Cherry Crest Chronicler

December 1, 2022

Dear Charger Families,

Confession.  As a parent, I still battle with my children (ages 19, 16 & 13) about how much time they spend in front of their screens (computer, video games, phone, TV, etc).  My wife and I work hard to be fair minded and measured in how and when they access the ubiquity of technology all around us.  As such, I was very interested when a fellow BSD colleague shared the following tips from Common Sense Media on 5 Simple Steps to a Healthy Family Media Diet.

  1. Find Balance:  Instead of counting daily screen-time minutes, aim for a balance throughout the week. Get your kids to help plan a week that includes stuff they have to do and stuff they like to do, such as schoolwork, activities, chores, reading, family time, and TV or gaming. Decide on limits and behavior using our Family Media Agreement.
  2. Walk the Walk: Put your devices away while driving, at mealtimes (learn about our Device-Free Dinner initiative), and during important conversations. Kids will learn habits from you.
  3. Talk About it: Ask questions about kids’ favorite games, shows, and characters. Discuss ideas and issues they read about or learn about through a TV show or a game. This is an opportunity for bonding, learning, and sharing your values.
  4. Create Tech Free Zones: Set rules that fit your family, such as “no devices during dinner,” “no social media during homework,” or “all screens off before bedtime.”
  5. Check Ratings: Choose age-appropriate, high-quality media and tech for your kids. Use our reviews to find good stuff.

For more information check out 


Dusty Steere, Principal


Dec 2              Read-a-thon Donations and Reading Minutes Due!
Dec 5 – 9        Book Fair in Library (details below)
Dec 6 – 9       Art Reflections student work displayed outside Library (with People’s Choice voting!)
Dec 5 – 16      Donation boxes out for Used Book Fundraiser (details below)
Dec 9              Read-a-thon prizes distributed
Dec 16            Last Day of School prior to Winter Break
Dec 16            Lost & Found items donated to charity
Jan 3              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 2nd. Thank you for participating in the Cherry Crest Read-a-thon and pajama day. Read-a-thon donations are due by Friday December 2nd to be eligible for prizes!

Donate here:

Submit reading minutes here:

Please help us reach our school wide goal of raising $50,000 together so we can maintain the educational programs and additional classroom support staff that distinguish Cherry Crest as a top school!  A special “Sip In” story time for your entire class, a Cherry Crest Journal, a Cherry Crest 4-ink pen with stylus – your student can earn these and more!

Prize winners will be announced by Principal Dusty Steere and Librarian Janna Lux on December 9. Questions? Visit or contact us directly at [email protected].

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 on December 16th.  Please check the rack located outside our main entrance.

Jubilee REACH – ‘Groceries for Families’  If you need support with groceries and hygiene items, please connect with Vanessa Sanchez from our Family Connection Center. She can get you connected with this support through the Jubilee Reach Groceries for Families program.  [email protected] or 425-456-6688

Nurse News. We continue to follow Department of Health Guidelines regarding when your student should stay home. You student MUST remain home if they have ANY ONE of these symptoms.

  • Fever (and must be fever-free for 24 hours without any medication before returning to school).
  • Cough, Shortness of breath, difficulty breathing
  • Muscle or body aches
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Nausea, vomiting (and must be vomit-free for 24 hours before returning to school), or diarrhea
  • Fatigue (even “post-4 day weekend tiredness”)
  • Sore throat
  • Nasal Congestion or runny nose

 Your student may return to school the following day (aside from fever or vomiting) if they have a NEGATIVE COVID test AND SYMPTOMS ARE SIGNIFICANTLY IMPROVED. Check out the Department of Health Symptom Flow Chart here.

Library Hosts Usborne Book Fair Dec 5 – 9.  Shop after school (Mon – Thurs) or during lunch recess (Friday only) OR online anytime, now through December 9 at

We’re very excited to share these books and the fun of reading with you! Whether you’re into stories or sticker books, you’ll find something for everyone at this year’s fair. Our school earns 50% back in books for the library, so it is win-win to purchase books for your home, knowing your child will benefit here at school as well. Please consider the book fair for some of your holiday shopping – online shopping link may be shared with friends & family as well!

Need recommendations? Or have questions?  Please contact Mrs. Lux at:  [email protected] or our UBAM representative: ASHLEY DEPNER at [email protected] or CELL/TEXT: (425) 269-4593

Counselor’s Corner. Hi Cherry Crest families!  I wanted to share some resources around Universal Human Rights Month and International Day of Persons with Disabilities (12/3).  Here are a few places to get you started with celebrating and honoring these occasions.

  • 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 caused these changes? And/or what changes do you think still need to be made?
  • The Center for 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. This is a great place to start conversations! You can read a short summary about the book HERE.

Please feel free to reach out any time for support or resources of any kind.  My website also is a great resource for all sorts of topics: Ms. Mykela’s Website.  Not finding what you need?  Let me know by emailing me at: [email protected]. I’m here for you and your family!

Used Book Fundraiser.  Do you have any gently used books that you’d like others in the Cherry Crest community to enjoy? Please consider donating them to the Cherry Crest Used Book Fundraiser!

This first ever Used Book Fundraiser is scheduled to take place in the Cherry Crest Café on Friday, January 20th. We need your help to collect enough gently used books to make the event a success.

Important Dates for the Used Book Fundraiser:

  • Dec 5-16 & Jan 3-18:  Students drop off gently used books in collections boxes outside their classroom.
  • Jan 20:  Used Book Fundraiser after school in the café.

Holiday Blown Glass Sale.   Sammamish High School is hosting their annual Holiday Blown Glass Sale on Wednesday December 7th from 3 – 6 pm at the high school.  Bring your own bag (they have plenty of packing materials).  Payment is by cash or check and all proceeds benefit the SHS Glassblowing classes.

We’re Hiring! As of January, we will have an unfilled General School Assistant (GSA) vacancy at Cherry Crest.  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 Dusty Steere for more information at [email protected]. You can also view and apply for the open position HERE.

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 [email protected] with any questions.

Coming Soon: Open Transfer and Choice School Lottery.   The Open Transfer and Choice Schools/Program application period for the 2023-24 school year will be from December 5, 2022, to January 13, 2023.   Please review the Open Transfer and Choice Schools & Programs webpages and the frequently asked questions for each to learn more about the application process and programs offered.

Inclement Weather and Potential School Closure Information.  Winter is quickly approaching, which may bring unpredictable weather. BSD encourages families to take the time to revisit the district’s emergency closure schedule protocols and our emergency closure decision-making process. During instances of inclement weather or severe conditions that could result in a delayed or canceled school day, BSD will communicate any schedule changes to families through direct messages, including email, text message, phone call, social media, FlashAlert, local media and posts to

For specific questions regarding community partner programming and to confirm day-to-day schedules, we suggest contacting community providers directly. BSD partner programs such as Boys & Girls Club of Bellevue will typically communicate directly with participating families on operations, plans, etc. In most instances, community partner programming will follow district precedent for emergency closures (I.e., if schools are closed, they will also be closed).

Additionally, due to the current bus driver shortage and illnesses circulating across the region, the number of bus drivers available to transport students on any given day is fluctuating. As standard and daily practice, BSD Transportation assesses which routes can be covered based on driver availability. If your student’s route has been cancelled on any given day, you will be notified via the parent portal through Edulog, by 5:30 a.m. that morning. Sign up for Edulog here. You will also receive communication via email, phone call and text message through SchoolMessenger according to your preferred methods of communication provided in ParentVUE. Learn how to update your preferences.

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.