Kennedy Newsletter for Families

January 2020

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Principal's Post

Kennedy Families,

Greetings from the Kennedy Elementary Office!

Happy New Year! It's 2020! I hope all of you had a joyous season of family and rest. Tomorrow our students will return to school to start the second half of our school year. For some reason, our Spring semester always seems to go more quickly than our Fall Semester.

Before the break our Coyotes were able to celebrate the holiday season together as we wore PJs and sang carols on the last day before our Christmas Break. But now it's time to get back to business. Our teachers have met with other teachers from across the district to learn the latest and most beneficial ways to educate your child(ren). We are ready to go!

This is the time of year to look excitedly at the future and make goals for ourselves. Our students will set goals for themselves as they return. Research shows over and over again that goal setting for children/students helps them learn more, and grow in their confidence.

I am sure you have seen on the news that the flu is really ramping up in our area. I have attached some information about avoiding the flu from the Center for Disease Control below. We take health seriously and our custodians are proud to maintain a very clean school.

It is a true joy to the principal of Kennedy Elementary. I am someone who is lucky enough to say, "I love my job!". If there is ever anything I can improve upon, please let me know. I want to ensure that your child(ren) and mine have a wonderful elementary school experience.

Proud to serve you and the Lynn Garden Community,

Janice Irvin, Ed. D.


Kennedy Elementary

Flu Information from the Center for Disease Control

Please click above for information about how to protect yourself and your family from the flu.

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Donations Needed!

  • Please donate Clorox or Lysol wipes to your child's classroom during flu season. We appreciate your help! We have EXCELLENT custodians and have had the lowest flu numbers in Kingsport City Schools. BUT-- Dr. Irvin doesn't like germs so we will be wiping door knobs, etc, more frequently. :)
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Kennedy Teachers Edition

  • Each classroom teacher greets students at the door every morning. This is to establish a positive connection from the first moment our Coyotes walk into our doors.
  • Our teachers receive over 20 hours a year of training from Kingsport City Schools and the Tennessee State Department of Education to ensure your student receives the best possible education.
  • Teachers use testing data to determine what students need to know, what they already know, what they need to be retaught, and how to teach extend their learning past what they have mastered.
  • Our students take 9-weeks tests to let us know how they are doing, and how we can best teach them. Our 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students will be setting goals for themselves based on the 9-weeks assessments they took in Math and Literacy when we come back.
  • Our school-wide HOWL expectations are implemented throughout the day in every class.
  • HOWL cards are our way of finding the good and praising it in all of our Coyotes!

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We need your help!

We have a mountain of coats and jackets in the lost and found. Please put your child's name in his or her jackets/coats. We look through them, but many do not have names. Please include first and last name. See below for mountain!
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Sad tag with no name! :(

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Make these homeless jackets happy and come back for them! They miss you! Haha!

Coyotes are going green!

Please bring your clean plastic bags to school and donate them in the box below located in the foyer. We weigh them and the Kingsport Elementary school with the most weight wins a prize from Trex at the end of the year. Thanks!
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Feeling Crafty?

We need someone to paint our Little Book House and make a door for it. If that sounds like something you'd like to do, let the office know.
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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!