Cherry Crest LogoCherry Crest Chronicler

May 1, 2018

Happy May Day Charger Families!

Here at Cherry Crest, we are committed to helping each student feel a sense of belonging in our Comm(Unity) while learning academic and social emotional skills to be successful in our ever changing and diverse society.  From my experience, teaching the academic skills is far easier than transmitting the complexities of Social Emotional Learning (SEL).  As a result, teaching staff at Cherry Crest—and across the district—are learning about and implementing Restorative Practices.

All humans are hardwired to connect. Just as we need food, shelter and clothing, human beings also need strong and meaningful relationships to thrive. Restorative practices is an emerging social science that studies how to strengthen relationships between individuals as well as social connections within communities.

During our district wide professional learning day in March, teachers unpacked the seminal components of Restorative Practices.  Along with the oft thought of classroom “Talking Circle” or morning meeting, teachers learned that the vast majority of Restorative Practices rely upon frequent and intentional use of affective and restorative questions to facilitate conversations from simple to complex.

Questions to Respond to Challenging Behavior

  • What happened?
  • What were you thinking of at the time?
  • What have you thought about since?
  • Who has been affected by what you have done? In what way?
  • What do you think you need to do to make things right?

Questions to help those harmed by other’s actions

  • What did you think when you realized what had happened?
  • What impact has this incident had on you and others?
  • What has been the hardest thing for you?
  • What do you think needs to happen to make things right?

As a principal and a parent, I have found these questions a powerful learning tool when those harmed can respond in the presence of those who did the harm.  In hearing a victim’s responses, the aggressor is often able to better understand the impact of their actions and can genuinely change behavior and work to make things right.  Conversely, the victim feels heard and often leaves the conversation heartened through the restorative process.

I encourage parents and teachers alike to try putting these questions into practice this week and seeing how it changes the dynamic of conflict.   If you do, feel free to let me know how it goes.


Dusty Steere, Principal Cherry Crest Elementary

Thank you for taking a few moments to read the important dates and announcements in the parent newsletter below.


11 – Family Movie Night
17 – Family Engineering Night @ 6 pm
18 – Principal Coffee @ 8:15 am
25 – 28 Read A Thon
28 – Memorial Day (No School)
31 – New Family Welcome Potluck @ 6:00 pm

5 – Kindergarten Roundup (welcome event for next year’s kindie students)
8 – Volunteer appreciation breakfast @ 8:15 am
21 – 5th grade promotion @ 1:30 in the gym
22 – Last day of School

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

Take the Earth Day Bike Day Challenge, April 30-May18th! Students are invited to participate by taking one non-drive-alone trip to our school – walk, bike, take the bus, or carpool with other families/students! Additionally, by May 21st, submit a project related to your trip to or from school. Please see information in your child’s backpack to learn more! Each project returned earns $5 for Cherry Crest, and alleviates traffic concerns in our school community. Return challenge forms to the box in the main office.  Thanks for your support, Chargers!

K – 4 Parent Input requested for Class Placement.  In May and June, Cherry Crest teachers and staff begin the important task of creating classroom assignments for the 2018-19 school year.  Creating balanced classrooms where children will be successful is a complex task and we need parent cooperation to make it work. If you have not already done so, please take a few minutes to share your feedback by completing the 2018-2019 Class Placement Parent Input.   Thank you for completing this online survey for your returning Kindergarten – 4th grade child by Friday May 4th.  

Cherry Crest Family Engineering Night – May 17.  Come join your fellow Chargers for a fun evening of collaboration & learning!! Some of the fun activities include:

  • Family Engineering Design Challenges!
  • Computer Science opportunities!
  • 5th grade Science & Engineering Projects!
  • Live 3D Printer demo!

All students must be accompanied by an adult.

Date: 05/17/2018 (Thu.)  Time: 6:00pm – 7:30pm

Help us with our planning by registering your attendance with the following link:

Smarter Balanced Testing continues.   With spring comes state testing!  All 3-5 students take the Smarter Balanced Assessment for English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics online during the spring of this school year. 5th grade students will also take the MSP for Science.

The schedule below outlines the finalized schedule of  when testing will occur. Please avoid scheduling vacations or time away from school during these important assessment windows. Vacation requests may not be granted if they conflict with state standardized testing.

English Language Arts (ELA) Math Science 
3rd Grade May 7 – 9 May 29 – 30
4th Grade April 30 – May 2 May 21 – 22
5th Grade April 23 – 26 May 14 – 15 May 31

The Washington Comprehensive Assessment Program website contains lots of test-related resources for parents and students: .  From this site, you can also try out a Smarter Balanced practice or training test.

For more information, contact Cherry Crest Assistant Principal, Erin Stedman (, or Chris Lindberg, BSD manager of state testing (

New to Cherry Crest for 2018-19?  We are excited welcome new families as join our wonderful Cherry Crest Comm(UNITY) this fall.  In our endeavor to help you know us better and have the opportunity to make friends with other new Cherry Crest families, the Cherry Crest Parent Teacher Association (PTSA) is organizing the New Family Dessert Potluck on May 31st, from 6:00 to 7:30 pm. We will be meeting in the outdoor covered area of the school playground.  Come and meet PTSA representatives who can provide information on Cherry Crest events, representatives from Boy Scouts & Girl Scouts as well as a Trustee from the Bellevue Schools Foundation to answer questions about public school funding.  Join us with your families for an interactive and informative evening. Bring any dessert to share and of course, your wonderful smiles too.  It is a fun potluck!

Items Needed for Bellevue Kindness Challenge by May 4Cherry Crest PTSA is taking part in the annual Bellevue Kindness Challenge and has selected Friends of Youth.

What is the Kindness Challenge? It is an organized movement to get kids involved in projects encouraging kindness in schools and partnering to support organizations that make a difference in our community.

Learn more about Friends of Youth:

Learn more about camp kindness counts:

We are collecting items in the main lobby of the school until May 4th to be donated to the Friends of Youth.

Items they are looking for:

1) Non-perishable snacks

2) Household items such as: silverware sets, cooking utensils, hangers, new blankets, new bathroom towel sets, new twin and queen sheet sets

3) Men’s and women’s underwear sizes small-XL

Our Virtue of the Month for May is ‘Perseverance.’ Perseverance is being purposeful and steadfast.  It is sticking with something, staying committed, no matter how long it takes, or what obstacles appear to stop you.  When we persevere, people can depend on us to finish what we start.  When we persevere through difficult work or tasks, we grow and learn and develop our best selves.  You practice perseverance by committing to someone or something.  When you commit to a task, pace yourself, and persist, you are demonstrating perseverance.  Great athletes persevere through exhaustion and injury, and great scholars persevere through frustration and confusion.  You are practicing perseverance when you set goals and keep working to achieve them.  You take one step at a time and remain steady.  You work through feeling discouraged and keep striving to reach your goal.

Supporting Kids Through Tough Times: Trauma Informed Care & Restorative Practices.  How do we help our kids deal with the stress of modern challenges—from the isolation of social media and the impact of national tragedies, to racism, personal trauma, and more? Join Bellevue Schools Foundation and CJ Ellsworth of Sea Mar Community Health Center for a discussion of what we can do as parents and community members who care about our youth.

Wednesday, May 2, from 6:30-8 p.m.
WISC Rainier Room, 12241 Main Street, Bldg. 1, Bellevue
(light refreshments provided)


Saturday, June 2, from 10-11:30 a.m.
Highland Middle School, 15027 Bel-Red Rd, Bellevue
(light refreshments provided, childcare available)

Parents and community members who attend this event will learn about ways to better support children through our current challenging times, and how to reduce their stress by teaching their caregivers and support systems tools to help them through these issues.

This event is free and open to the public; please register at this link.

CJ Ellsworth, MA, LMFT, CMHS will lead the information session and discussion; Mrs. Ellsworth is a Program Manager and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist & Supervisor, in Child & Family Behavioral Health program at Sea Mar Community Health Center. This session is funded by King County’s Best Starts for Kids grant.

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.