Cherry Crest Chronicler

November 1, 2022

Dear Charger Families,

Welcome to November! As the days get shorter and the weather gets colder, Cherry Crest staff and students are digging into learning.  This month, along with the traditional Thanksgiving holiday, we also recognize Veteran’s Day (11/11) and American Indian and Alaskan Native Heritage Month.  We’ll share more about all of this in the coming week.  In the meantime, thank you for taking a few minutes to review the important dates and announcements shared in the parent newsletter below.   As always, don’t hesitate to reach out with any comments or questions.


Dusty Steere, Principal Cherry Crest Elementary


November 6                     Daylight Savings Time Ends
November 8                     Election Day (don’t forget to vote)
November 10                   Principal Chat @ 8:30 am Join Microsoft Teams Meeting
November 11                    No School – Veterans Day
November 14                   Picture Retake Day & Class Group Photo Day
November 17                   Spelling Bee Preliminary Round @ 6:30 pm (Grades 1 – 5)
November 21                   Final Date for Art Reflections
November 23                   Readathon Kickoff – Pajama day at school!
November 23 – 27           Cherry Crest Read-a-thon
November 24 – 25           No School – Thanksgiving Holiday

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

Cherry Crest Green Team and Food Share Program.  Cherry Crest is launching the Green Team project along with the School Food Share program for this school year. This means your student is learning about waste reduction and specifically what to do with unused food items while in the lunchroom.  View the Green Team School Food Share Presentation to see the short PowerPoint lesson shared with students beginning October 27th.  Please ask your student about the different things they can do during lunch to help.

Additionally, students in grades 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade can volunteer to be part of the Green Team at lunch helping their own grade and a younger grade follow through on what they have learned.  If your child is interested in being on the Green Team please contact Britt Heath, Green Team Coordinator at

Parents, too, can be can be a part of our Green Team and help during lunch. If you are interested,  please sign up here  If you want more information, contact Britt Heath, Green Team Coordinator at

Principal Chat on Thursday 11/10 @ 8:30 am.  Cherry Crest families are invited to attend monthly virtual meetings hosted by Principal Dusty Steere and PTSA leadership.  This month, we are meeting on Thursday due to Veterans Day and no school on 11/11.

Based on feedback from parents, this chat is titled “Taking the Crazy Out of Your Child’s Birthday Party: Educator Tips/Tricks for Managing Groups”.  Principal Dusty Steere and librarian Janna Lux will share their thoughts and ideas on how to effectively manage larger groups of kids in a safe and sane manner – whether that be hosting a playdate, birthday party, or serving as a volunteer at Spelling Bee.   Use this form to submit a question in advance for Mr. Steere and Mrs. Lux.  We will also field questions from the parents joining live.

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

Class Photo and Picture Retake Day on November 14th. Whole class group photos are scheduled for Monday November 14th.  These photos will be used in the year end Yearbook and made available for purchase through Life Touch.  

If your child missed individual photos last month or you want a retake photo, here are the details for doing so:

  • Please visit:
  • Enter Picture Day ID Code: EVT8NBD89 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, for distribution.

Ready, Set…Read!  Read-a-thon is Cherry Crest PTSA’s first major fundraiser of the school year. This exciting school-wide event encourages students to use the reading skills they develop in class to raise funds to support Cherry Crest. Students gather sponsors to pledge money, read from November 23 – 27 (over the Thanksgiving break), and earn prizes.  This crucial funding helps maintain the educational programs and additional in-class support staff that distinguish Cherry Crest as a top school!

Important Dates:

November 14-18 – Read-a-thon presentation during Library time, packets go home in backpacks!

November 23 – PJ party to kick-off Read-a-thon

November 23-27 – Read! Read! Read!

December 2 – Reading Minutes and Donations due

December 9 – Winners announced!

Call for Art Reflections 2022/23 Student Submissions by November 21st

·       This year’s theme is “show your voice” and art categories are Dance Choreography, Film production, Literature, Music composition, Photography and Visual Arts
·       The formats for submission are available at
·       All entries will be collected two Mondays, 14th and 21st of November 2022 at school 2-3 PM for display December 6-8. Please also submit complete electronic versions by Monday, November 21st using the google form on the reflections page.

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 ( 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 prior to November 4th.
  • Results will be out in mid-November. Teacher-level reports are only 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 or (425) 456-4274.

Recess clothing. Please help your child to dress appropriately for Washington recess weather….rain! While we do have a covered play area, many students feel compelled to brave the elements and run through the puddles. The main office does not have extra sets of dry clothes for wet students. In these instances, the natural consequence is that students sit through an afternoon with wet socks and shoes.  As such, thank you for sending your child to school with warm rain jackets and weather-sturdy shoes.

Time to Check the Lost and Found.   The Lost and Found is overflowing with jackets, lunchboxes and other items.  Unclaimed items will be donated to charity after Thanksgiving.  Please check the rack located outside our main entrance.

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.  Resources for…


  • Take a virtual tour with your students through the Sitka Totem Trail located in Sitka, Alaska. Each totem pole is highlighted with multiple close-up photos of various elements, descriptions, and information about the artists and their own tribal identities.
  • Explore our own backyard with your students by viewing what territories, languages, and treaties are and were present in the land we live on today: Native Land Digital


  • Food is an essential element of so many cultures – To explore through the diverse world of Native foods, check out a few recipes from Indigenous Chefs

Explore this list together with your students of some wonderful read-alouds and Children’s Books by Indigenous Authors

National Gratitude Month.  Resources for…


  • We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga by Traci Sorell (a member of the Cherokee Nation) is a great one to share with your students. What things from the book do they also feel grateful for? What things from their own lives would they add?
  • Here are some really fun classroom gratitude activity ideas including a gratitude walk, a STEM gratitude tower, student spotlights, and a class-wide gratitude tree.


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.

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 Thank you for including your child’s full name when emailing for any attendance related matters.

Traffic Safety Reminders.  As the weather gets colder and wetter, inevitably the morning traffic around Cherry Crest gets worse.  This happens because 1) more families choose to drive their child to school in foul weather and 2) loading and unloading takes longer in the rain.  I have heard about and witnessed an increase in unsafe parent driving and inappropriate verbal responses due to the increased wait. This is not okay and sets a poor example for our children who watch us very closely.

If you are running late, please DO NOT let your child out of your car outside of supervised areas.  I care much more about student safety than I do about your child being a couple of minutes late to class.

For the safety of all our children, please review and adhere to Cherry Crest pickup, dropoff and parking procedures.

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.