Warrior Beat

Student Focused-World Class

Word From Holly


On Friday and Saturday, I participated in the Nicewonger Foundation's Leadership Institute. A significant portion of our time was spent focusing on the importance of a positive adult culture in a school. We know that the adult culture of a school is critical because the adult culture of a school directly impacts the climate of the school ...and the climate of a school directly impacts students. Culture matters.

We have read and discussed Tom Many's article, What's On Your Refrigerator Door , several times. If you have not read the article or would like to re-read it, here is a link to the article:


The message of this article is one of highest importance. It reminds us of the importance of keeping our vision ahead of us at all times. It reminds us of the importance of the discipline required by adults in a building in order to help us align our thoughts, words and actions to our vision. It reminds us that building a positive school culture demands much more than talking the talk. Building a positive school culture requires walking the walk.

During the leadership institute this weekend, we were asked to articulate what our “mental model” was for a positive school culture. We were asked to imagine what a positive school culture would look like within a school building. What would we see? What conversations would we hear in the front office? What conversations would we hear in collaborative planning meetings? What conversations would we hear during lunchtime? What interactions would adults have with students? What we wrote down, was considered our “mental model” for how WE viewed a positive school culture.

After we individually wrote down our own “mental model” we read the following quote:

“Mental Models are the images, assumptions, and stories which we carry in our minds of ourselves, other people, institutions, and every aspect of the world. Like a pane of glass framing and subtly distorting our vision, mental models determine what we see…differences between mental models explain why two people can observe the same event and describe it differently; they are paying attention to different details. Mental models also shape how we act…But because mental models are usually tacit, existing below the level of awareness, they are often untested and unexamined.”

The Fifth Discipline by Peter Senge

This work challenged me in thinking about whether our mental model of a positive school culture is clear. What does it really mean to be “student focused?” Like the Tom Many article inquires of its readers, what evidence do we have to suggest that what we value is what would be seen and heard within our building? In order to take the next step in deepening our professional learning community at Sevier, what specific goals and collective commitments can we make in order to ensure that our mental models are in sync? In the next few months and in moving into next year, we will continue our work of digging into our school culture by identifying specific school goals relating to school culture. We will also continue to work to identify what collective commitments we will make as a school that can serve as guideposts for us to help support us in being responsible to the core values that we hold dear.

Our culture matters. Our climate matters. Every thought, every intention, ever word and every action we take matters. Few people have the privilege of going to work every day with a chance to change the world. We do! I wouldn’t want to have the responsibility of having this charge of changing the world with any other group of people! It’s a high calling. We matter.


Week of the Warrior:

Monday, February 29th

Track Practice 3:00-4:30

Softball Practice: 3:00-5:00 Players should be prepared for indoor or outdoor practice.

Baseball Practice: 3:00-5:00 Players should be prepared for indoor or outdoor practice.

Chamber Choir-2:50-3:30

Cheer Team Tryouts: 3:00-4:30

Tuesday, March 1st

RTI Data Conferences: JSMS Conference Room: Language Arts Teachers should report to the conference room during the first 45 minutes of planning time. Math teachers should report during the last 45 minutes of each planning time.

6th Grade Science (King, Holt, Kilgore)-Planning Day

NO Student Council Meeting this week.

Fire Marshal Inspection-9:30

Track Practice 3:00-4:30

Softball Practice: 3:00-5:00 Players should be prepared for indoor or outdoor practice.

Baseball Practice: 3:00-5:00 Players should be prepared for indoor or outdoor practice.

Cheer Team Tryouts: 3:00-4:30

Wednesday, March 2nd

College and Career Shirt Day! Wear your favorite college t-shirt/sweatshirt!

8th Grade Meeting-High School Planning-Students will report to 2nd period and then travel with that class to the auditorium. Students are encouraged to bring their laptops to access DB course catalog.

Track Practice 3:00-4:30

Softball Practice: 3:00-5:00 Players should be prepared for indoor or outdoor practice.

Baseball: JSMS versus RNR at RNR at 3:30

Newspaper Staff Meeting - 2:45 – 3:30 pm. Editors will meet until 5:15 pm

Newscast Staff Meetings -2:45 – 5:15 pm

Cheer Team Tryouts: 3:00-4:30

Thursday, March 3rd

Track Practice 3:00-4:30

Softball Practice: 3:00-5:00 Players should be prepared for indoor or outdoor practice.

Chamber Choir-2:50-3:30

Baseball Practice: 3:00-5:00 Players should be prepared for indoor or outdoor practice.

Cheer Team Tryouts: 3:00-4:30

Friday, March 4th

Track Practice 3:00-4:30

Softball Practice: 3:00-5:00 Players should be prepared for indoor or outdoor practice.

Baseball: JSMS versus Holston at DB at 6:00

Newscast Staff Meetings -2:45 – 5:15 pm

Cheer Team Tryouts: 3:00-5:00

JSMS News:

Important Evaluation Information

Administrators will no longer have access to entire self-scores in the observation portal. All teachers will now have to enter self-scores by logging into the portal on teh TN Compass site. Please go ahead and register and log in to expedite this process. Go to http://tdoe.tncompass.org to register.

Thank you.


RTI Data Conferences will take place on Tuesday in the JSMS Conference Room. LA teachers will meet during the first 45 minutes of planning. Math teachers will meet during the last 45 minutes of planning.

Book Drive: LAST WEEK

Recently, Rock Springs Elementary School lost a significant number of books from their library due to a major pipe leak. Jefferson Elementary School students took it upon themselves to hold a book donation and they collected 700 books to donate in ONE WEEK. We would like to follow their example! JSMS will be collecting new and gently used books appropriate for elementary school children the week of February 22-26. Books will be collected on a table just outside the JSMS library. Please help us help Rock Springs Elementary rebuild their library!

Zoning and Tuition Applications for students in grades K–12 for the 2016-2017 school year beginning Friday, February 12, 2016.

Parents who would like to request their child attend a different city school instead of one for which their child is zoned, must apply for a zoning exception. Parents of students who are not legal residents of the City of Kingsport must submit a tuition application to attend Kingsport City Schools. Parents or legal guardians must apply annually for their child’s tuition and zoning status, even if they attended Kingsport City Schools during the preceding school year.

Applications are available in-person at the KCS Administrative Support Center, 400 Clinchfield Street, second floor, downtown Kingsport or online at k12k.com or by clicking here. Application deadline is April 30, 2016.

IMMUNIZATIONS-TO PARENTS OF RISING 7TH GRADERS: All students entering 7th grade must have immunizations recorded on a new TN Certificate of Immunization (shot form).Students may not begin school without having received their immunizations. Students need the Tdap (tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis) boosters and two doses of varicella (chickenpox) vaccine or history of disease (year diagnosed).

News From the ASC


Survey Now Open!

It is time for the annual Homeless Education survey, where teachers help identify homeless students who were not initially referred. This is an annual requirement that needs to be completed for the Homeless Education program. Please forward this link to all teachers and staff (ALL) and have them complete the survey by Wednesday, March 9, 2016. Click here for the survey.

Also, attached to this week’s memo is the “in lieu of” form, which should be signed by teachers that do not have any students to refer. The form is to be signed in lieu of completing the survey. Click here for this form.

State Farm Grants Available

State Farm® Youth Advisory Board (YAB) service-learning grant applications are available from February 29 to April 29. The grants range from $25,000 - $100,000 and are designed to create sustainable change in local communities across the United States.

Each grant request must fall under one of these issue areas, chosen by the board itself:

  • Community Safety and Justice
  • Environmental Responsibility
  • Economic Inclusion and Financial Literacy
  • Access to Higher Education
  • Health and Wellness
  • Arts and Culture

For more information, click here.

KCS Retirement Seminar

Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System (TCRS) representative Ted Daniel will hold a Retirement Planning Seminar on Thursday, March 10 at 3:30 p.m. located in the ASC Tennessee Room to discuss retirement options.

This meeting is recommended for employees participating in TCRS who may be considering retirement in the next 3-5 years. It's never too early to consider your options. Please contact HR with questions.

KCS Now Accepting Hall of Fame Nominations

We are now accepting nominations for the 2016 class of the Kingsport City Schools Hall of Fame, which will be inducted in July, 2016.

Established to honor and recognize employees that have made significant contributions to KCS and its students, the Hall of Fame serves as the keystone award celebrating the district’s history of excellence.

Nominations will be accepted through May 1, 2016. The nomination form and additional information can be found on the KCS website at www.k12k.com.

2016 Tri-Cities ASME Egg Drop

The Tri-Cities ASME Egg Drop will be held Saturday March 5 from 1-3 p.m. at the Kingsport Town Center. You may register as an individual or a team. Winning entries will receive a cash prize. Click here for more details.

Volunteer Hours Survey

The deadline for completing the volunteer hours survey has been extended. It is important that ALL employees participate in this survey, so we have an accurate account of volunteer hours across the district. The survey may be accessed by clicking here. Please encourage all employees at your school to participate in this important survey!!!

Celebrations and Recognitions

  • Congratulations to 6th grader, Conner Hall, who qualified for the state level of the National Geographic Bee. Warrior Pride!
  • Did you know that our own JSMS PTA President, Katie Blalock, was selected by the State of Tennessee to serve on the first ever Parent Advisory Board with Tennessee's Commissioner of Education? A BIG congratulations to Katie! This is a tremendous opportunity for her, for JSMS and for KCS. Please stay tuned for ways your voice can be heard and represented through Katie!
  • Did you know that we have several JSMS teachers who were also selected to be leaders in our state in providing curricular guidance and decision making to the Department of Education? Congratulations to Jessica Hayworth, Mindy Utsman and John Mallick for being selected for a variety of leadership positions. JSMS is represented well at the state level and we are VERY proud that so many members of our JSMS family are being recognized for the quality work that they do every day!
  • Thank you to Jessica Hayworth for facilitating a Professional Development session for all elementary Language Arts teachers!
  • JSMS had a large representation of band and orchestra students participate in All State East Junior Clinic and we are very proud of their hard work and are happy to see them recognized in this way!
  • Thank you to all who are serving on an Action Team: Grading, Teaming/Scheduling and Honors Trips...your work matters and will make a positive difference for our students!

Proud to be a Warrior,

Holly Flora

Principal, JSMS