Great to be welcoming students once again at Kings Los Angeles
At the end of June, Kings Los Angeles (Hollywood) were delighted to be able to welcome back English language students following some time being closed due to the Covid pandemic.
We recently caught up with Academic Coordinator Janira, who shared some of the highlights of the first few weeks back, and explained some of the current measures in place to keep students safe.
Hi Janira. When did you welcome students back, and what measures are in place to keep students safe in the current (Covid) climate?
We opened our school on June 21st. We only had a few students that day, but from then until now, we have been slowly increasing our numbers again.
In terms of safety measures, there are hand sanitizers and antibacterial wipes available all throughout the school. We also have a mask policy in place where all students and teachers should be wearing masks during instruction time. Since we have a small number of students in each class, we also have indications on the floors where each desk should be in order to maintain that 6 ft social distance. At the end of the day, we also have a cleaning crew that comes everyday to sanitize the classrooms.
What are you personally most enjoying about being back? What have been some of the highlights of the last couple of weeks?
"Personally, I've just been enjoying seeing the students back at school again. I can tell they're also just happy to be here to learn and make friends."
Everyone has been beyond friendly. Some highlights include being able to have a donut day with everyone and just chit chat. Since our group of students is still small, it has been a lot easier to get to know all the students on a personal level.
Does Hollywood (the area) feel very different to pre Covid times, and if so, how?
To me, the area doesn't feel that different. We are located right next to the heart of Hollywood, which is where you'd see all the tourists at, so if anything, the only thing that has been different is the amount of people you see around here. It definitely feels like things are going back to normal.
What activities are you able to offer students alongside their studies? do they differ much from the kind of thing that was provided before?
Due to the fact that this group isn't that big, we have tried to stick with more local activities, such as having donut day for them.
"We are currently trying to coordinate a possible studio tour to the Warner Bros lot as well as a day at Universal Studios and an upcoming bbq on campus. We haven't been able to plan as much as we used to prior to Covid, but I think with time we will get there again."
Around the Los Angeles area, more and more events are starting to pop up so we are at least trying to keep tabs of those so we can inform students of things they can also check out on their own on the weekends.
How is the current situation in California/the US regarding Covid in general and what advice or assurance would you give prospective students thinking of coming to study at Kings LA at this point in time?
"California has been known as one of the states to have stricter guidelines when it comes to Covid, which I think has helped greatly. A lot of people weren't happy with it in the beginning, but it has made a difference. California is also one of the states with the higher vaccination rates. It is free and just about anyone can get vaccinated here."
Nonetheless, even people who are fully vaccinated will still wear a mask.
We want our students and teachers to feel safe so we always encourage anyone who isn't vaccinated, to do so. During orientation, we help set up the students with an appointment so they can go during their first week of school. The majority of all our students all end up getting vaccinated so there is that extra layer of protection besides just wearing a mask at school and sanitizing the classrooms.
"I'd encourage anyone wanting to come study with us to do so and to feel at ease that we are all being extra cautious at school."
Going out in general is also safe since most places will still advise masks to be worn in public places.
Have any of your current students shared their thoughts on how it feels to be studying with you right now, and if so, what have their comments been?
I spoke to one of the students who was actually here last year at the start of the pandemic. He had to return home and was finally able to come back. He said he was very happy to be able to return. He of course, pointed out that it does feel very different from last year since there are less students and there's more restrictions, but in the end he is just happy to be able to come back and finish up his studies.