The KCS Saturday Six “Transportation” Edition – September 23, 2017

Each and every school day, 39 buses travel all across the City of Kingsport with the singular mission of transporting thousands of children safely and efficiently to their school.  It is a monumental logistical task that is skillfully accomplished by the women and men of the KCS Transportation Department.  But how do they do it?  What is involved in accomplishing this mission?

This week in the Saturday Six, let’s take a look at six tidbits related to the Kingsport City Schools Transportation Department.

  1. How many miles do you think KCS buses travel in a year?  Those 39 buses are driven by a staff of 44 full and part-time drivers, covering over a half-million miles within the Kingsport city limits each year!
  2. Those bus routes don’t just take place before and after school.  Mid-day runs take place to accommodate new Pre-K classes at Roosevelt and Washington Elementary Schools.  There is also a full-time shuttle between the main Dobyns-Bennett campus and D-B EXCEL to allow students to access programs and educational opportunities at both locations.
  3. You may have seen discussions in the news recently about seat belts on school buses.  Did you know that KCS is the only school system in the eastern end of Tennessee to have seat belts on all buses and as a part of school board policy?  It’s just one more commitment KCS has taken to provide the safest environment possible for students!
  4. KCS transportation is responsive to the ever changing needs of our students and schools.  Two new routes have been added since the start of the school year to alleviate overcrowded buses and to shorten the length of bus rides to some of the more distant outlying areas.
  5. Great training is a critical piece of the KCS transportation mission.  Our “New Driver” training has been praised by State officials, who provide feedback about how well new KCS drivers are prepared when they test for their CDL licenses and endorsements.  KCS has also been invited to share this driver training program to set a standardized training program in the local 14 county TAPT (Tennessee Association of Pupil Transporters) district.
  6. KCS transportation also helps support the terrific community partners that serve our students.  After-school runs take place to three different Boys & Girls Club and Girls, Inc. locations from eight different KCS schools.

Thanks so much to the men and women of the KCS Transportation Department for the key role they take in supporting our students and families!

Next week in the Saturday Six:  We’ll take a look at the great things happening all across KCS in our libraries and media centers!

The KCS Saturday Six “Insight KCS” Edition – September 16, 2017

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Do you ever wonder what is involved in operating a school system of over 7,700 students?  What “Student Focused … World Class” looks like on a practical, day-to-day basis?  Or about practical decisions and operations, like how transportation drives over a half-million miles in a year or how Dobyns-Bennett feeds over 2,000 meals twice in about about five hours every school day?

Now is your chance to find out!  For the fourth year, Kingsport City Schools is hosting “Insight KCS,” a community education program that explores the full operations of our school system.  You are invited!  Taking place over six sessions during the 2017-18 school year, Insight KCS will highlight a different aspect of system operations, each month.  From teaching and learning… to student services… to facilities operations… you can learn all about how KCS works and what goes into a wide variety of decisions.

Insight KCS starts on Friday, September 29, and applications for this year’s program are now being accepted.  Interested in learning more about this unique and award-winning activity?  Here is what you will experience if you are a member of this year’s Insight KCS class:

  1. Session 1 (Sept. 29) – KCS Overview, Leadership, and Organizational Overview.  Insight KCS begins with a deep review of the district, including the KCS Guiding Tenets, history, structure, and strategic plan.  This session builds the foundation of who we are as a district and the philosophies that guide our work.
  2. Session 2 (Oct. 27) – Teaching and Learning.  This session explores the way teaching and learning takes place in KCS classrooms.  Participants will take on the role of students, experiencing literacy and math instruction just like it occurs in classrooms across the district.  School tours will further deepen the level of understanding regarding instructional methods that are used on a daily basis.
  3. Session 3 (Nov. 17) – The KCS Vision.  What are the “big picture” projects in which KCS is engaged?  Session three will focus on the major projects and initiatives that will take KCS to new heights, including our technology initiative, STREAM vision, D-B EXCEL, and the Regional Science and Technology Center.
  4. Session 4 (Jan. 26) – School Facilities and Operations.  What takes place in KCS schools and offices every day that allows exceptional teaching and learning to occur?  This session focuses on the necessary operational processes to ensure schools function well, such as school nutrition services, maintenance & custodial services, safety, and transportation.  In fact, participants will even board a bus to get a first-hand look at what students and drivers experience each day!
  5. Session 5 (Feb. 23) – HR and Finance.  What does it take to staff and fund a school system of over 7,700 students and approximately 1,250 employees?  Session five explores all of the human resources and finance operations that take place each day, including a look at the KCS budget and hiring processes.
  6. Session 6 (Apr. 6) – Student Services and Community Engagement.  So much work takes place to provide a high level of service to the students and families of Kingsport.  The final session explores the many ways that KCS supports the needs of our community, including student service operations, nursing and health services, homeless education, and building strong partnerships with our families and community.

Think you might be interested in attending Insight KCS, winner of the 2015 TSBA Award for Excellence in Education?  Click here for more information.  Hurry!  Insight KCS begins on September 29, 2017.

Next Week in the Saturday Six:  The KCS Transportation Department travels over a half-million miles a year.  How do they do it?  We’ll learn more next week…

The KCS Saturday Six “Athletics Website” Edition – September 9, 2017

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On Friday, September 1, 2017, Kingsport City Schools launched its latest effort to more effectively communicate with stakeholders, as the KCS Athletics Website went live.  This one-stop shop for all-things athletics is a joint project of the KCS Athletics and Communications departments, and serves to keep our community informed regarding all aspects of the district’s athletics programs.

Located at http://athletics.k12k.com/, the site will keep fans of our student-athletes and programs up to date on schedules, results, and so much more.  This week, the Saturday Six takes a look at the new website and highlights key aspects of this new communications tool!

 

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  1. It’s not just about Dobyns-Bennett!  Sure, the new site has all the information related to the Indians athletics programs, but it also keeps you up to speed on Sevier and Robinson athletics, as well.  We feel strongly that we are truly “One Tribe,” and the website is a key component to sharing information about the entire district athletics program.  As the KCS Athletics Director Larry Shively often states, “All arrows are pointing in the same direction!”9-9 3
  2. On the hunt for a schedule of games or event details?  The website provides full team schedules, as well as a calendar with daily event listings.  Have a free afternoon and looking for something to do?  Check out the “Upcoming Events” calendar and come support the Tribe!9-9 5
  3. Each KCS athletic team now has it’s own home on the web.  Team pages include team and coach photos, schedules, rosters, and more!  Find your favorite D-B, Robinson, or Sevier team and follow their progress all season long! 9-9 4
  4. Do you have an athlete and need a medical authorization form or other athletics paperwork?  The website has you covered!  All of those necessary documents are just a click away, under the “Athletic Forms” tab.  Downloadable PDFs are available 24/7, whenever you might need them!9-9 6
  5. Looking for a historical fact about one of our athletics teams?  Ever wonder, for instance, how the D-B football team fared in 1945?  The KCS Athletics website has you covered!  The archive of records is impressive, and serves as a historical vault for information.  And in case you are now curious, Ed Shockey’s Tribe went 10-0 in 1945 and won the State Championship! 9-9 7
  6. Need quick information regarding Athletics social media, tickets, or facilities?  The “Quick Links” section is a handy place to get fast information you might need.  Keep this section handy when looking for directions to a game or for info on when that football season ticket payment is due!

We hope you will enjoy the new KCS Athletics website and use it to stay connected with our student athletes.  It’s one more way we are striving to better engage our families and community… #RollTribe!

Next week in the Saturday Six:  The award-winning “Insight KCS” program is getting ready to start its 4th year.  Learn more about this community education program and how you can be involved!

The KCS Saturday Six “Attendance Awareness” Edition – September 2, 2017

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Though attendance is always an important topic on which to focus, September is “Attendance Awareness Month,” highlighting the life-long benefits of making sure children are in school each day, as well as potential negatives if they are not.  Attendance is critical for success in school and in life, beginning at a very early age!

Building foundational skills and habits as early as Pre-K or Kindergarten will help children do well academically, physically, and socially throughout their entire lives.  Through ensuring that students are at school each day, consistent and ongoing learning can take place to prepare children for life-long success.  Even missing just a few days a month can add up to a tremendous amount of lost instructional time over the course of a school year.

This week, the Saturday Six looks at key factors related to school attendance, and why it is so important for a child’s long term success in life!

  1. Children can suffer academically if they miss 10 percent of school days, which adds up to about 18 days per year.  Even if it is just one day few of weeks, that adds up over time, and can happen before you realize it!
  2. It doesn’t matter if absences are excused or unexcused.  All absences represent lost time from the classroom and a lost opportunity to learn.
  3. To support good attendance for younger children, it helps to set a regular bedtime and morning routine.  Make sure children get 9 to 11 hours of sleep.  Some helpful tips include preparing for mornings by laying out clothes and packing backpacks the night before.
  4. For older children, help set homework and bedtime routines that allow for 8.5 to 9.5 hours of sleep.  Make sure that when the lights go out, so do cell phones, video games and computers.
  5. Above all, set an example for your child.  Show him or her that attendance matters to you and that you won’t allow an absence unless someone is truly sick.  In addition, it helps to not ask older students to help with daycare and other household errands during the school day.
  6. For children, school is their first and most important job.  They are learning about more than math and reading.  They are also learning how to show up for school on time every day, so when they graduate and get a job, they will know how to show up for work on time every day!

Help make sure students are in school each day.  It will make a huge impact on their opportunity for success in school and in life.

Next week in the Saturday Six:  September 1, 2017 marked the launch of the brand new Kingsport City Schools Athletics Website.  We’ll take a tour of the site and show you how to stay connected with all-things KCS Athletics!

The KCS Saturday Six “Hall of Fame” Edition – August 26, 2017

8-24 1On Tuesday, August 1, 2017, Kingsport City Schools inducted its third class into the KCS Hall of Fame.  This keystone award recognizes former employees that have most impacted the Kingsport educational community during their careers with KCS.  This year, five KCS retirees with over 140 years of combined educational experience were honored with this prestigious designation.

The hall serves to honor and recognize those individuals that have made significant contributions to Kingsport City Schools and its students.  It celebrates the excellence of KCS and its employees, while preserving the history and promoting its positive values, its employees, and its students.

Let’s shine a spotlight on this years five inductees, as they take their place among the most exceptional of KCS employees!

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  1. Mrs. Celia Bachelter – Modern Era Category (Retired Post-1990)
    • Celia Bachelder retired in 1995 after 20 years with Kingsport City Schools. During her tenure, she founded the orchestra at Dobyns-Bennett High School and served as orchestra director at both Robinson Middle School and Dobyns-Bennett. An excellent string educator who received numerous accolades in Tennessee and across the nation, Bachelder was the first female and the first orchestra director named to the East Tennessee Band & Orchestra Association (ETSBOA) Hall of Fame. She introduced Suzuki string training to the Kingsport community and is an active member of the Johnson City Symphony Orchestra. Bachelder is widely recognized as an influential teacher who took a personal interest in all of her students.8-24 3
  2. Ms. Mabel Doggett – Legacy Era Category (Retired Pre-1960)
    • Mabel Doggett retired from KCS in 1957 after 40 years of service. She taught at the “new Kingsport school,” Central School, and Lovedale/Woodlawn School, all of which were operational near the time of the founding of the city of Kingsport. Doggett was named principal at Jackson Elementary for the 1920-1921 school year and served in that capacity until her retirement. She was known as an educator who instilled in students “the desire to succeed.” Her unique and successful leadership style made her a beloved and respected principal who showed students on a daily basis that she cared about and believed in them. She frequently wrote to former students, particularly those serving in the armed forces, to encourage them or to celebrate occasions such as birthdays or weddings. After retirement, she continued to teach children, having a variety of books, games, and toys at her home for those who visited.8-24 4
  3. Mr. Rick Everroad – Modern Era Category (Retired Post-1990)
    • Serving as a Health and PE teacher, Richard “Rick” Everroad coached tennis, baseball, track, basketball, soccer, and football during his 40 years with KCS. In addition, he was the FCA sponsor at Sevier Middle School and had a leadership style that promoted harmony among faculty and staff. Everroad served as principal at both Washington Elementary and Robinson Middle School, retiring in 2007. In retirement, he continues to work with young men and women who “need the attention of adults who will listen and give solid advice.” Through serving on the Board of Directors for the Bible Study Two Ministry and continuing to encourage those who taught under his leadership and still work with students, Everroad conducts his life in such a way to influence everyone to “do what is right for the kids.”8-24 5
  4. Mr. Waldo Smith – Tradition Era Category (Retired 1960-1990)
    • After two years of service in Floyd County, KY schools, Waldo Smith came to Dobyns-Bennett High School as the typing and business teacher in 1947. He remained in that role until his retirement in 1984. While at D-B, Smith also served as sponsor of the Maroon and Grey yearbook. He taught typing in the adult education program and frequently worked the gates at home football and basketball games. He served in the U.S. Navy, completing 14 missions in the South Pacific and receiving the Bronze Star, the Asiatic Pacific Ribbon, and the Philippine Liberation Ribbon. Smith took an active role in the community and in a variety of professional organizations during his career and in retirement. He set high standards for himself and his students, and was known for encouraging all in his sphere of influence to strive for perfection and treat others with kindness and respect.8-24 6
  5. Mr. Howard Young Senior – Tradition Era Category (Retired 1960-1990)
    • Howard Young, Sr. retired from KCS in 1976 after 23 years of service. Prior to his tenure with KCS, he taught in Mountain City, TN and Bluefield, WV. Young taught English at the former Douglass High School, Dobyns-Bennett and East Tennessee State University. He also served as band director at Douglass, teaching himself to skillfully play every instrument, with the exception of stringed instruments; and imparting that knowledge to hundreds of students. Following his retirement, Young was a professor of English at ETSU for another seven years. He believed that education was the key to success in life and spent his entire career helping students unlock their unique potential. He is remembered as a master of the English language who could hold students spellbound with his unique reading and storytelling abilities.
  6. Who will be inducted into next year’s class?  You can be a part of the process!  Nominations for the 2018 Class of the KCS Hall of Fame will be accepted January 1 – May 1, 2018.  Now is the time to start thinking about who you may want to nominate for induction.  Candidates must have been employed for a minimum of five years and been retired from regular employment for five years.  Click here to find out more about how you can nominate a deserving candidate!

Next week in the Saturday Six:  School attendance is critical to student success.  We’ll take a look at six key facts regarding why being present in school every day is so important!

 

The KCS Saturday Six “Centennial Celebration” Edition – August 19, 2017

2017 has certainly been a monumental year in the history of Kingsport, Tennessee.  Marking the community’s Centennial, Kingsport City Schools has been excited to be an important part of our city’s 100th birthday celebration.  Throughout the course of the year, KCS has held or participated in multiple events to recognize a century of education in the Model City.

In this week’s Saturday Six, let’s take a look at a few of the events from 2017 where KCS has celebrated the Kingsport Centennial!

  1. On January 19th, the 100th day of the 2016-17 school year was recognized as “Show Your 100 Day” across the district.  Students and teachers celebrated the many ways that the number 100 can be utilized, in both historical and mathematical ways.  The day was on display all across social media, using the #Kingsport100 hashtag.  It was a fantastic way to introduce the centennial to students, both young and old!
  2. A student-led event took place at Robinson Middle School on March 22nd, as a balloon launch served to recognize this history of KCS.  100 historical facts about our community were released, providing an opportunity for a great history lesson regarding Kingsport.
  3. May 18th was the 100th anniversary of the first Kingsport Board of Education meeting, and featured the largest-ever gathering of current and former KCS Board members and Superintendents.  A special reception and gathering was held in the KCS Administrative Support Center to bring together many giants in Kingsport’s educational history!
  4. The following day, May 19th, KCS schools opened to community members for the Kingsport City Schools “Centennial Stroll.”  Guided tours were offered to community members and alumni of KCS schools, providing a chance to catch up and revisit those important buildings and facilities that have meant so much in the past.  It was a great opportunity for former students to re-live old memories and see where they spent so much of their childhood!
  5. KCS was also a part of FunFest 2017!  The KCS Centennial Selfie Scavenger Hunt took place during the week of FunFest, as participants traveled to KCS schools and took selfies at important school locations.  The hunt concluded on July 20th at BucFest at Allendale, a celebration of Kingsport Education by ETSU Allendale and KCS.  Individuals snapping selfies at at least 10 KCS schools were entered into a drawing for Dobyns-Bennett football and basketball season tickets.  Quite a prize for spending part of the summer visiting KCS schools!
  6. You are invited to the next big Centennial event in Kingsport, which takes place next Saturday, August 26th and will involve MANY hours of work and dedication by talented KCS students and teachers.  The new Kingsport Centennial Park (245 East Main Street) will feature a display of tilework crafted by KCS students, recognizing the history of transportation in our community.  This gift of artwork by KCS students will be recognized during the park’s opening ceremony, which will take place at 11 a.m.  Please come out and share in this community celebration, as we dedicate this new Kingsport treasure!

And as a special bonus treat, the Saturday Six is pleased to release, for the first time, the Kingsport Centennial Coloring Book!  This special publication is a collaboration of Kingsport City Schools, Sullivan County Schools, and St. Dominic School.  Featuring the artwork of many talented students, this free gift to our community celebrates many of the significant landmarks from across Kingsport.

Please download, share, and enjoy this free publication by clicking here!  It is a gift to you from all of the students and schools of Kingsport!

Next week in the Saturday Six:  New members have been inducted in the KCS Hall of Fame.  We’ll meet them next week!

The KCS Saturday Six “Back in School” Edition – August 12, 2017

Wow!  What a fantastic first week of school this has been.  It’s been a time of excitement, learning, and new discoveries as thousands of students have kicked off the new KCS year.

If you don’t already follow us on social media, that is a great way to keep up with all the sights, sounds, and happenings across the district.  We’re on Twitter at @KCS_District and at KptSchools on Facebook.  And in addition to the Saturday Six, KCS also publishes a Friday Update each week, full of news and photos.  To subscribe, just go to our website at k12k.com.  There is no shortage of ways to connect with KCS!

Here we are in Week 2 of the 2017-18 Saturday Six and we’re already taking liberties with the term “six.”  Let’s take a look at the top six images (with a few “honorable mentions”) from the first week of school!

Next Week in the Saturday Six:  A review of the many ways KCS has been a part of the City of Kingsport Centennial celebration!

The KCS Saturday Six “Back to School” Edition – August 5, 2017

We’re back!  Today launches the first edition of the 2017-2018 Saturday Six blog.  Look for us each weekend to learn something new about the people and programs of Kingsport City Schools.  Each Saturday, we’ll spotlight six small bits of info about KCS.

Hopefully, you’ve had a relaxing summer break!  Because of the way the calendar fell, this summer was actually a week longer than our usual break.  Hopefully, you put it to good use!

To kick off this school year, let’s look at six things you’ll want to know about the start of school.

  1. KCS classes begin Monday morning, August 7th, with middle and high school (block classes) starting at 7:45 a.m. and elementary schools beginning at 8:15 a.m.  High School Singleton classes begin at 7:30 a.m.  Monday is a full-day for students, with middle and high school ending at 2:45 p.m. (3:00 p.m. for Singletons) and 3:15 p.m. for elementary.
  2. Still need to pick up those last-minute school supplies?  Several years ago, KCS made a specific effort to shorten the traditional School Supply List, squeezing it down to just a few items.  Click here to view the 2017-18 KCS School Supply List.
  3. How will your child get to and from school?  For thousands of students, it’s on a KCS school bus.  Our transportation department travels tens of thousands of miles each year to safely get kids to school in the morning and back home in the afternoon.  Unsure what bus your child would ride?  Click here to see the list of bus routes that will get underway on Monday morning.
  4. For many students, breakfast and lunch are among the highlights of the school day!  Thousands of meals are served to our students each day, and it’s always helpful to know where to find the menus of what will be served.  Click here to view the August menus, as well as to access information about School Nutrition Services, including how you can load funds online into your child’s account.
  5. The start of the year also kicks off a wide variety of academic, artistic, athletic, and community engagement events all across KCS.  The best way to keep up with everything going on is to bookmark the KCS Activity Calendar and keep it handy!  Click here to see everything happening across KCS.
  6. Finally, it’s important to have access to all the information, forms, and details related to attending Kingsport City Schools.  A wealth of information has been compiled on the KCS website, including the KCS Student Handbook, parent forms and resources, and the approved school calendar.  Click here to view all of this important information.

We hope you have a great first week of school!

Next week in the Saturday Six:  A review of the images and events that took place during KCS Week 1

The Saturday Six “Graduation Edition” – May 20, 2017

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Today, Kingsport City Schools reaches the culminating event of the academic year as students and staff celebrate the seniors graduating from Dobyns-Bennett High School.  Through much hard work and dedication, these graduates have reached the pinnacle of their K-12 education and now prepare to embark on the next phase of their lives.

Graduation day is always a special time, as the entire KCS community comes together to mark this significant achievement.  One special aspect of D-B graduation is the annual participation of teachers and administrators from other KCS schools who take part in the ceremony.  By including staff from pre-k, elementary, middle schools, Cora Cox Academy, D-B EXCEL, and D-B, we signify that we are all vested in the education of KCS students and take district-wide ownership of supporting student success.  Though they may be graduating today from D-B, ALL KCS staff members have been instrumental in helping students reach their graduation day.

It’s quite a phenomenal group of young women and men!  This week, the Saturday Six celebrates this year’s graduates by sharing some of the fantastic accomplishments of the Class of 2017.

  1. This year’s class contained four National Merit Semi-finalists, four National Merit Commended Students, and a Presidential Scholar finalist… one of the highest national honors attainable by a high school student!
  2. Academically, this is one of the most successful classes to ever graduate from D-B.  There were 68 students with GPA over 4.0, 76 AP Scholars, and 110 Graduates with Distinction.
  3. This year’s class reached unparalleled heights related to the ACT test.  There were 61 seniors with an ACT score of 30+.  61!!  Additionally, for the sixth consecutive year, a D-B student earned a perfect ACT score.  That’s incredible!
  4. Success hasn’t just been limited to the classroom.  Graduates earned more than a dozen Career and Technical state-level titles and national qualifiers.  Athletes in this year’s class have earned over 60 conference, district, and regional athletic titles, with several state champions and dozens of state tournament participants.  In fact, several of today’s graduates will participate for TSSAA state titles in track, baseball, and tennis next week.
  5. The Class of 2017 graduating band class has performed on some of the biggest stages in Tennessee and across the country while solidifying their place on the international stage for marching bands by becoming finalists at the esteemed Grand Nationals competition.  This year’s band class is recognized by many to have just completed one of, if not the most successful four year careers for a high school band.
  6. Members of this year’s class helped earn the D-B Air Force Junior ROTC program, for the 10th consecutive year, the designation of Unit of Distinction.  Additionally, the year’s class contains four appointments to United States Service Academies, with several additional commitments to the US Armed Services.

And to top it all off, this year’s graduating class has currently been offered in excess of $15 million in scholarship funds, a record amount for a D-B class.  Congrats, Dobyns-Bennett Class of 2017!!

As hard as it is to believe, today marks the final Saturday Six for this school year.  Keep an eye out for the return of the Saturday Six next fall when we kick off the 2017-18 year!

The Saturday Six “Educator Appreciation” Edition – March 13, 2017

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This past week was a special one across Kingsport City Schools, as we stopped to recognize the fantastic educators that make such a positive impact on the students and families of KCS.  Each and every day, over 1,200 women and men step forward to make a difference in the lives of children.  Educator Appreciation Week is one small way our community can say “thank you” and show all employees of KCS how much we treasure what they do.

This week, the Saturday Six presents six(teen) recent images highlighting the phenomenal employees of Kingsport City Schools.  They are truly the backbone of what makes education in Kingsport world class!

Next week, the Saturday Six draws to a close for the 2016-17 school year with a special “D-B Graduation Day” edition!  Be on the lookout next weekend for a special celebration of this year’s KCS graduates!