I have had a number of heartfelt conversations with parents and Board members about the wisdom of athletics during the pandemic. In these conversations, I let people know that athletics are an important part of life at North Cross and that we do not view them as an extra, rather an integral part of school life. In addition, we feel that keeping students active during stressful times is a positive on many levels. And finally, by maintaining a testing regimen, we feel we can identify positive cases in time to avoid significant outbreaks.
Unfortunately, testing identified a second positive case on our football team and for the second time in three weeks, we are forced to cancel our football game this weekend. This player was symptomatic and left practice early on Wednesday. In addition, this student has been distance learning since the beginning of the month so there is no chance of direct spread outside the confines of the football team.
The football team will re-test on Monday and will quarantine until the results are returned.
Once we receive the results from Monday’s testing, we will make a determination on our ability to continue our football season. Ideally, we will show no further spread among team members and we will be able to continue the season. Should we see evidence of significant spread among team members, we will be forced to cut our season short.
In addition, we do have a regularly scheduled testing session on Thursday. Should we see spread among football team members, we may respond by shifting to testing the entire Upper School and L-M in the Lower School.
Again, I am aware that testing, and the identification of positive cases, cause elevated levels of anxiety in our community when the opposite should actually be true. Testing should eliminate anxiety in that we identify positive members of our community, preventing further spread. While disappointing for our football team, we are appreciative that we have the ability to test, thus allowing us the opportunity to have a season.
I enjoyed a beautiful fall afternoon yesterday, watching the baseball team in a fall scrimmage, and this afternoon, I am headed out to watch a senior day scrimmage with our field hockey team. To see the joy these students have at being able to enjoy something athletic reinforces our decision keep fall athletics. We will continue to do this as long as we feel we can accomplish this safely.
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.