Cherry Crest LogoCherry Crest Chronicler

April 4, 2023

Dear Charger Families,

I want to thank all the students and families who participated in and attended our Cherry Crest Variety Show and Online Auction last Friday night.  More than 100 student performers across 33 acts entertained and amazed a sell out audience of 500 family, friends and staff.  It truly was a magical and special evening.  I extend my gratitude and appreciation for the time, energy and efforts of our performers as well as the incredible efforts of the PTSA Variety Show chairs and associated volunteers.  Finally, I’m grateful for the generous contributions from families through the online auction as well as to our corporate sponsors Julia & Mark Krill Realty and Gallagher Construction.  Your contributions help maintain Cherry Crest’s ability to provide an exceptional educational experience for each and every child.

After a few years of remote COVID schooling and limited in person activities, it sure has been wonderful this year gathering as a community for schoolwide events like the Variety Show.  What’s more, we have a number of fun events on the horizon including our Festival of Cultures on Wednesday April 19 and our beloved Comm(Unity) Walkathon on Friday May 5th right after school.  I look forward to seeing you at one or both of these events.

Thank you for taking a few moments to read the important dates and announcements in the parent newsletter below.


Dusty Steere, Principal Cherry Crest Elementary


10-14    Spring Break: No School
19          Festival of Cultures @ 6 pm
21         Virtual Principal Chat @ 8:30 am Join Via Teams
22         Earth Day

4          Last day to preorder yearbook
5          Walkathon

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

Running Club Returns April 17!  Starting just after spring break, students can walk/jog/run laps at lunch recess to earn charms for completing 5K, 10K and Half Marathon milestones. Certificates will be presented by Principal Steere or Assistant Principal Stedman to students who complete a Marathon (26.2 miles)!

Register your student by Friday, April 7 to participate in this FREE club.  We are also looking for one or two volunteers to check data weekly and help distribute charms to teacher mailboxes.  Please contact [email protected] to learn more.

Festival of Cultures April 19th.  Join us at at the Cherry Crest Festival of Cultures on Wednesday, April 19th from 6-8pm in the cafe and gym to celebrate the diversity of our community! Host families are sharing cultural heritage through food, crafts, and performances.  It will be a great way to learn about others’ traditions, languages, history, geography, and games.

Send questions to Miriam Haile at [email protected]

A note from outgoing Dean of Students Kjell Mattson.  With Mrs. Stedman’s return, her substitute and admin intern, Kjell Mattson, is moving on to support students and families in other elementary schools as part of his administrative training and preparation.

Dear Cherry Crest Comm(unity),

As I move on to other assignments this spring, I want to thank you for showing me such a warm welcome to your special school community.  I have thoroughly enjoyed this school year supporting you and your children.  In turn, I have benefited from the collective joy and love that is so obviously shared among the families and staff of Cherry Crest.  The time spent with your children is a gift I will always treasure.  ~ Mr. Mattson

Earth Day – April 22, 2023. Earth Day is an annual celebration that honors the achievements of the environmental movement and raises awareness of the need to protect Earth’s natural resources for future generations.  With Earth Day falling on a Saturday, Cherry Crest students will learn about and raise their environmental knowledge during the week of April 17 – 21 honoring the efforts of students leaders on our Green Team, the positive impacts of our cafeteria FoodShare program and more.  Students and families wanting to get more involved can are invited to join the Cherry Crest Environmental Impact Club (EIC) in the art room on Wednesdays after school.  Check out this EIC video to learn more and sign up here.     

It is Time to Enroll New Students. New student enrollment (including incoming kindergarteners) for the 2023-2024 school year is now open at While you may enroll your students later, enrolling now helps the district ensure we have the correct staffing to support your students with the smallest classes possible.

If your student is already enrolled in a BSD school, you do not need to submit a new enrollment. They will automatically move up to the next grade.

BSD Preschool Registration is now open! Please click here to register! Contact [email protected] with questions.

  • Convenient locations in BSD elementary schools
  • Qualified and caring BSD educators
  • Tuition assistance for qualified families
  • Spanish and Mandarin curricula
  • Preschool – K curricula alignment for kindergarten readiness
  • A fun first school experience that promotes adaptive and social skills

Counselor’s Corner. Hi Cherry Crest families!  This month is Arab American Heritage Month – Check out the resources below to find out ways to learn more as a family!

  • Interested in learning more about how Arab American Heritage Month came about? Check out this article, which includes an interview from the Arab American Institute’s President about the Arab American experience.
  • Looking for a fun way to learn more about Arab American culture with your family at home? Check out the Arab American National Museum’s virtual tours of their core galleries!
  • For some superhero fun, check out the comic book series, Ms. Marvel, which features a Pakistani American teen who develops superpowers. The series has also been made into a show on Disney+! (Common Sense Media rates the show as 10 years old and up.)

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!

Attendance Matters.  With spring break approaching, we’d like to remind you of the process of notifying the school for a pre-arranged absence. Each student in the Bellevue School District is given 5 Pre-Arranged absence days per year, which are excused.  Parents may use these, for example,  for extra-curricular sports, family events, private school interviews, or extended weekends or breaks.    For an absence of one or two days, we ask that you email [email protected] at least one school day in advance.

If a student will be absent for 3 or more days, parents are required to fill out a Pre-arranged Absence form.   You must submit the completed form at least 5 school days before the absence.   Download and fill out the Pre-arranged Absence form and email it to [email protected]  or have your student pick up a paper copy from the main office.  This form can also be found on the Cherry Crest Elementary School website under “Report an Absence

Please contact [email protected] if you have any questions.

Principal Chat on Friday 4/21 @ 8:30 am.  Cherry Crest families are invited to attend monthly virtual meetings hosted by Principal Dusty Steere and PTSA leadership.  All chats are 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.

  • April 21   Virtual Principal Chat 8:30 – 9:15 am  Join Via Teams

Cell Phones and Smart Watches.   Recently, teachers have noticed that students’ smart watches are becoming an increasing distraction during class time.  Similar to our school policy for cell phones (off and away during the school day), we are asking that all smart watches stay at home or inside backpacks during the school day.  Please refer to our student handbook on page 19 and 20 for additional information and guidance about telephones and messaging your child during the school day.

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 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.

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.

Travelling to/from Cherry Crest Elementary by Car?  Student safety is a top priority at Cherry Crest and nowhere is this more important than in the parking lot and neighborhood surrounding our school.   Thank you for reviewing and following the these safety protocols for arrival/departure.

Share Your Feedback: New BSD Websites. The district recently announced that in 2024, all BSD websites will move to a new platform, Finalsite. The “Listen and Learn” phase of the new website project is underway. This phase offers opportunities for BSD staff, students, families and community members to continue to share their feedback on what they need and expect from BSD’s websites.

Website User Survey:  Complete the Website User Survey by April 10, 2023, to share your perspectives on BSD’s district and school websites. The information gathered will help Finalsite begin the first phase of the website redesign process.

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.