Cherry Crest LogoCherry Crest Chronicler

February 1, 2022

Dear Cherry Crest Families,

It’s hard to believe but we are now more than halfway through the 2021-22 school year.  In fact, the first semester concluded on Friday and teachers are now in the process of completing progress reports to share with families next week.  With respect to progress reports, I’m below a letter that was penned by a 2nd grade teacher at Spiritridge Elementary which largely summarizes what we – Cherry Crest teachers – want you –  Cherry Crest families – to know and understand about the unique measurement and reporting of student progress this year.

Over the past two years of a pandemic, life has changed. Education has seen many changes too. For a year or more, students were learning remotely. This was not a perfect way to learn, and there were some parts of a usual year which teachers could not teach well, or at all.

Since coming back to school in September, teachers and schools have focused strongly on students’ social and emotional skills. After a year or more without meeting other children regularly, they needed to re-learn and build some of these skills.

This semester, teachers have given a lot more time to building community, teaching essential skills of solving problems and working together, and understanding students’ particular needs and challenges. Many needed to build their confidence, or to practice some essential learning habits. After major disruptions to learning, SEL is even more critical to enable student healing, connection, and learning.

Of course, this meant a little less time for teaching the usual curriculum.

The needs of our students are different too. And the job of a teacher is very different this year. We educators are proud of how we are helping children navigate their social and academic environments. And we are proud of the enthusiasm that our students bring, and of all the growth they have made.

All this is to say that progress reports are less flexible than life in the classroom. For this, we still need to grade students by the learning standards, even though we have had less time to work towards these. There will be more ‘2’ grades than usual, and fewer ‘3’s and ‘4’s.

Please know that this does not mean your student is “behind”. Rest assured that all students, across the district and around the world, are settling into the pace and structure of a “typical” school day.

There isn’t a grade for “tried hard to share”, or “learned to manage big emotions”, or “became less shy”. But these are the areas which are most important to us at this point in this year and will lay the foundation for current and future academic successes.

There was value in the Progressing/Not Progressing grading system we used last year, where students who showed growth received a ‘P’. A grade of ‘2’ is a “progressing” grade, and this is what is important. A grade of ‘2’ or ‘1’ this semester might sometimes say more about how our classroom time needed to be used this year than about your child’s skill in that area. When it is specific to a student, teachers will work to identify gaps in learning and bring that grade towards a ‘3’.

We will continue to teach, support and especially encourage children towards their best- academically, socially and emotionally, and as growing people- and we value your partnership in this.

Progress will be available via BSD online platform ParentVue and StudentVue beginning Friday February 11th. Directions for Parents to access Elementary Progress Reports Online:

If you have any trouble accessing Elementary Progress Reports or would like a hard copy sent home via student backpack or mail, please reach out to your child’s teacher. 

Below are three helpful tips or reminders to support families in discussing students’ performance in school:

1. Click here for a single page explanation of progress report scores in a more in-depth manner. Please contact your child’s teacher if you have any questions.

2. Based on a research study by Carol Dweck at Stanford, research suggests that when we praise students for their effort vs. their intelligence, they are more likely to continue to persevere and work hard at doing their best, when faced with a challenging task. Thus resulting in creating a growth mindset vs. a fixed mindset. (4 minute video overview)

3. Click here for a few great tips for parents on discussing progress reports with your child.

Thank you for your continued partnership in helping to support your child’s social, emotional and academic growth at Cherry Crest Elementary.


Dusty Steere, Principal Cherry Crest Elementary


11           Virtual Principal Chat @ 8:30 am Join Microsoft Teams Meeting
11           First Semester Progress Reports available via StudentVue
21-25      No School (Midwinter Break)

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

February is Black History Month.  The first week of February is identified as Black Lives Matter at School week and is the launch of Black History Month. We stand with Black students at Cherry Crest and in Bellevue recognizing that the racial and cultural diversity of our student population is one of our strengths as a school and district. 

Building on resources provided by our school’s Racial Equity & Inclusion team, many teachers and classrooms  are learning and working together to inspire and lead for racial equity. As schoolwide project, students and staff are contributing to two collective displays at school this month:

  • The collective display in Charger Stadium is to showcase past and present icons in Black History and Culture. Participation is invited in the following ways:
    • add faces and names of figures you admire and would like to acknowledge from your own reading
    • Showcase some Black changemakers and engineers from the linked lists.
  • The display by the staircase is the timeline of Local Black History. Your support and engagement can occur in the following ways:
    • Add some local figures and events in support of Black History by searching these lists of Washington based Black leaders and Black Females
    • Add ideas to the poster of why we celebrate Black History and Culture and how we can do that here at Cherry Crest
    • Add some ways you consume and celebrate Black history and culture

Cherry Crest families are invited to contribute to the construction of the collective displays outlined above.  Please reach out to your child’s teacher or to principals Erin Stedman and Dusty Steere for more details.

Reusable Utensils Now at Cherry Crest Elementary. Cherry Crest Elementary is pleased to announce that we switched to reusable utensils in the cafeteria on January 27th, through a grant from Department of Ecology and City of Bellevue.

We estimate this will save more than 47,000 disposable plastic utensils from the landfill in one school year.  If you see any of these new school utensils at home or in a classroom- please send them back to school so they can stay in the cycle.

Thank you for your cooperation in participating in this program!

Family Engagement Survey. It’s not too late to share your feedback by February 1, 2022. Your opinion is extremely valuable, and the information collected from this survey helps inform Cherry Crest decisions and guidance.   Please check your email for a message sent on Tuesday January 4th from BSD.

Ballots are here! Remember to vote by Tuesday, February 8. All Bellevue School District voters should have received a ballot in the mail. We have two levy renewals on the ballot to support our students, staff and schools.

These two levies are not new taxes but replace current levies that expire later this year. The levies continue funding for staff, academic programs, technology and building repairs. You can learn all about Propositions 1 and 2 at

Want to know more about how to register to vote in King County, how to vote, or what to do if you lost your ballot? Check out King County Elections at

Principal Chat on Friday 2/11 @ 8:30 am.  Cherry Crest families are invited to attend monthly virtual meetings hosted by Principal Dusty Steere and PTSA leadership.  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 – 9:15 am:  Feb 11, March 25, Apr 29, June 3

Join Microsoft Teams Meeting

Proactively Report Absence, Illness, Appointments: When you child know your child will miss all or part of a school day due to illness or an appointment, please email Cherry Crest Attendance or call 425-456-4902. When leaving a message, be sure to include your child’s first and last name, grade level and the reason for the absence.

For prearranged absences of three of more days, a prior approval form submitted to the teacher and principal must be completed two weeks prior to the absence. Prearranged absence forms can be accessed on our website here or contact if you’re unable to access the form online.

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.