Dear North Cross Community:
We have delayed making COVID response decisions for the upcoming year with the knowledge that the situation is very fluid and we wanted to have the most accurate information available. I appreciate your patience as I know other schools and school districts have been in the news frequently with their decisions.
Last Thursday, the Governor mandated mask use when indoors, on campus, for all students and employees regardless of vaccination status. I know we have enjoyed a relatively mask free summer but we are required to comply with this mandate and I ask that if you are to visit our campus, please wear a mask when indoors.
In addition, our Medical Advisory Group met last night to discuss possible changes in our COVID protocols. As much as we would like to continue the relaxed posture of this summer, it is apparent that the recent spread of the Delta variant will force us to continue to limit group gatherings on campus or move them outdoors. In the near term, this means that new parent orientation and Convocation (8/25) will be held outdoors. Once school starts, we will begin the year with virtual Upper School assembly and the cafeteria will serve meals to be eaten outdoors. Unfortunately, the New Parent Reception at the Headmasters House will be delayed until such a time we feel comfortable hosting a social event of that scale.
We also feel it prudent to continue testing our population on a regular basis in order to confirm our mitigation efforts are working. Last year, we had no indication of any spread of the disease at school and I am confident we will be able to prevent the spread this year as well. Testing will begin on campus, on Monday, August 23rd, in the CAC. As we said last year, the Medical Advisory Group will use the results of this initial round of testing to determine the future testing schedule and quarantining protocol.
You will receive more information regarding this initial test from your division directors. Like last year, you will be required to fill out a PathGroup form and provide copies of your insurance information. All students, vaccinated or not, will be required to test. If you are unable to test on campus, or if it is more convenient to test elsewhere, that is fine. Just make sure your test is a PCR test and not a rapid antigen test, then email firstname.lastname@example.org the results. I know some of you will be getting in that last day or two of vacation.
There is one slight difference in our testing regimen. Last year, we relied upon an army of volunteer swabbers, record keepers, and couriers to meet our testing needs. This year, I would like to pay them a small sum for their work. As such, after the first round of testing, we will be charging $10.00 per test per person. We will add this to your account so you will not need to send money to school with your child. Should we have any money left over in this account at the end of the year, we will pass it on to the Parents Association.
I am disappointed we are not out of the COVID woods yet but remain optimistic that things will get back to normal this school year. I appreciate your support as we make difficult decisions. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.
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.