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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response

North House Folk School greatly values the health and safety of its community of students, instructors, staff, and volunteers. Therefore, we continue to update our safety plans for our on-campus programs.

As we continue to operate during the ongoing pandemic, we will utilize the tools that have kept our community safely learning together thus far. We ask that all participants in North House programs act in the best interest of the community through diligent attention to safety practices. We recognize that choosing to participate at this time carries with it an inherent risk that cannot be eliminated but can be minimized through intentional, collective care for the well-being of everyone on campus. Please refer back to this site for the latest expectations.

High Quality Masks Required Indoors on Campus

Everyone must wear a high-quality mask while indoors at North House. We require and will provide a KN-95 mask from a for all students, instructors and staff. A blue surgical-style mask is an acceptable alternative, but not preferred. Students and instructors are welcome to use their own mask, but they must be of equal or higher quality without vents. Because of the limited protection they provide, cloth masks are no longer acceptable on campus. If wearing a mask for long durations of time is not feasible for you, we urge you to attend class at a later time. 

Negative Rapid Test Required 12 Hours Prior to Class

As an added layer of protection, North House will require all students and instructors to take a rapid test for Covid-19 no more than twelve hours prior to the start of a class. We will provide students with one test kit, which they are encouraged to pick up the day before class. The test can also be completed on campus the morning of the class. In the event of a positive test, the student will withdraw from the class and a full refund will be provided. This procedure will be in effect January 15 through February 13, and will be reviewed in early February for possible extension. 

Social Distancing Encouraged 

We have increased ventilation in all of our active teaching spaces to provide better air circulation. We will continue to provide extra space in classrooms and urge students to eat meals outside of the classroom when possible. 

Vaccines Recommended

Cook County has worked hard to manage the pandemic, and is among the most highly vaccinated counties in the country! As an organization that values community, we strongly urge students and instructors to be as up-to-date as possible with vaccinations before coming to campus. This helps us to care for each other, and especially care for our neighbors who aren’t able to get vaccinated. You can learn more about vaccine research and vaccination clinics using Minnesota's "Find my Vaccine" tool

We will continue to provide a full refund to anyone who needs to cancel due to exposure, concern for risk, or sickness. We ask anyone who is experiencing symptoms of Covid-19 or was recently exposed to Covid-19 to please stay home and attend class another time.

Information for Students Attending Campus

What North House is doing:

  • Extra cleaning and  sanitation of facilities
  • Limited  public access (including family visitors) to classrooms.

  • Limited number of students on campus, held only in large format classrooms that can provide 6 feet of space between students with a private bathroom. Sadly, no pizza bakes or community gatherings outside of class.
  • At the recommendation of our HVAC consultants, we have installed air filtration systems in the classrooms, school store and administration buildings. When weather permits, we will instead opt to keep windows open to allow for adequate ventilation.
  • Providing a KN-95 mask and a rapid test kit to all students and instructors.

What we ask of students and instructors on campus:

  • Arrive healthy.  If you are unvaccinated, consider practicing conscientious social distancing two weeks prior to the course. If you are unvaccinated and can get a test prior to coming, please do so. If you’re sick, please don’t come. You will receive a full refund.
  • Get vaccinated: although we are not requiring vaccination, we encourage this as a precaution prior to coming to campus. 
  • In line with the recommendations of our local public health department, students and instructors are required to wear KN95 (or similar)  masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status. 

  • Maintain six feet of distance from anyone outside your family group as much as possible.
  • Practice good hand hygiene: wash and sanitize your hands frequently, especially when touching shared tools and resources. 
  • We will need your help in maintaining a clean and safe classroom environment throughout your course. At the end of the teaching day, students and instructors will sweep the floor, take out the trash if necessary, and wipe surfaces down - doorknobs, common tools, light switches, workspaces.
  • Lunch needs to be eaten at a personal work station, outside, or off campus. Each classroom will have a small refrigerator or cooler available for lunch storage.
  • If any student is asked to leave because of a health concern, the other students and instructor can choose whether or not to continue the course, or end it at that time. Pro-rated tuition refunds will be issued as gift certificates; materials fee refunds will be a case-by-case basis.
  • While we will do our best to take all reasonable steps to create a safe learning environment for you, there is an inherent level of risk in participating in a class. Students will be asked to sign a liability waiver that acknowledges you are aware of this risk and are assuming it willingly.

General Information

  • School store & front office hours are Sunday–Tuesday 10am – 4pm, and Wednesday–Saturday, 10am – 5pm.
  • We welcome inquiries at any time - email us at info@northhouse.org or call 218-387-9762.
  • We look forward to hosting future classes and events but will stay abreast of the very dynamic realties created by COVID-19.