Jay Solomon

Purcell Junior High School Principal Jay Solomon’s resignation was accepted during Monday’s school board meeting.

Solomon will finish out the 2020-21 school year and retire effective June 3.

Solomon offered a single paragraph letter addressed to superintendent Dr. Sheli McAdoo and the district’s board of education.

“I appreciate the opportunity to work here. I have enjoyed my time here and I believe we have made great strides in the time I have been here,” he wrote.

Parents of junior high school students had expressed concerns about Solomon’s handling of a student who brought a firearm to school last week and who allegedly made threats.

McAdoo alluded to the incident without citing any details.

She said the incident was investigated “immediately” and that a meeting with junior high staffers went over safety protocols.

There was also a debriefing with the Purcell Police Department which covered the incident start to finish.

Drills were run to familiarize staff members with school safety measures.

The superintendent added there will be a meeting today (Thursday) of the junior high school safety committee to ensure all staff and students are following safety protocols.

McAdoo also said the district has subscribed to STOP It Solutions, an anonymous reporting and incident management app.

The arrangement includes 24/7 monitoring by STOP It for the first year.

The program is also web-based.

Each building will be assigned a unique code to be used when students and staff members make a report.

The app can also be used for mass notifications.

“I really like the feature that it is anonymous,” McAdoo said.

The board elected new officers at the meeting, giving Tracy Folsom another year as board president. Dru Smith will serve as vice president and Bill Smith as secretary.

McAdoo shared cost estimates for refinishing the gymnasium floor at the high school. That figure is $29,539.

Semi-permanent court decals will be approximately $400 each, while metal lettering outside the gym will run between $3,500 and $4,000.

McAdoo told the board the district has 125 students in quarantine and 12 positive for COVID-19. In addition, 14 staff members are in quarantine and six have tested positive for the virus.

High school principal Jason Sanders shared news of a student executive council formed by the Student Council.

Sanders is meeting with the  executive group this week to hear their recommendations on semester testing and mental health initiatives.

He is hoping he can act on some of their recommendations.

“Kids today don’t get enough credit for being aware,” he said, adding this has been an especially tough year for students.

In other business, the board:

  • approved a program pairing first-year teachers with a mentor, and
  • raised from $20,000 to $50,000 the amount McAdoo can spend without prior board approval. The district has more than $380,000 in grant funds from the Chickasaw Nation which must be spent before December 31.
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