This is a follow-up letter to last evening’s report on our first results. We received word that there were no additional positives among the remaining tests that were processed overnight. Thus, our positivity rate for the second round of testing was 0.65%. In addition, there were no commonalities between the three students that tested positive, so we have an early indication that our mitigation efforts to prevent on-campus spread have been successful. We will test our community one more time on September 29th prior to determining our future testing schedule.
Testing definitely adds a level of stress to already stressful times, and I have asked Kelsey Yardley, our Lower School Counselor, to speak with our students during guidance about what is happening and why they should not be frightened. This comes a day late for our fifth and sixth graders that have been isolated, but Kelsey is reaching out to many of them via Zoom this afternoon. I apologize to those parents with children that were distraught; in the future, we will be more proactive in our explanations.
It is important to remember that testing, and the resulting quarantines and isolations, are an important part of our ability to identify and measure the level of virus in our school population. To date, all our positive cases have been asymptomatic and would have remained undetected but for our testing. We have reset the school population and now will work towards our next two-week cycle. Again, our efforts at school will only be successful if our community continues to mask, socially distance, and avoid crowded spaces.
Having had teenagers and having worked with teens for 30 years, I know how difficult it is for a parent to exercise control over teens once they are able to leave the house on their own. During this time of COVID, it is extra important that you ask your teens where they are going for the evening and remind them that their bad decisions won’t just hurt themselves but could also result in large numbers of students having to distance learn, athletic teams being forced to cancel games, and given the nature of this virus, much worse. In advance, I appreciate your hard work.
And finally, I appreciate your patience in the sporadic nature of communications surrounding positive test results. The results usually are received late in the afternoon, and we must carry out initial contact tracing and notify all of the students that are directly involved prior to the beginning of the next school day. Only then are we able to get general information out to the entire community. In this era of social media, we are unable to keep up with the pace of the electronic grapevine, so you are far more likely to hear unofficial news from a friend prior to receiving official notification from the school. In addition, our official news must be necessarily vague about the students involved. Know that we are doing our best to get accurate information out to our community, but once we have contacted one person, that information spreads rapidly.
Thank you again for all your support and all your patience.
Christian J. Proctor, PhD
Dr. Proctor is the ninth Head of School at North Cross and has served as such since 2011. He has more than 30 years of experience in education. He has served as headmaster at Porter-Gaud School in Charleston, South Carolina, St. Martin’s Episcopal School in Metairie, Louisiana, Grace Episcopal School in Monroe, Louisiana, and as Interim Headmaster at Wesley Academy in Houston, Texas. In each location, Dr. Proctor’s tenure was marked by creativity, innovation, and school growth.