Crossties: May 17, 2013 • Volume: 2012-13, Issue 34

Message from the Headmaster

School Rankings and Best in Roanoke

This past week, I read a small article in the Roanoke Times about the relative rankings of many of the schools in the Valley.  It seems that in much the same way as we rank colleges and universities, we are now trying to rank high schools.  As Americans, we love rankings.  They provide us with “proof” that our school is better and fosters intense conversation when our academic institution is not ranked high enough. 
I did want to comment on North Cross School’s noticeable absence from these rankings.  As a member of the National Association of Independent Schools, we have chosen to follow their suggestion that we do not take part in efforts to rank secondary schools.   The methodology of these rankings is sketchy at best and it is our belief that even with impeccable methodology, these rankings do not take in to account what is a “best” school for an individual.
Let me use Academic Magnet School located in Charleston, South Carolina as an example.  Magnet accepts only students in the ninth grade that score in the top three percent of all standardized test takers.  They require students to take a minimum of six AP level classes before graduation.  They consistently rank in the top 10 of all public schools in the country because they have one of the highest rates of students taking AP classes.  This ranking does not examine how well the students do on their AP exams or whether a highly selective incoming class actually improves upon their already lofty status.  I would argue that a non-selective public school with no AP requirements and one that produces good AP scores for a significant portion of their population is a better school.
So have fun with school rankings at the secondary level but do not take them too seriously.  Of course there is one ranking that you must take seriously!  For the fourth year in a row, North Cross School has been rated by the readers of The Roanoker Magazine as the Top Private School in Roanoke.  Now that is an honor worth bragging about.

Spring Band Performance May

Don't miss Ms. Donnini and her instrumental music students perform at the Spring Arts Performance on Tuesday, May 21. The event will take place at 7 p.m. in Fishburn Auditorium. 

Volunteer Breakfast May 23

Please join us for this year’s
Volunteer Breakfast

Thursday, May 23
at 8:00 a.m.
New Slack Hall

We would like to show our appreciation for all of your hard work and support!

Please plan to join us.
Please contact Jennifer Burtch at or 989-6641, ext. 284 for questions or more details.

Another Great Tradition: The Fat Pencil Ceremony

Each spring the lower school students honor the graduating seniors who have been at North Cross for twelve or more years. While each senior's remarks are their own, there are common themes. The dinosaur program in first grade, Colonial Day, Williamsburg, and the fifth grade battle are often mentioned highlights. The four year olds present their senior buddy with a "fat pencil". This pencil is the first instrument that you learn to write with at North Cross School and it symbolizes how far you have come throughout your years at North Cross. 

There have been over 300 "Fat Pencils" awarded since 1986, when Ms. Holt started this great tradition and gave the first award. Members of the "Fat Pencil" society are often our best students and leaders and many return years later as active alums, parents and even board members. This year nine seniors were presented this fun award. 

Only Two Weeks Left


As you know there are only two more weeks left in the school year. The year has flown by, but don't get too comfortable yet.  While we are down to the last few days, they are a very busy few days at North Cross. There are end of year ceremonies, concerts, exams, dedications, graduation, and much more! Please remember that we update the online calendar daily so be sure to check the calendar and make sure you aren't missing any of this special year end events. Follow the link below to the calendar. 

NCS Online Calendar

Still Time to Buy from Summer Reading Book Fair

Don't forget, you still have an opportunity to visit Barnes and Noble to support our book fair until Saturday, May 18. If you need gifts for graduation, birthdays, Mother's Day, or Father's Day, this is a great time to pick them up and support our library at the same time. We also have a Hancock Library "wish list" table at the Tanglewood Barnes and Noble if your family would like to select a book for donation to the library. Our Barnes and Noble Book Fair ID# is: 11101235. You may also print out a voucher for the book fair here. Thanks so much for your support of book fair! 
 Please click here for more information.

Download Summer Reading List (shown at right)
Download Summer Reading Book Fair flyer and vouchers

Quick Links

School Calendar

Athletic Calendar

April Lunch Menu

Classroom Corner

This week, the fifth graders at North Cross had their annual Science Fair. Click here to see their impressive projects. Click here view the slideshow. 

Only 13 Days until Summer

Sign up now for North Cross School Summer Programs. Click the image above to download the 2013 Summer Programs Catalog and application. 

Only 13 Days until Summer

Summer is almost here! Click the image above to download the 2013 Summer Reading List. 
Like North Cross School on Facebook
Like North Cross School on Facebook
NCS Home Page | School Calendar | Athletic Calendar | March Lunch Menu |

Copyright © 2013 NORTH CROSS SCHOOL, All rights reserved.
unsubscribe from this list   update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp