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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.

Updated May 21, 2021

With recent changes on the state and national level with regard to the pandemic and mask use, North House has updated the norms we will use to manage campus safety. As we welcome spring and summer, we have plans to host weekly craft demonstrations, sailing on schooner Hjordis, some public programs and offer 3+ in person courses weekly. We look forward to seeing you soon.

Masks Appreciated 

North House is following CDC and MDH guidance which encourages folks who aren’t yet vaccinated to continue wearing their masks. We are also aware that many friends of the school feel more comfortable for now wearing masks around new people. We hope you will feel confident that you can make the choice that is right for you. We encourage everyone to bring a mask with them to class for situations where social distancing is difficult to maintain.

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. We ask for the comfort of your classmates that you consider wearing a mask when approaching their workstations or when gathering for demonstrations.

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 in Minnesota here

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; a max of 2 concurrent courses, 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 CDC and MDH guidelines, students and instructors who are not vaccinated should wear masks. 
  • 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.