Cherry Crest Chronicler

December 1, 2020

Dear Charger Families,

Assistant Principal Erin Stedman and I both had the opportunity to visit classrooms prior to the Thanksgiving break. During our grateful visits, students had the opportunity to reflect on the following question: How will you express gratitude?

The Cherokee People believe in expressing gratitude all year long – “daily, throughout the year, across the seasons.” In the story, We Are Grateful, author Traci Sorell, a Cherokee woman, shares what her people are grateful for through the seasons. The story teaches us to recognize and celebrate all our blessings, as well as reflect on our struggles and challenges.

We recognize and celebrate each of you – students and families – for the incredible flexibility, patience and resilience required to “go to school” in the midst of a global pandemic.  You are working harder than ever to stay engaged and learn in meaningful ways. This is noticed and incredibly appreciated.

We pray that this Thanksgiving and Holiday season provides you and your family opportunity to pause and find hope and joy in the midst of challenge.


Dusty Steere, Principal Cherry Crest Elementary


Dec 4              Read-a-thon minutes and donations due
Dec 9              Read-a-thon winners announced
Dec 11            Virtual Principal Chat @ 8:30 am
Dec 12            Read-a-thon prize distribution and alternate t-shirt pickup at Cherry Crest 9 – 12
Dec 16            School Assembly @ 9:40 am (Cultural Celebrations Around the World)
Dec 18            Last Day of School prior to Winter Break
Jan 4              School Resumes

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

Instructional Time on Wednesdays. In order to provide additional educational support and access to students, a portion of Wednesday instructional time is becoming synchronous learning  time instead of asynchronous time.  The content of the live instructional time is up to the discretion of individual teachers and is intended to best support student learning during an extended virtual learning timeframe (It’s pretty unlikely we are returning to in person instruction in January).  Elementary students will move to having up to the first 90 minutes of Wednesday learning time (beginning at 8:00 am) with their teachers with the remainder staying as asynchronous.  Please reach out to your child’s teacher for specific schedules and details.

Family Engagement Forum. The Bellevue School Board welcomes you to join a virtual community forum on Thursday December 3rd to discuss Family Engagement. Board directors want to hear what is important and needed for you to support your child(ren)’s learning and well-being.

When: 5.00-6.15 pm., December 3rd, 2020.
Where: Virtual Forum, information to register and join the forum online is here.

Principal Chat on Friday 12/11 @ 8:30 am.  Cherry Crest families are invited to attend monthly virtual meetings hosted by Principal Dusty Steere and PTSA presidents Britt Heath & Deepa Panchepakesan.  All chats will be hosted online via Microsoft Teams and will include information from the principal as well as ample time for questions and comments. Use this form to submit a question or topic for the next Principal Chat.
Chats are scheduled on the following Fridays from 8:30 – 9:30 am:  Dec 11; Jan 15, Feb 12, March 19, Apr 26, May 28

Join Microsoft Teams Meeting

Cultural Celebrations from Around the World Live Assembly . On December 16th we will host our final live assembly event of 2020. Our theme is Cultural Celebrations and Traditions throughout the Year. To learn more about our students and their families (You!) we’re asking students to participate in this school-wide Flipgrid to share with us about their celebrations and traditions throughout the schoolyear. You can also join your student(s) in the video to share about your culture and traditions. We look forward to learning more about our Comm(UNITY!).

Link to FlipGrid for student/family contribution:  (Submissions due by Dec 11)
Link to Live Teams Assembly December 16th @ 9:40 am

Virtual Book Fair. Mrs. Lux, our school librarian, is excited to host a Winter book fair with Usborne Books & More, December 7th – 11th. The fair is available for shopping anytime online from NOW until FRIDAY, DEC. 11th . Your books will ship right to your home!   SHOP HERE 

We have a live virtual Book Fair event on MONDAY, DECEMBER 7th. This is a 30-40 minutes event where you can see videos of the books, get personal recommendations, and have the chance to win a prize! Learn more and RSVP here:

Our school earns 50% back in books for the library, so it is win-win to purchase books for your home, knowing your child will benefit here at school as well (curbside pickup coming in the New Year)! Please consider the book fair for some of your holiday shopping!

Need recommendations? Or have questions?  Please contact Mrs. Lux at:

Virtual Netiquette Mini Lessons. We have had many months of on-line learning!  Sometimes it is so easy to get really comfortable behind screens and forget some of the basic rules of netiquette (network etiquette) that are so important.  We have noticed, especially in chats between our older students, a lot of personal information being shared and we encourage you to watch these short video’s with your students as a reminder that everything done on school computers is public information and can be seen by many.   Brain Pop-  A little longer but engaging especially for 4th/5th graders.  It does cover Netiquette, Communication, humor, tone, Internet pictures/chats are never private…  Educator giving tips on how to be appropriate on line.  Short and useful!    2nd-5th grade   Kindergarten through 2nd grade.  Wonderful demonstration for our younger students on what to do and what not too!

Contact Cherry Counselor Marissa Krauskopf with questions or resources for net etiquette.

Cherry Crest Return to School Planning.  as  rising COVID cases this fall potentially push back student return to school, a committed group of Cherry Crest staff members continue meeting to work through logistics and plans for students and staff to safely and efficiently learn in person.  We’ve created a number of videos that highlight how students and families should plan on arriving and entering school.  Use your child’s BSD network credentials for a sneak peak at these videos.

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.  Cards or small remembrances may be mailed to the teacher at Cherry Crest Elementary 12400 NE 32nd Ave NE 98005.

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!

Winter Break Scratch Coding Camp. During Winter Break, Interlake High School’s robotics team, Saints Robotics, is hosting a Scratch coding camp for elementary school students, from December 21st to December 31st on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. Students can be introduced to Scratch, develop advanced projects such as games, and get a feel for engineering! The course will foster a good STEM environment for students and have them learn skills they can bring to their future careers and life.

The course fee is $125, with 20% of the proceeds going to Backpack Meals for Kids. Financial aid is available!

The registration link is:
More information can be found here:
Email us with any questions:

School Options for the 2020-21 School Year. This year, the Open Transfer (formerly Open Enrollment) and Choice School/Program application period are during the same time period – December 7, 2020 through January 15, 2021.

All applicants must be residents of the Bellevue School District at the time of application.  Residency documents will be requested at the time of enrollment. (The children of fulltime BSD employees may apply.)

Siblings of current students are not guaranteed enrollment and must apply.

For more information please visit

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 with any questions.

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.