I was Zooming with a group of alumni the other evening and they were obviously concerned for North Cross and wondered how we were doing during the physical shut down of the school. I actually began to tear up (I cry at coffee commercials) when I began to tell them about how I have never been more proud of a faculty than I am with the efforts our teachers have put in to make our last trimester as productive as possible for our students. Despite the challenges we face, we remain committed to delivering high-quality education, preserving our student-teacher relationships, and maintaining our strong sense of community because these are distinguishing characteristics of North Cross. (Click here to see some of the amazing things our teachers and students are working on.) And thank you for your many emails, texts, and Facebook posts supporting our faculty efforts. They truly raise our spirits.
We recognize that the relationship students have with faculty is the hallmark of a North Cross education and that distance learning makes maintaining this difficult. Despite this difficulty, we are doing our best to keep this magic alive through daily interaction. Just this past week, two of our lower school teachers did drive-by visits to see their students. The video is priceless. Encourage your older students to take advantage of virtual faculty office hours, and should you have any questions, email the teachers directly.
We have a strong and resilient community. I can feel that sense of community alive and well as I watch the students’ Spirit Week clips, Prom videos, and the many other ways we are keeping our connections alive. Again, students, families, alumni, faculty and staff, thank you all for all you are doing. This will go down in the annals of North Cross history as a time of which we can be proud.
There are, however, a number of changes we have made on our campus and to our operations. In keeping with statewide regulations, with few exceptions, our faculty and staff are now working from home. There are a small number of essential staff members coming in to keep the campus operational and to keep development, marketing, and admissions moving forward. It is very encouraging that admissions continues to see good activity as parents begin to look for surety in their school for the upcoming coming year. And of course, construction continues, in some cases ahead of schedule. We look forward to another great school year with new students, a new campus, and the support of our community.
Despite the remote nature of our teaching, the running and maintaining our school continues. We have continued to employ our maintenance and custodial staff, and they are hard at work on our campus. A shout out to Chris Rouse, a current parent and former owner of a cleaning company, for his hard work and professional knowledge. The campus will be cleaner than ever upon return.
The campus is closed, including the CAC, a decision that has impacted our revenues, but corresponding savings from the shuttering of buildings has mitigated the decrease in revenues. Just as other small businesses have felt the impact of the virus, we have been forced to make changes while doing our best to keep all full-time faculty and staff positions whole.
I know that in the back of everyone’s mind, there are questions about next year, and as the picture develops, we will keep you informed of decisions we might make. For now, I ask that you keep our students, their families, our faculty, our staff, and our school in your thoughts and prayers. You will certainly be in ours, and we will update you again soon. I hope you and your loved ones remain well.
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.