Cherry Crest LogoCherry Crest Chronicler

April 3, 2019

Charger Families,

In March, I invited Cherry Crest families to share information via a parent survey about their children’s experience at Cherry Crest.  252 families responded. Simultaneously, our school counselor and I have been conducting focus groups with 3rd-5th grade students to better understand their perceptions and experiences at school, especially as related to sense of belonging and connection to adults.  I’m still in the beginning stages of digesting this data and feedback but, as promised, want to share the results with staff and families.  (Click here to see the survey results). Furthermore, at the next principal coffee (Monday April 22nd @ 8:15 am), I will share out the themes, thrends and action items that have emerged out of our reflections on what has been shared.  I look forward to sharing and engaging in discussion together.


Dusty Steere, Principal Cherry Crest Elementary

Reminder: April 8 – 12 is spring break and there is no school. Enjoy time with your child and we will see you back at school on Monday April 16th.

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


8-12 – Spring Break
22 – Principal Coffee @ 8:15 am
24 – Cherry Crest Festival of Cultures 5:30 – 7:30 pm

3 – Spring for Schools Luncheon
10 – Family Movie Night
17 – Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast
22 – Family Engineering Night @ 6pm
27 – Memorial Day (No School)
30 – New Family Welcome Potluck

20 – 5th grade promotion @ 1:30 in the gym
21 – Last day of School

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

Thank you for Making the 2019 PTSA auction a HUGE success! A tremendous thank you to EVERYONE involved.  It was great to see so many of you at the Auction on Saturday night.  Thank you for your generosity in conversation, laughter and giving.

A very big THANK YOU to all of our Auction Sponsors.  In particular, our Platinum Sponsor, Julia and Mark Krill of Windemere Real Estate. They have been Auction Sponsors since 2008 and are former Cherry Crest parents. Thank you, Julia and Mark for your continued support of Cherry Crest and everything you do in our community.

Our combined efforts support excellence in education for each and every student and make Cherry Crest a wonderful school for all!

Student Arrival Reminders. To help ensure student safety in the morning before school AND provide quality planning time for teachers, we have recently amended our arrival expectations.  I ask that families know and follow the expectations as well.

  • Staff supervision of students begins at 7:40 am.  Please don’t drop your child off before this time.
  • Upon arriving at school all students should walk around the north side of the school (toward the playground)
  • K-2 students enter the cafe from the exterior doors opening toward the playground.
  • 3-5 students gather in the recess covered area.
  • The first bell rings at 7:55 signaling teachers to pick up students.
  • Students arriving after 7:55 may enter the school through the front doors of the school and walk to their classroom. If their teacher is not present, they should line up outside the classroom and wait for the teacher and class to return.
    • Students should not be in classrooms prior to teacher arrival.

Cherry Crest Family Engineering Night on May 22nd.  Come together as a community to engage in fun, hands-on activities and engineering design challenges that will strengthen your family’s Science, Technology, Engineering & Math skills! All Cherry Crest students and their families are invited. More information to follow.

5th Grade Promotion.   Save the date!  All 5th grade parents are invited to join us on Thursday, June 20th at 1:30 pm in the Cherry Crest gym for our Moving Up Assembly and 5th Grade Promotion.  More information to come.

Smarter Balanced Testing. 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 6,8,9,10 June 3 – 4
4th Grade April 29 – May 2 May 20 – 21
5th Grade April 22 – 25 May 13 – 14 May 30

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.

Tips for Success:

  • Help your child be at school, on time, on their scheduled test dates. Avoid scheduling appointments and vacations on these dates.
  • Ensure your child gets enough sleep and has a filling breakfast.
  • Practice typing and keyboard skills at home.
  • Encourage your child to develop a positive mindset and do their best.
  • Engage with the training and practice tests at home. This will be done at school, but extra practice could be helpful.

Below is additional information on the SBA assessment and attached is a parent communication on the benefits of students taking state assessments.

What Parents Should Know

Parents’ Guide to Smarter Balanced Assessment Testing

See what skills are tested, understand your child’s scores, and get ideas for how you can help at home.

What is being assessed?
In English Language Arts students will be demonstrating:

  • They can read, comprehend and analyze a variety of literary and informational texts.
  • They can interpret information, write an opinion about it, and support that opinion with ideas from the text.
  • They can determine and use grade level vocabulary.

In Math students will be demonstrating:

  • They understand and can apply grade level math concepts (number sense, geometry, etc.).
  • They can use math facts and reasoning to solve real-world math problems.
  • They can explain their mathematical thinking.

Key Features of the Smarter Balanced Assessment

  • Aligned to the Common Core State Standards for ELA and Math
  • Two types of tests:  Computer Adaptive Test and Performance Task
  • Students are asked to demonstrate their reading, writing, math and problem solving skills
  • It will measure critical thinking skills
  • Assessments are untimed
  • Accessible resources are embedded for all students

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

Please join us for the 40thAnniversary Spring for Schools benefit luncheon, in support of our Bellevue School District students and schools. The event will be held on Friday, May 3rd, from 10:15am-1:15pm (Education Showcase: 10:15-11:50am & Lunch from 12-1:15pm) at the Bellevue Hyatt Regency. Register online today at  John Stanton, Seattle Mariners CEO and Bellevue School District alum, is our Honorary Chair. Join 1,100 other parents to hear inspiring stories from students whose lives have been changed by the Bellevue Public Schools. Discover how you can make a difference for every student in every classroom, every day.  Plus, the Mariner Moose will be there! We hope to see you there!

Common Sense Media’s Resources to Help Parents with Media and Technology. At Cherry Crest, and generally in schools today, we find that parents are often seeking guidance and resources to decide whether content or activities that students engage in outside of school are appropriate, whether based on age or social-emotional readiness. One resource we commonly reference and recommend is Common Sense Media. Parents can find unbiased, independent reviews of various media content that students are interested in, such as TV shows like Vampirina, apps and online content like YouTube Kids, and popular video games like Fortnite. For example, did you know Fortnite is recommended for kids ages 13+ due to its violence and potential exposure to offensive language and mature content from random strangers? Check out for more guidance on media and technology.

Report Safety Concerns with Safe Schools Alert.  Student safety-both physical and psychological-is one of our top priorities at Cherry Crest.  Concerns can be reported via text, email or phone using the BSD SafeSchools Alert. Reports can be submitted anonymously. To make a verbal or written report of harassment, intimidation or bullying, contact a school administration or any staff member. You may also submit the following form: Elementary Form

Our Virtue of the Month for April is  “Flexibility”. Flexibility is being open to change. It means not always having your own way. It is being open to the opinions and feelings of others.  With flexibility, you are willing to change your mind.  If something doesn’t work, you try a new way.  Flexibility is making changes for the better.”

Without flexibility, people keep doing things the old way when new ways are needed or possibly better.  People who are not flexible in their thinking get angry and upset when things do not go their way.  When you are flexible, you adjust and adapt to new ideas and situations.  You bend like a tree in the wind. You listen to others’ ideas and consider multiple perspectives and solutions.”

2019 Student Travel Survey. Our school has been selected to participate in the 2019 Student Travel Survey by the Washington State Departments of Transportation and Health. Parents of children in K – 8th grade may get a call to take the short survey. We encourage parents to participate, as the results will help improve student transportation. However, if you do not want to be called, please contact the Department of Health at 1-833-256-4654 and leave your phone number and name of your child’s school to remove yourself from the contact list.

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.