Cherry Crest LogoCherry Crest Chronicler

October 4

Hello Charger Families!

You may have seen Bellevue School’s Superintendent Dr. Duran’s letter to the community regarding harassment, intimidation, and bullying.  Cherry Crest is committed to ensuring a safe and civil educational environment for all students.  Our staff are trained to intervene and address any acts of harassment, intimidation, or bullying, and we investigate all such reports to determine appropriate interventions.  Bellevue School District Procedure defines harassment, intimidation, and bullying as any intentional message (written, verbal, or an image) or physical act, when the act:

  • Physically harms a student or damages the student’s property; or
  • Has the effect of substantially interfering with a student’s education; or
  • Is so severe, persistent or pervasive that it creates an intimidating or threatening educational environment; or
  • Has the effect of substantially disrupting the orderly operation of the school.

Incident reporting forms of harassment, intimidation, and bullying are available in the main office.  Students and families may also submit these forms anonymously if they feel they have been victimized.  Reports can also be made online via our SafeSchools Alert page on the BSD website.  All reported incidents are fully investigated and addressed.

At Cherry Crest and in the Bellevue School District, we are committed to ensuring that all students are safe.  All kindergarten, first, and second grade students in Bellevue participate in the Second Step Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) curriculum.   The Second Step program teaches children important skills for getting along with others and doing well in school.  It also helps our school be a safe and supportive place where everyone can learn.  In October and again in January, all students receive explicit instruction related to harassment, intimidation and bullying. This What is Bullying Student Pamphlet is an example of one resource we share with students.

A big focus for our staff this year is the part of our mission that says each student  will feel a sense of belonging in our Comm(UNITY) while learning social-emotional and academic skills to be successful in an ever-changing and diverse society.” We will survey students twice this year to gather information directly from them about their experience at school and particulary their feeling of safety and sense of belonging.  I look forward to sharing additional details about how we are accomplishing this in future newsletters and principal coffees.

Students’ feeling of safety and security at school, so that they can focus on learning, is our top priority and I am confident that we are taking a strong, proactive approach to addressing these issues.  Thank you for your support.


Dusty Steere, Principal Cherry Crest Elementary


October 5                             Internet Safety Class for Parents @ 6:30 pm 

October 6                            Principal’s Coffee @ 8:15 – 9:30 am  

October 13                           Professional Learning Day, No Students

October 13                            Ice-Skating at @Sno-King Ice Arena; 9:15-11:15am

Please remember to regularly visit the Cherry Crest & PTSA websites for the most current information.

Helping Children after a Crisis:  The Las Vegas tragedy is heartbreaking. It reminds us as a staff of educators at Cherry Crest that following such tragedies, students may arrive to school with questions and a range of emotions that we need to be prepared to support. On Tuesday, we shared the following information with our staff that you may also find to be helpful (from the American School Counselor Association website):

Helping Kids after a Crisis

  •         Try and keep routines as normal as possible. Kids gain security from the predictability of routine, including attending school.
  •         Limit exposure to television and the news.
  •         Be honest with kids and share with them as much information as they are developmentally able to handle. (Often times you can first ask them what they think they know and then clarify as needed)
  •         Listen to kids’ fears and concerns.
  •         Reassure kids that the world is a good place to be, but that there are people who do bad things.
  •         Parents and adults need to first deal with and assess their own responses to crisis and stress.
  •         Rebuild and reaffirm attachments and relationships.

Click here to review another helpful resource and article from the National PTA website called, “Discussing Difficult Situations with Your Children.”

Please do not hesitate to reach out to your child’s teacher to discuss any needs that may surface over the coming days. Additional school support is available via School Counselor Debra Miller at, Assistant Principal Erin Stedman at, or Principal Shearer at

Walkathon Donations deadline – Oct 6. We hope you all had a lot of fun at the Walk-A-thon and at the Family Carnival last Friday. It was a really great event to bring families together for our first comm(UNITY) event. Many kids worked hard to reach their lap goals to support our school.

But it is not over yet, the PTSA is still taking donations until this Friday Oct 6th.  During the Award Ceremony on Monday,  we will recognize the kids not only for their laps but also for the tops fundraisers.  Donations can be made

Thank you for supporting all the wonderful PTSA sponsored events and activities at our school that help build our comm(UNITY) and enhance your students education.

Internet Safety Class for Parents & movie night for students on Thursday, October 5th at 6:30 – 8:00 pm.   Last week,  Internet Safety expert, Stefanie Thomas, spoke with all 5th grade students. She highlighted common risks and pitfalls that kids are likely to encounter while using the internet, social media and online games, and discussed ways to avoid and/or safely participate in those activities. She is coming back to Cherry Crest this Thursday night, for a complementary parent education lecture. I encourage all parents to attend this valuable session, which is sure to be eye-opening and helpful in facilitating conversations with your kids at home.

Stefanie Thomas is an internet safety expert that has worked with law enforcement for the past 8 years regarding the exploitation of children online. She uses this experience to educate parents & children about internet safety and has reached over 30,000 in the greater Seattle area. This renowned lecture is applicable to parents with kids of ALL ages, and is sure to be a valuable evening to learn about common pitfalls, risks, and get tips and tricks for keeping our kids safe as they enter the online world.

Childcare will be provided in the form of “The Lego Batman Movie.” Please bring your kids and take advantage of this opportunity to learn ways to keep our kids safe online.  The PTSA is generously funding this event.  Questions? Contact:

Principal Coffee Friday October 6th  8:15 – 9:30 am.  At Cherry Crest, we believe relationships are the foundational precursor to learning.  In addition to building relationships with your children, I am also striving to build relationships with families.   While I have a number of  ideas and topics I’d like to share, I interested in hearing from parents about topics or questions you would like to see addressed. Please share your ideas in this brief  survey.   Coffee and refreshments generously provided by the Cherry Crest PTSA.

Cherry Crest to participate in Bellevue School Pool. You may have heard of a program called Bellevue SchoolPool that piloted in eight schools last year. The program is a collaboration between King County Metro, the City of Bellevue, and TransManage which strives to reduce the congestion associated with pick-up and drop-off traffic at schools like ours.

SchoolPool encourages our students to carpool with other families, walk or ride their bikes to school, or take the bus. We hope that you’ll support your student in trying a new way of getting to school. You can get involved by starting a ‘walking school bus’, in which a parent walks with a group of students for a portion or the entire distance to school; or a ‘bike train’, in which students ride with a parent all or part of the way to school. If you’re interested in finding a carpool, SchoolPool has resources available including Pogo and

During the months of October and May all students will receive a paper calendar and are asked to write down any walking, biking, carpooling or bus trips they take to or from school. For each calendar that is turned into the office at the end of the month our school will earn money for PTSA projects, and each student who tracks their trips will earn a prize/entry into a drawing for a grand prize (use prize for elementary schools).

If you have any questions about the program please reach out to Erin Stedman at our school or the Bellevue SchoolPool team at

Thank you for helping our school!


Upcoming Child Protection Unit for Students in Grades K-2:  At Cherry Crest and in the Bellevue School District, we are committed to ensuring that all students are safe.  All kindergarten, first, and second grade students in Bellevue participate in the Second Step Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) curriculum.   The Second Step program teaches children important skills for getting along with others and doing well in school.  It also helps our school be a safe and supportive place where everyone can learn. To make our school even more safe and supportive, we use the Second Step Child Protection Unit. Please see the hyperlinked letter for more information.

Elections are Coming Up: Get to Know the Bellevue School Board Candidates. Please join Bellevue Schools Foundation and Bellevue PTSA Council for a one-hour Bellevue School Board Candidate forumMonday, Oct. 9  12–1 pm

The candidates for the November 7 general election—District 3, Erica Melief; District 5 My-Linh Thai (incumbent), and Hugh Gladner—will introduce themselves and answer questions in a candidate forum hosted jointly by the Foundation and the PTSA Council on Monday, Oct. 9. Register now to submit your questions and join us to learn more about the positions these candidates hold on District issues and policy that matters to your family.

Education Connections is a free program for the community; registration is requested. A light lunch will be served.

Student Survey News, Fall 2017. This fall we will be doing the Panorama student perception survey, to collect information on school climate and to provide teachers with feedback from students. The survey is run through Panorama Education ( and is given to all students in grades 3-12 in the district. This is the fourth year we are doing the survey.

The purpose of the survey is to help increase student voice in our district. It gives us an indication of where our strengths are and where we can do better. Here is some additional information about the survey:

  • The survey is confidential. Staff will not see how an individual student answers a survey.
  • It takes students about 15-20 minutes to complete the survey.
  • Students fill out a section on school climate, and then fill out a teacher survey for two of their teachers. Elementary students fill out the survey on their main classroom teacher and on one of their special subjects teachers (art, music, PE, library). Secondary students fill out the survey on two of their teachers, chosen randomly.
  • The survey will be given in late October/early November.
  • Results will be out in mid-November. Teacher-level reports are only be available to the individual teachers themselves. Principals and district staff will receive summary data for schools and the district as a whole.

If you have any questions about the survey, please contact Naomi Calvo, Director of Research, Evaluation & Assessment, at or 425-456-4274.

Cooperation – Our Virtue of the Month for October:  Each month we encourage families to join with us in discussing our Virtues with students. October’s Virtue is cooperation. What is it? Cooperation is working together for the good of everyone. It is a willingness to respect others and to follow rules which keep everyone safe and happy. Cooperation is being helpful to one another, sharing the load. It is joining others in order to do something that cannot be done alone.

Why practice cooperation?  Without cooperation, people do their own thing. They care less about helping one another. When we work together, we can often accomplish more than each of us could do alone. When we cooperate, we can do great things.

How do you practice cooperation?  Being cooperative is being willing to go along in order to get along. We are respectful of the rules. We consider other people’s needs.  We look for ways to be helpful, and we ask for help when we need it. Cooperation helps us bring together the ideas of many so that a new idea can come to light.  Working together, we can make any place a safe and happy one.

Gifted Program Testing. Applications for gifted testing for students in grades 1 – 11 will be available online beginning September 1, 2017. District families interested in applying for testing should submit an application before the October 31, 2017 deadline at

Cherry Crest Elementary prepares all students to become life-long learners through inquiry, collaboration, and discovery.  Each student will feel a sense of belonging in our Comm(UNITY) while learning social-emotional and academic skills to be successful in an ever-changing and diverse society.