Kennedy Newsletter for Families

February 2021

Principal's Post

Greetings from the Kennedy Elementary Office!

Hello Kennedy Families,

It's snowing in Lynn Garden right now...and that's fine...but that groundhog better not see his shadow tomorrow! I am ready for SPRING! LOL!! It's hard to believe we are already in our second semester. This week and next all teachers will meet with administrators and academic coaches to look at student test data. We use this information to figure out what our students know and what they don't. Then we plan together and discuss what we will do if they don't know it, and what we will do if they have mastered the content. That teaching and learning cycle is what we use to make a plan for success for all students. We work to fill educational and understanding gaps every year, but this year we will work even harder to make sure all students are ready for the next grade level. Many families have been reaching out and asking how they can help make sure gaps are closed and content is mastered.

Here's what I recommend:

  • Make sure you are scheduled to have a conference with your child's teacher(s) this week. This is a time to look at your child's testing data and ask questions.
  • If your child is available, bring them to the conference (or part of it) so they can see teachers and families are a team.
  • Use Dojo and reach out to teachers to see what you can work on at home.
  • Have your child read every day and limit screen time.

Please don't hesitate to call or email me if you have questions or other needs.

Proud to serve you and the Lynn Garden Community,

Janice Irvin, Ed. D.


Kennedy Elementary

It's National School Counselors Week!

Kennedy Elementary is SO lucky to have the best School Counselor in Tennessee! Ms. Oaks-Blair is the HEART of our school and helps us in SO many ways! This year's theme is "All In" and we know she embodies those words beautifully for our Coyotes.

If you think of her this week, send her a little something and thank her for all she does. I know a note of thanks would mean the world to her! OR email her at

Family Survey

If you have already taken this survey on line or on paper, no need to do it again. However, if you missed it the first time we'd love to have some feedback from you!

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Online Safety Presentation

Do you feel like your child is safe online?

The internet can be a wonderful tool for learning. However, we know that it can also present our children with many dangers and expose them to age inappropriate material or predators. Please join us on February 2nd from 9:00-10:00 AM to learn from Amanda White, Child Advocacy Prevention Educational Coordinator, all about the dangers lurking on the web, apps, games, and more - and what you can do to protect your child.

Feel free to visit and on the homepage you can "physically" sign up to receive reminders (this isn't necessary though!). Guardians are also welcome to submit questions ahead of time to

Join us using the link below!

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How are we celebrating Valentine's Day this year?

  • Families may send in store purchased items only.
  • If food is a part of the celebration, it should follow our KCS healthy food guidelines and also be individually wrapped and store purchased with ingredient labels properly affixed. Non food options would be a great alternative here (Valentine pencils, erasers, stickers).
  • Please send in unopened bags of items and allow us to put baggies together for students. The fewer hands touching items, the better!
  • We will trade valentines on Friday, February 12, keep them over the weekend, and give them out on the Monday (2/15/21) after to kill germs.
  • Party in classrooms because JOY goes on!

Take Note of What's Coming Up

February 9: Howler's @ BOE Mtg.

February 12: Valentine's Day Parties

February 15: Valentine's Come Home!

March 12: End of Nine Weeks

March 15: NO SCHOOL ~ Teacher In-Service Day

March 18: Report Card Distribution

March 29 – April 2: NO SCHOOL ~ Spring Break

April 21: TN Ready ELA 1(Grades 3, 4, and 5)

April 22: TN Ready ELA 2 (Grades 3, 4, and 5)

April 22: Progress Report Distribution

April 23: TN Ready ELA 3 / 4 (Grades 3, 4, and 5)

April 26: TN Ready ELA Makeup

April 27: TN Ready Math 1 (No Calculator) (Grades 3, 4, and 5)

April 28: TN Ready Math 2 /3 (Calculator) (Grades 3, 4, and 5)

April 29: Science Testing (Grades 3, 4, and 5)

April 30: Make-Ups

May 19: Half Day ~ Last Day of School

May 19: End of Nine Weeks/ Report Card Distribution

Family Reminders for COVID-19 Absences

  • If anyone in your household takes a COVID test, your child should remain home until results are received. Please call our office at 857-2700 and we will get school related items ready for pick up.

Link your Food City card to Kennedy, please!

Have you linked your Food City card to Kennedy? This process has to be completed each year. In December, Food City delivered at check for over $500 from the cards linked to Kennedy. You can link your card by asking at the checkout line or you can link your card in your online account.
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A Message from our Cafeteria

Please see the February menu linked below. At times these menus may change without notice due to food availability, but that doesn't happen often. Please email our cafeteria manager, Karen Mullins, at if you have any questions.

February menu linked here.

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Kennedy is a Bully-Free Zone! #CoyotesAreKind

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**** Kennedy Office Staff ****

Cindy Culbertson - Office Assistant

Kem Couch- Award Winning KCS Secretary

Debbie Allen - Family Liaison

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.

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. Treats must follow our KCS healthy food guidelines.

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 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 7:30-8:05.
  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 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 - 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 this past summer. 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 (Subject to Change Due to 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:

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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!