Cherry Crest LogoCherry Crest Chronicler

February 1, 2023

Dear Cherry Crest Families,

It’s hard to believe but we are now more than halfway through the 2022-23 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.  Progress will be available via BSD online platform ParentVue and StudentVue beginning Friday February 10th. 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 below 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


2             Spelling Bee Finals @ 6:30 pm
3            Science Experiment Night at Cherry Crest hosted by Science club
10           First Semester Progress Reports available via StudentVue
10           5th Grade Yearbook Contest Submissions due
20-24     No School (Midwinter Break)

8            Family Engineering Night @ 5:45 pm
31           Variety Show @ 6 pm

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. 

In February and beyond, staff are working to provide students exposure to a wide range of Black history, culture, and experiences; to go beyond MLK and Rosa Parks and dive deeper into the diversity of Black scientists, mathematicians, inventors, athletes, musicians and artists.  Student learning and projects across the grades are being showcased in the hallways and cafe. 

Cherry Crest families are invited to participate and contribute to our collective learning.  Resources include some Black changemakers and engineers as well as local Black leaders and Black Females.   Reach out to your child’s teacher or principal Dusty Steere to contribute.

Family Engagement Survey….Your Voice Matters!   In mid January, all BSD families received an email invitation to participate in the annual Family Engagement Survey.  Responses to this survey are extremely valuable to us and the information collected from this survey helps inform decisions that impact your child.  As of Feb 1, the Cherry Crest Family Response Rate was just 17%!!   I know we can do better.  Please look for an email from Panorama Education, dated Tuesday, January 17, 2023, with a survey link and instructions.  The survey window closes February 14th.

For more information, please visit: Family Engagement Survey

5th Grade Yearbook Cover Contest.  Students are asked to submit their cover design around the theme “Spread Kindness like Confetti” to the PTSA mailbox (in main office) by Feb 10th – the winner will be featured on the yearbook cover and the winner will also be this year’s Walk-a-thon shirt design!

Emergency Preparedness. On January 30, we held a fire drill in the building with all grades K-5. We complete a new drill each month to practice safety in the building.

Students and staff exited the building quickly, evacuating to the field in line formation. We took attendance and all students and staff were accounted for.  Students did an excellent job exiting quickly and then remained silent while we verified attendance and analyzed the situation at our command center.

Fire safety is important both in the school building and at home. Here is a short video to help your child think of ways they can practice drills at home. Family evacuation planning is an important step to ensuring children know what to do if a fire starts at home. Be sure to talk to your student about today’s drill.

On another note, Bellevue School District has updated its policy for exterior doors on all school buildings.  As of January 27, all exterior doors, except for the front door that leads to the vestibule before entering the office, will remain locked throughout the school day.  Prior to now, doors would be unlocked during recesses, which is no longer the case.

If you have any questions, please reach out to Kjell Mattson, Dean of Students at Cherry Crest Elementary

Family Engineering Night is coming March 8th. Save the date to have your family join us at Cherry Crest for the much beloved Family Engineering Night. We encourage all family members of the Cherry Crest students to come and enjoy the fun and challenge together!

Event is 5:45 to 7:45 pm on Wednesday 3/8.  While families can come and go as you please, we encourage you to maximize your time to try to do all the challenges!

The night will include:

  • 14 separate engineering challenges for your family to do together.  Try to do them all as you work your way around the school!
  • 2 high school robotics teams demonstrations
  • Bee bot programming
  • Coding

How to tell the difference between Conflict and Bullying.  Everyone experiences conflict.  It is a normal part of life and learning how to address and manage conflict is an important social and emotional learning (SEL) skill that parents and educators should teach, model and reinforce.  Unlike conflict, bullying is not normal or healthy.  For students and parents alike, it is important to understand the difference between conflict and bullying.  At Cherry Crest, our teachers and counselors provide explicit SEL instruction including a Bullying Prevention Unit (BPU) that helps students to:

  • Recognize when bullying is happening
  • Report bullying to a caring adult
  • Refuse to let bullying happen to themselves or others
  • Be an Upstander who stands up and is part of the solution to bullying

Families are encouraged to ask your children about these 3 Rs of bullying prevention (which are different than our school’s common behavior expectations of Respect, Responsibility and Readiness).  Parents and caregivers are also encouraged to explore and understand the difference between conflict and bullying via this quick 3 minute article from

You can also learn more about what our students are learning within the Bully Prevention Unit on Create an account and input the family access codes for your student(s)’ grade level(s) listed below:

  • Kinder: ​BPUK FAMI LY00
  • 1st: BPU1 FAMI LY01
  • 2nd: BPU2 FAMI LY02
  • 3rd: BPU3 FAMI LY03
  • 4th: BPU4 FAMI LY04
  • 5th: BPU5 FAMI LY05

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

Counselor’s Corner. Hi Cherry Crest families!  I wanted to share some resources around Black History Month and Friendship Month.  Here are a few places to get you started with celebrating and honoring these occasions.

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!

Proactively Report Absence, Illness, Appointments: When you know your child will miss all or part of a school day due to illness or an appointment, please email Cherry Crest Attendance [email protected] 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 [email protected] if you’re unable to access the form online.

G5 Curriculum Enhancement. We’re looking for one or two more parents to help organize Curriculum Enhancement programs for our class.  All the work is done remotely – contacting vendors and working with G5 teachers to schedule outings (and transportation, if needed).  Please contact Nitin Gupta, Vice President of Curriculum Enhancement, to learn more.  His e-mail is [email protected]. This is a great opportunity for parents to participate in helping their student grade plan for field trips.

Local Author to Visit 4th grade.  On February 10th, all fourth grade students will enjoy a visit with author Christine Day thanks to grants from Bellevue Schools Foundation and the Cherry Crest PTSA!  Ms. Day is a local, Native author of the books “I Can Make This Promise”, “Sea in Winter”, and other incredible stories.  The author visit allows students to engage in a writing workshop with an acclaimed writer, hearing a few of her best storytelling tips and suggestions.  We are so excited that our students get this opportunity!

Cherry Crest Robotics Teams Win Awards at FLL Western Washington Robotics State Championship.  Several teams of Cherry Crest students competed at the FIRST LEGO LEAGUE Western Washington Robotics State Championship held at Amazon HQ on Jan 29th, 2023 having previously been selected in the qualifiers and semi-finals rounds.

Team #39794 TUCOPSBI won the Core Values Champion Award at the tournament. This team comprises of the following Cherry Crest students – Amitesh Karthik (5th grade), Saanvi Varanasi (5th grade), Saketh Bodapotula (5th grade), Shaurya Jain (5th grade), and a Cherry Crest Alumni – Nidhi Kurup (6th grade).

Team #57637 The Flaming Cyber Tigers placed 3rd in the Robot Performance category. This team comprises of the following Cherry Crest students – Aarush Neerudu (5th grade), Advik Jain, (5th grade), Sahith Cherupally, (5th grade) and Cherry Crest Alumni – Aadit Saxena (6th grade), Pranav Reddy Annapureddy (6th grade).

Congratulations to the winners and all the Cherry Crest teams that reached this level of competition!

In other news, the Robotics team “42 Watts” with students from Odle Middle School and Cherry Crest Elementary competed at the Western Washington State First Lego League Championship held on January 29th. They won the Champions Awards and the Robot Performance Award with a high score of 400. They will be representing Washington State in a world competition. Congratulations 42 Watts!

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.