Month: February 2018

The Saturday Six “Digital Learning Day” Edition – February 24, 2018

Thursday, February 22, 2018 was digital learning day across the United States.  Though this is a special day designated each year to highlight how technology is transforming education, you could argue that the efforts of Kingsport City Schools students and educators make every day “Digital Learning Day” across KCS.  The environment in KCS classrooms is truly cutting edge, with student having access to a worldwide web of information and educational experiences.

This week, the Saturday Six takes a look at how technology is changing the face of education in Kingsport.

  1. The KCS STREAM (Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) Vision reflects the guiding philosophy that charts the path for all such work across the district.  Based on research and best practices, the vision incorporates a wide range of activities and initiatives to support this academic focus.  It’s purpose is to reach every child and to provide opportunities for students who exhibit an interest or aptitude in science, technology, engineering, and/or mathematics.
  2. For the past two years, all KCS elementary students have had the opportunity to learn how to code.  This experience helps students develop deep problem solving skills while building foundational computer programming experience.  If you want to learn more, check out this recent We Are KCS video blog that highlights this engaging activity.
  3. If you aren’t already familiar with the term “MATE,” you are likely to learn much more about it in the coming weeks and months.  Marine Advanced Technology Education is quickly becoming an integral part of KCS STREAM education, as students are actively working to design and build underwater robots.  In fact, through a partnership with Streamworks, Kingsport will host it’s first MATE competition in April.  Make plans now to attend the Tennessee Regional Underwater Robotics Competition at the Kingsport Aquatic Center on April 28, 2018.
  4. Don’t be fooled… “LEGO League” is not about building cool structures with interlocking bricks.  KCS elementary and middle school students are building robots that perform tasks and complete challenges, even competing in Kingsport’s first LEGO competition back in December.  This exciting hands-on approach builds a fundamental knowledge base related to technology and robotics, helping prepare students for…
  5. The high school Project Lead the Way class works with a wide range of community partners to design, engineer, fabricate, build, and program a FIRST Robotics competition robot.  The D-B “Cyber Tribe” team uses these skills as they compete with other schools across the state and southeast.  The Cyber Tribe has been ranked as high as #2 in the state of Tennessee and has quickly become know as a creative force across the region.  Want to learn more?  Check out
  6. On a day-to-day basis, no technology has changed the educational environment more than the KCS 1-to-1 (1:1) program.  This vision has provided a technology device to all KCS 4th through 12th graders.  Shortly, all students will be utilizing chromebooks for this purpose, giving them a reliable and cost-efficient option to access information both at school and at home.  It has been a game-changer for KCS students in the way they access information and go about learning academic content.

Today’s children are preparing for jobs and careers that have yet to be invented.  What will the future hold?  No one knows for sure, but through the use of technology, the future for KCS students is boundless!

Next week in the Saturday Six:  Another big educational day is on the horizon, as Friday March 2 is Read Across America Day!  Next week, we’ll explore all-things literacy throughout KCS.

The Saturday Six “I Love School Because…” Edition – February 17, 2018

During Valentine’s Day week, the spirit of love seems to be ever-present, and it was no different throughout Kingsport City Schools.  But instead of just focusing on candy hearts and “Will you be mine?” messages, KCS students also took time to think about why they love school.  The responses were incredible!

This is one of those weeks where The Saturday Six asks for a little latitude on the “Six” part of our blog title.  Let’s take a look at some of the fantastic messages (waaaay more than six!) from KCS students, as they tell us why they Heart school.

Next week in the Saturday Six:  February 22nd is Digital Learning Day across the U.S.  Next week, we’ll take a look at how technology is being used to transform the learning environment for KCS students.

The Saturday Six “Sons and Daughters of Douglass” Edition – February 10, 2018

(photos courtesy

From 1913 to 1966, Kingsport’s Douglass High School served as a shining example of community and excellence, educating generations of children and serving as the centerpiece of the Riverview Community.  It stood as the largest African-American high school in upper east Tennessee, southwest Virginia, and southeast Kentucky, leaving a legacy that positively impacted countless students and families.  The Sons and Daughters of Douglass continue to celebrate that tradition by both remembering the history of the school and supporting the Kingsport students of today.

This week, let’s look back on the heritage of Douglass High School and learn more about the vital role it played in the history and development of the City of Kingsport.

  1. Built on the corner of Center Street and East Sevier Avenue, the Douglass School was named after Frederick Douglass, the great African-American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman.  Douglass once famously stated that it is “easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”  The school, it’s staff, and the entire Douglass community certainly reflected this mindset.  Prior to the construction of the Douglass School, the original public African-American school in Kingsport was the Oklahoma Grove School, beginning in 1913.  Overcrowding and the growth of the African-American community forced several moves that resulted in the building of the Douglass School in 1929.  It was built partially with money from the Rosenwald Fund, which was started by philanthropist Julius Rosenwald to help build improved black schools across the South.
  2. You’ll likely recognize the name V.O. Dobbins, who in 1942 moved from his position as a science and math teacher to become Douglass principal.  Mr. Dobbins went above and beyond in his support of the school, starting a free lunch program and even growing and canning vegetables for children to eat while at school.
  3. Strong academics were a hallmark for the school, providing students with the education needed for life-long success.  Douglass teachers and staff were well known for fostering a family atmosphere that created an environment for learning.  Additionally, Douglass was accredited by the Southern Association of Secondary Schools and Colleges, ensuring that graduates would be in good standing when moving on to colleges and universities.  The academics taught at Douglass represented a continuation of educational excellence for African-American students in the community!
  4. In addition to academics, Douglass High School was well known throughout the state for excellence in a variety of athletic and extra-curricular programs.  The basketball and football teams were both powerhouses in the region, and the school also featured highly regarded band, chorus, and theater programs.
  5. Douglass High School closed its doors for the final time on June 8, 1966.  In the Fall of 1966, Douglass students then began attending Kingsport City Schools, marking a time of significant educational and social transition in the history of the community.
  6. The spirit of Douglass lives on through The Sons and Daughters of Douglass, Inc.  Its goal is to, “Lead (Douglass) school graduates and former students with the ‘Tiger Spirit’ that forever binds them with their African-American heritage in Kingsport, and to remind that the school’s rich tradition and neighborhood pride are to be passed on to future generations (by Virginia Ellis, 80 Years of Enlightenment).”

Today, the spirit of Douglass High School continues to shine brightly, connecting Kingsport’s past with its future.  You are encouraged to learn more about The Sons and Daughters of Douglass, the history of Douglass High School, and the heritage of South Central Kingsport by visiting

Next week in the Saturday Six:  It’s Valentine’s Day week!  In a spirit of love, next week’s Saturday Six will feature KCS students who answer the age-old question of “What do you love about school?”

The Saturday Six “Meet the Superintendent” Edition – February 3, 2018

Dr. Jeffrey Moorhouse

It’s been an exciting week for Kingsport City Schools!  Amidst all the great academic work, athletic accomplishments, and snow forecast watching, our new Superintendent, Dr. Jeff Moorhouse, began his tenure leading KCS on Friday, February 2.  Dr. Moorhouse comes to Kingsport via Greeneville City Schools, where he served as Director of Schools since 2015.

This week, the Saturday Six introduces you to our new leader, taking a look at his history, experience, and expectations for KCS!

  1. Dr. Moorhouse’s professional experience covers a wide range of settings, including teaching at the elementary, middle, high, and college levels and serving as an administrator in both school and district positions.  He’s been a school administrator in Unicoi County, South Carolina, and Hamblen County (TN), including an 11-year tenure as principal at Morristown West High School.  In 2015, Dr. Moorhouse made the shift to district administration, taking the role of Director of Schools in Greeneville City Schools.
  2. An honors graduate from Johnson County High School in 1987, Dr. Moorhouse holds a Bachelor’s degree from Milligan College (1991), a Masters of Arts in Teaching from East Tennessee State University (1992), and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from ETSU (2002).
  3. While Director of Schools in Greeneville, the district was repeatedly honored by a variety of organizations.  The district was recognized as an AP Honor District, a top district in Tennessee in the annual Niche Rankings and by Business Insider, and was ranked 9th in the United States by the Center for Digital Education for innovative uses of technology.  Under his leadership, Greeneville City Schools also received the College Board’s Gaston Caperton Award… one of only 130 districts in America to be recognized for exemplary work in increasing opportunities for underrepresented student populations.
  4. Dr. Moorhouse also has a long history of successful program development focusing on student achievement and opportunity.  He has led work on an expansion of industry certification programs, created an elementary behavioral intervention and transition program, led the development of a virtual learning academy, as well as creation of a program of college visits and tours involving a medical school, law school, and veterinary school to expose students to professional school opportunities and expectations.
  5. If you ask Dr. Moorhouse, he will likely list his family as his greatest accomplishment, including his wife and two college-age daughters.  When Dr. Moorhouse isn’t at work or involved with one of the many professional organizations in which he is a member, you may very well find him reading, fishing, trap shooting, playing golf, or just generally being outdoors!
  6. What will be Dr. Moorhouse’s priorities as he begins his superintendency of KCS?  Building relationships, being able to positively impact students and families, and supporting the current successful work of the district are the items most frequently mentioned when he’s been asked that question since being selected as superintendent.

To help welcome Dr. Moorhouse to Kingsport, the community is invited to a reception in his honor on Thursday, February 8, 2018 at 5:15 p.m. in the KCS Administrative Support Center Tennessee Room (400 Clinchfield Street, 3rd floor).  The reception will take place immediately prior to the February Board of Education meeting, which begins at 6 p.m.

Next week in the Saturday Six:  From 1913-1966, Douglass High School played a vital role in the life and development of Kingsport.  When it closed in 1966, Douglass was the largest African-American high school in Upper East Tennessee.  The school’s heritage lives on today through the Sons and Daughters of Douglass.  Next week, we’ll learn more about this important organization and how it continues to support the students of Kingsport.