note: Our apologies to all that attempted to join us virtually. We hope to have

our meeting link back up and running properly for the next meeting on September

21, at 9am. We hope you’ll join us! Despite our technical difficulties, we

still had a wonderfully productive meeting.


● Principal Update, Janice Irvin:

○ Kennedy is a Level 5 school! This is due to our student growth in

both literacy and math - way to go Coyotes and Teachers!

○ We enjoyed Kennedy Kudos on Friday; our students and staff enjoyed

dancing with DB football players, watching some entertaining skits,

and a visit from Curtis the Coyote

○ Twitter will be phased out and Instagram will be coming for Kingsport

City Schools to more easily share photos with our families

○ Ms. Carter, our librarian, has been smartly using her Scholastic

Dollars from previous book fairs. She has been working hard to phase

out older books and bring in new, exciting reading material to

Kennedy. She has also been able to give the library a more open feel

with new furniture (bought with book fair funding); the previous

furniture has been repurposed in Ms. Jeter’s art room

○ Ms. Carter will also be bringing in a visiting author later this year

and is working hard to plan our next book fair!

○ Dr. Irvin is the principal elect of the Tennessee Principals

Association. She will attend Training in December on how to make

Kennedy a Blue Ribbon School! This is a national accreditation that

we hope to achieve

● Communications & MemberHub, Meaghann Malone:

○ This year the PTA will be utilizing MemberHub for communication,

information sharing about the PTA, volunteer sign ups, and to allow

us to accept donations/sell “store” items online! This is a platform

provided to us by the Tennessee PTA. The website for the Kennedy PTA

is - this is still a work in

progress, please be patient with us!

● Financial Update, Stephanie Hoeppner:

○ Our current balance is roughly $1270; PTA membership dues have

brought in $480 so far!

● We will be looking for volunteers to help with

○ picture day

○ decorating the entrance of the school

○ updating the marquee

○ Fall Festival/Spooky Literacy Night/Family night for the book fair

● The PTA is planning to give every student and staff member a free t-shirt

this year! We’ll be asking for business/family/group donations. Sponsors

and donors will be listed on the back of the shirt. It was voted on that

additional shirts may be purchased for $15. A design has been selected; we

will work on finding a vendor. Sponsor/donor forms should be distributed

this week. The largest sponsor will have the option to put logo on back

above list of other sponsors/donors

● We have an officer opening for Vice President in the PTA. If you would like

to nominate someone or yourself, we will plan to vote on this position at

the next meeting if accepted nominees are prepared

Fall Festival voted to be joined with Spooky Literacy night again this year!

● PTA will plan to serve pizza, chips, drinks, popcorn, cookies - see

if Chef’s will be willing to work with us on pizza pricing

● MemberHub will allow us to pre-sell food tickets so we can have a

good grasp on how many people to prepare for

● Basket theme ideas for the silent auction: football, baseball,

soccer, books, crafts, art, Christmas, DB, date around Tri-Cities,


● Will need volunteers for 30 minute slots to help with popcorn, food,

library, silent auction, watch inflatables

Ideas discussed: RADA fundraiser, Cornucopia fundraiser, Calendar “pay the date”

for classrooms to raise funds for needed items, adopt-a-teacher, fixing the glass

for the mini-library (plans have been made for this), have shirts with white

print on black shirt instead of black print on gray shirt

Concept of this year’s design - gray shirt with black print (or black shirt with white print):

Financial Update

Date Balance Amount What/Who

7/1/22 482.13 Beginning balance for financial year 22-23

7/14/22 307.13 (175) Payment to Fun for All for summer school bounce house

8/4/22 407.13 100 Donation towards summer school bounce house

8/8/22 852.13 445 Donation from Action Athletics for 21-22 shirt sales

8/19/22 1232.13 380 Member dues donations deposited

8/19/22 1272.13 40 MemberHub payout

Christian Horner - KCS Innovative Learning Coordinator Info

I'd also like to share that I heavily promote the Canvas Parent App, as it keeps users signed in, is very user friendly, and parents can set notifications per student. And, there are instructions for Parents to download and use the app inside the packet.

If you have any questions, or need additional support for Canvas, please feel free to reach out!

Admin/Teacher Guide- Canvas Parent/Observer Acc...

KCS Canvas Parent Observer Packet.pdf

What if my child needs extra help?

We offer Multi-Tiered Student Support (MTSS) for all students regardless of their current level. Each day we have 30-45 minute blocks that are planned specifically to help students fill in the "holes" of their understanding to master content. Here are some FAQs about Intervention.


Q1: What grades should have access to math intervention?

  • All students, regardless of grade, should have access to math intervention.

Q2: Are grades K-2 exempt from math intervention?

  • No, ALL grade levels should be providing math intervention. Early gap closure is critical.

Q3: What if a student qualifies for intervention in both literacy and math?

  • Ideally, the student will receive intervention services in both areas. Otherwise, the student should receive support in the area of greatest need.

Q4: Can a student who is receiving special education services on an IEP be in a Tier 2 or Tier 3 intervention under MTSS at the same time?

  • Students with specific learning disabilities that have demonstrated a lack of response to intervention at Tier 3 should receive a more intensive intervention for the area of qualified services than that provided at Tier 2 or Tier 3. As a reminder, intensity does not mean increased time. However, students who receive special education services due to another disability (e.g. Developmental Delay, Other Health Impairment, SLD in another area) can receive special education services to address the primary disability while at the same time participating in Tier 2 or Tier 3 level intervention if a specific learning disability is also suspected and/or their universal assessment scores indicate a need for Tier 2 or Tier 3 level intervention in reading or math.

A Note from our Family Liaison

We want to share information with you regarding food assistance in our community. One list is for food assistance. The other is a list of organizations that offer free meals. As always, do not hesitate to reach out to us if you have a need.

Food City Linking

Please remember to link your Food City card to Kennedy Elementary! When you do this Food City donates a percentage back to our school and sends us a check to be used towards our school. It all adds up! We recently received a check from Food City for over $1000 for last school year. Help us beat that total this year by linking your Value Card! Thanks in advance!

Hint: You can even have other family members do this if they shop at Food City!

Kingsport City Schools Website

See the "Families" tab for more helpful information.

School-wide Behavior Expectations

Hear us H.O.W.L.!

Helping Others

Overcoming Challenges

Willingness to Learn

Leading with Respect

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The following section is called "Kennedy Constants". It's included each month for your reference.

Meet our Office Team!

Cindy Culbertson - Office Assistant

Kem Couch - Secretary

Debbie Allen - Family Liaison

Kim Oaks-Blair - School Counselor

Dustin Ford - Associate Principal

Janice Irvin - Principal

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Attendance, Absences, and Tardiness

Every Coyote is urged to form excellent habits regarding attendance and promptness. A good start every day helps foster a positive attitude. Should your Coyote be absent, please call our school office to let us know the reason (857-2700). Children should arrive to their classrooms no later than 8:30. Students are counted tardy if they are not in their classrooms by 8:30.


Please only send healthy snacks as a birthday treat for your child's class. We cannot accept cupcakes, cakes, or homemade items. Please make arrangements with your child's teacher before sending in healthy treats.

Flowers, balloons, etc. should not be sent to the office for students. Please give these sweet gifts at home.

Breakfast and Lunch Programs

Kennedy Elementary was the lucky recipient of a grant that allows our Coyotes to eat a "no cost" breakfast and lunch each day. Please have your Coyote to school by 7:55 if she or he needs to eat breakfast with us. Eating here is encouraged-- our food is really good.

Ice-cream day is Friday and must be purchased ($1)

Healthy chips can also be purchased ($1)

Bus Transportation

Students who live more than 1 mile from school are eligible for bus transportation. Our buses are 14, and 20. If your child's transportation plan needs to change, please call the office prior to 2:30 PM (earlier is always better) so we can make sure that message gets to your Coyote.

The number to the transportation garage is 423-578-1820, if needed.


  1. During AM drop off, please stay in your car and allow your child to exit independently.
  2. During AM drop off, please unload at all 4 numbers/lanes at the back cafeteria entrance. No need to stop at the bottom of the hill.
  3. During AM drop off, students can walk into the cafe from 7:45-8:30.
  4. In the afternoons, 4th and 5th grade cars (side parking lot) please turn RIGHT after you pick-up. Leave a lane open for emergencies.
  5. In the afternoons, PLEASE USE YOUR CAR TAG! :) There is often a glare and I cannot see faces until you are right beside me. This helps our line move as quickly as possible.
Please keep in mind when dropping off and picking up your child you will need to drive completely around our school to get in line. Please do not cut through even if there are no cars coming at that time. Our traffic pattern is "one way" during drop-off and pick-up.

Drop-off starts at 7:45am for K-5 and begins promptly at 8:35am for PreK students.

K-5 Students arriving after 8:30am must be walked to the front door by a family member.

Communication & Class Dojo

As a school, we voted to start using the ClassDojo app last year. This year we will fully implement the use of this app. It's an awesome tool for us to share events and pictures with you of your child doing great things!

Contact us!

857-2700 - Main Office

857-2704 - Cafeteria, Karen Mullins, Manager

857-2702 - Clinic, Nurse Linkous

378-2340 -Fax

1500 Woodland Avenue

Kingsport, TN 37665


Our school-wide expectations are used in all areas of our school.

They are:

H- Helping Others

O- Overcoming Challenges

W- Willingness to Learn

L- Leading with Respect

Hear us HOWL!

In addition to these expectations we use Positive Discipline with Lifeskills at Kennedy Elementary. We know that a part of growing our students as leaders includes citizenship and character. We believe our students are the best in Tennessee.

Food City Card Reminders

Please remember to link-up your Food City card with Kennedy Elementary. When you do this Food City donates a percentage back to our school and sends us a check to be used towards our school. It all adds up! Thanks in advance!

Hint: You can even have other family members do this if they shop at Food City!

Kennedy Lifeskills for Reference

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Kennedy Family Positive Discipline

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This (above) is the guide a group of Kennedy teachers brought back from a Positive Discipline training in Atlanta. Each teacher in our school uses this guide during Classroom Meetings each day.

Positive Discipline really boils down to discipline that is kind and firm. We focus on fixing the behavior, not necessarily punishment. It's based on respect and character building.


Each month we have fire drills, and other drills as mandated by state law. These are recorded. During drills students are instructed not to talk. Additionally, our school is also equipped with an AED (automated External Defibrillator).

Health and Medical

Our school nurse is Lorrie Linkous, RN. If your child is ever sick and you aren't sure if they are well enough to attend, you can always bring your child in to be checked by her. Many Kennedy faculty members have used her office in this capacity.

Additionally, we have a tele-medicine program where a child can be seen via a camera and equipment in Nurse Linkous's office. They can receive antibiotics through this program if needed! We encourage you to use this program! It's awesome!


As a general rule, Kennedy Elementary does not assign homework every night. We do encourage you to read with your child at least 20 minutes each night (about three story books with the littles!). If your child is older/able, they can read out loud to you on the way to practice, while you make dinner, or on your way to the grocery. Reading each night adds up! Please add this to your daily routine!

Lost and Found

Please, please, please put your child's first and last name/telephone number in your child's coat! We have a mountain of homeless coats by the end of the year! If you are wondering, we donate homeless coats to Higher Ground at the end of the year so they can go back into our Lynn Garden Community where needed. Please visit our Lost and Found periodically.

Opportunities for Coyotes

Ambassadors (4th and 5th Grade Student Council)

AM Tutoring (5th Grade)

Big Brothers Big Sisters (all grades)

Chorus (all grades)

HOWLers (Boys, 4th and 5th)

Kiwanis Club Readers (volunteers)


Ladies of Lynn Garden (Girls 4th and 5th)

Lego League

Speech Services for approved students

Spelling Bee (3rd, 4th, and 5th)

Snacks/Water Bottles

Everyone knows a hungry brain can't concentrate and learn. No need for our Coyotes to be hangry! Healthy snacks and water bottles are not only welcomed, they are encouraged! Please remind your Coyote that only water should be in their bottles. Examples of good snacks- Goldfish, cheese sticks, pretzels, and apples.

Testing Policies

For your information and scheduling purposes, a schedule of tests administered to our Coyotes is included on our district website under the "Parents" tab. You will also receive a school flier prior to the administration of standardized tests. Kennedy families will receive results of our TNReady/TCAP testing as soon as they become available (this past year it took several months).

Our KCS Website can be found here:

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Zones of Regulation

The Zones of Regulation®: A Curriculum Designed to Foster Self-Regulation and Emotional Control (2011, Social Thinking Publishing) is a curriculum comprised of lessons and activities designed by Leah Kuypers, M.A. Ed., OTR/L to help students gain skills in the area of self-regulation. The lessons and learning activities are designed to help the students recognize when they are in the different Zones (states of alertness/moods/feelings) as well as learn how to use tools (including sensory supports, calming techniques, and thinking strategies) to regulate the Zone they are in.

In addition to addressing self-regulation, the students will be gaining an increased vocabulary of emotional terms, skills in reading facial expressions, perspective on how others see and react to their behavior, insight on events that trigger their behavior, calming and alerting strategies, problem solving skills and much more. You can connect this work to parenting as home. We are excited to help our Coyotes stay in the Green Zone!

Taken from Zones of Regulation Content

Zoning and Tuition

If you have any questions feel free to contact Jim Nash ( via email or by calling (423)378-2100.