Month: March 2018

The Saturday Six “Spring Preview” Edition – March 31, 2018

3-31 2018 Pre-K Screening Flyer (April 5)

Spring has arrived!  Along with warmer weather and the April showers that will hopefully bring May flowers, the KCS calendar is packed with events and happenings between now and the start of summer.  It’s hard to believe that graduation is only eight weeks from today, and with all that will take place over the next 56 days, it will likely be a blur of activity.

This week in the Saturday Six, let’s take a look at some of the major event that jot the KCS calendar this spring.

  1. There is nothing more exciting than seeing the enthusiasm of young children on the verge of starting their educational journey.  For those entering Pre-K, that starts with an initial screening to help start school in the smoothest pay possible.  KCS Pre-K screening will take place on April 5, 2018 from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. in the Kingsport Civic Auditorium.  Know someone with a child who will be four years of age on or before August 15, 2018?  Have them click here to learn more about this event.
  2. Student athletes all across KCS will be hard at work as they compete in their spring seasons.  Come support the softball, baseball, soccer, and track athletes at D-B, Sevier, and Robinson Middle Schools all season long.  Click here to view the spring athletic calendar.
  3. Spring is a great time to honor the men and women that have worked so hard to support Kingsport’s students learn and grow.  The Kingsport City Schools Hall of Fame honors former employees that helped make KCS great, and the Dobyns-Bennett Alumni Association Hall of Fame recognizes former D-B grads that have made an exemplary impact.  Nominations are now being accepted for both Halls.  Click here to learn more about the KCS HOF (nominations due May 1) and click here to learn more about the D-B Alumni Association Hall of Fame (nominations due May 31).
  4. With the end of the school year comes state testing for most all grade 3-12 students in Tennessee.  When does this year’s testing begin?  For most elementary students, testing will start the week of April 16.  Middle school testing is currently slated to begin on April 17.  At the high school level, testing is determined by course, but testing will start on April 16 and should conclude the first week of May.
  5. Many end-of-year awards ceremonies and programs will be taking place at all of our schools during the last few weeks of May.  We’ve compiled that information for you and have posted it on our events calendar.  It’s a one-stop-shop for all of your program and ceremony scheduling information.  Click here to view.
  6. Mark your calendars now!  Graduation day at Dobyns-Bennett is a yearly celebration of our students that is not to be missed.  This year’s commencement will take place on Saturday, May 26, 2018 in J. Fred Johnson Stadium.  Ceremonies will begin at 9 a.m.

Don’t miss a moment!  Click here to access the KCS Activity Calendar and keep track of all the upcoming events.

Next week in the Saturday Six:  The KCS Teachers of the Year have been announced.  Tune in next week to learn more about these extraordinary educators that have been recognized as the best of the best!

The Saturday Six “Spring Break Musical” Edition – March 24, 2018

(Photo Credits:  Jennifer Golden, Jeff Fleming, David Golden, Jenny Rogers)

This past week may have been Spring Break for Kingsport City Schools, but hundreds of KCS students were hard at work in locations all across the nation, displaying incredible academic, athletic, and musical talents during their vacation.  For almost 350 Dobyns-Bennett students, it was an opportunity to showcase their musical abilities in some of the most storied venues in America.

This week in the Saturday Six, let’s look at how the D-B Chorus, Orchestra, and Band spent their Spring Break.  Their travels took the groups to Indianapolis and New York City!

  1. The D-B Varsity Choir was one of only 12 choirs in the entire nation invited to perform at the Music for All Festival in Indianapolis, Indiana.  The group performed at the historic St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, one of the most historic venues in downtown Indianapolis, dating back to the mid-1800’s.
  2. While in Indy, the group participated in master classes and rehearsed with renowned choral conductors.  The festival included a concert by the combined choir of all festival participants (over 500 members) at the historic Hilbert Theater on Indy’s Monument Circle.
  3. With this appearance, it is believed that Dobyns-Bennett is the only high school in the world that has had a band, orchestra, and a choir to all perform at a Music for All Festival.
  4. Speaking of the Band and Orchestra, almost 300 student hit the road to New York City for a weekend of performances.  The weekend started with the band and orchestra presenting an evening of Irish music in historic Carnegie Hall, featuring Irish tenor and member of Celtic Thunder Emmett Cahill.
  5. On Saturday, March 17th, the D-B Color Guard joined the group in marching in the annual NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade.  The parade is one of the oldest parades in America… There have been St. Patrick’s Day parades in New York City since the 1760’s!
  6. In addition to the marching band, the parade performance was highlighted by orchestra and color guard members carrying a variety of national and state flags, making this one of the most unique and inclusive events in which D-B has performed.

It was truly a special week in the history of D-B music.  Congrats to the talented students, adults, and supporters that made these incredible trips possible!

Next week in the Saturday Six:  The weather may not reflect it, but the calendar says it’s Spring!  Next week, we’ll preview the rest of the KCS Spring semester and look at the incredible things that are coming up on the calendar between now and the end of the school year.

The Saturday Six “Video Blog” Edition – March 17, 2018

For the past 147 episodes, the KCS Saturday Six has brought you a wide variety of news and information about the people and programs of Kingsport City Schools.  It has become a regular fixture at and on the KCS social media platforms each weekend.  But have you found the companion We Are KCS Video Blog on the KCS YouTube channel?  It’s yet another way to learn more about the exciting and talented students and staff that are working so hard to achieve great things.

This week, the Saturday Six takes a look at this video series and the accomplishments that it highlights.  Let’s explore six of our favorite We Are KCS Video Blogs, and check out the entire vlog library by clicking here.

  1. Episode 18:  The D-B Robotics Program – With the help of D-B faculty and a variety of community stakeholders, The Dobyns-Bennett CyberTribe is a learning volumes about engineering while competing against some of the best FIRST Robotics teams in the nation.
  2. Episode 17:  TRIBE Games Swimming – KCS student-athletes are working hard and finding great fun and success as the entire community comes together to celebrate the human spirit!
  3. Episode 16:  D-B a Capella Groups – Talented vocal groups from D-B have recently returned from a prestigious national competition, having secured a first-ever championship!
  4. Episode 13:  KCS 4th Grade Career Expo – What will the future look like for Kingsport’s children?  Elementary students from across the district explored a wide range of career options at the first-ever KCS 4th Grade Career Expo.
  5. Episode 11:  The KCS School Resource Officer Program – Did you know that there are multiple full-time Kingsport Police Department officers working to keep our schools safe?  Learn more about the men behind the badge that fill this critical role for our school system.
  6. Episode 10:  Coding in KCS Elementary Schools – Students today are preparing for careers that have not yet been invented.  Coding helps all students become better problem solvers through technology and teamwork.

Next week in the Saturday Six:  This coming week is Spring Break for Kingsport City Schools, but hundreds of KCS students are still working hard to display their incredible talents during their week off.  Next Saturday, we’ll shine the spotlight on the D-B choral, orchestra, and band programs that hit the road to perform in some of the country’s most prestigious settings during the vacation.


The Saturday Six “Athletics” Edition – March 10, 2018

KCS students demonstrate their incredible abilities in a wide variety of ways… in the classroom, playing an instrument, creating an artistic masterpiece, or through service to others.  Hundreds of student athletes also display their talents through a variety of sports and activities.  Their commitment to developing a strong work ethic, dedication to team building, and quest for excellence is inspiring and exciting to see.

This week, the Saturday Six takes a look at what has been happening athletically across Kingsport during the winter, as well as looking forward to this Spring’s sports season.

  1. The Dobyns-Bennett Girls and Boys Basketball teams both had outstanding campaigns, totaling 53 varsity wins and appearances in the Region 1-AAA tournament.  The Lady Indians finished 24-10 and were Big 7 Conference runners-up, while the Boys wrapped up the year at 29-8, winning the District 1-AAA title and finishing 2nd in the region.  With great talent returning next season, the future looks incredibly bright for both squads!
  2. The D-B Swimming and Diving team had another successful campaign, with many athletes progressing to the state championships in Knoxville in February.  Four athletes placed in the top 16 at state, including Kynadi Lane, who finished 5th in the 1 meter diving competition!
  3. The D-B Wrestling team capped a phenomenal season by progressing all the way to the TSSAA Class AAA State Dual Wrestling Championships.  Individually, D-B Senior Cade Salyers finished 6th in the state in the 285 lb. weight class.  Outstanding!
  4. At the middle school level, both Sevier and Robinson Middle Schools had tremendously successful winter campaigns.  These programs form the foundation of our athletics programs, and both the Girls and Boys Basketball teams, Swimming, and Wrestling teams made great strides in both in-competition success and player development this year.
  5. Perhaps the biggest recent news involving KCS athletics is the announced retirement of D-B’s Hall of Fame Head Football Coach Graham Clark.  Coach Clark ends his 25-year tenure leading the Tribe as the winningest coach in school history, with not only an incredible list of accolades, but having positively touched the lives of hundreds of individuals.  Click here to see the full story regarding Coach Clark’s retirement.
  6. Spring sports have already begun!  Softball, Baseball, Boys Soccer, Track & Field, and Tennis are already underway.  Don’t forget that a one-stop-shop for all information and news regarding KCS Athletics can be found at  This website contains photos, schedules, information, and records for all of KCS athletics programs.  You can also follow along on Twitter at

Next week in the Saturday Six:  Have you found the We Are KCS Video Blog yet?  This innovative communication method highlights the people and programs of KCS and has seen some significant updates during this school year.  We’ll take a look at several of the new blog videos that shine a spotlight on some incredible students and programs.

The Saturday Six “Read Across America Day” Edition – March 3, 2018

Though reading is certainly a focus on every day of the school year, this past Friday had a unique significance as it was “Read Across America Day.”  Held annually each year on the birthday of Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel, KCS celebrates all-things-literacy on this special day with a wide variety of school and classroom-based events.  It is definitely a day to focus on the importance and love of reading!

This week, let’s take a look at some key information related to literacy and focus on some sights from across the district as KCS celebrates Read Across America Day.

  1. In addition to teaching technical reading skills, KCS teachers focus daily on developing excited readers.  This week has been no exception, as a special focus on the love of reading has been evident in schools across the district.
  2. A key component to the KCS literacy development lies in engaging students in a high volume of complex and engaging texts.  With support from teachers, readers are guided to texts that spark a love for reading that will carry them through adulthood.
  3. Is having young children read daily important?  Studies show that a student that reads 20 minutes a day will read 1.8 million words per year and is likely to score in the 90th percentile on standardized assessments.  A child that reads only one minute per day will read approximately 8,000 words per year and is likely to score in the 10th percentile on standardized assessments.
  4. Reading promotes achievement in all subjects, not just English.  Children who are good readers tend to achieve better across the curriculum.  Additionally, reading is a much more complex task for the human brain than watching TV.  Reading strengthens existing brain connections, as well as building new ones.
  5. Does reading achievement have a significant impact on society?  You bet.  In data provided by the United Way, the cost of illiteracy to business and the taxpayer is estimated to be $20 billion per year.  Yes, that was billion… with a “b.”
  6. Did you know how Read Across America Day started?  It was first celebrated in 1998 as a brainchild of the National Education Association in an effort to celebrate reading.

Bonus fact:  One of Dr. Seuss’ most famous books, The Cat in the Hat, was written because of a challenge to publish a book using 400 words that were given to him.  Those words were believed to be the most important words for 1st graders to recognize.  Geisel wrote the book, which was an instant success, in just nine months using only 225 words from that list.

Next week in the Saturday Six:  Student athletes all across KCS have been doing some amazing things in the past few months.  We’ll take a look at what has been accomplished and preview the spring season that’s on the horizon.