North Cross School plans to welcome students back for the Fall Semester on September 8, 2020, with a COVID-19 diagnostic testing regimen in place that will allow the school to reopen as safely and normally as possible.
The School has formed a partnership with Helix, one of the world’s largest clinical exome sequencing laboratories that has added COVID-19 testing during this crisis, and has a core competency of testing accurately at scale. In a statement released this week North Cross advised that they “have developed a comprehensive testing regimen for our school population that allows us to test our faculty, staff, and students prior to the beginning of school and then helps to identify and isolate cases of the virus in our community. This testing will help protect against the possibility of being forced to close campus in the event of an escalated presence of COVID-19 in the Roanoke Valley.”
“We believe this regimen sets us apart and highlights the responsiveness of North Cross as well as emphasizing the commitment we have to our student’s education,” said Head of School, Christian Proctor.
The program will allow testing of all members of the school community under supervision of the school nurse with a quick, self-administered, nasal swab test. Helix plans to deliver accurate results within 24 hours of receipt running seven days a week.
The school will use test results to determine an adaptable testing protocol and schedule intended to quickly identify and isolate, as well as reduce the likelihood of a substantial outbreak that might force a return to distance learning. Plans are also being developed to enhance the distance learning program concurrently, not only to serve individuals who may need to be quarantined, but also families who would choose to continue distance learning.
North Cross was able to seamlessly transition to a distance learning model this spring when all schools were closed in early March, allowing students to complete their school year from home without a loss of curriculum. This ability to quickly pivot was facilitated by having the proper equipment in place and a faculty and parent community committed to continuing to educate under the unprecedented conditions.
Board Chair, Fourd Kemper, recognized the effort and resources that the school is bringing to this crisis on behalf of the students. “As a parent I watched my kids start online learning at 8:30 am on the Monday school campuses were closed statewide. The school was quick to adapt schedules to the new reality of distance learning. I’m proud of how North Cross has prepared for this fall as my children are looking forward to learning with their friends.”
Following the Commonwealth’s reopening guidelines, both general and educational, North Cross summer programs, including for ECP students, will begin on July 6 and continue through August 21.