Dr. Zach Dresser and four members of the Class of 2017 (from left to right): Jarion Jenkins-Saunders, Helen Schmedtje, Ashtyn Gerhart, and Caroline McGimsey arrived in Shanghai today after two days of travel. Robert Robillard picked them up at the airport and warned them to get plenty of rest each night as each day will be packed with activities. They will be seeing all the highlights of Shanghai, including its famous gardens, fabric markets, dumpling houses, museums, and even the symphony house—and that is just the first full day. They will take day trips to Hangzhou and Suzhou, which are smaller cities with UNESCO-certified heritage. During the weekdays, they will take classes each morning, including Chinese. After lunch, they will become tourists. Some of the students will be hosted by Xinhe students, who are excited to meet their classmates from the other side of the world.
I frequently describe North Cross School as an independent school, distinct from other private schools in the Valley. I am not going to go into the complete details of what differentiates us, as that is likely more information than you want, but suffice it to say, one of the biggest distinctions is the rigorous accreditation process required of all independent schools.
Almost fifty years ago, North Cross was a charter member of the Virginia Association of Independent Schools (VAIS) and we have maintained our accreditation since then. VAIS is chartered by the Commonwealth's legislature as one of the few organizations responsible for the oversight of private schools in the Virginia. In addition, VAIS undergoes a rigorous examination of its accrediting practices by the National Association of Independent Schools and is one of only twelve regional accrediting agencies recognized by the national body. As such, accreditation provides North Cross permission from the Commonwealth to operate a private school, as well as the national accreditation required by colleges and universities who accept our students.
Frequently, I get asked by folks on campus, “How’s China going?” I usually respond with “It hasn’t gotten any closer!” While true, this answer only reflects the nature of modern day travel and does not provide a picture of what is really happening.
Many of you know I just returned from China last Friday after spending the week working with the teachers and administrative staff at North Cross-Xinhe (Sheen-huh) School—our Shanghai campus operated in partnership with a Chinese education group. I was joined by Zack DeMoss, our Director of Information Technology, and our Registrar Susan Baker.
Things at North Cross-Xinhe are going very well as we have grown from three North Cross associated faculty members to eight, and we have seen our enrollment grow from 50 students to 130. In addition, our Chinese partners spent more than $1 million in renovations to the school building, renovations that include a new computer library, chemistry lab, and substantial improvements to the buildings façade. (Read on to see a gallery of photos.)
North Cross will partner with the Xinhe School in Shanghai, China and provide an American-style education to 50 students beginning this fall
The Crossties Blog provides timely updates about activities from the campus of North Cross School.