North Cross Community
On Thursday, we tested 663 students, teachers and staff members. We had 7 positives including 3 third graders, 3 sixth graders, and a substitute teacher. Per our policy, all persons testing positive will isolate for ten days and if symptom free for 24 hours may return. We have contact traced each positive and have notified those students that were in close contact. These students will quarantine for five days, test on the sixth day and will return with a negative result.
We have evidence that there was spread within Mrs. Martin’s third grade class and her class will go virtual next week, test on Tuesday and with negative results, will resume in person learning on Thursday. Victor Lamas has provided more information to our third grade in a separate email.
We also have evidence that there was spread in chorus as all three sixth graders sat adjacent to each other in chorus. They were all masked while in class but we have taken further measures by moving chorus outdoors in the future. An added bonus is that we will once again hear beautiful music when on campus.
We are very pleased to have only a 1% positivity rate coming out of the Labor Day holiday and I believe this shows that even with the Delta variant, mask use and classroom air filters seem to limit the spread. Having said that, we have now had three instances of apparent classroom spread this year after not having any classroom spread last year so clearly the Delta variant is a tougher opponent. I hope you will be very cautious when off campus.
It does appear that over our first two schoolwide COVID tests, higher vaccination rates do have an effect on decreasing the spread of the virus. We did have breakthrough infections for two of our teachers but all students that have tested positive have been too young to be eligible for the vaccination. I strongly urge you to get your children vaccinated if they are eligible. We are in the process of arranging another series of vaccination clinics on campus to make it as easy as possible. Currently, we are at 71% vaccination rate in our upper school, significantly lower in the middle school.
I am in contact with a number of other independent schools and as a comparison, The Potomac School has 7-12 vaccination rates of 98% while St. Stephens and Agnes is 96% vaccinated. In addition, I am hearing a number of schools looking at requiring vaccinations as a condition to play winter sports. We will continue to keep an eye on things and will make decisions based upon our desire to remain in-person and as normal as possible.
If you have already had your child vaccinated, please send us a copy of their vaccination certificate for our records. It helps immensely when determining policy for us to know overall vaccination rates.
Thank you for your continued focus on the safety of our campus.
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.