Month: November 2016

The Saturday Six “Thanksgiving” Edition – November 26, 2016

11-22-1This week, the Saturday Six pauses to reflect on the many things with which we have to be thankful.  We are blessed live, work, and learn in a community that cares deeply about our children and providing them the best possible educational and life experiences.  There is much to be thankful for!

  1. We are thankful for the over 7,700 children from Pre-K through 12th grade that fill our schools each day.  These bright and valuable treasures are the future of our community, and it is an honor to work every day to provide them a world-class education that will positively shape their futures.
  2. We are thankful for the talented faculty and staff members of KCS that give their all for students of KCS.  Whether its providing that extra individual attention a student may need or developing creative and innovative ideas that are student focused, the women and men of KCS are truly world class!
  3. We are thankful for the families that support the students and schools of KCS.  By having truly engaged parents, guardians, and families, authentic partnerships are forged that maximize the potential for all students.
  4. We are thankful for a community that supports our students, staff, and schools.  For almost 100 years, the citizens of Kingsport have placed a high level of value and trust in KCS.  The support of education and activities sets KCS apart and helps provide a truly exceptional school experience.
  5. We are thankful the leadership of our schools, district, local government, and community that guide and support the vision of KCS.  Kingsport is blessed to have leadership throughout Kingsport that recognizes the importance of having world-class school system and ensures KCS remains on the path to greatness.
  6. What are you thankful for this holiday season?  Leave a comment so that your suggestion can be a part of this week’s Saturday Six!

The Saturday Six “Health and Wellness” Edition – November 19, 2106

Kingsport City Schools certainly strives to provide a world-class educational experience for all students.  But did you know that extensive work also takes place to support an environment that develops good health and wellness throughout the district?  Misty Keller, the KCS Coordinator of Coordinated School Health, guides that work with the goal of establishing healthy life habits for students and staff.  Research is clear that healthy bodies help maximize academic achievement… It’s a win-win!

But in what ways does KCS support good health?  This week, the Saturday Six looks at six programs that encourage healthy lifestyles for students and staff.  Want to learn more?  Check out this video that highlights the health and wellness initiatives taking place all across KCS!

  1. Active Classrooms – By utilizing the concept of active classrooms, teachers across KCS are putting into practice the research showing that active students are able to focus and achieve at high levels.  In select classrooms, children have the opportunity to use special equipment that allows them to pedal, glide, balance, and move while doing their academic work.  While on the surface this may seem like a distraction, the opposite is actually true!  The stimulation energizes the students and primes them for increased focus and learning.
  2. Telemedicine – In today’s world, having the opportunity to visit a physician during the school day can be a difficult task.  However, the KCS telemedicine program uses technology to help provide convenient access to medical care.  Using the internet and  specialized instruments in school clinics, students can be remotely examined by qualified medical personnel that are physically in another location.  It is an innovative option for parents that wish to ensure that their children have convenient access to cutting-edge healthcare.
  3. Water Bottle Refill Stations – Thanks to the support of the KCS Coordinated School Health program and also through water bottles provided to each KCS student by Healthy Kingsport, KCS schools now have unique water bottle refill stations to establish healthy drinking habits.  These stations provide a quick refill of cold water, providing a convenient alternative to sugary drinks.  Electronic counters on each station show that since being installed, these stations have provided tens-of-thousands of bottles to KCS students, staff, and visitors!
  4. Healthy Lunch Options – The KCS School Nutrition Services department works daily to provide nutritious, tasty food to thousands of students and staff.  In addition to the typical school lunches, a trip to a KCS cafeteria will reveal a wide variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, salads, and other nutritious meal options.  It is not unusual to see both students and staff lined up at a KCS salad bar at lunch time, making healthy choices about how to fuel their bodies!
  5. Go Noodle – What happens when technology meets physical fitness?  Go Noodle!  The online video library utilized in classrooms all across KCS provides a wide-reaching resource to get kids up and moving. Whether on a short movement interlude during the academic day or on days when the weather won’t allow students to go outside, Go Noodle leads children in physical activities that are fun and highly engaging.
  6. In addition, there are a wide variety of activities and opportunities to get up and moving throughout the school day.  Before school running and walking clubs like the Morning Mile encourage students in many schools to start their day with physical activity.  Grants and resources from organizations like Project Fit America have provided highly engaging active playground equipment.  And intramural programs across the district give students an opportunity to participate in a variety of different sports and activities.

The opportunities to develop a healthy, active learning community are always evolving.  In fact, the combination of activity, creativity, and physical play have all come together at Jackson Elementary using a new resource, Imagination Playground.  This innovative program allows students to use materials to design and utilize their own play spaces.  It’s just one more way that KCS is always looking to support and develop healthy life habits!

The KCS Saturday Six “D-B Band” Edition – November 12, 2016

This weekend, the Dobyns-Bennett Band concludes their competitive season at the Bands of America Grand National Championships in Indianapolis, IN.   This event features the best-of-the-best high school marching bands from across the country, and in the world of music, is the true national championship.  D-B has advanced to the semi-final round in all of their championship appearances, including this year.  Later today, they will compete for the opportunity to be a part of tonight’s elite finals competition.

This week, the Saturday Six looks at six things to know about the Dobyns-Bennett Band program!

  1. With a membership that often approaches 400 members, the D-B Band is consistently the largest marching band in Tennessee… Even larger than the Pride of the Southland Marching Band at the University of Tennessee!
  2. While you will often see the D-B Band at events across Kingsport, it’s national reputation for quality has provided opportunities to perform around the country.  In recent years, the band has performed in the Tournament of Roses Parade, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, at Carnegie Hall, and in the 2013 Presidential Inauguration Parade.
  3. As one of the most successful music programs in Tennessee and America, the walls of the D-B music building are lined with national awards, recognitions, and trophies.  Most recently, they were named winner of the Bands of America Regional competition in Winston-Salem, NC, the fourth straight year to capture that award.  They also finished third overall at this year’s BOA Atlanta Super Regional, winning the top prize for Outstanding Music Performance among all bands!
  4. Under the direction of Band Director Lafe Cook and outstanding staff, the D-B Band is the only band in Tennessee to have received both the prestigious Sudler Flag of Honor and the Sudler Shield from the John Philip Sousa Foundation.  The Flag of Honor recognizes high school band programs internationally for sustained excellence in concert performance, while the Shield does the same for marching band excellence.
  5. Members of the band don’t stop performing once they graduate from D-B.  You’ll find former D-B musicians performing at colleges and universities such as Harvard, Yale, Vanderbilt, Julliard, Notre Dame, Georgia Tech, East Tennessee State University, and many other major college programs, such as the University of Tennessee!
  6. While the backbone of the band program is certainly the talented young musicians and staff that work so hard to perfect their craft, there is an army of supporters that also gives their all for the success of the program.  The D-B Band Boosters is a large organization comprised of parents and community supporters that labor year-round to provide the physical, logistical, and financial support needed to have a world-class program.  To find out more about the band or the boosters, check them out at

We would also be remiss if we didn’t point out that the D-B Band program builds on incredibly solid middle school programs at Robinson and Sevier Middle Schools.  Headed by Hunter Mullins (Sevier) and Kim Hutchinson (Robinson), students in grades 6-8 are not only taught solid music fundamentals, but are also grounded in the KCS musical culture of commitment and excellence.  #OneTribe

Will the D-B Band qualify for the finals tonight at the Bands of America Grand National Championship?  To find out, follow along on the D-B Band Facebook page, the D-B Band Twitter account, and the live BOA blog at

The Saturday Six “KCS Backs the Blue Part 2” Edition – November 5, 2016

What a great day Tuesday, November 1 turned out to be!  KCS celebrated our first “Back the Blue” day across the district, honoring and thanking the women and men of the Kingsport Police Department for all they do to keep our schools and community safe.  This week, the Saturday Six wanted to share a variety of images from that great day, while highlighting six things that occurred.


  1. Back the Blue Day began with a breakfast provided for KPD officers and staff, held at the Kingsport Justice Center.  In fact, there was even a second breakfast held on Thursday morning to say thank you to the officers in platoons that were off on Tuesday.  We are privileged to have such a great group of individuals protecting our community.
  2. Throughout the day, patrol officers visited all KCS elementary schools to perform school walkthroughs and were greeted with a wide variety of “thank yous” and shows of appreciation.  The relationships and positive interactions between officers, students and staff were incredible to see!
  3. It was a blue day all across Kingsport City Schools!  Students and staff wore blue in a sign of unity and support for KPD.  It was an impressive display of solidarity for our officers.
  4. At Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting, John Sevier Middle School Principal Dr. Holly Flora and JSMS Student Council President Marcus Briggs presented a report on the KCS School Resource Officer program.  SROs are present each day at Dobyns-Bennett, Sevier, and Robinson Middle Schools, providing on-site support.  Our SROs are fantastic and greatly appreciated!
  5. In fact, the four KPD SROs received a steady dose of support throughout the day at D-B, Sevier, and Robinson.  Officers Sean Cornett and Justin Humphries (D-B), Brad Conkin (Sevier) and Rick Marshall (Robinson) were all placed in the spotlight by their schools, showing just how much their daily protection is appreciated!
  6. The day concluded with the Board of Education presenting a formal resolution to the Kingsport Police Department designating November 1 as “KCS Backs the Blue Day” across KCS.  KPD Chief David Quillin, Public Information Officer Tom Patton, and SROs Sean Cornett, Brad Conkin, and Rick Marshall accepted the honor on behalf of the KPD.  It was a fitting conclusion to an incredible day supporting our police!

Use the hashtag #BacktheBlue on KCS social media to find all the images from this great day!