Kennedy Newsletter for Families

April 15, 2020

Big picture

Sorry this is late!

Kennedy families: I'm sorry this is late! I walked down to finish this newsletter and send it on Monday and this is what we found in our basement...Flooding.

We spent about 48 hours ripping carpet out and running fans and de-humidifiers. Turns out the Irvin family needs a new roof and gutters. :( While this is not ideal, I know our friends in Chattanooga are dealing with a tornado so that definitely puts this situation into perspective.

I hope you all are staying healthy and dry!

Now onto the Newsletter! :)

Principal's Post

Hello Kennedy Families,

I hope you enjoyed your Easter weekend and have been able to find a schedule that works for your family during these trying times. I know many of you are trying to work, teach your children, referee :-), cook, breathe, and enjoy family time. We know that all families are feeling the stress of trying to do it all. Please remember to give yourself flexibility and grace- every day cannot go as you'd like and that is okay! We understand! We are in this together and we are all making the best of a tough situation.

Please take the time to fill out the Family Survey in this newsletter. It will help us support your family. If you have additional questions or concerns please email me at We will continue to make adjustments and improvements to our processes based on your feedback!

There are many resources in today's newsletter. Do not let that overwhelm you. These are all optional resources to provide additional support for families who would like the utilize them. My best advice during our time away from school is to make sure your child(ren) are READING EACH DAY! Nothing is more important for your child's education.

Please let me know if we can be of assistance to your family during our school closure. We are looking forward to the day we are back in the hallways of John F. Kennedy!

I miss you all so much!

Janice Irvin

ReadyRosie Available for Students in PreK-3rd

All Tennessee families can sign up NOW for a free subscription to ReadyRosie through September 1.

Through a partnership with the Governor’s Early Literacy Foundation, families can access ReadyRosie’s Modeled Moments library. Hundreds of short videos available in both English and Spanish, provide families with simple, fun and engaging instructional activities that they can then replicate with their own children and are rooted in learning goals for children on topics such as literacy, early math, health and well-being. These videos help build upon the important work that happens in the classroom.

Parents can easily sign up to receive emails or text messages with curated videos:

Question and Answer Section

Here are the answers to some Frequently Asked Questions just for you!

Question: My child left important items at school- is there a time we can pick up those items?

Answer: Please email or and we will make arrangements for your to pick up those items.

Question: How can I get the bus to deliver lunches to my address?

Answer: Please call 423-392-4416 and leave a voicemail to schedule delivery.

Question: My child needs additional work/advanced work/modified work.

Answer: Please reach out to your child's teacher. They can provide additional resources at this time. Current work packets go through April 24th. Should our closure be extended, we will communicate additional plans.

Question: I worry about my child falling behind academically.

Answer: Packet work is meant to review and maintain what was already taught this school year. We will address any untaught standards when we return to school. Insuring that your child is reading each day is a great way to help them stay on track academically.

Question: My family cannot attend Zoom meetings.

Answer: Zoom meetings are completely optional. Join if you are able. You can also call into Zoom meetings by phone. Your teacher can share directions for joining by phone.

Question: How can we get correct answers for math/literacy problems?

Answer: Please reach out to your child's teacher for help. If you are struggling, there are likely many others feeling the same. Teachers will address questions in Zoom meetings, via Class Dojo, or email. Teachers are constantly asking for additional ways to help students and will be more than happy to assist you.

Question: I am struggling to keep up with log-ins and websites.

Answer: Please reach out to your child's teacher via Class Dojo or email for help. They can send you the needed info.

Hope some of these are helpful to you and yours!

Big picture
Click Here for Family Survey!!!

Please let us know how we are doing! We appreciate you!

Big picture

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!
Big picture

Online Book Fair coming!

Be on the look out for a link from the office- Our Scholastic Book Fair will last for 2 weeks and our school library receives 25% of the profit from each book! Our students have already seen a preview of many of the books in their library classes with Ms. McKinney.

We miss you so much!

Keep practicing those H.O.W.L. Expectations!

Helping Others

Overcoming Challenges

Willingness to Learn

Leading with Respect

Low-cost Internet Information

(WJW) — Amid the coronavirus pandemic that is closing schools, businesses, attractions and events across the country, Comcast Cable is reaching out to low-income families to offer assistance so they can stay connected.

“For millions of low-income Americans who don’t have Internet service at home, this uncertain time is going to be even more difficult to manage,” Comcast said in a press release. “As schools and businesses close and families are encouraged, or even mandated, to stay home, Internet connectivity becomes even more important.”

Starting Monday, Comcast is putting in place two program enhancements to help low-income families.

Here is the breakdown on the packages:

  • Low-income families in the Comcast service area can sign up for 60 days of complimentary Internet Essentials service, which is normally available to all qualified low-income households for $9.95/month.
  • Also, we are increasing Internet speeds for the Internet Essentials service from 15/2 Mbps to 25/3 Mbps for all new and existing customers, which will be the speed of the service going forward.

To sign up, applicants can simply visit There are also two dedicated phone numbers 1-855-846-8376 for English and 1-855-765-6995 for Spanish.

Playgrounds Still 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.

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.

Big picture
KCS Family Resource Page

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

Big picture
Big picture

Kennedy is a Bully-Free Zone! #CoyotesAreKind

Big picture

**** Kennedy Office Staff ****

Cindy Salyer - Office Assistant

Big picture

Kem Padgett - Award Winning KCS Secretary

Big picture

Debbie Allen - Family Liaison

Big picture

Kim Oaks-Blair - School Counselor

Big picture

Heather Hobbs - Associate Principal

Big picture

Dr. Janice Irvin - Principal

Big picture
Big picture

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

Big picture

Kennedy Family Positive Discipline Reference

Big picture
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:

Big picture

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!

Big picture

Hear us HOWL!