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A Message from Our Director

A Message from Our Director of Schools, Dr. Norma Gerrell


In this nation we are blessed with an abundance of natural resources. None of these resources however, are as precious as our children. At Paris Special School District we are committed to providing the best possible learning opportunities for our students. Opportunities, not only for intellectual growth, but social, emotional, and physical growth as well. To this end we strive to educate the whole child and to provide avenues for a wide variety of learning experiences. We are extremely proud of our students. Our standardized test scores, value-added scores, and average daily attendance exceed the state average. Our music program is nationally recognized. Students are encouraged to participate in athletic programs that match their needs and interests, and our curricular programs are enhanced by state of the art technology. Our leadership team, teachers, and support staff participate in numerous professional development opportunities and are committed to life-long learning. Parents and community are actively engaged. We are constantly striving to become a model learning community.

About 25% of a person’s likelihood for success in life is determined by his/her intellectual quotient. At PSSD we work to create an environment where the emotional quotient is nurtured as well. Self-awareness, cooperation, motivation, communication, empathy, and conflict resolution receive the same legitimacy and respect as traditional academic programs.

Paris City and Henry County have a very proud and rich history of generosity and public service. Recognizing that today’s students are tomorrow’s community leaders we work hard to perpetrate the notion of service and to preserve the reputation of our predecessors. Ruth Barton once stated, "We set young leaders up for a fall if we encourage them to envision what they can do before they consider the kind of person they should be." Our character education program celebrates a new character trait each month, and field trips and extra curricular experiences are designed to develop an appreciation of our collective cultural heritage.

Every student in our district is part of the PSSD family and is treated with dignity and respect. Because each student is uniquely talented, programs are designed to meet individual learning and developmental needs.

In today’s world, change is the only constant and the future is filled with uncertainty. It has often been said, "the best way to plan for the future is help create it." At Paris Special School District we are striving to help our students create and prepare for their future, not our past.