Cherry Crest LogoCherry Crest Chronicler

December 1, 2017

Happy Holiday Season Charger Families,

Confession.  As a parent, I frequently battle with my children (ages 14, 11 & 8) about how much time they spend in front of their screens (computer, video games, phone, TV, etc).  My wife and I work hard to be fair minded and measured in how and when they access the ubiquity of technology all around us.  As such, I was very interested when a fellow BSD colleague shared the following tips from Common Sense Media on 5 Simple Steps to a Healthy Family Media Diet.

  1. Find Balance:  Instead of counting daily screen-time minutes, aim for a balance throughout the week. Get your kids to help plan a week that includes stuff they have to do and stuff they like to do, such as schoolwork, activities, chores, reading, family time, and TV or gaming. Decide on limits and behavior using our Family Media Agreement.
  2. Walk the Walk: Put your devices away while driving, at mealtimes (learn about our Device-Free Dinner initiative), and during important conversations. Kids will learn habits from you.
  3. Talk About it: Ask questions about kids’ favorite games, shows, and characters. Discuss ideas and issues they read about or learn about through a TV show or a game. This is an opportunity for bonding, learning, and sharing your values.
  4. Create Tech Free Zones: Set rules that fit your family, such as “no devices during dinner,” “no social media during homework,” or “all screens off before bedtime.”
  5. Check Ratings: Choose age-appropriate, high-quality media and tech for your kids. Use our reviews to find good stuff.

For more information check out 


Dusty Steere, Principal Cherry Crest Elementary


December 4 – 8              Usborne Book Fair and Hour of Code (details below)

December 5                     PTSA Special Meeting @ 7 pm 

December 15                    Last day of school before winter break

January 1                           Happy New Year

January 2                          School Resumes 


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

Hour of Code December 4 – 8.  Hour of Code began as a one-hour coding challenge to give students an introduction to coding. Now it is an annual global event!

How can you participate?

  1. Explore the site at
  2. Talk with your child about coding.
  3. Join us at Cherry Crest for the Usborne Holiday Book Fair Family Night on December 6th between 5:30 and 7:30 to take a few minutes exploring the site with your child.

Hour Of Code

Shop Usborne Books and support the Cherry Crest library. All proceeds go directly for new books in our library. Online book fair running now through 12/10.

Usborne Holiday in-school book fair in the school library:

Tuesday, December 5: Lunchtime and afterschool until 3:30

Wednesday, December 6: Lunchtime, after school until 1 and family evening 5:30-7:30pm

Thursday, December 7: Lunchtime and afterschool until 3:30

Hour of Code 2017 is December 4-10th! While you are enjoying the book fair, please drop by room 212 and take a few minutes to explore the Hour of Code website with your child after school.

Help Cherry Crest Families In Need this Holiday Season. Back by popular demand is the Cherry Crest Cares Mitten Campaign promoted by the Cherry Crest PTSA.

Every December in the main office, you will find red mittens posted with wish list items from families in need from our comm(UNITY).  The mitten giving tree will be up and running the first week of December. Look for them in the front office!   Please consider, if you are interested, willing, and able, to check out the mittens and choose an item or two to donate to this campaign. If you are not a regular on the school campus and still would like to participate, please email Susie Nakamura. She would be happy to work with you to communicate needed items.

The donated items should be wrapped and labeled with the item name (return with the red mitten or a post-it) and delivered to the office by Tuesday, December 12th. If you would rather donate gift cards, amounts such as $10-$25 to Target, Walmart, Trader Joe’s, Safeway and local gas stations are always appreciated. We would prefer to have multiple donations in lower amounts (max $25) for the gift cards in order to help more families.

If your family, or a Cherry Crest family you know, would benefit from one or more gifts from the Mitten Giving Tree, please reach out to Cherry Crest school office manager, Susie Nakamura (

Please contact your Cherry Crest PTSA Co-Presidents, Kat Schifano or Keri Multerer at if you have any questions or want to learn more about ways to help.

Holiday Gifts. Every year when the holidays approach, we see grateful and thoughtful parents and community members who want to find ways to express their appreciation to our teachers and other employees for their work by giving gifts to the individuals they know in the school house. Often parents, especially if their work experience has been in the private sector, are not aware that gifts to publicly-paid employees are discouraged by school board policy. Therefore, we ask that if you would like to give a gift to a staff member this holiday season, the value of the gift should not be elaborate or unduly expensive as outlined in Bellevue School Board Policy 5255. If you wish to provide more than a small token of gratitude to an individual teacher or staff member, you can make donations to a specific classroom, donate to Cherry Crest School or a specific program within our school, and/or make a contribution to the Bellevue Schools Foundation, the PTSA or other charity in recognition of a teacher’s work. If you should have any questions about the above mentioned policy or need to brainstorm ideas for how to honor an individual teacher, please don’t hesitate to contact me! Thank you!

Compassion – Our Virtue of the Month for December:  Each month we encourage families to join with us in discussing our Virtues with students.

Compassion is having kind feeling toward someone who is hurt or troubled. It is caring deeply and wanting to help, even if you don’t know them. It is being kind and forgiving to someone who has hurt you.”

Why practice it? When people feel hurt or in trouble, they often feel alone. Feeling alone can make things even worse. Without compassion the world is a hard and lonely place. Being compassionate helps us to feel less alone. Compassion helps us to be understanding of others and ourselves.”

How do you practice it? Compassion begins by noticing when someone seems sad or troubled. Put yourself in their place and ask how you would feel if it were happening to you. Thing about how you can help. Take time to listen, and then say kind things like ‘What are you sad about?’ and ‘How can I help?’ Be forgiving when others make mistakes. Be a friend when someone needs a friend.”

You are practicing compassion when you…notice when someone is hurt or needs a friend, imagine how they must be feeling, take time to show that you care, ask how they are and listen patiently, forgive others when they make mistakes, and do some service to help a person or an animal in need.”

Inclement weather & school closures. Winter weather is approaching and with that comes school closures and delays. For the most up-to-date information please call the BSD 24-hour News line: 425-456-4111. For more information about school closures and to sign up for e-mail & text alerts, please visit the district website:

Bellevue Schools Foundation Clickathon Success. This October, 310 Bellevue parents and community members donated a total of $52,294 in just 48 hours to unlock a total matching pool of $40,000—smashing through our Clickathon goal of $50,000 for a grand total of $92,294. This outpouring of support made a big difference, fulfilling 6% of our annual fundraising goal in two days.

That’s the power of community. That’s the power of YOU. Thank you so much for going All in for Kids! (Haven’t had a chance to make your annual gift yet? There’s still time to go All in at this link.)

BSF Support at Cherry Crest.  A big thank you to Bellevue Schools Foundation for making Cherry Crest a proud recipient of the 2017-18 Arts, Enrichment and Innovation grants!

The Foundation received 133 grant applications with requests totaling more than $191,623. In all, 80 awards were made, totaling $75,000, for programs that will touch every school in the District.  Visit the BSF website  to see a complete list of the grants awarded to Cherry Crest Elementary.

District News: Open Enrollment & Choice Schools. It is nearly time to start accepting applications for Open Enrollment and Choice Schools and Programs for the 2018-2019 school year.  If you are interested in learning about the process, please read on.

Open Enrollment Timeline. This year, Open Enrollment applications will be accepted from Monday, December 11, 2017 at 9:00 a.m. through Friday, January 19, 2018 at 4:30 p.m.  Please note that Open Enrollment starts and ends earlier than in past years.  This year non-resident employees will go through the online Open Enrollment which is a change from past years.

Choice Schools and Programs Timeline. Choice Schools and Programs Applications will be accepted between Monday, January 8, 2018 at 9:00 a.m. through Friday, February 9, 2018 at 4:30 p.m.

As a reminder, the definitions of these two processes are:

  • Open Enrollment – the time when students can request to attend a school other than their home attendance area school.  School statuses will be available on the district website on Monday, December 11, 2017.   All applicants will be placed in a lottery.  Transfers will be approved or denied based on projected enrollment numbers for the building and grade level at both the neighborhood and requested school in addition to projected staffing levels and building capacity at the requested school.
  • Choice Schools and Programs Applications – the time when students can apply for our choice schools – Big Picture (6th grade entry), International (6th grade entry), Jing Mei – Mandarin dual language (Kindergarten entry), Puesta del Sol – Spanish immersion (Kindergarten entry), Spanish Dual Language Program (Kindergarten entry).  Acceptance is generally by lottery.

We will once again be using an online application process.  A paper applicant information form will be available at all schools for families who do not have internet access.  These forms will be manually keyed into the online tool by the Student Placement Office.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to Student Placement at



Reporting Safety Concerns. Bullying and safety concerns can always be reported to any staff member at school.  The Elementary Level Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying Incident Reporting Form is available to all families in the office. Finally, Bellevue School District also utilizes an anonymous reporting tool called SafeSchools Alert through which anyone can make a verbal or written report of harassment, intimidation or bullying. Information on how to submit a report via any of these methods is available on the district website 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.