Dear North Cross Community:
On Wednesday, we tested 459 students, faculty, and staff and there were 23 positives for a positivity rate of 5%. The bad news of course, is that we are still not at 2%, but the good news is that we saw a 50% decrease in our positivity rate over the past two weeks. Of the 23 positives, we had 1-JK4, 1-K, 1-1st, 10-2nd, 2-3rd, 3-4th, 1-5th, 1-9th, 1-12th, 1 staff, and 1 volunteer parent. Fortunately, all our positives were either asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic.
The most obvious number is the 2nd grade total but equally interesting is the predominance of positives in the lower school. A disproportionally high number of the lower school, and 2nd grade, positives appear to be students that have taken part in our “Learn to Skate” program. If we include students tested in late January, 11 of 28 students taking part in skating have tested positive. As a result, we will pause “Learn to Skate” until such a time we feel the community positivity rate decreases.
Obviously, the lower school has a lower vaccination rate than middle or upper divisions but we did see a significant number of vaccinated lower schoolers test positive as well as unvaccinated students. I am encouraged by no middle school positives and only 2 upper school positives. We will continue to watch these numbers following the February 16 round of testing.
Another important number is the decreasing number of those testing. We have slightly more than 250 members of our community that are not testing as they have tested positive during the past 90 days.
As always, we will follow our protocol for those students testing positive and close contacts.
Of course, masking continues to be on everyone’s mind and while communal masking is not a guarantee of remaining COVID free, we do continue to run a schoolwide positivity rate significantly lower than the current 28% positivity rate in Roanoke. It is good to see COVID trends in the Valley have peaked and are decreasing quickly. I remain optimistic we will soon return to positivity rates we saw late last fall.
Thank you so much for your patience and understanding as we negotiate what I hope is the beginning of the new normal.
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.