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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 December 18, 2020

We have made the difficult but important decision to cancel or reschedule all on-campus courses in January and February. In mid-to-late January, we will make decisions regarding March's on-campus courses. Students and instructors have received emails confirming these plans.

We are pleased to offer you a full selection of online courses and free Crafting-in-Place content that you can enjoy from the comfort and safety of your home until we're able to bring you back on campus. Also don't miss the selection of fiber-arts courses and events during Fiber February!

Looking ahead to 2021, we anticipate that the warmer weather (and open doors and windows!) of late spring will allow us to again expand our on-campus offerings. However, we anticipate not releasing a full course catalog on March 1st, as has been our tradition. Courses will continue to be published via our website and eNews.

 

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. Max group size 10, including instructor. 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 we will be using this winter, as well as in the school store and administration buildings. These systems are designed to keep air circulating and healthy and filter out particulates. 

What we ask of students and instructors on campus

  • Arrive healthy. Consider practicing conscientious social distancing two weeks prior to the course. If you can get a test prior to coming, please do so. If you’re sick, please don’t come. You will receive a full refund.
  • Daily Health Screenings: We will perform a health screening every morning of class, which includes taking your temperature with a forehead thermometer and asking if you have experienced the following in the past 7 days: cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, or chills. Should you answer yes to any of these questions OR have a temperature of 100.4 or greater, we will ask you to leave campus. We will issue you a pro-rated gift certificate.
  • Wearing a mask (two layers of fabric covering the mouth and nose) while on campus will be required, both indoors and outdoors at times. We apologize for the inconvenience, but we will not be able to make exceptions.
  • Maintain six feet of distance from anyone outside your family group as much as possible. We recognize that there will be situations where closer proximity is unavoidable, please do your best to minimize this.
  • Tools that are shared should be treated as if contaminated. Students should sanitize their hands prior to use and following use. They should be kept in a designated area and this expectation should be clearly communicated by the instructor.
  • 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 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.

Additional items students should bring

  • Required materials and tools; please carefully review the list at our website.
  • A water bottle
  • If you are bringing lunch to campus, please be aware that we do not currently have a common area available. At this time, there will be no coffee or tea available on campus. We hope to be able to offer this service in the coming months.
  • Please be sure to bring masks/facial coverings that fit you well and can be worn for an extended period of time. On the North House campus the term face mask means covering the nose, mouth and chin and consisting of at least two layers of fabric (or a commercial mask).
  • Patience: we’re still figuring out how to run a folk school during a pandemic, and we’re all learning together. We know it will require all of us to bring an extra measure of grace and compassion for one another as we navigate this new reality

Good to know

  • You are welcome to visit the school store—it is open to the public for one shopper at a time on Wednesday to Thursday from 12pm - 4pm and Friday through Sunday from 10am - 4pm.
  • We ask all visitors to be extra diligent in planning a trip to this very rural area.There are very limited health care facilities here. If you were to become sick while visiting, you would need to leave to get care or testing. If traveling alone, consider your back-up plan for return travel.
  • There are a variety of restaurants that will be open for takeout in town, but you may find it easiest to bring some staples with you, as indoor seating is very limited.

General Information

  • North House’s administrative offices are open and our school store welcomes online orders but our campus is closed to the public.
  • School store & front office hours are Wednesday - 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.

 

As a reminder, public health authorities advise that some of the best things we all can do to help prevent the spread of coronavirus include:

  • Carefully washing hands with soap and water multiple times a day, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick and stay home when you are sick or have symptoms.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash, and wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds