Kennedy Newsletter for Families

May 2021

Principal's Post

Hello Kennedy Families,

It's hard to believe this school year is over. I always feel that way, but this year it has really snuck up on me. We have been working so hard this year that I think I forgot it would end at some point!

As we leave each other for a few months I wanted to share a few things from the office that I hope will help with parenting over the summer. I have an "Advice from the Office" section below based off of things I have seen happening with our Coyotes this year.

So proud to serve you,

Janice Irvin, Principal

Advice from the Office

1. Delete your child's TikTock. I have dealt more in the office with TiKTock this year than ever. Good kids make bad choices sometimes. Not having an account on this "wide open" app is a great way to help your child(ren) stay happy and safe. Instagram is not safe for our kids either. Also, be aware that there are many Apps right now where people may be able to directly chat with your child. If your child is on the internet make sure you check all of their apps, messages, comments, friends, and everything else.

2. Be mindful of screen time. Our students have been on screens a lot this year, and their minds need a break. Make sure your child(ren) is going outside and playing imaginative games over the break. Children learn SO much through play. Reading a new series is also a great idea! If you need book recommendations for your child, you can always call Ms. McKinney in the library!

3. Mental health is a hot topic right now, and our children have not been immune from experiencing stress these last 14 or so months. I have seen anxiety on the rise in our students this year and I want you to know if your child is struggling, you are not alone! Contact Ms. Oaks-Blair if you need help with anything having to do with "the heart".

Congratulations to Mr. Andy Walters!

I am pleased to inform you that Mr. Walters has been selected to receive the 2021 ETSU Clemmer College Outstanding Mentor Teacher award. This award recognizes supervisors who have gone above and beyond for ETSU Student Teachers.

Congratulations on this achievement!

KCS Summer Learning Experience Acceptance Letters Coming Home

Summer Learning starts on June 1! We are really proud to announce we have had the best response rate in Kingsport from our Families. We have over 100 students attending! Hooray!!! This is going to be a REALLY FUN summer! Our teachers are excited to offer many rich experiences for your child(ren).


The Summer Learning Experience at Kennedy runs five weeks beginning June 1 through July 1 (June 1-4, then Monday through Thursday until July 1). Students participate four days a week, 8:45 a.m. until 3:10 p.m. Transportation (if needed), breakfast, and lunch will be provided for each student. A KCS teacher will be reaching out to you soon with more information about the experience and how your child(ren) will benefit from this experience.

Questions? Call our main office, or email Mr. Herron at

Take Note

May 6 - Orleans-Hannah Math Placement Test 9am (5th Graders only)

May 7 - Field Day (Rain Date May 14) No Families this year, please. Tennis shoes for students and athletic wear would be great!

May 17 - 4th Grade Goal Celebration #2 (2nd try- multiplication to 11s)(2nd try- Study Island Work)

May 18 - 5th Grade Promotion 9:00am (Bring a lawn chair please & see map below)

May 19 - 1/2 Last Day of School - Talent Show (PreK-2 at 9:30 & 3-5 10:30 - possibly live streamed this year

June 1 - 1st Day of KCS Summer Learning Experience -Mr. Herron, Principal

Summer Learning Experience Dates

June 1 - 4

June 7 - 10

June 21 - 24

June 28 - July 1

5th Grade Graduation Info Map

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What to know for 5th Grade Graduation

A very special "thank you" to Ms. Callie Jeter for creating these maps for us.

Please note:

  • Each student can have a maximum of 4 guests attending graduation
  • 5th Graders will line up on the track. They will process in through the balloon arch to "Pomp and Circumstance" and sit down on picnic tables.
  • Bring your chair and set it up on the Basketball Court.
  • Refreshments for students will be offered.
  • Families may check out their Coyote with classroom teachers after graduation.
  • We encourage all students to dress up for this event.
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Related Arts Website!

Our amazing Related Arts Team has created a website for your family! Please click the link below for ideas about Art, PE, Music, and Library! They will put all of their info in one place for you and update it periodically. Fun!
KCS Family Resource Page

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

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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

Janice Irvin - Principal

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Kennedy Constants (always included)

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!