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School on the Mountain
School on the Mountain
Tonya Varnell
Thursday, October 24, 2019

Paris Middle School has been conducting the S.W.A.T. program for all eighth grade students for the past 12 years, to build teamwork, confidence, improve critical thinking skills and increase knowledge. S.W.A.T. stands for Surviving Withstanding Achieving Together. 

Students are strategically placed on teams at the beginning of the school year. Students may earn bonus points for their S.W.A.T. team for positive behaviors such as perfect attendance and showing good character. S.W.A.T. points can be deducted for negative behaviors such as being assigned to ISS and After School Detention. 

The eighth graders compete in academic and physical challenges throughout the school year, as well as travel to some outdoor learning sites. This week, the teams spent two days on Mount Magazine as part of their School on the Mountain experience, originally started by former PSD teachers, June Gilbreath and Dr. Curtis Varnell. The students experienced hiking, lessons on water, soil, history and art. They enjoyed exploring the trails, hearing about the history of different sites on the mountain, making light-absorbing sun bracelets, testing water samples from the spring and strip pit for bacteria, creating their own art from nature and taking photos to share their experiences with the other teams through a slideshow presentation. 

Thank you to our outstanding community partners for providing lunch for our students and staff on these two days - First National Bank at Paris, LoCo Fitness, Pinnacle Telecom and Pizza Hut! We appreciate your support! #wearepariseagles