Student proposals for Everett’s $47 million Covid-relief grant


Crimson Times staff

More Covid testing?  Better food in the cafeteria? A new high school? Mental health resources?  More parking?  Financial relief for struggling families? 

Students have lots of ideas in mind for how to spend a reported $47 million of Covid-relief funds being provided to the City of Everett.  At a City Council meeting on Monday, December 19, ideas were solicited from the community, including students.  

As of yet, no decisions have been made and the city is still looking for input and feedback.  In a recent video on Instagram, City Councilor Stephanie Martins encouraged residents to complete a survey so that their input could be heard.  The survey can be found here: 

Here’s some additional testimonials from students not present at the meeting:

Districts and schools should dedicate their time listening to students.  As a student I feel like an additional support system and having access to opportunities from different organizations is important for growth.  A lot of schools talk about the lives of students after high school but it is very difficult to try to plan your life when you are 16 years old and not having an open door for different opportunities or different networking systems around you. Schools should really spend their funds to develop partnerships with businesses in the community to make sure that all students have equal access to being part of their community with the help of the school and district.  Schools should ensure that the students have a more hands-on learning experience in their classes. Nowadays, as a student, it is difficult to pay attention in my physics class while learning about dynamics on the board. Physics is a hands-on subject and I think it is vital for teachers to be able to teach hand on learning. My teacher currently provides all of the materials for our labs and it is difficult to financially provide for your students classroom materials. Schools and teachers can work together to better support the students’ learning needs. –Margie Martinez Zuniga ‘23

The city could help those who have been negatively affected by Covid-19 throughout the last two years. Help the school buy supplies they may need. Keep giving out Covid tests to students and their families so they are able to keep track of the illness. They could hold food drives that people actually know about. Spread the word around the city for anyone who is in need and can’t really go grocery shopping for many different reasons.They could also hold events for kids or teens of the city so they can enjoy one day. Have resources for mental health as it has gone down especially for teenagers. Mental health has become an important factor as many are finally being taught about it. Unlike other generations where men were told not to cry or that they shouldn’t because it makes them soft. When in reality it doesn’t. It helps release the stress that we have. Also where women were told things about their bodies which can make them insecure or overthink. They would probably ask, well, what can we do about mental health? Have people talk about it more, hold events that people would actually attend and pay attention. Like a TED talk, a celebrity talking about how mental health affected them, even if they were healthy physically because many are physically but sometimes not mentally. It can affect in the long run or sometimes in the moment. –Gary Moran Gomez ‘23

I think that one thing could be having available parking for all teachers and students. This has been a problem since middle school. I remember my time at Madeline English. We had a basketball court in front of the school until I was in about the 6th grade when they took down the fences and opened it up so that teachers could park there. Even now at this high school I hear teachers talking about how there is no parking. This is a recurring issue among teachers and even students. I understand that Everett is a small city and it will probably be easier to walk to school in the morning. I either drive or get a ride with a friend, and there is no parking. The parking lot just outside of the school property could possibly be bought out from whomever it is currently owned by. I never see anyone parked there in the morning, midday, or night. The only thing I see that the parking lot used for is for students to cut through in the morning when everyone is rushing in at 7:56 am. Last year, students used to park but now students cannot park there. So now students are left searching for a parking spot on one of the three hills to the side of the high school. I am saying students but teachers probably have the same problem and just get here earlier to counter the unavailability of parking spots. I remember my teacher last year saying she gets here at 6:30 in the morning just to get parking. That is ridiculous. –Nicholas Raymond ‘23

The school could finally fix the bathroom stalls properly, like adding soap to wash hands, fixing the doors in the bathrooms, and most importantly keep the bathroom’s properly cleaned and sanitized. The bathrooms lately seem to have been lacking in care and have been ignored by the school committee and janitors – mainly the committee. I understand the school made efforts in the past to fix these issues concerning the bathrooms but after time has passed these issues resurfaced and we’re back to where we were. We need a permanent solution. –Brian Santos ‘23

I think it should be spent on a new high school because Everett is overcrowded already so we have to start combating this issue for the future. In a recent interview we did with Mr. Lynch, he said, “the school is carrying almost two times more students than it was built to.” Sure the high school is still running right now and everything is going fine but this idea would help in the near future which will be affected by the size of this school. A solution would be to use some of the money towards building a new high school for Everett. –Lukas De Freitas ‘26

There is a lot that can be done in the city, middle schools, and Everett High School. We can invest in our school clubs, especially those that need money to actually make greater things and for students to learn more. For example, theater club, science club, band, sport clubs etc. We can also use the money to help our teachers and pay for classroom decor. We can use the money to have more classes with different professions and in the academy. With more money for the school we can have more events to bring our community together and educational field trips. Also help college students pay off their student debt in some way, or help the college so they can pay to go to school less. Some people think that Everett High school doesn’t need the money, but student education is important, especially for young kids. If we spend money on schools, schools will grow better, students will take more inspiration, and they will be able to learn more about a profession. But I’m not saying we can’t spend it on anything else, a new generation of kids are growing and we need to make sure they get a better and an even more successful education than the generation before. –Kawanne Marins ‘25

Some main things I think the 47 million should fund is funding more teachers because I’ve noticed as the years have gone on teachers have been laid off or there are fewer teachers than there were in prior years. Another thing I would like to fund is some of the school property. I feel that a lot of school items are very old, like for example the bathrooms aren’t very nice. I feel that 47 Million dollars could go a long way with bathrooms. Another item is the desks in classrooms. They’re all scratched up and have piles of gum under them which are disgusting. I feel that these schools are given a lot of money most of the time but mostly used for ridiculous items even when there are many other problems with the school than they think there are, which is another reason why I think it’s a good thing that students are being allowed to voice their opinions because at the end of the day students are the ones in the school for four years and they have to go every day so the least they can do is make them comfortable. –Morgan Watkins ‘26

In my opinion schools should have more options for people with dietary restrictions. For example vegan, gluten free or vegetarian or people with certain allergies. For some people it is really hard to be starving for 6-7 hours of school. There should be different options to choose from. I just think that people should have good options and enough time to eat. To be honest sometimes I don’t eat at school due to the kind of options that they offer. We should make our voice heard and those were the things that I think school should invest in. –Alexia Ochoa ‘23

One of the best projects that you could do with that money is to try to start new types of trades such as teaching cosmetology. You could also set up a help center for students who have problems with drugs or for people who don’t manage to graduate to have a recovery place so that they manage to graduate and fulfill their dreams. Another idea is to put an aid program for immigrants who want to achieve their goals like going to university–Melanie Pineda Espana ‘23

If I could change one thing to better my community, what would it be? I would give money to the people who are struggling to pay for housing and food. Over the past year, we have built over 3+ apartment buildings. And we have over 20 different apartment buildings in Everett in the 3.66 miles that we have. But studio apartments are $2000 per month. In a low-income community, it is hard to provide for your family with unreasonably “affordable housing”. It’s unrealistic for someone who makes around $2100 a month to pay for the basic needs when rent is $2000. –Karyana Ellerbe ‘23

If the school spends 47 million in post-Covid relief they should mainly help the parents of the students who were affected by the pandemic and are not able to work. There are parents that were really affected by the pandemic and also had to buy stuff to protect themselves from Covid and their life went downhill after the pandemic started. Some of the parents started businesses and some of them got their dream job but all of that was shut down because of the pandemic. –Biruk Gibreksadik ‘23

I think that Everett High School can use the money to spend on better WiFi for the school because it takes so long to launch and it takes a long time to get to the website that we need to do. –Thang Ly ‘23

$47 million is a huge amount of money and can be used for a lot of stuff. One way the relief funds can be used is by spending it on sanitizing and cleaning all the places, all the corners and crevices and public buildings. There is not enough cleanliness around and is the reason for the spreading of diseases. Giving a little more effort to clean the school and sanitizing it to 100% will make sure there is no contamination. The winter season brings a lot of colds and flu. The money can be also used to spread awareness of cold weather and its effect on health. A small amount of money can also be put on decorations to spread goodness and help from everyone in the school. With wearing masks and doing social distancing in past years, it will help bring smiles and goodness to people’s hearts that they have beaten the Covid years and are healthy. Spreading joy all around students and teachers will be the best thing to create happiness for everyone. To remember that our unity has gotten us through Covid and remember the people who lost their lives because of Covid. Create awareness that viruses like Covid can still occur and tell people to be aware and never let this kind of pandemic ever again. –Aadit Manandhar ‘23