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Helping students succeed

Purcell High School takes multi-pronged approach


Of 33 Purcell High School graduates who enrolled in college in Oklahoma in the fall of 2020, six had to take remediation courses in English and math.

Principal Jason Sanders shared the statistic with Purcell Public Schools board members during Monday’s meeting.

Sanders cited benchmark ACT scores to indicate readiness to succeed in college-level classes.

Those include English composition, 18; college algebra, 22; American history, 21; biology, 23, and higher mathematics, 26.

Sanders said the high school is working to improve college readiness in its graduates.

Among the tools used are increasing access to the ACT for all students, evaluating the rigor of courses at the high school and ensuring students have guidance counselor support for college and career pathways.

All sophomores are now taking the pre-ACT in the fall and all juniors have the opportunity to take the ACT in the fall.

In addition, the high school is strengthening its partnership with Mid-America Technology Center.

All freshmen and sophomores visit the MATC campus for a tour.

The school is building on the strength of concurrent enrollment which allows high school students to earn college credits.

Sanders said the high school had four students drop out during the 2019-20 school year.

The drop outs included two freshmen, a junior and a senior.

Alternative education is key to keeping those students in school, Sanders told the board, praising the in-school credit recovery program at the high school.

Board members approved the district’s 2020-21 audit and meeting dates for 2022.

The board also approved a resolution calling for a primary election on February 8 for the office 2 seat held by Dru Smith.

Filing period will be December 6-8.

Superintendent Dr. Sheli McAdoo shared news that the band is state champion in Class 2A and finished runner-up in 1A/2A/3A.

“This group is incredible,” she said. “They have worked so hard for all of their accomplishments.”

McAdoo also said the district has received a waiver allowing herself and assistant superintendent Jerry Swayze to administer COVID tests to students and staff.

“Jerry and I have administered over 20 tests since September 27,” she said.

McAdoo said the state education department has approved the district’s use of child nutrition funds to purchase a new box truck.

The district will begin sending weekend meals home with students on October 22.

The superintendent cited a survey of 815 Oklahoma Education Association members who reported a stress level of 6.4 on a scale of 1 to 10.

“While our teachers and administrators make it look easy, it has not been,” she said. “We must continue to support teachers and administrators for the tough challenges that they are facing each day.”

Other board action included:

  • approval of the district’s general fund/building fund expenditure/revenue plan for the current school year;
  • approval of board policy changes required by updates to state law;
  • approval of McAdoo, Jerry Swayze, Cindy Stone, Tina Swayze, Carol Testa, Sanders and Carolyn Anyong as personnel evaluators;
  •  employing Hilary Venegas as a paraprofessional at the junior high school and Kassi Buchanan as secretary/registrar at the high school, and
  • accepting the resignation of Jamie Rivera  as assistant at Education Station.


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