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North House Folk School greatly values the health and safety of its community of students, instructors, staff, and volunteers. Therefore, we are closely monitoring the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and want to share our response plan.

As we grapple with the emergence of the Delta variant, we will continue to adjust our on campus policies to reflect the guidance of the CDC and MN Department of Health. We anticipate that the situation will change quickly, and we will update our on campus and in class policies in order to best protect our community.  Please refer back to this site for the latest expectations.

Masks Required Indoors on Campus

North House is following the guidance of our local public health officials and asking everyone, regardless of vaccination status, to wear a mask when indoors on campus. Masks are required to enter the School Store, in class, and in our offices. Although community spread is very low in Cook County, we have visitors arriving from all of the country on a daily basis, and masking is a simple way to help keep everyone safe.

Social Distancing Encouraged 

As we transition into this new reality, we are keeping a number of protocols in place that served us well in the last year - smaller class sizes, workstations spread 6’ or more apart, and the continued use of ventilation fans and open windows.

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 hope you will consider getting vaccinated 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

Youth Safety Prioritized

For intergenerational and youth course work, masks will continue to be required for all participants (accompanying parents, instructors, etc.), regardless of vaccination status. We want every child on campus to be able to focus fully on their craft.

Information for Students Attending Campus

What North House is doing:

  • Extra cleaning and  sanitation of facilities
  • No 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.

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. 
  • Per the public health department in Cook County, students and instructors are required to wear 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 Monday-Thursday, 12pm - 4pm, and Friday - Sunday, 10am - 4pm. 
  • 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.