**All Bellevue schools will be closed Monday, February 19-Friday, February 23.**
View the District Calendar
**All Bellevue schools will be closed Monday, February 19-Friday, February 23.**
View the District Calendar

Cherry Crest Chronicler

November 1, 2021

Dear Charger Families,

I’ve been listening to parent feedback and received multiple requests for video messages.  With this in mind, I filmed a video to providing a personalized glimpse into what’s happening in our school and Comm(Unity).  This months message highlights:

  • Schoolwide Fall Focus on Social Emotional Learning, Identity & our Cultures
  • COVID Diagnostic and Pooled Testing
  • Lunchroom Challenges
  • Volunteers in the school
  • Read-a-Thon

November 2021 Principal Video Message (10 min)

The newsletter below contains summary details from the Principal Video Message along with other  important information and key dates.  Thank you for taking a a few minutes to review the information and respond as needed.  As always, don’t hesitate to reach out with any comments or questions.


Dusty Steere, Principal Cherry Crest Elementary


November 2                     Election Day (don’t forget to vote)
November 9                     PTSA General Membership Meeting @ 7 pm Teams Link
November 11                    No School – Veterans Day
November 12                   Principal Chat @ 8:30 am Join Microsoft Teams Meeting
November 15                   K-12 Multilingual Learners Family Information Night
November 23                   Picture Retake Day
November 24                   Readathon Kickoff
November 24 – 28           Cherry Crest Read-a-thon
November 25/26            No School – Thanksgiving Holiday

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

https://bsd405.org/cherrycrest      http://www.cherrycrest-ptsa.org

Food, clothing and family support.  Due to COVID and federal support, there is no charge for school meals in 2021-22.  Beyond this, Bellevue Schools and our Family Connection Center has additional resources and support for families.  If you are new to BSD or have not completed the Family Connection Welcome form, you can do so here: https://familyconnections.bsd405.org. Services provided depend on agency availability and guidelines.

The Family Resource Center at Highland Middle School supports Cherry Crest families and our community.  They are open 10 am to 5 pm Monday, Wednesday and Friday and closed Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Contact Family Engagement Specialist Judy Hunsberger with questions.  425-456-5679 or [email protected]

Lunchroom Volunteers. We are forever grateful for the amount of support we’ve received by the many volunteers who have supported our outdoor lunch routine! THANK YOU! We’ve extended our volunteer window through December 17th. Volunteers do need to show proof of vaccination and will receive a volunteer orientation video for training. Please use the SignUp Genius to sign up for a time to support our lunchtime. Contact, Assistant Principal, Erin Stedman ([email protected]) to share proof of vaccination and to receive the training video prior to arriving here at school. You must be a verified volunteer by Bellevue School District. Information about background checks are HERE.


Help your student make an equitable lunch choice. I’m sad to report that there have been multiple instances in the last two months of students not receiving a hot meal at Cherry Crest because the café runs out of the main entrée.  This is an unfortunate side effect of federal subsidies allowing any student to take a free lunch.  Each morning, we collect a headcount of students intending to take school lunch. Our kitchen then prepares food based on these counts (adding in 10% overage).  Unfortunately, on some days, students decide to take a school lunch when they walk into the café and see waffles being served or smell the pizza. These choices impact options for those who come after them.   

Families can help alleviate this problem by talking with your child and clearly determining when they take school lunch and when they bring food from home.  You can help us by visiting the school lunch menu online and having these discussions with your child each day.  Here is a link to our school menus: https://bsd405.org/services/nutrition-services/lunch/.  Thanks for your cooperation. 

Arrival and Safety Procedures at Cherry Crest. As the weather turns stormy and wet, please be mindful of our students and staff as you arrive to school each day. We believe in safety over on time arrivals as our students and staff deserve safe drivers on our roads. For terrible weather days, please plan ahead, take it slow, and follow the expectations of our traffic supervisors. On days you can walk or carpool to school, we greatly appreciate it! Our Walk to School Day was a huge success, providing our school upwards of $1,000 to purchase safety and traffic equipment for our staff. Additionally, traffic was less intense and cars moved through our drop-off lanes quickly and smoothly. Thank you for your participation!

When you arrive to school each morning by car, please remember to use 32nd street. Using 124th as an entryway creates blockages and unsafe pathways for our students and staff. Thank you. For more information, please review our procedures HERE.

Picture Retake Day on November 23rd. How do I order photos for my child?

  • Please visit: https://my.lifetouch.com/mylifetouch/#/
  • Enter Picture Day ID Code: EVTXTSMPH Or enter your Student ID
  • Click on “Start Order”.  Enter Student Name, Grade, Relationship to Student.  Confirm that is your student

Online orders will be mailed home. Lifetouch Customer Service Phone # 1-800-736-4753

How soon will I receive pictures after Picture Day?
Your child’s pictures will arrive approximately 3-4 weeks after your Picture Day. Picture envelopes will be sent to your child’s school, league, or organization for distribution. Some proof programs can take up to 4-6 weeks before the portraits arrive.

Parent Volunteer Guidelines. Parent volunteers are now permitted in the building, in classrooms, on field trips and other areas.  Here are a few important guidelines for parent volunteers to understand and follow: 

  • All volunteers must have a completed BSD background check on file prior. The online process involves submitting name and copy of id (i.e. drivers license) and can generally be completed in 24 – 72 hours.  Once completed, the background check is good for 3 years.  Visit the BSD Volunteer website to complete this process: https://bsd405.org/get-involved/volunteer/
  • All visitors and volunteers must check in at the main office using the Lobby Guard system.  The Lobby Guard system requires reporting of your vaccination status and a contact number for potential contact tracing.  Lobby Guard generates a name tag which should be worn at all times while on campus.  When you leave, scan out using the Lobby Guard barcode on your nametag.

Principal Chat on Friday 11/12 @ 8:30 am.  Cherry Crest families are invited to attend monthly virtual meetings hosted by Principal Dusty Steere and PTSA presidents  All chats are hosted online via Microsoft Teams and will include information from the principal as well as ample time for questions and comments.

View the Principal Chat Resource Page for a list of all chat dates and prior chat recordings.

Ready, Set…Read!  The Read-a-thon is a beloved Cherry Crest tradition, and the first major Cherry Crest PTSA fundraiser of the 20201-22 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 for important PTSA-sponsored programs and General School Assistants who support our students in their learning.

Students read from November 24th – 28th (over the Thanksgiving break), raise donations, and earn prizes.  More information about the Read-a-thon will be shared over the next few weeks.

Important Dates:
November 24 – Schoolwide pajama day to kick off the Read-a-thon
November 24 – 28 – Read! Read! Read!
December 3 – Reading minutes and donations due

Mid-December – Prize winners announced and prizes distributed

Counselor’s Corner. Hello Cherry Crest families!  This month counselor Mykela Fantone shares resources around several November celebrations.  Check them out below!

  • Native American Indian/Alaska Native Heritage Month
  • National Gratitude Month
    • PBS Kids’ Gratitude Bingo and other fun ideas for expressing gratitude at home!
    • An article about ways you and your family can practice gratitude together all month long!
    • A creative way to get kids to share things they’re grateful for – Crafting gratitude stones to hide throughout the house! Whoever finds one shares something they are grateful for in that moment!
  • National Career Development Month
    • Check out this free webinar about how parents and caregivers can support their children’s early career development!
    • Does your student love art and/or poetry?  Consider encouraging them to enter the National Career Development Association’s 56th annual poetry & art contest!  Find out more HERE.
    • Some great ideas for how you can talk with your students about work and careers through the year can be found in this article: 5 Ways to Talk to Young Children about Work and Careers.

Are there other resources you’d like to see in the future?  Let me know! Always here as a support for you and your family.  [email protected].

Reading Buddies. A group of local high school students are continuing their work as virtual Reading Buddies this school year – This time with both Kindergarteners and 1st graders!  Each Wednesday they are hosting a Microsoft Teams meeting 3:00-4:00pm to read with our students.  This will look like a read-aloud, discussion and comprehension questions, virtual activities like “I Spy,” and some small group connection time with other students.  Please join the weekly Microsoft Teams link each Wednesday, 3:00-4:00pm, to participate. Hope to see your student there!

Click here to join the Reading Buddies meeting

If you have any questions, please reach out to our School Counselor, Mykela Fantone, at [email protected].

A Reminder about Pre-Arranged Absences. With the holidays approaching, we’d like to remind you that Bellevue School District allows each student 5 pre-arranged absences (PRA) per year.  You may use these one at a time, or all at once.  These are excused absences that you can use for a travel day, a sport or dance competition or a longer trip.  If your child will be missing 3 or more days, we ask that you submit a pre-arranged absence form at least 2 weeks prior to your trip.  If your child will only be missing one or two days, please email [email protected]. Thank you for including your child’s full name when emailing for any attendance related matters.

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 (http://www.panoramaed.com) and is given to all students in grades 3-12 in the district. This is the seventh 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 November 2 and 6.
  • 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 [email protected] or (425) 456-4274.

K-12 Multilingual Learners Family Information Night. Please join us for a live virtual event to learn about the MLL program.

During this live event, families will:

  • Learn about how students are supported through the MLL model
  • Learn about the new WIDA ELD Standard Framework and assessments
  • Learn about the K-7 math curriculum adoption
  • Learn about resources to help your child at home
  • Learn about school and community services

Following the presentation, staff will reserve time to answer questions from families. The session will be recorded for families that cannot join the live event.

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 www.bsd405.org/help/report.

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. 

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.