Parent Newsletter

Purcell High School - January 29, 2021

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Por espanol, Escoja el buton para traducir.

Message from the Principal

Good afternoon.

My best wishes to all PHS families for a safe and restful weekend. On to February!

Over the last two weeks I've been reminded on several occasions of the kindness and generosity of so many of our students and staff. Difficult times and challenging circumstances can often test our resolve and strength, but they also can reveal the kindness and compassion for our neighbors and community we all possess. Over the past week two things, one a formal part of our Student Council's responsibility, and another a simple act of kindness, caught my attention.

After every home game our Student Council members clean the gym of trash and debris. This allows our janitors and staff to finish their duties quicker and get home sooner. It's an enormous effort to quickly turnover the gym and commons and prepare for an early morning the following day.Their help is critical to making this happen. It's also an opportunity to help build a sense of community and responsibility in our students. Serving your community, even in small ways, helps build bridges between neighbors and provides individuals with a spirit of giving and cooperation. I'm not sure how long our students have performed this service...but I love it!

Tuesday nights home basketball game against Davis left us short several staff members due to Covid quarantines. It was all hands on deck. Dr. McAdoo volunteered her services on the scorebook, someone thought it would be a good idea to have the Principal announce, Bryson Tuttle and Sarah Jones ran the clock and others helped where needed. After a very long day I was cleaning the commons to prepare for the following morning. It was late and I was tired and ready to go home. Most of the gym had emptied but a girl's basketball player, sophomore KK Eck, stopped as she was leaving the gym and said, "Mr. Sanders can I help you?" It was a simple and kind gesture yet a powerful example of the spirit of community and service we seek to build in our students.

One of my goals as a Principal is to provide our students opportunities to learn the powerful lessons of giving and community through service learning experiences. Our STUCO cleaning the gym is one example of an existing opportunity and KK's simple act of kindness is an example of values and character such experiences can reveal.

Relationships and Resilience


Go Dragons!

Always feel free to call or email me if you have questions,

405-442-0099 ext 505

Staff Spotlight: David Hilger

Many of our parents and community members probably know David Hilger best as our long-time band director. David has built a strong and vibrant program well respected both within and outside the district. He is a mentor and leader of countless band students over the years. However, as I quickly learned, David serves many roles throughout our district. Especially during a pandemic when the demands on technology have increased.

The last two weeks were another reminder of David Hilger's hard work and commitment to the school. Not just PHS but the entire district. David's tireless work included helping install new big screens in the commons, supporting district wide tech infrastructure, troubleshooting classroom tech issues, teaching his regularly scheduled classes, and I could go on and on! It's impossible to exaggerate the demands this year have placed upon David. David, along with our Assistant Superintendent Jerry Swayze, and Kim Cummings our IT Director, have been instrumental in ensuring all students have a device and internet connectivity. This has been a lifesaver during the pandemic.

My first few weeks as a new principal hire were nerve-wracking to say the least. I didn't know anyone and was limited in my ability to make new connections due to covid. David reached out to me early and helped me set up my email, log-in to the computer and accomplish the countless tasks required during a transition. He was always gracious and kind and most importantly patient with a sometimes "not so patient" principal.

I quickly learned David has a servant mentality and enjoys helping others. Regardless of the demands placed upon his time, he is quick to respond when technology fails, a student needs help, or a colleague needs support. We appreciate all of David's efforts to help keep our school and district running smoothly

Thank you David!

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We are extremely proud of our PHS Cheerleaders! They performed incredibly well yesterday at the State Cheer Competition. Our cheerleaders deserve a ton of credit and recognition for the perseverance, grit, and determination displayed through the enormous obstacles they faced this year. We are very proud of them!

Thank you to all of our cheerleaders and coaches Kerri Raper and Ashley Howell

A message from Coach Roger Raper.

I would like to thank all of the parents and Purcell School employees that offered much needed support, thoughts and prayers during my family's time of grief. The Dragon village has been incredible and we are very thankful.

---Roger Raper

What's Happening @ PHS

Important Prom Information

Prom tickets are also on sale until February 19th! Juniors and guests attend for $40 and seniors attend for free. Tickets can be purchased from Mrs. Swift. All dues must be paid before purchasing tickets. The prom will be on April 10th, from 7-11, at the Grand Canadian Theater on Main street. Masks will be worn at all times.

The Prom Committee is seeking donations for our FREE prom store. Accepted and appreciated items: dresses, slacks, dress shirts, suits, formal shoes, ties, and jewelry. Please bring items to Mrs. Swift or Ms. Matthews. We can be reached at or

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Basketball Homecoming Information

Basketball Homecoming has been rescheduled to Monday February 8th at 7pm followed by a boys game only against Lex at 7:30.

In front from left are Leni Snow, Emily Madden, Kayla Skinner, Kora Keith and Kache Hines. In back from left are Gammy Solis, Misael Duque and Mojo Browning.

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Valentines Day Information

We encourage parents to celebrate Valentine’s Day with their children at home this year. Due to staff limitations to distribute gifts and flowers, please limite deliveries to the schools as much as possible. Balloons and large stuffed animals will not be permitted on school buses due to safety hazard and limited seating available. All deliveries must be scheduled after 1 P.M. on February 12th. We must complete all lunches at the schools prior to accepting deliveries, due to limited storage. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

Tips for celebrating Valentine’s Day with your family:

  • Make heart shaped pancakes or toast for breakfast.

  • Do a scavenger hunt for items that show that represent how much you love them

  • Make a special lunch with a heart shaped theme (pizza, sandwiches, snacks)

  • Create homemade cards to exchange with family members.

  • Bake cookies in the shape of hearts.

  • Make cards for an elderly neighbor or nursing home residents.

  • Have a family movie night with snacks and snuggles.

  • Write a letter to your child explaining how proud you are of them and how great it is to be their parent.


It's a great time of year to spread kindness and gratitude!
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Great work English I Students!

Message from Ms. Candy McCurdy:

I would like to give a shout-out to my 1st hour English I class. They are rocking this semester so far!! Every student has a 100% average!! Keep it up, 1st hour!!! :-)


Jaclyn Miller from Healthcorp supports our students and staff and focuses upon their mental and physical wellness. Jaclyn also teaches a class of health and wellness which helps students better understand and navigate the challenging world of teenagers, especially during Covid. The past week Jaclyn and her students have helped raise the awareness of issues surrounding bullying. We are committed to providing all students a safe and welcoming environment.

Please remember all students have access to the STOPit APP which allows any student to anonymously report bullying or any other potentially dangerous behavior. Please click on link below for more information regarding STOPit. All it requires is the simple download of an app.

The pandemic has created difficult challenges for our students. Many are experiencing isolation, loss, and lack of social engagement. We have worked to increase our awareness of our students social and emotional needs. The mental and physical wellness of our students is a priority. Many of our students simply need a space to communicate and share. Mental health experts strongly recommend high school students have at least one trusted adult at school they can communicate with. We encourage all parents to reach out to the school if there is anything we can do to support the social and emotional well-being of our students.

Please take a moment to click on the article below and read more about providing students social and emotional support.

Important information Regarding Prom and Graduation Activities

This year we are planning on a normal as possible Prom and Graduation season. We all know how important these milestones are to our students and families.

As stated above the Prom is scheduled for April 10th and planning is well underway. We expect masks and social distancing guidelines to still be in place at that time. However, our committee and sponsors are working hard to ensure as normal experience as possible.

Our Graduation ceremony is scheduled for May 14th at 6PM and will be held in our gym this year as normal. We expect there will be some seating capacity restrictions but cannot yet say what those will be. However we anticipate each graduating student will have access to 8 tickets for family members based upon current capacity restrictions. We anticipate masks will be a requirement for all those attending.

We are currently planning for our Senior Assembly to be held on Wednesday, May 12th at 2:00 PM. It is probable that students will be allotted 4-6 tickets for family members based upon expectations for seating capacity restrictions. However those numbers could change depending upon changes in those restrictions.

We will continue to keep our students and parents updated.

Thank you



We are currently planning an earlier than normal Pre-Enrollment for our 2021-22 Seniors, Juniors, and Sophomores. These is mainly due to our new student information system and other changes to our course offerings and learning platforms. As I've detailed in earlier newsletters we are working to provide our students the best possible learning experience possible. We appreciate all students and parents who have responded to recent surveys regarding our traditional, PL, and virtual learning platforms.

We are planning the following upcoming Pre-enrollment dates:

Feb. 22 for current Juniors

Feb. 23 for current Sophomores

Feb. 25 for current Freshman

These pre-enrollment sessions will be conducted through each student's English class at school. Students will have the opportunity to select upcoming courses for the 2021-22 academic year as well as choose the learning platform that best fits their needs. There are several changes that students and parents can expect:

  • Increased elective opportunities for students.
  • An opportunity for some students to select a hybrid schedule: Some traditional courses and some PL (personalized learning) courses. This would be based upon available course offerings and student ability to succeed in PL courses.
  • Students will have an option for PAVE virtual school but must be approved by our PAVE committee.

These changes are in direct response to our students expressed desire to have more elective options and increased flexibility with PL and traditional course offerings. Please understand our planning for next year is still in a preliminary phase. Many decisions regarding course offerings and changes to learning platforms will be driven by data collected during pre-enrollment.

Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions


Dragon Athletics!

It was a 4 win night for the Dragons last Tuesday night against Davis. Jv girls 20-8, Jv boys 45-9, Varsity girls 41-35, and Varsity boys 63-32.Congratulations teams and coaches! Great night to be a Dragon!

Our boy's team is currently 9-4 and ranked #19 in Class 3A. Our girl's team is currently 9-6 with 3 wins in the last two weeks over ranked opponents.

We are looking forward to both teams returning to action soon.

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Congratulations Karson Jennings!

Congratulations Karson Jennings! At tonight’s basketball games, Karson was awarded her Class 4a All-State jacket by Head Coach Sarah Jones. We are proud of you Karson! Wishing you all the best at Texas Tech next year!
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COVID-19 Update

Unfortunately this week we did experience a rise in both cases and quarantines.

Current numbers @ PHS

5 active positives

33 current quarantines (including 5 staff).

We continue to urge all students to practice safety protocols including social distancing and mask wearing both in and outside of school. Masks remain mandatory for all staff and students at all school facilities. CDC guidelines emphasize not only mask-wearing but the importance of proper mask-wearing. Masks should cover the mouth and nose completely.

While we are hopeful that better days are on the horizon and we are seeing an overall decline in national and state cases, we must remain vigilant and protect against the spread of the virus. We understand how unpopular and difficult it is to quarantine students. However, it remains our most powerful tool to prevent widespread transmission and to keep school in operation.

Don't hesitate to reach out to me with questions or concerns.



Our cafeteria along with Keystone will soon be offering an order-ahead option for all students and staff. This will allow anyone the opportunity to pre-select their lunch options. There remains a main meal option but this also provides 4 additional choices to students and staff. If you wish to eat the main meal, nothing is required, you just do as you always have. However if you wish to select one of the four additional options, you would need to pre-order the selections.

How does is work?

For Monday February 1st, students need to place their orders anytime after 1:00 PM on the previous school day (Fri. 1/29) and before 8:45 am on the day they wish to eat lunch. For Tuesday 2/2, students would need to order after 1:00 PM on Monday and before 8:45 on Tues. When students/staff arrive in the cafeteria their meal will be available and labeled in a box.

I have included a link below with a short video explaining the process. I have also included the PHS order link. It's very simple but please click on the order here tab when you open the link. You will also need to mark A or B lunch.

Do you want to understand Google Classroom better?

I'm sure many of you have heard your students mention Google Classroom. Of course it's the learning platform we use to facilitate online learning. Teachers can post lessons, videos, class notes, resources, etc. Students can submit work, connect virtually with their teacher and other students, etc. There are many wonderful applications and it allows the learning process to continue no matter where students and teachers are located. Of course it's a far cry from when I attended school or even first taught school.

I've linked below free resources for students and parents to access. It certainly provides easy and accessible explanations for parents seeking to better understand the learning platform. We remain committed to continue providing parents more information and understanding of an ever-changing education experience.

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Click on Link for access to all Staff emails

Do you need to email a teacher or administrator?Click on the link above for access to all staff emails.

Food Resources Available for Students and Families

Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma provides a food pantry for our students at Purcell High School. We offer snacks, pantry items and frozen items for them to choose from for school and to take home. The Purcell High School pantry is very well stocked and open for use each day. Please encourage your student(s) to make use of this amazing opportunity. If your family needs additional food assistance, please visit the The Food Bank website at and click on "Get Help" to learn about more resources.

Counselor's Corner


Freshmen AND Sophomores: Please remember that OKPromise applications are available for those who may qualify for this awesome program that ensures students who meet certain income requirements are able to go to a state college tuition free. To apply, go to

Click on the link below for important information regarding scholarships!

Scholarship opportunity for kids of teachers

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Parent Portal Information - Infinite Campus

Parents can now access student information on Infinite Campus (our new student information system) The link to parent portal is below.

IMPORTANT: you will need an activation key to access the parent portal. You must email Kim Cummings @ in order to get the activation key


upcoming events

  • February 15th - Professional Development Day - No School
  • March 9th - Parent-Teacher Conferences 4-7:30 pm
  • March 11th - Parent-Teacher Conferences 4-7:30 pm
  • March 12th-19th - Spring Break - No School
  • April 2nd - Snow Day
  • April 10th - PROM
  • May 13th - Last Day of School