Kennedy Newsletter for Families

March 29, 2020

Principal's Post

Hello Kennedy Families,

I never thought I would be writing a newsletter to you to discuss a long-term school closure. I still sometimes find myself unable to comprehend the issues our schools, community and country are facing as a result of COVID-19. I find peace in knowing that this too shall pass and soon enough we will return to life as we once knew it!

In this update I will be sharing a variety of topics. I plan to begin sending you a weekly Smore instead of a monthly Smore during our closure so that I can keep you up-to-date and well-informed. Please feel free to email me any time you have additional questions or concerns.

I also want to try and reduce any anxiety you may be feeling about "homeschooling". First and foremost, please do not try to reproduce a 7.5 hour school day during this time. The work packets that we shared were meant to take much less time than a normal school day and are a way for students to maintain what they have learned this school year. We did not include any new material in the work packets. We planned for the packet work to begin on Monday, March 30th, and we separated reading and math tasks into daily sections. If you get behind, please don't have your child do multiple days in one setting. We completely understand that many of you are working from home and struggle to also be your child's "teacher". Do the best you can and know we understand! Also, feel free to reach out to your child's teacher via Class Dojo. As we continue throughout our school closure, teachers will be checking in with you periodically and will also be providing some additional support/contact time for students.

Again, feel free to contact me or your child's teacher if you have questions or need assistance. We will return your message within 24 hours Monday through Friday. I wish you health and happiness during this unprecedented time!

Thanks for all you do,

Janice Irvin

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KCS Food Distribution Program

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

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Let's Have Some Virtual Fun!

Even though we are home we can still have some fun together! This week is a Kennedy Spirit Week--AT YOUR HOUSE! Families, you can get in on the fun too! Below is the break down for this week's fun to show your Coyote Pride! Take pictures and send them to us ( and we'll add some of them to next week's newsletter. You can also tag them on twitter at @KCS_Kennedy or @KCS_District. Dress up, have fun, and we can't wait to "see"you!
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KCS Food Program: Updated!

  • 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.

From our School Counselor

Dear Kennedy Families,

Social distancing and being together as a family unit for long periods of time is new for us all and it can be stressful at times.

Here are some tips for combating anxiety:

  • Focus on what you can control (thoughts, behaviors, reactions)
  • Look for something to be thankful for and joy in simple moments
  • Limit news consumption and social media (as this can bring us down)
  • Reach out by phone or video chat for connection to others
  • Ask for help if you need it and know you are not alone in this

Please know that you are welcome to reach out to me for any of your child's social/emotional needs by email at, my office phone number at 423-857-2705 ( I will be checking messages regularly), or by private DoJo messenger.

Please know I am still here for you and missing seeing our entire Kennedy family.


Mrs. Oaks-Blair
School Counselor

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KCS Family Resource Page

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

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!