Kennedy Newsletter for Families

October 2019

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Principal's Post

Kennedy Families,

Greetings from the Kennedy Elementary Office!

Our school was pleased and proud to host some of our Board of Education members on September 30. We invited them to Kennedy so they could see "first hand" the outstanding work that happens here each day. We shared our school vision with the BOE and re-affirmed the fact that we are here for the "whole child" and not just academics. It was a great visit, and of course our Coyotes did a great job hosting!

This school and it's community is a blessing in my life, and I hope you feel the same way. I am proud to say I love my job and the work we do. Thanks so much for partnering with us in your child's education. My goal this year is to help each child at our school know they are loved and continue to realize their potential. How am I doing? Feel free to email me with comments and concerns.

Proud to serve you and the Lynn Garden Community,

Janice Irvin, Ed. D.

Proud Principal

Kennedy Elementary

Kennedy is a Bully-Free Zone! #CoyotesAreKind

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Dear KCS Families,

Kingsport City Schools launched a new anonymous reporting tool called P3 Campus. The P3 Campus anonymous reporting solution is an upgraded replacement to Quick Tip (our previous platform) where students, employees, and the community can share information and concerns with administrators and law enforcement.

Students can use P3 Campus to report: assault, bullying, cyberbullying, fighting, suicide concerns, drugs, alcohol, weapons or other types of dangerous situations that threaten their safety or the safety of others for the purpose of prevention and intervention.

Reporting can be done via the school or district websites (click the light bulb icon on the homepage), P3 Campus mobile app, going to, or by scanning the QR code on posters in schools.

P3 Campus will help keep our students and our school safer by:

  • Creating a positive school culture and community
  • Giving students a voice to share concerns
  • Gathering information to proactively address concerns.
  • Preventing tragedies from the personal level to the community level
  • Building trust within our school community

P3 Campus is one more part of our continuous efforts to improve school and student safety. Please encourage your student to use this potentially life saving technology when needed to better our schools and community.

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Coins for Cancer

We collected Coins for Cancer last week and our Coyotes "went gold" to bring awareness to the fact that #kidsgetcancertoo. Together we raised over $500 to send to St. Judes! Way to go, Coyotes!
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Join our PTA!

We meet at alternating times depending on the month to accommodate for all families. Please see our monthly dates to remember for a date and time for the next meeting.
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Here are some dates you'll want to know about!


October 1 - IHOP (Stone Drive) PTA Donation Night 5-8PM! Don't cook tonight!

Come out and Eat Pancakes to raise money for our PTA! Pancakes + Coyotes = :)

October 2 - Picture Retake Day (Say Cheese!) AND National Custodians Day! Send in a treat for our custodians! We love Carol, Crystal, and Brittany! They take amazing care of JFK!

October 4 - Teacher In-service Day (No School)

October 8 - PTA Meeting at 12:00noon here at JFK

October 14 -18 Fall Break (No School)

October 21-24 - Book Fair open 8:00-3:30pm (We get a portion of the profits!! Yay!)

October 24 - Book Fair 3:45-5:00 & Spooky Literacy Night 5:00-6:30

October 25 - Book Fair closes at 11:00am


November 7 - Veterans Day Program at 6:00 at JFK (all 4th and 5th Graders sing)

***Please wear jeans and red, white, and/or blue tops. Safe shoes please!

November 12 - PTA Meeting at 6:00PM here at JFK

November 14 - Fall Festival 4:00-6:00 (More info to come! This is SO fun!)

November 21 - Thankful Meal at JFK 5:00-6:30PM ***This is the correct time! We are thankful for you! Come enjoy a no cost Thanksgiving Meal with our JFK Staff!

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RTI - What is it, and how does JFK support my child?

Kennedy Elementary is committed to helping all children succeed. We have many ways to help children who are struggling to learn and who need additional supports to be successful. Response to Instruction and Intervention (RTI²) is one form of support.

What is RTI²?

A multi-tiered delivery system that uses a data-driven problem-solving model to identify specific student need and match appropriate instructional strategies.

What does the RTI² Framework look like?

The RTI² Framework has three tiers. Each tier provides differing levels of support.

  • In Tier l, all students receive research-based, high quality, general education instruction that incorporates ongoing universal screening and ongoing assessment to inform instruction.
  • In Tier ll, intervention is implemented when assessment indicates that a student is not making adequate gains from Tier I instruction alone. In addition to Tier I instruction, students are provided small group interventions designed to meet their specific needs. These students are progress monitored weekly or every other week using a tool that is sensitive to measuring changes in the student’s individual skills.
  • In Tier III, more intensive interventions are provided to students who have not made significant progress in Tier II, who are more than 1.5 grade levels behind, or who are below the 10th percentile. These students are progress monitored weekly or every other week using a tool that is sensitive to measuring changes in the student’s individual skills.

What are the key components of the RTI² Framework?

A key component of RTI² is that all children receive high quality curriculum and instruction in the general education classroom (Tier l).

Another component of RTI² is that the school conducts universal screenings. Universal screenings review the performance and progress of all students through brief assessments. Universal screenings help schools identify students who may need more support or other types of instruction.

As a result of universal screenings, students may be identified as needing targeted intervention (Tier ll) in addition to the high quality instruction they are receiving in Tier l. Research based interventions are used to support students in the area(s) in which they are struggling. Research based interventions are teaching strategies or methods that have been proven effective in helping children learn.

Another key component of RTI² is progress monitoring. Progress monitoring is a way for teachers to take a snapshot of how children are doing on a specific skill. It shows how well the intervention is working. It includes formal and informal assessments. Progress monitoring helps determine whether an intervention is successful or needs to be changed. This information is shared with parents on a regular basis.

When progress monitoring indicates that the intervention is no longer needed, the child continues to receive support from the general education curriculum (Tier I). When progress monitoring shows that a child is not responding to the intervention, another approach or intervention may be tried. If a higher level of support is needed, students may be given more intense intervention that further focuses on the supporting skills they need to be successful learners (Tier lll). Students who do not respond to Tier III interventions may be referred for special education.

Students receiving Tier II or Tier III interventions will take home a letter every 4 1/2 weeks to let their families know how they are progressing.

Here are a few ways parents can support what their child is doing in school:

  • Make reading an everyday habit a home
  • Communicate with your child’s teacher
  • Monitor and assist with homework assignments
  • Review progress monitoring data
  • Share your child’s successes
  • Learn more about the curricula and interventions being used in your child’s school
  • Attend parent/teacher conferences and other school meeting about your child

Talk to your child’s teacher or principal for more information about how RTI² is being implemented in your child’s school.

For more information, please contact:

Heather Hobbs, Associate Principal or 857-2700

**** 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 this permanent section 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)

Per school policy, students cannot bring fast food in the cafeteria. Please have your student eat his/her meal prior to arriving at school.

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 2:45 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.


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) and stock EpiPens.

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)

Breakfast Club (for students with sensory needs)

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 qualifying 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:

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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Highlights - more pictures can be found on Twitter! @KCS_Kennedy

Hear us HOWL!