Kennedy Newsletter for Families

Week of August 31

Principal's Post

Kennedy Families,

Greetings from the Kennedy Elementary Office!

We are so excited to welcome our Face-to-Face students back into our hallways on Monday, August 31. Secretaries, Office Assistants, Custodians, Cafeteria Workers , Instructional Assistants, Teachers, School Counselors, Family Liaisons, and Administrators have been working non-stop to make sure your child(ren)'s return to school is as safe as possible. We feel confident in our plan and have tried to account for every moment of a student's day. Because school looks different this year we have some new procedures to tell you about. It will take a week or two for us to get everything running smoothly. Please be patient with us as we begin a school year that will be like no other!

Some changes you'll see in this Newsletter include:

  • New School Start time (8:30 AM) and end time (3:30 PM)
  • New Pick-up procedures (for some)
  • No Friday drop off/pick up of work for Face-to-Face (bring your work Monday)
  • To reduce close interactions with students and cafeteria monitors please only pack things for your child's lunch that your child can open. We will not open lunch items at this time (with the exception of IEP needs).

It is a true joy to be the principal of Kennedy Elementary. I am someone who is lucky enough to say, "I love my job!". If there is ever anything I can improve upon, please let me know. I want to ensure that your child(ren) and mine have a wonderful elementary school experience.

Proud to serve you and the Lynn Garden Community,

Janice Irvin, Ed. D.


Kennedy Elementary

All Students MUST Wear Masks!

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Family Tip: Put your child's mask in their backpack the night before.

Speaking from experience (unfortunately) it is easy to walk out of the house and forget masks for everyone! Keep some clean ones in your car and put some in your child's backpack. PLEASE PUT YOUR CHILD'S NAME ON HIS/HER MASK. The only thing grosser than not wearing a mask is wearing someone else's! haha!

Bus Riders

  • Bus Riders will have assigned seats for the AM run and the PM run.
  • Please ensure your child doesn't have a fever before they get on the bus.
  • Masks are mandatory for the entire ride.
  • Bus Riders will be kept in the smallest groups possible while waiting to be picked up from school.
  • Riding a school bus is a privilege. We expect outstanding behavior from our students.

A Day in the Life of a Coyote!

A Day in the Life of a Coyote (Covid-Style)

Important Logistical Information (Please read prior to the first day of school.)

Our doors will open for students at 7:30 a.m. each morning. We will serve a boxed "grab and go" breakfast each day from 7:30-8:30 a.m. Students planning to eat breakfast at school need to arrive prior to 8:15 a.m. in order to ensure an on-time arrival to class.

Upon arrival, students should proceed to the following areas:

  • The ideal time to drop your child off is between 8:15 and 8:30 at the cafe doors. This will allow them to grab a breakfast and report to their classroom without having to sit in the Cafeteria. This is a great option for families wishing to cut down on their child's "contacts".

  • 7:30-7:45 - All students will report to the gym where they will be seated by homeroom and will be socially distanced from other homerooms. (Few students arrive during this time span.)

  • After 7:45 all students will be moved out of the cafeteria to provide smaller numbers awaiting the 8:30 school start time. Students will be reading silently or completing other practice work during this time.


**ALWAYS BRING YOUR ID - In regards to dismissal, we want to be as proactive and safe as possible in dismissing our students. Therefore, it is essential that anyone picking up students during the day must ALWAYS be prepared to show identification.

CAR TAGS - We have a drive-through car line dismissal system at Kennedy. Car tags have been assigned and will be sent home the first day in student folders. Please use these every day to keep the car line moving quickly.

Kindergarten, 1st Graders and their siblings will dismiss out the Kindergarten side doors.

2nd and 3rd Graders and their older siblings will exit out the Cafeteria doors.

4th and 5th Graders will walk out the 4th and 5th grade hallway and go to the detached parking lot by the kickball field.


*Car line begins at 3:30 and all parents must be in car line by 3:40 p.m.

*Walkers must live within 1 mile of our school. Students may not be "walkers" and walk to a car. Thanks for understanding!

Information about Kindergarten

Please review the communication sent via ClassDojo from your child's teacher. This information shared Kindergarten-specific and classroom-specific details for your child's class and your child's schedule.

Kindergarten Schedule for the Week of August 31st:

Monday: Group A attends from 9:30-12:00

Tuesday: Group B attends from 9:30-12:00

Wednesday: Group A attends from 9:30-12:00

Thursday: Group B attends from 9:30-12:00

Friday: NO SCHOOL FOR STUDENTS, Parent/Family/Teacher Conference Day (by appt)

No School - Coming Up!

*Don't forget that students do NOT attend school on

Friday, September 4th or Monday, September 7th (Labor Day)

September 4th is Family/Parent/Teacher Conference day. If desired, please request a conference with your child's teacher via email or ClassDojo.

Parent/Family/Teacher Conferences

At this point, due to the delayed start to school and virtual learning format, we do not feel our knowledge of your child’s individual development is keen enough to discuss in a conference on Friday, September 4th. Should you still wish to have a virtual conversation at this point in time, we will make ourselves available throughout the week of August 31. These virtual appointments will be scheduled upon request and in collaboration to accommodate the teacher and families’ schedules.

We would like to thank you for your patience and perseverance as we have navigated these first weeks of school. We have enjoyed connecting virtually with you and your students. We look forward to continuing the process of getting to know your child(ren) as learners. The upcoming week of Face to Face instruction will help us get to know your child on a more personal and individual level. It is through such personal knowledge, quality of work, and observation that we plan our discussion points and next steps prior to a parent/teacher conference. We do, however, offer conferences by appointment at any time throughout the year and we would be happy to share details of your child’s progress, strengths, and areas to strengthen in a future meeting.

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Kennedy is a Bully-Free Zone! #CoyotesAreKind

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**** Kennedy Office Staff ****

Cindy Salyer - Office Assistant

Kem Padgett - Award Winning KCS Secretary

Debbie Allen - Family Liaison

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Kim Oaks-Blair - School Counselor

Brett Herron - Associate Principal

Dr. Janice Irvin - Principal

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Kennedy Constants

We hope you find it helpful! Please let us know if we can clarify anything for you.

New Policy in Effect - No Visitors

For the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff Kennedy Elementary will NOT allow visitors in our school. This includes not being able to walk your child to their classroom or eat breakfast/lunch. Thanks for your understanding.

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. Children should arrive to their classrooms no later than 8:15 having eaten breakfast.


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.

Later this year....

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 04, 14, and 20. If your child's transportation plan needs to change, please call the office prior to 2:45 PM (earlier is always better) so we can make sure that message gets to your Coyote.

The number to the transportation garage is 392-4416, 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. No need to stop at the bottom of the hill.
  3. During AM drop off, students can walk into the cafe from 7:30-8:15.
  4. In the afternoons, 4th and 5th grade cars (side parking lot) please turn RIGHT after you pick-up.
  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.

Communication & Class Dojo

As a school, we use 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 - Cafe, Karen Mullins

857-2702 -Nurse Lundy

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.

Kennedy Family Lifeskills for Reference

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Kennedy Family Positive Discipline Reference

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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 Angie Lundy, RN. She is outstanding and has been at Kennedy for over a decade. 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 Lundy'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

To be determined depending on how our school year goes with Covid-19:

Ambassadors (4th and 5th Grade Student Council)

AM Tutoring (5th Grade)

Big Brothers Big Sisters (all grades)

Chorus (all grades)

DBYes (DB student mentors)

HOWLers (Boys, 4th and 5th)

Kiwanis Club Readers (volunteers)

RTI - Response to Intervention (time set aside to catch up academically)


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

Lego League

Maker Space (only one in a KCS elementary school!)

Morning Mile (Coach Robbins - 7:45-8:00)

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:

Visitors (None this Year)

Per KCS Procedural Manual
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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 don't live in Lynn Garden but you would like your child to attend/continue attending Kennedy, you will need to apply for a zoning exemption every year. Applications for the 2020-2021 school year will be available on our website starting in March 2020.

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

Approvals are based on: Attendance, Behavior, and Classroom Space

Our vision, our students, our community, our future!

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Hear us HOWL!