Month: January 2018

The Saturday Six “D-B YES!” Edition – January 27, 2018

What happens when a brainstorm collides with a perceived community need and students with a passion for service?  You end up with exciting programs such as the The D-B YES! club, of course!

Back in 2015, Roosevelt Elementary school counselor Alice Browder and Jackson Elementary family liaison Jaclyn Clendenen saw the potential for a unique peer mentoring program, in which Dobyns-Bennett students would connect with KCS elementary students that could benefit from having an older, positive role model.  Since that time, junior and senior students who are members of the D-B YES! club have left school for a period of time during the day to travel to elementary schools and mentor younger students.  It’s a terrific opportunity for elementary students to receive guidance and support from a new friend who can relate to them on a more personal level.

The program has been a booming success!  All across the district, students are making meaningful connections with their peers with incredibly positive results.  This week, let’s look at six bits of info about the D-B YES! program.

  1. Since beginning in Fall 2015, over 300 Dobyns-Bennett and D-B EXCEL students have participated in YES! and mentored a younger KCS student.
  2. Giving an average of 15 hours a semester, the total number of hours volunteered by D-B students through the YES! club is quite impressive… 2,250 hours in 2015-16, 3,450 hours in 2016-17, and an anticipated 3,900 hours this school year!
  3. Over 350 elementary students throughout KCS have received mentoring and support from a YES! mentor.  The relationships established have made a significant difference for so many children!
  4. Currently, D-B YES! mentors are in all KCS elementary schools, impacting lives all throughout the district.
  5. Student meentees benefit greatly from the relationships developed with their high school peer mentors.  These benefits extend far beyond the friendships developed, and include improved attendance, social and communication skills, academic achievement, and self esteem.
  6. Benefits are also felt by the high school student mentors.  They share they have felt an increased sense of pride, an increased awareness of education as a possible career path, and have gained volunteer hours for organizations such as Beta Club, TN/VA scholars, and TN Promise.

Want to learn more about the D-B YES! program?  Contact Roosevelt school counselor Alice Browder for more information at

Next week in the Saturday Six:  Kingsport City Schools has a new leader, as Dr. Jeff Moorhouse is set to begin his tenure as KCS Superintendent.  Next week, the Saturday Six will introduce you to the innovative and charismatic educator that will serve as the 9th Superintendent in the history of Kingsport City Schools.

The Saturday Six “STREAM” Edition – January 20, 2018

As second semester hits fill stride, the Saturday Six turns its attention to a key academic focus for KCS, the district STREAM (Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Arts, and Math) Vision.  Led by the KCS Curriculum and Instruction (C&I) team, STREAM specialists Wendy Courtney and Andrea Fissel, and KCS educators across the district, students at all levels are designing and engineering solutions to problems that directly connect them to the real world of the future.  These experiences prepare them not only for future learning, but also for careers that have not yet been invented.

What does the STREAM work look like in KCS?  Let’s explore six aspects of the STREAM Vision that are preparing students for an exciting future!

  1. Students across KCS are exploring the world of coding via a partnership between KCS and Bootup.  These programming experiences support a deep level of planning and problem solving to accomplish a variety of tasks.  Teachers at all levels are working together to provide cohesive transitions as students grow and advance to higher grades.
  2. Robotics programming is expanding at schools across the district.  Originally starting at D-B with the US FIRST robotics program, middle and elementary schools are now exploring robotics through the FIRST Lego League competition.  There are even underwater robotics teams starting at D-B and D-B EXCEL this year!
  3. The KCS STREAM specialists are working with teachers in the development of project-based learning for students.  These classroom learning opportunities provide hands-on experiences that provide real-world connections and deep levels of student understanding.
  4. New Science Standards are on the way in Tennessee and extensive professional development is occurring to make sure teachers are fully prepared to support student achievement.  Curriculum maps will be developed to guide classroom learning and ensure the transition to the new standards is a smooth and successful one.
  5. Science collaboratives are taking place to provide a deep level of integrated instructional planning.  This work helps to connect STREAM learning to all areas of the curriculum, such as literacy.  In doing so, STREAM becomes an embedded aspect of many classroom learning experiences.
  6. STREAM instruction in KCS is truly a team effort!  By working together, individuals such as teachers, STREAM coordinators, Instructional Design Specialists, principals, and district-level C&I staff are continually developing a wide-reaching and engaging STREAM instructional platform that will serve students well.  By focusing on STREAM, KCS is preparing students for success today, tomorrow, and beyond!

Want to keep up to speed on all the exciting STREAM happenings across the district?  Stay connected through Twitter by following @KCS_STREAM.

Next week in the Saturday Six:  Students from Dobyns-Bennett High School are taking an active role in developing their own leadership skills while also serving other students across the district.  We’ll learn more about the D-B YES! program and how peer mentoring is making a difference in the lives of our students.

The Saturday Six “Spring 2018 Preview” Edition – January 13, 2018

Welcome to 2018!  The Saturday Six is back from its Winter Break and looking forward to a fantastic start to the new year.

As the start of construction on the Regional Science and Technology Center at Dobyns-Bennett signifies, it looks to be a year of great growth and excitement across Kingsport City Schools.  2018 looks to be packed full of new experiences, opportunities, and reasons to celebrate the great things happening across KCS.

This week, the Saturday Six takes a look at what to expect during the coming year.  Let’s preview some highlights of what is to come during 2018.

  1. The biggest news to kick off the start of the semester is the naming of the new KCS Superintendent.  At a special called meeting on Monday, January 22, 2018, the Kingsport Board of Education will vote on a contract to name Dr. Jeff Moorhouse as the 9th Superintendent in KCS’ history.  The meeting will take place at 6 p.m. in the Administrative Support Center Tennessee Room (400 Clinchfield Street) and the public is invited to attend.  Dr. Moorhouse comes to Kingsport after serving as Superintendent of Greeneville City Schools.  Welcome to KCS, Dr. Moorhouse!
  2. Construction is underway on the Regional Science and Technology Center at Dobyns-Bennett and will hit fill stride as foundational work sets the stage for vertical construction.  Did you know that a 24/7 live camera has been positioned that will provide a view for the duration of the project?  Click here to stay up to speed on the construction progress by viewing the live stream.
  3. This Spring will mark yet another milestone in the history of the KCS musical program, as the D-B Orchestra and Band will travel to the prestigious Carnegie Hall in New York City for a special performance.  The trip will take place from March 15-21 and include the band participating in the famous New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade.  And during that same time, the D-B Chorus will be attending the Music for All National Choral Festival in Indianapolis, an incredible achievement and honor.  World-class students sharing world-class talents in world-class venues!
  4. Speaking of the arts, there will be MANY incredible performances taking place in schools in the coming months.  Click here to view the KCS Events Calendar so that you can stay up to speed and come enjoy our talented students.  One particular item of note early in the semester is the D-B Dramahawks performance of The Wizard of Oz, which will take place January 26 & 27 at 7 p.m. in the Nancy Pridemore Theater.
  5. Please be aware of a few calendar items for the Spring semester.  Schools will be closed on Monday, January 15 for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and again on February 9 for parent/teacher conferences.  Spring Break will begin with a teacher in-service day on March 16 and continue through the next week, March 19-23.  The last day of school will be a half-day on May 24.
  6. As always, Dobyns-Bennett Graduation will be a magnificent way to wrap up the school year, as we honor the accomplishments of approximately 500 D-B seniors.  It’s a community celebration that is not to be missed, and you’re invited!  Mark your calendar now to join us in J. Fred Johnson Stadium on Saturday, May 26, 2018 at 9 a.m.

So much will happen over the next five months!  Make sure to follow along on our website ( and social media (;; to catch all the action.

Next week in the Saturday Six:  Students across Kingsport are doing some incredible things in the area of Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, the Arts, and Math (STREAM).  We’ll take a look at the fantastic learning taking place in KCS classrooms!

Dobyns-Bennett/Regional Science and Technology Center Construction Update

Dobyns-Bennett Construction Traffic Patterns 12-26-17

When Dobyns-Bennett students and staff return to school on Tuesday, January 9, 2018, vehicle and traffic patterns will be adjusted due to the start of construction on the Regional Science and Technology Center.  This project will take approximately 15 months to complete, with the result being a 70,000+ square foot facility that will house game-changing science and technology education for KCS students.

A variety of materials have been distributed to students and staff to help with the transition back to school on January 9th:

  • Click here to view a webpage (also available at the KCS website at that contains a map, photos, updates, and an FAQ related to construction and logistics.  This webpage will be the main catalog of information until the project is completed in Spring 2019.
  • A special Twitter account has been created to make you aware of construction updates and alerts.  Follow “DBHS Construction Project” at @KCS_RSTC.  This will be used for instant news and info.
  • The map above outlines the new traffic patterns and drop-off/pick-up points.  Please note that Midland Drive will no longer connect with Legion Drive in front of the Pridemore Theater.  Those traveling north on Midland Drive must enter either the faculty parking lot next to Civic Auditorium or the Maroon Student Parking Lot.  Traffic entering campus on Legion Drive may drop off in front of the Theater, then circle back at a new roundabout, exiting campus to the west on Center Street or Auditorium Drive.  The drop-off roundabout on Tribe Way (near the Dome ramp/along the baseball field) will continue to be operational for student drop-off/pick-up at this time.

An important note to remember:  The temporary “Main Entrance” to D-B during construction will be at the CTE entrance.  The current front door to D-B will be behind the construction entrance and not accessible to school visitors.  All visitors and those wishing to sign-out students should enter at the CTE building (accessed from the stoplight at Center Street/Park Street).

Certainly, there will be inconveniences as construction progresses.  However, the end result of a state-of-the-art science and technology facility will be worth those “pardon our dust” moments along the way.  Thank you for your patience and flexibility as we build the future of education in Kingsport!