This page contains the policies and guidelines that all students and visitors are expected to observe. It also outlines available discounts, scholarships, and other useful information. Please review these policies before registering for class.
In the operation of North House Folk School programs, no individual or group will be discriminated against because of race, sex, national origin, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, age, or disability.
North House offers every course at two different rates year-round: a less-expensive “early-bird” rate available to those who sign up for a course more than six weeks before it begins and a “regular” rate for those signing up within six weeks of a course’s start date. See individual course pages for rates.
A local discount of 25% on tuition is available to legal residents of Cook County in Minnesota. An individual may request the local discount totaling up to $200 in any calendar year. The discount does not apply to materials fees. Proof of legal residency is required (MN Driver’s License or MN State ID). Please call us at (888) 387-9762 to register in order to take advantage of the local discount.
Unless otherwise stated, all of our classes are designed for and open to students 18 years old and up. In the interest of encouraging intergenerational learning, some North House courses are open to students under the age of 18 provided that they are accompanied by a fully enrolled adult student. Due to the unique nature of each course, minimum age requirements are defined by the instructor. All courses that are open for intergenerational learning are clearly defined by the course description. Tuition rates may vary for adult/youth pairings. Please inquire at registration about restrictions.
Scholarships are available at different levels (half, full and half-plus). Visit our Accessibility and Scholarship pages (include links) to learn more. Contact us at (888) 387-9762 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions.
Courses are intentionally kept small and often fill quickly, so registering as early as possible is encouraged. Registering at least three weeks prior to the course start date is especially advisable as courses without a minimum number of registrations may be cancelled. That said, if you find a class you want to take close to the start date, give us a call. Last minute changes may have left a spot open just for you!
Tuition and materials fees must be paid in full to secure registration in a course. Payment plans are available upon request for those unable to make a full payment at the time of registration. For courses where the materials fee varies, the fee is paid directly to the instructor on the first day of class. Payments must be made in U.S. currency by cash, check or money order payable to North House Folk School. We also accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover.
North House manages waiting lists for courses that have filled to capacity. Individuals on the waiting list are contacted only if an opening becomes available.
If we must cancel a course, students will receive a full refund of any payments made for that course. Students who cancel their enrollment more than 21 days prior to the first day of the course will receive a refund less a $50 cancellation fee to cover administrative costs. In recognition of the time and energy instructors invest in preparing for courses, students who cancel their enrollment 21 days or less prior to the first day of the course are not eligible for a refund.
Some courses, such as sailing trips and Build Your Own Timber Frame courses, have different cancellation policies. Those policies will be noted on the course page.
We respect your privacy and will not sell or give your mailing address or e-mail address to another party. We use our mailing list to notify you of new classes and current events here at North House. You may ask to be removed from our mailing list or e-mail newsletter list at any time by contacting us at (888) 387-9762 or email@example.com.
Building community is central to the mission of North House Folk School. Staff, instructors, students, volunteers and visitors are all part of creating a welcoming, positive environment that inspires life-long learning in a non-competitive setting. Every individual contributes to the richness of the campus community whether they are here for years, days or just passing through. We ask that all who come here do so with openness towards people of differing backgrounds, identities, and ways of being in the world and conduct themselves with integrity, respect and kindness towards all.
By choosing to participate in the North House community, you are choosing to uphold this spirit and vision of community. Any person exhibiting behavior that is disruptive to the community learning environment may be asked to leave campus and refused future participation. Specific policies detailing these expectations are included in the Shop Ethics, On Campus, Non-Discrimination, and Sexual Harassment policies.
Pets are welcome outdoors on campus as drop-in short-term visitors, but out of respect for other students, pets are not welcome in classrooms during the day. Visiting pets should be on a leash. If you are in class, breaks during the day are often regular enough to give pet owners adequate time to tend to their pets at their lodging places. Pet-friendly lodging information is available on our Lodging Partners page and on visitcookcounty.com.
Bringing Your Own Tools
Student tools are welcome on campus, but North House cannot guarantee their safety and is not responsible for loss or damage.
Inspiring and beautiful student-built projects are the satisfying outcomes of North House courses. At the close of the course, these projects are the responsibility of the student and need to leave campus.
Classrooms serve as a place of inspiration and engagement, offering students and instructors a setting to explore the joy of hands-on learning together. In the interest of student safety, classrooms are only open to students with instructor supervision.
Out of respect for the North House learning community, students and visitors are encouraged to turn off or silence their cell phones prior to participation in any program or course. If you do need to take a call please step out of the classroom. Students are welcome to use their phones in a respectful manner to take photos of their own work in class. Please ask before taking photos of the instructor's or other students' work.
Gathering as a community at the close of the day often involves sharing food and beverages, sometimes including alchohol. With this in mind, drinking alcohol on campus is allowed in moderation and in a publicly respectful manner by those of 21 years of age and older. Alcohol may not be consumed during the operation of tools or power equipment.
North House strives to be a student-centered learning environment. The shops and classrooms are designed to support that mission as well as create a gathering space for community. A few principles guide the safe and effective use of North House facilities.
Practice Safety First
- Always wear appropriate personal protective equipment (i.e. earmuffs or earplugs, safety glasses, dust mask, etc.) when using machinery, regardless of what you would wear in your own shop.
- You’re not alone. Be aware of others when using equipment and transporting materials.
- Say something. If you see anyone doing something unsafe, speak up.
Respect Equipment and Tools
- Know how to operate a tool properly before using, or ask for guidance if you don’t.
- Return and store tools properly. If you don’t know the proper location, please ask.
- Turn off and unplug equipment when not in use.
- Report any missing, broken, or damaged equipment to the North House staff or your instructor.
Respect Classroom and Shop Space
- Leave a classroom cleaner than you found it. Assume that a class is being taught in the same space the next day...as is often the case. General guidelines:
- Wipe tables with shop brush or hand towel
- Sweep floor
- Return and wash coffee cups/dishes
- Put waste, recycling and wood chunks in respective bins
- Leave nothing behind
- Community is at the core of the North House mission.
- Classes and students are a priority. Projects, prep work and informal gatherings must respect classes in session.
- Be aware of other classes/programs happening in adjoining classrooms.
- Pets are not welcome in classrooms.
- Students, staff, and visitors are encouraged to turn off or silence cell phones.
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