Cherry Crest Chronicler
March 28, 2021
Dear Charger Families,
As February turns to March, I notice the days getting longer and a hint of spring in the air which brings a spring to my step. What also brings a spring to my step is the prospect of more students back in the building. In fact, we are busying ourselves for the return of kindergarten and first grade students to in person learning March. We recognize and empathize with the challenges and complexities that COVID-19 has brought upon schooling and every aspect of our lives this year. For this, and so much more, I am grateful to our students, families and staff for your patience, grace and flexibility.
The newsletter below is chock full of important information and dates. Thank you for taking a few minutes to read and respond. As always, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out me directly (email@example.com).
Dusty Steere, Principal Cherry Crest Elementary
1 1st grade hybrid students return to in person learning
2 Kindergarten In Person Learning Parent Information Meeting @ 12:15 Join Virtual Meeting
3 Cherry Crest Picture Day
4 Kindergarten hybrid students return to in person learning
9 Virtual PTSA General Membership Meeting (sign on @ 6:45, Meeting at 7:00) Meeting Link
1-14 Scholastic Book Fair link to virtual fair
19 Make Up Day – school day for all BSD students K – 12
19 Virtual Principal Chat @ 8:30 am Join Microsoft Teams Meeting
13-17 No School (Spring Break)
Please remember to regularly visit the Cherry Crest & PTSA websites for the most current information.
Cherry Crest Kindergarten and 1st grade hybrid students return to in person learning! On 2/24 the Cherry Crest Safety and Health Conditions Review Team reviewed relevant data and voted to expand in-person learning services for kindergarten and 1st grade students in a half day AM/PM model effective the week of March 1st. These students will follow a phased in approach in the first two weeks of March before attending classes in person 4 days/week beginning March 15th. While the half day model is temporary for K-2, a date for full day class (including lunch service) has not yet been determined.
Kindergarten and 1st grade families are highly encouraged to visit our K-2 Return to In Person Learning Information webpage.
Planning for 3rd – 5th grade In Person Return. School and district leaders have already begun work on our plan to expand in person services for third through fifth grade students. This includes resurveying family choices for hybrid or virtual learning made last August. We don’t yet have firm dates for 3-5 return but do know that their return will follow a similar half day AM/PM model as primary grades. Our safety team meets weekly to review relevant local COVID data and building safety readiness. Click here to read more about the role of the Safety and Health Conditions Review Team and their role in expansion of in person services at Cherry Crest.
Daily Health Attestation required for all in-person learning. As part of Bellevue School District’s COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan, a Health Attestation is required for each student every day they attend school in person. Please bookmark BSD HealthCheck https://healthcheck.bsd405.org and complete the form prior to your student arriving at school.
Playground and Fields Closed During the School Day. Over the last month, Cherry Crest has welcomed second grade, 1st grade and now kindergarten students back to school for in person learning and we are in the planning stages to bring back 3rd – 5th grade students as well. Students on campus enjoy learning in their classroom as well as having the opportunity to play outside in physically distanced and cohorted areas of our playground and field. As a result of these students playing outside, it is necessary that we reinstitute the district wide rule that school fields and playgrounds are closed to the public during the school day (7:30 am – 3:00 pm). I recognize that many neighborhood students and community members have enjoyed increased access to our playfield during the pandemic and appreciate everyone adhering to the closed campus hours as part of our safety and health protocols.
Spring Book Fair! The Scholastic Book Fair will be held on-line from March 1st to March 14th. This will still be a wonderful opportunity to purchase books for your children, family and friends, as well as support our school. 100% of the proceeds are used to purchase new books for the Cherry Crest library.
The link to the Book Fair is https://www.scholastic.com/bf/cherrycrestelementaryschool
You can choose to shop through the Virtual Fair where you can browse and see all of the items as if it were set up at school or you can use the catalog. Or both!
Items will be sent directly to your home with minimal or no shipping costs, you can set up eWallets that can be a helpful tool for kids learning to manage the budget you set up, and it is all the cool stuff they and you are looking for.
Principal Chat on Friday 3/19 @ 8:30 am. Cherry Crest families are invited to attend monthly virtual meetings hosted by Principal Dusty Steere and PTSA president Britt Heath. All chats will be hosted online via Microsoft Teams and 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: March 19, Apr 26, May 28
Parent Representatives requested for the Cherry Crest Family Engagement Action Team. Teachers and staff on the Cherry Crest Leadership Team empathize with how challenging this school year has been for students and families. Recognizing that our leadership team makes important decisions that impact students and families (i.e. how and when students return to in person learning), we’ve formed a Family Engagement Action Team and are looking to add a few parents to the team to provide input and guidance in our decision making. Ideally, interested individuals are:
- Representative of the cultural and programmatic diversity of our student population (i.e. racially diverse, General Education/Advanced Learning, Hybrid/Virtual learning)
- Available to meet monthly with staff members on the Family Engagement Action Team
- Willing to share personal and or/community learning experiences to inform decision making
- Able to help plan/prepare upcoming Family Engagement efforts (i.e. Input for In Person Safety Team Decisions, Spring Family Town Hall highlighting student experience and areas for growth)
If you are interested in joining this team or would like to learn more, please reach out via email to Dusty Steere: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please complete Family Engagement Survey. The Bellevue School District is conducting a survey on family engagement in order to strengthen relationships between schools and families. Creating meaningful partnerships with parents helps students succeed both academically and socially. When families engage, student attitudes and behavior are more positive, attendance is better, there are more opportunities to honor diverse cultural backgrounds, and open communication allows us to learn from each other.
The survey opened on February 23, 2021 when families received an email with a unique survey link from our survey platform (Panorama Education). Families will receive an email and survey for each school where they have a child enrolled, which means they may receive multiple surveys. They will be asked to answer the survey based on the experience of their oldest child in the school. The survey is only 12 questions and is available in multiple languages including English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Russian, Korean, Arabic, Amharic, Japanese and simplified Chinese.
Survey results will once again be shared with all families in a BSD Family Engagement Report before next school year. Please see here for the 2019-2020 Family Engagement Report. School administrators will receive results for their individual schools in the Spring and work to continuously improve their family engagement practices.
Direct Questions to email@example.com or the website for FAQ: https://bsd405.org/departments/family-and-community-engagement/family-partnerships/
Smarter Balanced Assessments. OSPI has not yet communicated information about Smarter Balanced Assessments for grades 3-5. We are waiting to hear whether testing this spring is required for our students or whether there will be an alternative test option. In the meantime, Assistant Principal Erin Stedman is working on plans for all students in grades 3-5 to complete their assessments in person between Mid-March-June. We will share more information as soon as possible.
2021-22 School Calendar. Next year, school starts on Wednesday September 1st. For planning purposes, a printable 2021-2022 Calendar of School Dates is available on the BSD website here.
Proactively Report Absence, Illness, Appointments. When your child will miss all or part of a school day due to illness or an appointment, please email Cherry Crest Attendance by 8 am at firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone 425-456-4902. Please be sure to include your child’s first and last name and the reason for the absence.
Washington State law requires schools to report student absences as excused or unexcused. BSD Policy 3122 clarifies valid reasons for excused absences. If no excuse is provided or the excuse does not fall within those outlined in the policy, student absences will be marked as unexcused.
For prearranged absences of three of more days, a prior approval form submitted to the teacher and principal must be completed two weeks prior. Prearranged absence forms can be picked up in the main office and accessed on our website here.
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.