Kennedy Newsletter for Families

November 2020

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Principal's Post

Kennedy Families,


I hope this update finds you well! I have been pleasantly surprised at the easy transition we have had from the first 9 weeks to the second. We were so excited to welcome back many of our RCL students! School continues as usual inside our building. Well- not as "usual" as far as adults are concerned. But, our students in many ways seem un-phased by our extra protocols of masks, hand washing, disinfecting, distancing, and cleaning. We are covering state standards just like always and kids are working hard.


I was recently thinking about the fact that we cannot have any visitors at school, and how I hope you all still feel connected to our school just like you have before. We are striving to make this school year as Early Childhood friendly as possible. When our Spooky Literacy night was cancelled, our Kennedy Leadership Team made up of teachers and adults from around the building voted to let kids wear their Halloween costumes to school. In my 15 years in education, I can't remember kids wearing costumes to school. Ms. Debbie Allen and I think it was THE MID-NINTIES WHEN COYOTES LAST WORE HALLOWEEN COSTUMES TO SCHOOL! I love it! Elementary school should build students as leaders, but it should also be full of JOY! Thanks for trusting us with your child(ren). Our teachers and staff are so good that mine are here, too.


Proud to serve you and the Lynn Garden Community,


Janice Irvin, Ed. D.

Proud Principal

jirvin@k12k.com

Kennedy Elementary

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What should my child bring to school? (Cheat sheet from this Mama!)

  • Mask
  • Extra Mask in backpack
  • Extra clothes in backpack (accidents happen)
  • Water bottle (water fountains are turned OFF)
  • Jacket/Coat with NAME IN IT. We donated over 100 coats each year to the Goodwill without names.
  • Gloves
  • Hat
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Ideas for Talking to your Kids about the Election

Election Day is this week. Here are some ideas for helping your child(ren) process through the process.


  1. Process your own emotions and make home a safe space.
  2. Ask: "What have you heard and how are you feeling?" (You'd be surprised what goes around.)
  3. Use this as a learning opportunity. Talk about the Consitution and the 3 branches of government.
  4. Put the election in the context of history - including our "hard history" for older students.
  5. Don't demonize the other side. We need to teach kids the fine art of tolerant disagreement.
  6. Put civics into action. "Society is service. You have to serve other people."



Adapted-See below for the full article.

Half Day Dismissal

Please plan ahead on your calendars for two half day dismissals scheduled December 18, 2020 and May 19, 2021. The early dismissal time will now be 12:30 PM since we shifted to the 3:30 PM end of school day this year.
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KCS 2020-2021 COVID-19 Data Dashboard

Please consult the KCS Data Dashboard for the most recent information regarding COVID-19 cases at Kennedy Elementary.

Revision in KCS Data Dashboard Reporting

Please be advised that as of October 26, 2020, the KSC dashboard will contain all cases confirmed by the Sullivan County Regional Health Department (this is not new) AS WELL AS "presumed positive" cases (reported to the KCS Supervisor of Nursing but not yet confirmed by the Sullivan County Regional Health Department).

KCS Frequently Asked Questions

As you may be aware, our district has provided an FAQ to help supply answers to your most recent questions. You can find it HERE
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Self Regulation is a Lifeskill!

In the coming weeks we will discuss Zones of Regulation on our morning announcements. 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

Kennedy Office Staff

Ms. Cindy Culbertson - Office Assistant

Ms. Kem Couch - Award Winning KCS Secretary

Ms. Debbie Allen - Family Liaison

Ms. Kim Oaks-Blair - School Counselor

Mr. Brett Herron- Associate Principal

Dr. Janice Irvin - Principal

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Kennedy is a Bully-Free Zone! #CoyotesAreKind

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Help us make Kennedy a BULLY FREE Zone!

Bullying is defined in our Kingsport City School handbook as: "...unwanted behavior among youth...that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated...over time".

My goal is that bullying does not stand a chance here at Kennedy. We can't fix what we don't know. Use our app, call us, or email us.

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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 will be dismissed from the cafeteria at 8:00am to go to homerooms and finish breakfast. Class does not officially start until 8:30. If your child arrives after 8:30 please escort them to the main doors and ring the doorbell for assistance.

Birthdays

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.

Carline

  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

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

Discipline

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.

Drills/AED

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!

Homework

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 (Some Cancelled Due to COVID-19)

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)

STREAM Club

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: https://www.k12k.com/

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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 (astrong@k12k.com) 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!

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