Kennedy Newsletter for Families

April 3, 2020

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Principal's Post

Hello Kennedy Families,

Well, we made it through our first week of at-home instruction! THANK YOU for all of your work and connection with us! This is new for ALL of us and our learning curve is steep! We want to make sure that we are providing all of the support we can for your child(ren)! PLEASE do not hesitate to let us know how we can help you during this time! We know it can be stressful and we want to help ALLEVIATE any stress!

Please keep in mind that if you are stressed, you can take a step back, focus on your family, and move at your own pace. As we enter week two, please rest assured knowing that everything your child needs academically is in the packet of work that was distributed at school. Please continue to work through the daily assignments in the packet with your child. All things electronic are completely optional and are meant to be a way to check-in and stay connected with school.

I want to keep you in the loop on all the work we are doing at Kennedy to support your Coyote.

  • Teachers have been working this week to establish 2-way communication with each student and family. Teachers have been tasked with maintaining 2-way communications with each family at least once each week. This can happen through email, Class DoJo, or Zoom, or by telephone.
  • Please be sure to respond to your teacher's communication. If teachers are not able to have 2-way communication with a family, Kennedy's office staff will be reaching out to ensure that our students and families are okay.

Thanks for all you do,

Janice Irvin

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A Message from Coach Robbins

***Read this message together as a family!***

Hey Guys!

I miss you all and wish we were all back in the Cafegymatorium. Unfortunately, we cannot be together right now, but as we always talk about in PE, the only things you can always control are your attitude and your effort. So make sure you keep a great attitude, and let's make an effort to add some movement everyday.

I want you to think about all the lessons we have had this year, and how we talked about different ways you could practice your skills at home with limited equipment. I am going to post some ideas, but as always use your imagination and create your own activities

-Our warm up activities

  • Arm Circles-Shoulder Shrugs-Jumping Jacks-Trunk Twist-Arm Swings-Toe Touches-Side Lunges

  • Animal movements-

    • Dog-Snake-Bird-Frog-Bunny etc…

-Balloon Activities

-Roll your socks in a ball

  • Set up a cup and throw your socks and try to hit it

  • Toss the socks in a basket

  • Toss to self

  • Toss with a guardian or bother/sister

    • Use cups to catch the ball

  • Balance on different body parts

-Use napkins as juggling scarves

These are just a few examples, but please use these to get your creative juices flowing.

Below I am posting some online resources that have great activities to get you moving.

a. Action for Healthy Kids – Parents and caregivers can use these activities and resources to keep their kids moving, learning, and eating when kids are out of school for any reason.

b. Fitbound - Being safe and practicing social distancing doesn’t mean you have to stop exercising. Fitbound brings exercise right into your home by allowing you to access HIIT, Yoga, Dance, and more anytime, anywhere.

c. GoNoodle – Families only need an email address to get access to all the activity videos GoNoodle has to offer.

d. Hip-Hop Public Health: H.Y.P.E. at Home – Hip Hop Public Health has put together a collection of free, fun, standards-based dance breaks that encourage physical activity at home. You can also download these resources and save them on your computer. Sort by content level, academic standard, grade level, and more.

e. OPEN Active Home – The Online Physical Education Network provides free, rigorous, outcomes-based curriculum tools to every physical education teacher and physically active school community. The Active Home Module includes videos, PDF, and Word files all with detailed instructions of the “how” and “why” for each activity. Resources are provided to support active homes for students and families K-12.

f. Sworkit Kid Workouts – Kid workouts are always free regardless of having access to a membership. Categories for kids include strength, agility, flexibility, warm-up, cool-down, or stand up and move.

g. Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE America) – Examples include mind & body calendars, online PE guidance and content from educators for supporting health and physical education from home.

h. SPARKhome - Create a FREE account to access 3 weeks of materials (15 per program: K-2, 3-6, Middle School, High School) to keep students active & healthy. We also encourage parents to create a free account so they can directly access the materials. To access the SPARKhome programs:

a. Create a FREE account or log in to an existing account.

b. Click the "Course Catalog" dropdown and select SPARKhome (Free).

g. Taylor’s Martial Arts-Taylor's Martial Arts have recorded several P.E. class

videos to help support students during our time of closure. The videos are fun for

kids of all ages, and parents are welcome to participate as well :)

Have Fun and Stay Active

Coach Robbins


You may have already heard from your child's teacher that interactive optional ZOOM sessions are being planned to begin next week. Teachers are so excited to connect with their students and facilitate students being able to connect with each other again! Below are some links and documents that may be helpful as your family embarks on this virtual journey:

Zoom tips:

  • Please help us be respectful of student privacy and do not post Zoom pictures to social media. (This is the same as our cafeteria guidelines.)
  • The Zoom links that you will receive from your teacher are for your child only. Do not share.
  • Our settings on Zoom are set to record the Zoom class session. We will not share these videos outside of our KCS network. We will not be able to share these videos with families or others in order to protect student privacy. I will not be able to join every class's Zoom session but look forward to watching sessions at a later time.
  • Students also have the ability to call in from a phone if they are unable to access Zoom from an internet-connected device.
  • ZOOM Directions for Students and Families (click here for directions)

Zoom Support:

We hope you enjoyed our virtual spirit week!

It was great seeing all of the ways our Coyotes were HOWLing this week! Thanks for participating! We miss you!

Playgrounds Closed

As we continue to work with and align with the city on safety decisions, please note that playgrounds will now be closed to the public, starting immediately.

At this time (based on information from the city), other outdoor spaces, such as tennis, tracks, and walking paths, have not been closed. If anything should change regarding this, we will let you know as soon as we are able. This makes me incredibly sad and I can't wait to open it again.

From our School Counselor

Dear students and families ,

My week has been so much brighter by seeing so many of you on classroom Zoom meetings. It has given me so much joy to see such smiling faces and reconnect with our students and families. I am thankful that we can still be connected even though we can't be together physically in our school building. I am appreciative of our teachers for letting me join and talk to students about how they are coping with this big change in how we "learn" and "live" right now.

I have posted some links on Class DoJo to help access a read aloud book, The Yucky Bug, by Julia Cook. It is a great book that helps us discuss things that are going on in our world in a non-scary way. It also empowers children to know that they are truly helping others by using physical distancing. I love the opportunity that books give us to talk as a family and comfort our children.

In addition, I posted a wonderful article on Dojo about how we can support our children socially and emotionally throughout this time in our world. I hope you can check that out, too. I think it will be a true resource for your entire family.

Please continue to reach out to me as I am here to help. You can call, email, or DoJo message me. I will get back with you as soon as I can. Remember, we are all in this TOGETHER.

Love, Mrs. Oaks-Blair, School Counselor

Tennessee Dept. of Ed Closure Toolkit for Families

This toolkit provides a number of resources that can be used to support at- home learning during periods of closure.

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KCS Family Resource Page

Please click this button to see a list of local resources for food, clothes, etc.

KCS Food Program (same as last week)

  • Program is available at 10 AM - 2 PM at all eight elementary schools, Sevier, Robinson, and Dobyns-Bennett each weekday. We will restart the program on Monday, 3/30 following spring break.
  • This is for all children 18 and under. Children do not have to be Kingsport City Schools students.
  • Breakfast and lunch will be given during the 10 AM - 2 PM time frame.
  • Bus routes will leave schools starting at 10 AM.
  • If you are not on a bus route and live within Kingsport City limits, please call (423) 392-4670 or (423) 392-4416 to be added to a bus route if needed.
  • Please click the following link for full details about the KCS feeding program. We encourage all families with children 18 and under to take advantage of this opportunity.

    KCS Feeding Program

Other Web Based Resources

Here are some websites that you can visit to support your student's learning at home. I'm sure many of these are duplicates of what you already have, but we hope you find something new in here that your lion will love!

Website URL

PBS Kids

Switcheroo Zoo

National Geographic for Kids

Dr. Seuss

Little Golden Books

Starfall (reading and literacy)

Fun Brain

(math, reading, Wimpy Kid)

National Constitution Center

Into the Book

**Khan Academy (math)

Storyline Online

(actors read to kids)


(yes, that magazine!)

**=Irvin's top pick!

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Kennedy is a Bully-Free Zone! #CoyotesAreKind

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**** Kennedy Office Staff ****

Cindy Salyer - Office Assistant

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Kem Padgett - Award Winning KCS Secretary

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Debbie Allen - Family Liaison

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Kim Oaks-Blair - School Counselor

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Heather Hobbs - Associate Principal

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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.

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

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!