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 March 24th, 2020
North House has cancelled all classes through May 17, 2020. Our goal is to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and protect our students, instructors, staff, and neighbors. Students registered for a course during this time frame were sent an email regarding refund options. Any students who did not respond to our email were contacted by phone.
North House’s administrative offices are open, our school store welcomes online orders but our campus is closed to the public. Our front office is open remotely Monday - Friday, 9am - 2pm to process registrations and respond to communications via email. Many of our staff are working remotely and thus are best contacted by email, but a core staff team on campus is available to answer questions and help make connections. We are actively following recommendations about community gatherings and sanitization practices from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Minnesota Department of Health. We will announce any general program or operational changes through our website and social media.
We look forward to hosting future classes and events but will stay abreast of the very dynamic realties created by Covid-19. We anticipate some additional course cancellation will be necessary, and on a rolling basis, we will assess if and when to do so. For classes in which you are already registered, we will contact you by email or phone if there’s a scheduling change or cancellation. Unless you’ve heard from North House directly, assume your class is continuing as planned.
Course registrations for future classes continue to be open and special event planning is underway. Given that numerous classes have been cancelled and with hopes of honoring the unique opportunity each of these classes represented, we are actively working to schedule new classes especially in the second half of 2020.
If you were planning to come to North House for a future class but are ill, please stay at home and get well. Similarly, if you are in a group that is at higher risk for coronavirus, we do understand and support your need to avoid public gatherings. In both instances, for classes in which you are registered with a start date prior to July 1, we will work with you to reschedule or provide a gift certificate in the full amount for future coursework. Please contact us at 218-387-9762 for help with rescheduling or refunds.
During the earliest days of Covid-19, North House pursued multiple strategies to address personal safety. We anticipate doing the same when programming resumes. Examples include scheduled extra cleanings high traffic areas, provided hand-sanitizers in each classroom and offering paper towels near every sink. We also took extra precautions with our community meals. The staff is meeting on a regular basis to share updates and discuss how we should adapt our protocols as the situation with COVID 19 continues to evolve.
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