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

Cherry Crest Chronicler

December 2, 2019

Dear Charger Families,

Confession.  As a parent, I frequently battle with my children (ages 16, 13 & 10) 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


Dec 9-15            Hour of Code (details below)
Dec 16                Passport Club Checkpoint during lunch recess
Dec 20               Last Day of School prior to Winter Break
Jan 6                  School Resumes

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

Thank you, Mrs. H!  After 8 years at Cherry Crest, Korynna Hesketh is stepping down from her role as instructional assistant to spend additional time caring for her family.  Mrs. H has been a fixture directing traffic at the figure 8 each morning, guiding students through the lunch line in the cafeteria and supporting students and teachers in the classrooms.  Mrs. H’s last day is Thursday December 5th. We appreciate you and your service to our Comm(Unity)!


Cherry Crest is hiring. With the departure of Mrs. Hesketh and an additional vacancy, Cherry Crest is looking to hire two Instructional Assistants.  Cherry Crest IA’s work under the direction of teaching staff to support students in the classroom, and provide student supervision at lunch, recess and before/after school.  If you or someone you know might be interested in such a role, you can learn more about the position and apply online here.  It is also helpful to alert the school office of your interest.  Contact Office Manager Susie Nakamura.  

Emergency Preparedness Updates. On November 15th, students practiced a lockdown drill, also known as “active threat.” Students worked on our three safety expectations:

  1. Listen to me or other adults
  2. Follow directions quickly and immediately
  3. Stay extremely quiet

Students and teachers discussed what they might do if something or someone is dangerous inside the building. If this is the case, students and adults will assess their surroundings to determine their course of action.

Our next emergency drill is scheduled for December 17th at 8:30 a.m. We will practice a lockout drill. For this emergency, students remain inside the building when there is an outside threat.

Hour of Code December 9 – 13.  Hour of Code began as a one-hour coding challenge to give students an introduction to coding. Now it is an annual global event!  Students across Cherry Crest have already and will continue to access STEM learning activities and opportunities for computational thinking.  You, too, can participate with your child. Learn more about BSD’s involvement ins this global event:

Red Mitten Campaign. Join us in supporting Cherry Crest and BSD families in need through our gift card Red Mitten campaign. Gift cards (ie. Safeway, Target, Amazon, etc) may be dropped off in the front office. Cards will be distributed to families in need for the holiday season and beyond.  You can drop off gift card donations in the Cherry Crest main office prior to December 2o. Thanks for making the holidays bright!

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.

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!

Learning programs during school breaks. Click here to learn about and register your student for learning programs during upcoming school breaks such as winter break.

School Information Sessions. To help families transition to their next step in the 2020-21 school year, every neighborhood school offers a parent information session for incoming kindergartners, sixth graders and ninth graders. Some high schools have information sessions for all grades. Additionally, each choice school hosts an information night for families who may be interested in applying. More information.

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)).

You can download a copy of the prearranged absence form directly from our school’s website: or pick up a copy in the main office.  We ask that you submit the form at least 2 weeks in advance to allow time for review by the teacher, and approval from the Assistant Principal. Email Cherry Crest’s attendance specialist Denise Anderson with questions.

Emergency Closure Information. As we head into the winter season we encourage families to become familiar with information about unexpected school delays or closures. Families will be notified of changes to the school day via SchoolMessenger. Information can also be found on the district website, Facebook, Twitter, FlashAlert, on the BSD Newsline by calling (425) 456-4111, and from local TV and radio stations.

The following is also available for review on the district website:

  • schedule information for scenarios including delayed start, early dismissal, and school closures
  • altered bus stop locations

Download and print the Emergency Closure flyer:

For additional details please visit​

BSD Job Fair. The Bellevue School District is hosting a job fair on Saturday, Feb. 1. Please help us spread the word about this opportunity to learn about certificated and classified positions in the district. Applicants will be able to apply on-site and departments from across the district will have representatives available to discuss open positions. Learn more on our BSD Job Fair page.

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 feelings 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. Think 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.

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.