September 1st, 2020

Dear Cherry Crest Families,

School starts on Thursday!! My staff and I are so excited for school to start and look forward to welcoming each and every student and family into our virtual and remote classrooms at Cherry Crest!  Even though we are separated physically, we are committed to building strong and meaningful relationships with students and families.

This newsletter includes loads of important information about the first days of school and other information designed to ensure a great start to the 2020-21 school year. You can catch all the details in Principal Steere’s First Days of School Video and/or read the specific details in the newsletter below.

And, just for fun, here is a little song acknowledging you parents and the challenges that COVID-19  thrust upon you all last spring.

You’re Getting HomeSchooled Now Music Video

Can’t wait to “see” you all in school!

Dusty Steere, Principal Cherry Crest Elementary

  • Thursday 9/3 is the first day of school for grades 1 – 5.  As a reminder, in order to join class on the first day of school, students will need to open Microsoft Teams on their iPad or Laptop, click on calendar, then join the class meeting that teachers will be scheduling. Calendar invitations will go out to students by the end of the day, Tuesday, September 1, as well as a welcome letter from teachers.
  • Kindergarten families.  Kindergarten teachers are having families sign up for a WAKids family conference on September 3, 4 or 8. A reminder that the first day of school—and first day students will logon via Microsoft Teams to join the class meeting—is on September 9, at 8:00 am AM.
  • Early Emphasis on Relationship and Community Building.  Cherry Crest teachers recognize the value and importance of building a strong classroom culture in order to maximize student academic and social emotional learning through the year.  As a result, teacher focus in the first days of class will not be on academics but rather on relationship and community building.  Students can expect this during the 8 – 11 am live instructional block each morning. In the afternoons, many families can expect teachers to reach out requesting time for you to join a beginning of year family connections meeting to help build relationship and strengthen the school to home connection.  Students and families can expect increased emphasis on academics beginning September 14th as well as the initiation of live specialist instruction.

Technology Support and Devices for Students. 

Student Device Distribution
The BSD Technology Department and schools distributed over 20,000 technology devices for students in the last few weeks. If your student has not picked up their device for learning, devices will be available at Technology Centers following the last scheduled pick-up time at schools. Specific dates, times and locations will be available on the district website next week.

Technology Support for Students and Families
We are pleased to share that BSD is expanding our in-person technology support during remote learning. The BSD Technology Department will provide tech support for student and families at Newport High School and Sammamish High School starting on Monday, August 31. The primary focus at these sites will be on issues that are difficult to resolve via email or phone. More details are available on our website. For tech support and troubleshooting at home, visit our Technology Support for Students and Families page. You will find setup guides, information on Microsoft Teams, login support, common questions and concerns, tips for optimizing your internet connection and who to reach out to for more help.

Assistive Technology
Assistive technology is one of the core strategies schools use to support students with learning differences. If you think your student might need help accessing curriculum, please review this list of accessibility tools and reach out to your student’s teacher or support specialist to learn more.

Back to School Supplies. Our teachers realize the challenges families are facing at the start of this unprecedented school year. To help, we are significantly reducing our annual recommended supply list. Across grades K-5, teachers ask that students have the traditional minimum supplies of pencils/writing utensils, paper, scissors, glue, etc. for use at home during the Temporary Remote Learning time period. When students return to school, the supply list may be updated, although extra time will be given to families to gather supplies.

One small exception is with Art. For weekly Art class, Ms. Patti and Ms. Bena recommend that students have a simplified set of art supplies: (1) watercolor paint set (click here for an example from Amazon), and (2) watercolor paper (click here for an example from Amazon). If you have any difficulty purchasing these supplies, we will make sets available to families for pickup in September.

First Day of School:  Share your Cherry Crest School Spirit. The first day of school will look different in 2020. We are asking families to share your BSD school spirit on your first day of school. Take a photo wearing your school spirit wear or colors and share photos with us to feature on social media and our website. Tag BSD on social media and use the hashtags #BSDschoolspirit and #BSDfirstday or email the photos to [email protected].

School Meals During our Remote Start. When the Bellevue School District opens the 2020-21 school year in a remote learning model, we want to ensure that students continue to have access to the nutrition they need. The Meals2Go program, offered by our Nutrition Services team, is designed to provide grab and go breakfast and lunch options for families to access for their students. Meals2Go will begin on Wednesday, September 2. More information is available on our website.

Meals2Go Locations & Times:

  • Enatai Elementary 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Highland Middle 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Newport Heights Elementary 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Odle Middle 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Sammamish High 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Tillicum Middle 3:30 p.m to 4:30 p.m.
  • Tyee Middle 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Pre-Order Meals
Visit the Bellevue School District website from your computer, tablet or smartphone to access the Meals2Go Pre-Order Form each weekend between 5:30 p.m. Friday and 8:00 a.m. Monday to order meals. If families miss the pre-order window, contact Nutrition Services at (425) 456-4507 between 7:00 and 8:00 a.m. to place an order for that day’s meal pick up.

Attendance Matters. Beginning with the first day of school, teachers are required to take attendance daily.  This is especially important this year so we can maintain state based funding. 

If you need to report an absence or planned early arrival/dismissal (i.e. a dentist appointment) please send an email to [email protected].  We ask that all emails about planned tardies or absences be sent before 8 am with the student’s first and last name, teacher, and the reason for the absence. If you don’t have access to email you may leave a message at 425-456-4902. These messages are now forwarded to office staff using a voice-to-text system which is sometimes hard to understand.  Thank you for supporting your student attending school regularly and alerting us to absences.

Students placed with a teacher at another school will inform that school about any absences or planned late arrivals/early dismissals.  You should receive communication from that school about attendance processes.

Stay informed. The PTSA’s e-newsletter, Charger Chatter is a good source to lookout for current information.  The Charger Chatter comes out weekly and contains important information about both school and PTSA events.  If you are not receiving the Charger Chatter and would like to, you can sign up here.

Student Immunization Records. The Bellevue School District is changing how we manage student immunization records. We are now using the School Module, an online system provided by the Washington State Department of Health.  

The School Module allows us to quickly and efficiently check if your child has the vaccines required for school. This will save us time on finding and entering vaccination dates and free up time to work with students. 

Most children born and/or vaccinated in Washington already have their information in the system. You can access your child’s record at any time by signing up for MyIR at   

As we move to this system, the school nurse may ask you for more information about your child’s vaccination history. If your child is missing vaccines in the system, we may ask for a copy of their immunization record.  If the Certificate of Immunization Status (CIS) form is not signed, we may ask for the CIS to be signed by a parent or guardian and returned to your child’s school. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Cherry Crest school nurse Amy Borberg ([email protected]) or Carrie Lang Director of Health Services.   


September 3                       First Day of School for grades 1 – 5: school starts at 8 am

September 7                       Labor Day – No School

September 9                       First day of classes for Kindergarten: school starts at 8 am

September 11                      Virtual Principal Coffee @ 9:30 am  Join Microsoft Teams Meeting

September 15                     Virtual PTSA General Membership Meeting  @ 7:00 pm

Regularly visit the Cherry Crest & PTSA websites for the most current information.

The Bellevue School District acknowledges that we learn, work, live and gather on the Indigenous Land of the Coast Salish peoples, specifically the Duwamish and Snoqualmie Tribes. We thank these caretakers of this land, who have lived and continue to live here, since time immemorial.