All District facilities are closed Monday, July 4, 2022 in observance of Independence Day. Learn More.

Cherry Crest Chronicler

December 1, 2022

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, we practiced gratitude sharing our appreciation for the hard work and dedication that students, staff and our community have demonstrated amid the challenges of this school year.  Along with the traditions of Thanksgiving to express gratitude and appreciation for what surrounds us, we also recognized November as Native American Heritage Month and November 15th as National Recycling Day.  Using the story, We are the Water Protectors, 4th grade student speakers from Ms. Stevens class helped bridge learning about clean drinking water to local and nationwide Indigenous efforts (Snoqualmie Tribe salmon protection efforts) to protect our environment.  (View our virtual whole school assembly here:   recording link)

Here are two indigenous phrases we shared with students during our gratitude visits.  We encourage students and families to try using one or both of them in the coming week.

Min Wiconi (miNEE wee-CHON-nee):  Water is Life (Lakota)

Gunalcheesh  (gun-al CHEESH): Thank you (Tlingit)

We recognize and celebrate each of you – students and families – for your commitment to education and learning.  We pray that the 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
Erin Stedman, Assistant Principal

Schoolwide Art Project highlighting environmental efforts to support and sustain clean water and fish environment. 


Dec 3              Read-a-thon minutes and donations due
Dec 3              Passport Club check; in the gym during lunch
Dec 6 – 9        Book Fair in Library (details below)
Dec 8              Signs of Suicide Parent Discussion Session (details below)
Dec 10            Virtual Principal Chat @ 8:30 am
Dec 17            Read-a-thon prizes distributed
Dec 17            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.

Read-a-thon Donations and Reading Minutes due Friday December 3rd. Thank you for participating in the Cherry Crest Read-a-thon and pajama day. Read-a-thon donations are due by Friday December 3rd to be eligible for prizes!

Donate here:
Submit reading minutes here:

Please help us reach our school wide goal of raising $30,000 together so we can continue supporting important PTSA-sponsored programs like Curriculum Enhancement and General School Assistants (extra hands in the classroom!!).

Prize winners will be announced by Principal Dusty Steere and Librarian Janna Lux on December 17 along with prize distribution that day. Questions? Please contact

Signs of Suicide (SOS) Parent Discussion Session. This important community session will take place on Wednesday, December 8, starting at 6:00pm. Due to space capacity, families will be required to pre-register for the event.

Due to overwhelming community request, the Family Engagement office in partnership with BSD Counseling, Mental Health Assistance Teams and community mental-health partners will offer families an additional opportunity to support the well-being of their students. This in-person Community Mental Health Forum will center on a discussion about the Signs of Suicide, or SOS.

Learn more about the event and sign up.

Parent Input for Indoor Lunchroom Seating January 2022. Please complete our lunchroom survey to indicate your child’s needs for winter lunchroom seating.

Our lunchroom transition plan for 2022 is as follows:

  • Indoor seating in the cafeteria and stage area
  • Students will sit on mats 6 feet apart on the floor to maximize our eating space
  • Tables will be available for special accommodations
  • Outdoor seating will continue at our under cover area to students and families who request this option (Students should continue to wear weather appropriate clothing for outdoor seating)
  • If students do sit indoors, students will sit in cohorts (likely by class) and we will monitor air ventilation

Please complete this survey by Friday, December 3rd.  Survey HERE

Thank you! For more information, please contact our Assistant Principal, Erin Stedman (

Library Hosts Usborne Book Fair Dec 6 – 9. The book fair will be in our school library Monday 12/6-Thursday 12/9. Students will be able to view available items during their checkout time in library class.

Book Fair will be open for purchases during lunch time and after school with an adult until 3:15pm Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. On Wednesday it will be open at lunch time and after school until 1:00pm

All proceeds support our Cherry Crest library in the form of new books for students. Come support the Cherry Crest library AND stock up on great books and activities for the Winter Break!

Check out the Usborne website:

Need recommendations or have questions? Email Mrs. Lux (Cherry Crest librarian)

Library Volunteers Wanted. Parents/Adult Family Members: If you are interested in volunteering during a library class time Mrs. Lux has now scheduled trainings for library volunteers.  If you have NOT volunteered before in our library PLEASE plan on attending a 20 minute training first by following this link:

IF you have already volunteered please contact Mrs. Lux at: for the signup genius link to start volunteering and/or ask any questions you may have.

All volunteers need to be fully vaccinated AND have the BSD volunteer background check completed before starting.  For more information on volunteering in BSD go to the BSD Volunteer Website:  Click on lower left green button, “Volunteer as a Parent or Guardian”, and it will take to you Sterling Volunteers. You will need your student’s ID# ____.

If you have questions about your status or how to get approved, email:

Principal Chat on Friday 12/10 @ 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.

We’re Hiring! As of December, we will have one unfilled General School Assistant (GSA) vacancy at Cherry Crest. Hiring is challenging right now and many new applicants have already been hired. We’re seeking someone from our community who meets the hiring requirements (see job post) and who loves kids! This position is a fulltime classified position at a little over 31 hours per week. We love our GSAs and can’t function as a building without them! You often see our GSAs in bright colored vests at both morning arrival and afternoon pickup. We’d love to have you come on board! If you’re interested, please contact Erin Stedman for more information at You can also view the open position HERE. Thanks!

At times our GSAs are out of the building and substitutes are hard to come by, often leaving several vacancies open on a single day. This requires an all hands on deck approach! If you meet the requirements and would like to be a substitute General School Assistant, please apply HERE.

The Art Reflections program has been completed for this year at school level. Students and families are invited to view the online art show via Padlet and vote for your favorite.

Smarter Balanced Assessment Student Scores Now Available.  Students and parents/guardians are now able to view results from the Fall 2021 Smarter Balanced ELA and Math tests. StudentVue and ParentVue will display test date, subject, and proficiency level – in the test history table. The more elaborate, traditional SBA Family Score Reports (with Fall 2021 results) will be available in February.  Using and Accessing Student Vue/Parent Vue.

Additionally, BSD has launched a Guide To Assessments page featuring information about Star Reading & Math testing followed by an explanation of the unique Fall 2021 state SBA tests.  In the future, we will be adding additional content on various assessments.

Levies to support our students. BSD is asking voters to consider renewing two school levies in February 2022.  One of these levies is the Educational Programs and Operations Levy. While the state provides some funding for our district, it is not enough to support our students’ needs. One critical position that is funded by the EP&O Levy is school nurses. The state funds just three full-time nurses for our entire district. Funding from the levy helps us employ 23 nurses districtwide to keep students healthy and safe. This levy also funds counselors and mental health supports and important programs like band, orchestra, and athletics. The EP&O Levy provides funding for critical staff and resources to ensure the wellbeing of our students and help them stay healthy and engaged.

More details about renewing the February 8, 2022  EP&O Levy as well as the Technology and Capital Projects levy are on the BSD School Levies page.

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!

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.

Bellevue School District follows King County Public Health and CDC travel guidance, posted here. We ask all students who are not fully vaccinated to quarantine at home for 7 days and get a COVID test on day 3-5 after return.

Counselor Corner. Hello Cherry Crest families!  My website is officially up and running!  Take a look at the resources available to families on a variety of topics: Ms. Mykela’s Counseling Corner Website.

I also wanted to share some resources around several December celebrations.  Check them out below!

  • Universal Human Rights Month
    • Check out this list of read-alouds related to human rights and social justice you can read as a family.
    • Make a family map together – How have the rights your family members and the people around them changed over time? What chaused these changes? And/or what changes do you think still need to be made?
  • International Day of Persons with Disabilities (12/3)
    • The Center from Parent Information & Resources has a whole host of ideas for increasing disability awareness within yourself and your family.
    • Borrow from the library, purchase from a local book store, or find a read-aloud on YouTube of the book “Just Ask” by Sonia Sotomayor. You can read a short summary of the book HERE.

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.

Ms. Mykela – Cherry Crest Counselor

Nurse News. We want to also remind all our families and staff that if you were experiencing symptoms of cold or illness (or it begins during break), that the return to school protocols will be expected for return to school Monday. Covid test results should be sent to

If you need help determining if you or your student should have a Covid test over the break, please refer to the Department of Health COVID Decision Tree for guidance. Thank you for considering the health and safety of our community when returning from a break!

School Options for the 2022-23 School Year. This year, the Open Transfer (formerly Open Enrollment) and Choice School/Program application period are during the same time period – December 6, 2021 through January 14, 2022.  Open Transfer Applications for the 2022-23 school year will be accepted beginning Monday December 6, 2021. The application period will close Friday January 14, 2022 at 4:30 p.m. Results will be emailed in February for high school, March for middle school, and April for elementary school.

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


K/1 Reading Buddies. In an effort to increase access and participation for our Reading Buddies program, we have created a brief (<5 minute) form for our Kindergarten and 1st grade families to complete.  Thank you so much for taking the time to give us your thoughts and feedback about how we can make this program more accessible for you and your Kinder or 1st grade student!

Cherry Crest Reading Buddies Survey

If you have any questions, please reach out to our School Counselor, Mykela Fantone, at

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. 

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.