Family Engagement Survey - February 25 to March 24, 2020 - Learn More

Cherry Crest Chronicler

November 1, 2019

Dear Charger Families,

The Cherry Crest PTSA has once again arranged for Internet Safety expert Stefanie Thomas-Hanley to visit Cherry Crest and speak with our 5th grade students November 7th.  Even better, Ms. Thomas-Hanley will make a presentation for all parents at the November PTSA meeting on November 12th in the cafe. Her presentation highlights common risks and pitfalls that kids are likely to encounter while using the internet, social media and online games, and discusses ways to avoid and/or safely participate in those activities. (6:30 social; 6:45 PTSA meeting; 7:00 internet safety presentation)

Stefanie Thomas-Hanley is an internet safety expert that has worked with law enforcement for the past 9 years regarding the exploitation of children online. She uses this experience to educate parents and children about internet safety and has reached over 30,000 in the greater Seattle area. The parent presentation covers: cyberbullying, social networking, online gaming, screen addiction and internet & cell phone safety tips.”

I’ve heard Stefanie speak a number of times and learn something new each time.  She is an outstanding presenter and 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.


Dusty Steere, Principal Cherry Crest Elementary


November 6                    Veterans Day Assembly @ 8:30 am

November 11                   No School – Veterans Day; Ice Skating @ SnoKing Arena 12:00 – 2:00

November 12                   PTSA Meeting + Internet Safety Presentation @ 6:30 pm in Cafe

November 15                   Rescheduled picture retake day

November 15                    Spelling Bee – preliminary round

November 27                   Pajama Day & Readathon Kickoff

November 27 – Dec 2     Cherry Crest Read-a-thon

November 28/29             No School – Thanksgiving Holiday

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

Turn in SchoolPool Calendars.  Earn up to $2000 for Cherry Crest!  During the month of October our school participated in the City of Bellevue SchoolPool program encouraging families and students to use the bus, carpool, walk and bike to school.  Every completed calendar identifying at least one eco friendly trip earns our school $5.  Calendars were sent home with students early October and should be returned to their teacher or the main office by November 8th.  Additional calendars are available in the main office.   Cherry Crest School Pool Informational Flyer

Veterans Day Assembly. On November 6th @ 8:30-9:30 am, we will be conducting our Veteran’s Day Assembly as a whole school. We are extending an invitation to all Cherry Crest family members who have served their countries near or far. We look forward to honoring and appreciating veterans from around the world. Please RSVP by November 1st to Erin Stedman at Thank you!

Save time, gas money and your sanity. Cherry Crest is partnering with the City of Bellevue to launch our newest traffic reduction initiative: RideMatching.  Here is how it works.

  • Principals email a link to Survey Monkey to all parents at their schools.
  • Parents interested in finding carpools, walking groups, biking groups, or bus buddies for their students fill out the survey formThe survey does not ask for student names or addresses. Parents are free to provide a close intersection instead of a home address.
  • City of Bellevue SchoolPool staff maps the respondents using GIS software and provides schools with email addresses grouped geographically.
  • Principals share email addresses in each group with the parents from this group.
  • Parents communicate and coordinate their group matching. Once parents have the email addresses of their potential matches, they can email each other and organize groups for transportation to school.

Want to participate?  Fill out the survey link here:

Panorama Student Survey.  In early November, 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 sixth 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 their teacher.
  • The survey will be given in class between now and November 8.
  • 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.

Traffic Safety Reminders.  As the weather gets colder and wetter, inevitably the morning traffic around Cherry Crest gets worse.  This happens because 1) more families choose to drive their child to school in foul weather and 2) loading and unloading takes longer in the rain.  I have heard about and witnessed an increase in unsafe parent driving and inappropriate verbal responses due to the increased wait. This is not okay and sets a poor example for our children who watch us very closely.

If you are running late, please DO NOT let your child out of your car outside of supervised areas.  I care much more about student safety than I do about your child being a couple of minutes late to class.

For the safety of all our children, please review and adhere to Cherry Crest pickup, dropoff and parking procedures.

Thank you for your cooperation in this important matter.

Recess clothing. Please help your child to dress appropriately for Washington recess weather….rain! While we do have a covered play area, many students feel compelled to brave the elements and run through the puddles. The main office does not have extra sets of dry clothes for wet students. In these instances, the natural consequence is that students sit through an afternoon with wet socks and shoes.  As such, thank you for sending your child to school with warm rain jackets and weather-sturdy shoes.

Time to Check the Lost and Found.   The Lost and Found is overflowing with jackets, lunchboxes and other items.  Unclaimed items will be donated to charity after Thanksgiving.  Please check the rack located beside the art room on the first floor.

Ready, Set…Read!  The Read-a-thon is the second major Cherry Crest PTSA fundraiser of the 2019-20 school year. It is a fun school-wide event that encourages students to use the reading skills they develop in the classroom in a way that helps to raise funds to support important PTSA-sponsored programs like Curriculum Enhancement (field trips!!) and teacher aides (extra hands in the classroom!!).

Students gather sponsors to pledge money, read from November 27th – December 1st (over the Thanksgiving break), and earn prizes.  More information about Read-a-thon will be shared over the next few weeks.

Important Dates

November 27 – PJ party & read-in in the classroom to kick-off the Read-a-thon

November 27 – December 1 – Read! Read! Read!

December 6 – Signed reading and donation logs are due

December 13 – Winners announced during lunch

Going on Vacation?  It is expected that families will schedule their vacations and activities to coincide with the school calendar.  We understand that some absences cannot be rescheduled or prevented from overlapping with school.  Nonetheless, absences for vacations, sports  tournaments, dance competitions, family travel, trips of a lifetime, etc. must be prearranged and approved to be considered excused under district policies (BSD Policy 3122, Procedure 3122P)).  Please pick up a Prearranged Absence Form in the Attendance Office two weeks prior to your trip so that it can be signed off by the student’s teachers and approved by the Assistant Principal in advance.  Email with questions.

Attendance Policy Update. Due to recent Washington law changes, we are required to use the following numbers below to determine our attendance communication as mandated by District policy and state attendance laws:

Number of Absences Communication Requirements for Families/Administration
1 unexcused absence in one month Parent Notification by Office Secretary
3 unexcused absences in one month Parent Conference with Assistant Principal; Letters sent home
5 unexcused absences in one month Parent Conference and Attendance Agreement
5 excused absences in ONE MONTH OR 10 excused absences in ONE YEAR Parent Conference with Assistant Principal; Letters sent home
7 unexcused in one month OR 10 unexcused in one school year File Truancy Petition; Letter notification
20 absences of any kind Withdrawal from school/District

We appreciate those who have signed and returned the bright green attendance letters. If you haven’t done so already, regardless of the change above, please do so as we are required by law to keep your signed letter on file. Letters are in our main office. District attendance policy can be located here.

Please fill out a prearranged absence form at least two weeks prior to traveling 3 or more days.

Attendance questions and concerns can be directed to Assistant Principal Erin Stedman ( She is happy to meet with families to discuss policies and provide guidance for travel throughout the year.

Responsibility is our Virtue of the Month for November. Responsibility means that others can depend on you.  You are willing to be accountable for your actions. When things go wrong and you make a mistake, you make amends instead of excuses.  When you are responsible, you keep agreements.  When you take responsibility for your own actions, others can trust you.  When you are responsible you take care of yourself, your belongings, and your community.  When you are responsible, you get things done with excellence.  

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.