Cherry Crest LogoCherry Crest Chronicler

June 1,  2023

Cherry Crest Families,

June is upon us and, with it, brings the end of this school year. We have a lot going on in the final weeks of school and much planning for the 2023-24 school year.  Part of that planning includes considering feedback from families.  I want thank those of you made time in February to complete the Family Engagement Survey.  I’m including some of the results below which indicate an overall positive trend of families feeling informed, supported, and empowered in contributing to student success.

We celebrate this data and also recognize there is room for growth.  Toward this end, members of our Racial Equity and Inclusion Team conducted a series of family listening circles in May.  Participating parents had lots of positives to report about Cherry Crest while also sharing areas of concern such as feeling in the dark about the new math curriculum, student progress in math, and concerns about preparing students for successful transition to middle school.   Our leadership team is incorporating this input into the School Improvement Plan for 2023-24 which you can expect to hear more about late this summer and into next fall.

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

Have a great week!


Dusty Steere


June 1              Rainbow Day
June 1              Volunteer Appreciation Coffee & Gratitude Parade @ 8:05 am
June 2              Virtual Principal Chat 8:30 – 9:15 am  Join Via Teams
June 3              Mrs. Cody Comm(Unity) Celebration @ 1:00 pm
June 6              Kindergarten Roundup @ 8:30 am
June 12 -16      Spirit Week
June 16             Field Day
June 16             Last day of Boys and Girls Club afterschool care
June 19             Juneteenth – no school
June 20            Yearbooks distributed to students in class.
June 21             G5 Promotion Ceremony @ 8:30 am
June 22            Last day of school  (dismissal at 10:00 am)

September 4     Labor Day
September 5      First day of School (Grades 1 – 5)
September 8     First day of School (Kindergarten)

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

Volunteer Appreciation Coffee and Gratitude Parade.  Please join us on Thursday June 1st @ 8:00 am in the Cherry Crest cafe. Whether you have helped in the classroom, library, lunchroom, playfield or on a field trip, we want to thank you.


    • 8:05  Welcome: Join us in the café for coffee/pastries
    • 8:20  Parade of Gratitude (walking tour through the school)
    • 8:35  Golden Acorn Awards presentation
    • 8:50  Community Café brainstorm highlighting hopes/dreams/aspirations for 2023/24

Pride Month and Rainbow Day: June 1st.  At Cherry Crest, we celebrate diversity and inclusivity. Throughout the year we celebrate and teach opportunities for “Windows and Mirrors.”  Mirrors allow students to see themselves in the curriculum and school environment, while windows provide opportunities for new learning and new perspectives to support growth, empathy, and compassion for all.  This year, we’ve celebrated various cultures and heritages, holidays, neurodiversity acceptance, and now, in June, we recognize the diverse LGBTQIA+ community within Bellevue and beyond.

For Pride Month, we focus on celebrating the uniqueness of all – showing pride for being our unique selves and celebrating unity as a community. Students learn the meaning of the colors of the pride flag. (Red: Life, Orange: Healing, Yellow: Sunlight, Green: Nature, Blue: Harmony, Purple: Spirit, Brown and Black: Diversity and Inclusion) and what the letters represent when they see “LGBTQIA+.” We display pride flags in our entryway to acknowledge and support those at Cherry Crest and in our community who identify as such. Additionally, during our pride assembly on June 12th, students will hear the story, It Feels Good to be Yourself. This story focuses on identity and being true to yourself in an authentic way. This story is used throughout the year in classrooms to discuss gender identity and respecting those around us who may have a gender preference that differs from their gender assigned at birth.

On Thursday, June 1st, students are welcome to wear rainbow colors in support of LGBTQIA+, pride, and unity. Below are supportive resources you can use with your child(ren) to talk more about pride month at home:

Principal Chat on Friday 6/2 @ 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.

Kindergarten Queen, Mrs. Cody, is retiring! Did your child have Mrs. Nancy Cody? If so, you are invited to join an open-house style celebration in her honor.  Saturday, June 3, 2023 1 – 3 at Cherry Crest.  Come share stories, laugh, and enjoy being together!  Please RSVP!

Volunteer for Field Day. Cherry Crest students are getting amped up about our upcoming Field Day on Friday June 16th!  Students love participating in all the outdoor games and activities during this fun-filled all-school end-of-year event.  However, we need your help!!

It takes close to 100 volunteers before, during, and after this event to make Field Day run smoothly! Please sign up to volunteer and help us make this end of year event fun for all.

Note: Per BSD policy all volunteers need to submit a volunteer form (if you’ve already done it this year or previous years no need to resubmit!) Unfortunately, siblings who are not Cherry Crest students may not attend.

Spirit Week and Field Day.  During the week of June 12-16, Cherry Crest students and staff are invited to show their school spirit and dress according to daily themes.  Our spirit week will culminate with Field Day on Friday 6/16.

Spirit Week Themes:

  • Monday – Rainbow Day:  A different color for each grade level: K – Red, 1 – Yellow, 2 – Blue, 3 – Orange, 4 – Purple, 5, – Green
  • Tuesday – Crazy Head Day: Come to school wearing your most creative hairstyle, hat, headwrap!
  • Wednesday – Charger Pride: Wear Charger Spirit Gear and/or school colors (red/white/black combination)
  • Thursday – Dress up or Dress Down Day: You can either come in your super comfy lounging clothes or wear your fanciest of outfits!
  • Friday – Sportswear Day:  Don your fastest sneakers and wear your pink Walkathon shirt to enjoy Field Day!

Kindergarten Roundup – Tuesday June 6th 8:30 – 10:15 AM.  Kindergarten Roundup is an opportunity for rising kindergarten students to meet our kindergarten teachers in their future classrooms,  get a tour of the school from a 4th grade tour guide, enjoy a read aloud and take a short ride on a school bus.  Parents will hear from the principal and one of our kindergarten teachers as they share kindergarten information and answer questions.  RSVP through the signup genius link:

If you know of a family with a kindergarten aged child in 2022-23, please share this invitation with them and contact our Cherry Crest office manager, Connie Kramer, at [email protected].

Cherry Crest Yearbooks are coming soon.   Yearbooks will be distributed to students in classrooms by teachers on Tuesday, June 20 for all families that preordered a yearbook.  There is a small supply (45) of additional yearbooks which can be purchased online for $30 through GiveButter and picked up before school on June 21st between 7:40 – 8:15 am outside front entrance.

5th grade Promotion Ceremony on June 21st. As the school year draws to a close,  Cherry Crest teachers and G5 parents have collaborated to honor and recognize our 5th grade students on Wednesday 6/21. Parents and families are invited to attend the promotion ceremony in the Cherry Crest cafe and gym at 8:15 am.  The promotion will be followed by a cookie reception in the undercover area from 9:00 – 9:30 am.  G5 families can look for additional details coming soon.

Last Day of School shortened schedule.  Thursday June 22, 2023 is a two-hour day for students. All schools start at their regular times and dismiss two hours later.  At Cherry Crest school begins at 8:00 am and concludes at 10:00 am.  Bus transportation will still operate per usual on this modified schedule.

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

While it may be hard to believe, summer break is almost here!  Summer can often mean more screen time so I thought I would share some great resources around internet safety and screen time boundaries.

One of my favorite resources is Common Sense Media, which offers personalized recommendations by age group, ratings for any and all media (including reviews from parents and kids, as well as what kinds of positive and negative themes are present), parent guides for every platform, and articles including expert advice to caregiver questions. This is a great one to bookmark!

The American Academy of Pediatrics created an interactive Family Media Plan to help families co-create a plan for media use, including media priorities, practical tips for making the plan work, and why having a plan is important.

For some great tips for families and kids, take a look at this article from KidsHealth on Online Safety.

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!

Hope you all have a wonderful summer!!  Can’t wait to see all of our Chargers back in the Fall for another amazing school year!

End of Year Gifts. Every year when the school comes to a close, we see grateful and thoughtful parents and community members looking for ways to express appreciation to our teachers and other employees 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. 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!

Check Lost and Found for Missing Items. Lost and Found is filling up again! Please stop by to see if your child’s belongings are there. All unclaimed items will be donated at the end of the school year! Lost and Found items are located on racks by the front entrance to the school.

Proactively Report Student Absences.  As the school year comes to a close (last day June 22nd), we recognize some families may want to get an early start on vacation. Please notify the attendance office if your child will be absent from school.  For any absences of three days or more (aside from illness) it is necessary to submit a prearranged absence form one week in advance of the absence to be considered excused.
EMAIL[email protected]  (preferred method)  – include the student’s full name, teacher’s name, and the reason for the absence or late arrival
CALL: (425) 456-4902

Complete Health Forms for 2023/24 School Year.  Want your student to start school on time next year? Make an appointment now to complete:

  • Vaccinations – Sign up for MyIR (My Immunization Record) to see if your student needs any school required immunizations.
  • Individual Health Plans (IHP) for asthma, diabetes, life-threatening allergies, seizures and other life-threatening conditions (complete yearly)
  • Medication authorization paperwork for medicine taken at school (complete yearly)
  • Sports physicals if your student will play high school sports (complete every two years)

Make your appointment NOW. Clinics are booked MONTHS in advance.

Register for School.   Bellevue School District has a simple and secure process for enrolling students for the 2022-23 school year.

We appreciate you sharing this link with any friends or neighbors with rising elementary aged children.

Opt in Text Messages from BSD. Did you know you can receive important alerts from BSD via text? Just text “Y” or “YES” to BSD’s short code number – 67587 – to receive text messages. If you ever want to opt-out, text the same number or reply to one of our messages with “Stop.” We recommend saving the short code number in your contacts to avoid third-party blocking systems with interfering with your receipt of important messages and updates from the district. The Bellevue School District utilizes SchoolMessenger to deliver text messages.

The Vine. The Vine is an e-newsletter for Bridle Trails, written and edited by resident Marianne Heywood. The no-cost newsletter features condensed information related to civic issues, crime, special events, schools, neighbors-in-need, announcements and random items of interest specific to this neighborhood. If you’d like to be added to the distribution list, send an email request to [email protected]. Should you wish to be removed, send an email at any time. The Vine accepts content suggestions regarding a wide range of topics. The Vine has nearly 800 subscribers in Bridle Trails and is a great source of community information not easily accessed elsewhere. It’s an excellent resource for the Cherry Crest community.

Charger Students Excel in Robotics and Mathematics.   Click here to read more about the impressive accomplishments that teams of Cherry Crest students have earned this year in Robotics and Mathematics.  Please join me in congratulating them.

Summer Camp Opportunity for Students.   A former Cherry Crest student is giving back to our Community and offering spots at the “Pop Star Learning Academy”(PSLA).

PSLA is excited to be offering 4 weeks of summer camp for students entering 3rd, 4th, 5th, or 6th grade in the 2023-2024 school year. PSLA offers a wide variety of themes, ranging from theatre to STEM to travelling the world, and everything in between. We have designed this camp to be 100% outdoor and fun for everyone. This is PSLA’s fourth year, and we are extremely grateful to be able to serve the Cherry Crest community. PSLA handed over all profits to Cherry Crest community from summer of 2022 camps.

This year, we have a maximum of 15 campers per week, with 2 counselors.

  • When: 9am-1pm
  • [07/10-07/14] Lost in Space
  • [07/17-07/21] Lights, Camera, Action!
  • [07/24-07/28] Wild Imagination
  • [07/31-08/04] Around the world in 80 days

Where: Cherry Crest Undercover Area
Cost: $125/week

To register, please visit my website:
For any questions, please email Aarna at [email protected]

I look forward to seeing your child(ren) at PSLA soon! We have few more spots left in each session.

The City of Bellevue is seeking travel data on how students travel to and from school and we need your help in distributing this survey to the parents at your school. This annual survey will help us evaluate our strategies for the Bellevue SchoolPool program, which aims to reduce drop-off and pickup congestion at schools.

Please distribute this survey link to the parents in your school and encourage their participation in the survey. The short, five-question survey for each school-aged child is live until Wednesday, June 14, 2023.    If you have questions, please contact Kate Johnson, Bellevue SchoolPool Program Lead, at [email protected].

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.