Cherry Crest LogoCherry Crest Chronicler

March 1, 2023

Dear Charger Families,

I hope you and your family were able to enjoy some downtime during the mid-winter break last week.  With February in our rear view mirror, March marks 6 months since school began and since Assistant Principal Erin Stedman went on maternity leave.  We look forward to welcoming Erin back to Cherry Crest on March 13th.  In her absence, Kjell Mattson has served as our dean of students and administrative intern.  He has done a fantastic job supporting students, staff and families while learning the role of principal and building leader.  Kjell and Erin will have 10 days of transition prior to his last day at Cherry Crest on March 24th.  Then through the end of the school year, Kjell will provide administrative support in other buildings.  Please join me in thanking Kjell for his fabulous support and service!

The newsletter below is full of important information and upcoming events.  Thank you for taking a few minutes to read and respond.  As always, if you have any questions, reach out to me directly ([email protected]).

In partnership,


Dusty Steere, Principal Cherry Crest Elementary


3        Virtual Principal Chat @ 8:30 am Join Via Teams
6-9     Scholastic Book Fair
8         Family Engineering Night @ 5:45 – 7:45 pm
13       Odle & Highland Counselors visit 5th graders with middle school registration information
15        Kindergarten Parent Information Night @ 6:00 pm
17        No School for Students – professional learning day for teachers
31       PTSA Variety Show @ 6:00 – 8:00 pm

10-14   No School (Spring Break)

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

Principal Chat on Friday 3/3 @ 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.

Family Engineering Night Wednesday March 8th. Save the date to have your family join us at Cherry Crest for the much beloved Family Engineering Night March 8th from 5:45 to 7:45 pm. We encourage all family members of Cherry Crest students to come and enjoy the fun and challenge together!  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:

  • 3 main challenges – boat building, launcher, mining for chocolate
  • 9 quick challenges
  • High school robotics teams demonstrations
  • Bee bot and Ozo bot programming
  • Coding

We cannot do this without help – Please Sign up to bring supplies or volunteer to set up or clean up.  We need many teen volunteers for the event as well (work that is eligible for community service hours).

Spring Book Fair! We are thrilled to announce this year’s Spring Scholastic Cherry Crest Book Fair! It will be held in-person from Monday March 6th-Thursday March 9th.

  • Students ONLY will be able to shop at their lunch recess with a pass from their teacher (to limit the number of students in the library at a time).
  • Parents/families are able to shop during afterschool hours and on Wednesday evening (see hours below).
  • Prefer to shop online?  Go to  from 3/6-3/19.
  • We encourage using the CASHLESS eWallet provided by Scholastic.  eWallet allows parents/guardians/family members to set up an account for their student(s) with a preset amount of money.  Using eWallet avoids lost bills/change at school and upset students.  If this won’t work for your family we will have one register open for cash sales.  See below for more details.  If you used eWallet last year, any $ left on that account has automatically been transferred.
  • More information on eWallet and FAQ’s go to: LINK
  • IF you would like to volunteer for book fair, please go to:

Parents/Guardians are welcome to come AFTER SCHOOL and shop with their student(s)  3/6-3/9 and use a credit card, cash or check.  The book fair will also be open from 5:45 – 7:00 pm on Wednesday night in conjunction with our Family Engineering Night.

Afterschool hours:  *All students MUST be accompanied by an adult

  • Mon. 3/6 2:30-3:30 pm
  • Tues. 3/8 2:30-4:30 pm
  • Wed. 3/9 12:15-1:00 +  5:45 – 7:00 pm
  • Thur. 3/10 2:30-4:00  *Last Day*

If you have questions, please contact [email protected] or Mrs. Lux at [email protected]

Cherry Crest Kindergarten Information Session Wednesday March 15th @ 6:00 pm.  This event is designed for families starting kindergarten next school year (2023-24).  Our presentation includes information about the kindergarten learning experience, how to register, and a brief tour of the school and the kindergarten classrooms.  Please share this date and time with any incoming kindergarten families for the 2023-24 school year.

Mark your calendars for the Cherry Crest Variety Show & Online Auction Friday March 31 @ 6:00 pm.  Come celebrate the amazing talents of Cherry Crest students [and staff] as we build community, have fun, and raise funds for our school!  At the show, you’ll be able to see and bid on class art projects, school and family experiences, and other local goods and services.

Counselor’s Corner. Hi Cherry Crest families!  I wanted to share a resource and some family conversation prompts around Women’s History Month this time around.  Here are a few places to get you started with celebrating and honoring this occasion.

  • Wondering how to celebrate Women’s History Month at home with your students? Here’s a list of 11 fun activities to get you started!
  • Women’s History Month is a great time to talk about inequities within our society. Why do we need to celebrate and lift up women’s history in particular? Why does this continue to be important today? What other groups within our society historically have been (and continue to be) marginalized? How can we be part of the change?

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!

2023-24 School Calendar.  Next year, school starts on Tuesday, September 5th.  For planning purposes, a printable 2023-2024 Calendar of School Dates is available on the BSD website here.

Paying for School Lunches.  Payment for school lunches and/or milk can be made in the following ways:

  • Checks and cash are accepted in the main office and credited to your child’s account.  Checks should be payable to Bellevue School District (or BSD)
    • Consider a deposit of $20 or more so your child won’t worry about getting lunches.
    • Any unused amount will stay in your child’s account through high school and will be refunded.
    • If a student does not have sufficient funds to pay for a school meal, it is the policy of the Bellevue School District to allow the student to charge their meal. However, we suggest making a deposit of $20 or more to prevent hassles.
  • Student meals may also be paid for with a credit card online or by phone using PayPams. PayPams requires the Student’s ID number to create an account. PayPAMS will charge a $1.95 fee per family, rather than per student for online payments. Parents may monitor their student’s account history and view purchases without a fee.
  • View Meal Prices and access PayPAMS here.

Smarter Balanced Testing. This spring students in grades 3-5 are required to complete the Smarter Balanced Assessment for English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics online per WA State law requirements for public schools. 5th grade students are required to also take the Washington State Assessment for Science.

Find below a draft of our testing schedule this spring. Please avoid scheduling vacations or time away from school during these important assessment windows. Vacation requests may not be granted if they conflict with state standardized testing.*

*Please note that dates may change

English Language Arts (ELA) Math Science 
3rd Grade May 30 & June 1 June 5 & 6  N/A
4th Grade May 16 & 18 May 23 & 26  N/A
5th Grade April 25 & 28 May 2 & 5 May 25

The Washington Comprehensive Assessment Program website contains test-related resources for parents and students: You can also try out a Smarter Balanced practice or training test at home!

For more information, contact Cherry Crest Assistant Principal, Erin Stedman ([email protected]), or Chris Lindberg, BSD manager of state testing ([email protected]). To opt out of testing, you can complete a form and submit directly to Erin Stedman. If you’d like to receive a copy of this form, please email Mrs. Stedman ([email protected]) and she will work with you on next steps.

Proactively Report Absence, Illness, Appointments. When your child will miss all or part of a school day due to illness or an appointment, please email Cherry Crest Attendance by 8 am at [email protected].  Please be sure to include your child’s first and last name and the reason for the absence.

Washington State law requires schools to report student absences as excused or unexcused.  BSD Policy 3122 clarifies valid reasons for excused absences.  If no excuse is provided or the excuse does not fall within those outlined in the policy, student absences will be marked as unexcused.

For prearranged absences of three or more days, a prior approval form submitted to the teacher and principal must be completed two weeks prior. Prearranged absence forms can be picked up in the main office and accessed on our website here.

BSF Spring for Schools  on April 1st.  Cherry Crest Families are personally invited and encouraged to attend the Bellevue Schools Foundation Spring for Schools on April 1st! This event provides critical programming for our school community and the total 18,000+ students in every school in Bellevue School District. Here’s a snapshot of the Foundation’s support at Cherry Crest and every school within BSD.

Since its inception, BSF has raised over $25 million to fund critical programs that fall through the financial cracks of local, state, and federal funding. Revenue from Spring for Schools is a significant part of the budget available to our educators and students for district-wide programs, as well as grants our educators can apply for directly. Please visit or review the BSF Annual Report to learn more about the organization’s impact.

I invite families to enjoy this event together. Please list our school name when you register here! With student performances, an Education Showcase, appetizers, and a cash bar, the evening promises to be a fun one in support of our students and  community.

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.