Okanagan Folk School Policies

This page contains the policies and guidelines that all students and visitors are expected to observe. It also outlines other useful information. Please review these policies before registering for course.

Non-Discrimination

In the operation of Okanagan Folk School (OKFS) programs, no individual or group will be discriminated against because of race, sex, national origin, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, age, or disability.

Accessibility

We believe that craft and learned skills education should be accessible to anyone with an interest in learning, and that the mission of our school is made richer by welcoming a diverse range of students and participants to our campus.

Age

Unless otherwise stated, all our courses are designed for and open to students 18 years old and up. In the interest of encouraging intergenerational learning, some OKFS courses are open to students under the age of 18 provided that they are accompanied by a fully enrolled adult student. Due to the unique nature of each course, minimum age requirements are defined by the instructor. All courses that are open for intergenerational learning are clearly defined by the course description. Please inquire at registration about restrictions.

Registration Deadlines

Registering early also gives our instructors adequate time to prepare course materials, which can be extensive. It also gives you time to acquire supplies you are required to bring to course (a materials list will be mailed after you register). For intermediate to advanced courses, you may have “homework” to do in advance.

Courses are intentionally kept small and often fill quickly, so registering as early as possible is encouraged. Registering at least three weeks prior to the course start date is especially advisable as courses without a minimum number of registrations may be cancelled. That said, if you find a course you want to take close to the start date, give us a call. Last minute changes may have left a spot open just for you!

Course Payments

Tuition and materials fees must be paid in full to secure registration in a course. For courses where the materials fee varies, the fee is paid directly to the instructor on the first day of course. Payments for course registration must be made via the OKFS website.

Waiting Lists

OKFS manages waiting lists for courses that have filled. Individuals on the waiting list are contacted only if an opening becomes available.

Cancellations

If we must cancel a course, students will receive a full refund of any payments made for that course. Students who cancel their enrollment more than 21 days prior to the first day of the course will receive a refund less a $25 cancellation fee to cover administrative costs. In recognition of the time and energy instructors invest in preparing for courses, students who cancel their enrollment 21 days or less prior to the first day of the course are not eligible for a refund.

Cancellation Due to COVID

To prioritize the safety of our community, we have revised our cancellation policy to provide flexibility for COVID-19 related cancellations. For any student with a positive diagnosis, symptoms, or exposure to COVID-19 within two weeks of a course start, we will waive the cancellation fee and issue a full refund up to the day a course begins. Students should notify the Registrar immediately. Because of registration costs and other services, including faculty contracts, material acquisitions, and housing arrangements, the OKFS is required to charge cancellation fees to students who change their itineraries for non-COVID-19 reasons.

Missed Course Time Due to COVID-19

In the case of missed course time because a student or instructor experiences a positive COVID-19 test or the Folk School suspends or cancels a course, the amount of missed course time will be pro-rated as credit towards a future course. Once a course begins, there will be no refunds or credits for early departure, late arrival, or missed course for any other reason. (Too complicated?)

Instructor Substitutions

Occasionally an instructor must cancel for health or family reasons. When this happens, we make every attempt to find a replacement instructor qualified to teach the course as closely as possible to what is described in the course outline. However, sometimes it is necessary to cancel the course. In either case, all registered students will be given the opportunity to transfer to another course or cancel without penalty.

Course Content

While we make every effort to verify their accuracy, course descriptions are provided by instructors, who are independent contractors, and cannot be warranted by the OKFS.

Privacy

We respect your privacy and will not sell or give your mailing address or e-mail address to another party. We use our mailing list to notify you of new courses and current events here at OKFS. You may ask to be removed from our mailing list or e-mail newsletter list at any time by contacting us at info@okfolkschool.ca.

Read our complete Privacy Policy here.

Building community is central to the mission of Okanagan Folk School. Staff, instructors, students, volunteers, and visitors are all part of creating a welcoming, positive environment that inspires life-long learning in a noncompetitive setting. Every individual contributes to the richness of the community whether they are here for years, days or just passing through. We ask that all who come here do so with openness towards people of differing backgrounds, identities, and ways of being in the world and conduct themselves with integrity, respect, and kindness towards all.

By choosing to participate in the Okanagan Folk School community, you are choosing to uphold this spirit and vision of community. Any person exhibiting behavior that is disruptive to the community learning environment may be asked to leave the course and/or venue and refused future participation. Specific policies detailing these expectations are included in the Shop Ethics, Course room, Non-Discrimination, and Sexual Harassment policies.

Bringing Your Own Tools

Student tools are welcome on campus, but OKFS cannot guarantee their safety and is not responsible for loss or damage.

Student Projects

Inspiring and beautiful student-built projects are the satisfying outcomes of OKFS courses. At the close of the course, these projects are the responsibility of the student and need to leave the course room or venue.

Course Room Hours

Course rooms serve as a place of inspiration and engagement, offering students and instructors a setting to explore the joy of hands-on learning together. In the interest of student safety, course rooms are only open to students with instructor supervision.

Cell Phones

Out of respect for the OKFS learning community, students and visitors are encouraged to turn off or silence their cell phones prior to participation in any program or course. If you do need to take a call, please step out of the course room. Students are welcome to use their phones in a respectful manner to take photos of their own work in course. Please ask before taking photos of the instructor’s or other students’ work.

Drugs and Alcohol

Alcohol is not permitted in studios or public areas unless the course specifies the alcohol consumption may be part of the course. To take a course that involves the consumption of alcohol the student must be of legal drinking age. Use of illegal drugs is prohibited. Alcohol may not be consumed during the operation of tools or power equipment.

Smoking

Smoking is not allowed inside any building at the course room or venue of the OKFS. There are no indoor smoking facilities.

Personal Property

The Folk School is not responsible for the security of property belonging to students and instructors.

Studio Safety

The Folk School is not responsible for injuries sustained because of improper or careless use of studio tools or equipment.

OKFS strives to be a student-centered learning environment. The Venues and course rooms are designed to support that mission as well as create a gathering space for community.

Practice Safety First

  • Always wear appropriate personal protective equipment (i.e. earmuffs or earplugs, safety glasses, dust mask, etc.) when using machinery, regardless of what you would wear in your own shop.
  • You’re not alone. Be aware of others when using equipment and transporting materials.
  • Say something. If you see anyone doing something unsafe, speak up.

Respect Equipment and Tools

  • Know how to operate a tool properly before using or ask for guidance if you don’t.
  • Return and store tools properly. If you don’t know the proper location, please ask.
  • Turn off and unplug equipment when not in use.
  • Report any missing, broken, or damaged equipment to your instructor.

Respect Course Room and Shop Space

Leave a course room or venue cleaner than you found it. Assume that a course is being taught in the same space the next day…as is often the case.

General Guidelines:

  • Wipe tables with shop brush or hand towel.
  • Sweep floor.
  • Return and wash coffee cups/dishes.
  • Put waste, recycling, and wood chunks in respective bins.
  • Leave nothing behind.

Be Considerate

  • Community is at the core of the OKFS mission.
  • Courses and students are a priority. Projects, prep work, and informal gatherings must respect courses in session.
  • Be aware of other courses/programs happening in adjoining course rooms.
  • Pets are not welcome in course rooms.
  • Students, staff, and visitors are encouraged to turn off or silence cell phones.

That’s it!

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