The KCS Saturday Six – The Inaugural Edition

Today marks the start of a new communications venture for Kingsport City Schools… the “Saturday Six.”  Each weekend, we’ll highlight six items related to KCS.  It may be current news, recent or upcoming events, teacher or student work and achievements, KCS history, or just interesting tidbits about the district.  We hope you’ll make the Saturday Six a regular part of your weekend!

  1.  The Dobyns-Bennett Hall of Fame has six new members.  This week, D-B honored yet another class of outstanding alumni.  Because of their outstanding achievements and dedication to D-B, the Hall welcomes Michael Ainslie (1961), Robin Jarvis Askew (1974), Dr. Locke Carter (1954), Lois Patrick Young-Dobyns (1954), Anne Pope (1979), and Fred Walton (1963).  Once an Indian, always an Indian!
  2. KCS text messaging… Coming to a cell phone near you.  On Monday, KCS parents and staff with a cell phone listed in PowerSchool will receive a text asking if they want to receive future messages from KCS.  By responding with “Y” or “Yes,” they will opt-in to receive future vital communications straight to their cell phone, related to emergencies, schedule changes, or other important information.  It’s one more example of how KCS is always working to improve communications with our community.
  3. KCS is pretty in pink.  On Friday, staff members throughout KCS took part in a fundraising initiative to support breast cancer research and awareness.  Teachers, staff, and administrators raised funds and donned pink to show solidarity and support for this important cause.  If you were in a KCS school on Friday, you saw LOTS of pink!
  4. Johnson Elementary Math Night adds to learning.  Thursday evening, parents and teachers at Johnson came together to take a hands-on took at mathematics instruction and see how students can best be supported in their learning.  It was a great evening of knowledge, community, and fun!
  5. Insight KCS continues to share the story of KCS.  On Friday of this week, the 2015-16 class of Insight KCS took a deep look at the curriculum and instruction occurring throughout the district.  Participants learned about literacy and math instruction, as well as taking a tour of Robinson Middle School and Johnson Elementary.  Insight KCS is a year-long community initiative to share the complete operations of KCS with interested area residents.
  6. We are #OneTribe, #OneKingsport.  Next week, KCS is excited to participate in the One Kingsport summit, working to bring all facets of our community together to shape the vision of our great city.  We are privileged to live and work in such a special place, and the summit looks to be an exciting opportunity to move Kingsport forward.  Our spirit of unity makes us great!

KCS Starts School Year with Service Focus: D-B YES Club

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We Are One Tribe…

The start of every school year brings with it a combination of excitement, anticipation, and though we try to eliminate it, a dose of apprehension as to what the new year will bring.  Each child likely has some combination of all of these emotions as they set foot in a new classroom and/or school.  Naturally, this may result in a mindset that focuses more on meeting personal needs, rather than considering the needs of others.  But what might happen when a group of teachers observes an issue, develops an innovative idea to address it, and presents the opportunity to students at Dobyns-Bennett High School?  The result is an exciting display of selflessness and passion to serve others.

Started as a brainstorm of KCS guidance counselor Alice Browder (Roosevelt Elementary) and family liaison Jaclyn Clendenen (Jackson Elementary), the D-B YES Club (Youth Engagement Strategies) was formed to connect interested high school students with KCS elementary students that are in need of a positive role model.  Taking place during the new D-B Tribe Time (an hour-long lunch period at D-B that allows for a variety of learning and service opportunities), interested juniors and seniors in good academic standing can gain volunteer hours and valuable experience by mentoring younger children at their elementary schools.  For the elementary students, it is a terrific opportunity to gain guidance and support from a new friend who can relate to them on a more personal level.

When presented with an opportunity to serve and support younger children, D-B students turned out in droves to share of themselves.  Almost 70 students returned an interest survey in the first days of signup, requesting an application to apply to be a mentor.  After receiving training from the KCS staff, the high schoolers will go into KCS elementary schools and share their insights and experience with young children who might not otherwise have an older sibling or friend to learn from.  It is an example of how, when presented with a need and an opportunity, our students rise to give of themselves to others.  It will be exciting to see the friendships that develop and the confidence that will grow (in both young and old) as bonds are formed during this innovative process.

To view a video about the D-B YES program, please click here.

We Are One Tribe… We Are KCS!

Dobyns-Bennett Student-Athletes Give Back

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(Photos courtesy Nick Shepherd, Kingsport Times-News)

We Serve…

Mathematics.  Science.  Language Arts.  Social Studies.  Music.  The Arts.  When it comes to what is taught in Kingsport City Schools, these are likely the subjects that come to mind.  While they form the core foundation of who we are and what we do, there are other words that also describe the values we work to instill in our students and throughout our educational community.

Selflessness.  Commitment.  Integrity.  Thankfulness.  Dedication.  Service.

These were the types of life skills demonstrated by the Dobyns-Bennett Girls and Boys basketball teams on Saturday, August 9, 2014 as almost 30 D-B student-athletes turned out to help serve lunch to members of our local National Guard.  Led by D-B coaches Bill Francis and Charlie Morgan and supported by the Kingsport Texas Roadhouse, these young men and women took time out to, in some small way, show their appreciation for the sacrifice provided by the members of the National Guard.  And though the service provided by these students may pale in relation to those that have risked their lives to protect our freedoms, this act of giving back can help to solidify a foundational understanding of the importance of personal sacrifice.

To be successful on the court, these athletes must show a high level of commitment and dedication in the classroom, during practice, and on game night.  But to ultimately be successful in life, they need to learn the importance of developing and using those same skills in the broader picture… How sacrifice, service, and appreciation will increase the impact of both their lives and the lives of those around them.  These are the lessons our faculty and staff work to instill on a daily basis.  By volunteering to serve others, these young men and women demonstrate they are learning this critical skill that, beyond anything that can be taught in a book, will make them ultimately successful in life.

We Serve… We Are KCS!

Click here to view Nick Shepherd’s full review in the August 10, 2014 Kingsport Times-News.



KCS Launches D-B EXCEL – A Game-Changer for Today’s Secondary Students


We Are Groundbreaking…

Let’s face it… Today’s world looks much different from the one of ten, twenty, or thirty years ago.  From changes in technology, communications, and culture, society has evolved at a dizzying pace.  We would be naïve to think that education can’t, or shouldn’t, evolve with it.  Our parents and community expect that we will do everything possible to meet today’s students where they are and provide an innovative, high-impact educational experience that will prepare them for future success.

For many months, the administrators at Cora Cox Academy and Dobyns-Bennett High School have been examining their current educational programing and envisioning the full scope of what secondary education could look like, especially for the student that is not as likely to find success in the traditional high school setting.  Out of that extensive research and planning led by Mrs. Shanna Hensley and Dr. Chris Hampton, D-B EXCEL (Excellence in a Creative Environment for Learning) was born. 

This innovative approach to personalized learning takes the core foundational philosophies of KCS and places them in an environment that better fits today’s non-traditional high school student.  The campus is unique, providing opportunities for online learning, blended (both online and in-person) learning, and even a planned full-time virtual academy.  Schedules are unique, with classes even offered outside the traditional school day, often going late into the afternoon and evening.  This is especially helpful for students that have work or family responsibilities that keep them from maintaining a traditional school schedule.

And the learning is especially unique.  The coursework allow students to craft a more individualized learning path and provides the versatility to work at a much more personalized pace.  By providing counseling, mentorships, and a positive school culture, staff can assist D-B EXCEL students in maximizing their academic potential in a truly innovative way.  The intended outcome is to open doors and opportunities to a world of possibilities where students are empowered to focus on their own specific goals.

It’s a game-changer for secondary education not only for Kingsport, but for the entire region and state (the virtual academy is planned to open in 2015 to any Tennessee student).  Is it for you or someone you know?  Find out by accessing a  wealth of information available at  D-B EXCEL… It’s a progressive leap forward in creating a world-class educational experience for all students, providing an innovative approach to personalized learning.

We Are Groundbreaking … We Are KCS!