Cherry Crest Chronicler

January 5, 2024

Dear Cherry Crest Families,

Happy New Year! I hope you had a wonderful holiday and break with your students. I enjoyed completely unplugging from work and spent time with my family in Whistler, Canada. While it only snowed briefly, I appreciated the change in scenery and quality time spent with my children and husband.

As I shared in my December newsletter, we hope to maintain our existing PTSA budget to ensure the same experience year to year for all students. To do this, we rely heavily on donations from families. Thank you to those who supported Read-a-thon!  More fundraising opportunities are coming up this month with our Used Book Fair & Benefit Concert on January 19th followed by our in-person auction on January 27th. I encourage you to join us at the Mercer Island Community Center for this fun filled night celebrating our students with Cherry Crest parents and staff. Personally, I am donating “Principal for the Day”! In October, third grader, Riya won this as part of the PTSA Membership Raffle.  She’ll be “Ruling the School” on January 10th. I look forward to hosting another Principal for a Day with our auction winner!

In January, we celebrate and honor the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Our assembly team is working hard to prepare two programs for students (primary and intermediate) to celebrate his accomplishments and kick-off Black History Month. Students will learn about courageous women leaders from the Civil Rights Movement who joined MLK in his fight for justice and equality. Be sure to check out the “Celebrating Diversity and Inclusion at Cherry Crest” section of my newsletter below for more information and links to support this work at home.

Feel free to contact me ([email protected]), or our assistant principal, Amy Chu, ([email protected]) with any questions you may have!


Erin Stedman, Principal Cherry Crest Elementary School


Please save the dates of important events on your calendar.

  • January 5 Principal Coffee
  • January 15 No School – Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • January 10 Kindergarten Information Night
  • January 19 Used Book Fair
  • January 23 PTSA General Meeting
  • January 27 Live In-Person Auction
  • February 7 Spelling Bee Finals

PTSA In-Person Auction, January 27th!


I’m so excited to celebrate our amazing students with all of you on Saturday, January 27th!  The Cherry Crest Auction is a special opportunity for teachers and parents to connect with one another and recognize the achievements of our community.

Only in-person attendees of the event will have the opportunity to participate in the auction and bid on fabulous items and experiences including a Taste of Persia Dinner Party, a Behind the Scenes Tour of Cherry Crest and a visit to the NEKO Cat Café!

Early bird tickets are available until January 12th.  Limited onsite childcare is available for children aged 3 years old and up; advance reservations are required. Learn more at

Kindergarten Information Night: January 10th 6-7 PM

We will share information regarding our kindergarten program for all incoming students and those planning to register for fall 2024. This is an adult event; please leave your children at home if at all possible.

Inclement Weather Updates

For additional information please refer to the Emergency Closures page on the District website at

Our primary interest is safety, so please stay safe – and take the necessary steps to plan for inclement weather.

Odle & Highland Open House – both on January 16, 6-8 PM

Odle’s Open House is scheduled for Tuesday, January 9 at 6pm, same as Highland MS. There will be opportunities to learn about the exciting educational programs and elective courses. Please see attached flyers.

Enroll in Unique Learning Opportunities at BSD for the 2024-2025 School Year

Bellevue School District’s choice schools, language programs and online school offer a variety of learning environments and opportunities for students. Learn more about these schools and programs and what makes them unique. Those interested in enrolling in choice schools and programs for the 2024-2025 school year may submit an application by January 19, 2024.

Open houses for schools and programs continue through January 22. View the district calendar to learn more.

Choice Schools

  • Big Picture School (grades 6-12)
  • International School (grades 6-12)
  • Jing Mei Elementary – Mandarin Dual Language
  • Puesta del Sol – Spanish Immersion (Tillicum Middle School, Newport High School and Sammamish High School for secondary)

Choice Language Programs

  • Arabic Bilingual Program (Ardmore Elementary)
  • Hindi Bilingual Program (Ardmore Elementary)
  • Korean Bilingual Program (Newport Heights Elementary)
  • Spanish Dual Language Programs (Lake Hills Elementary, Sherwood Forest Elementary, Stevenson Elementary, Highland Middle School and Sammamish High School)

Online School

  • Bellevue Digital Discovery – accepts transfer and out-of-district students throughout the school year

Meet our MLL Facilitators

At Cherry Crest, 45% of students speak a first language other than English, with an overall 32 first languages spoken. We believe this is a true asset of our community and for students.

We have two Multilanguage Learner Facilitators at Cherry Crest, who work with students and teachers to support language and vocabulary best practices for learning. Beginning in January, Ming Lam and Younghee McGlennon, will share the role and serve students 4-days per week.

To reach our facilitators with questions and/or for support, please use the following emails:

Ming Lam (Monday/Tuesday) – [email protected]

Younghee McGlennon (Thursday/Friday) – [email protected]

They look forward to serving you!

Consolidation Update

Message from the Superintendent – Pausing the Consideration of a Middle School Consolidation

During the December 14 School Board meeting, Superintendent Aramaki shared a message with the community regarding a decision to pause the consideration of consolidating middle schools to address BSD’s enrollment and budget challenges.

Read the full message regarding this decision and the work ahead.

Apply to Join the BSD Sustainability Committee

Superintendent Aramaki invites you to join the Bellevue School District Sustainability Committee and be part of a transformative initiative to create a more ecologically sustainable school district and community. Click here to apply for the 2023-2024 Sustainability Committee

Applications are now being accepted. As a committee member, you’ll have the opportunity to influence the development and implementation of a three-year action plan and shape a schedule that will result in a reduction of harmful environmental impacts. In addition, you will help drive community engagement and sustainability initiatives that prioritize student voice and embrace diverse perspectives. Together, we will lead the way toward a greener, more environmentally conscious future. Apply today and be part of the change.

  • Please complete the application form by Wednesday, January 10, 2024, at 4:00 p.m.
  • Selected members will be notified by Monday, January 15, 2024.
  • The first meeting of the committee will take place on January 24, 2024.

 Variety Show: Time to plan your act!

It’s time to start planning and preparing your act for the Variety Show! Sign-ups open on December 8th and will close on January 26th. We can’t wait to see all our star Chargers!

Timeline of Events:

January 26th – Register your act by this date

February 14th and 15th – Try-outs (after school)

March 13th – Dress rehearsal from 1-4 PM

March 15th – Main event from 6-8 PM (with a special guest for a surprise performance!)

You can sign up HERE.

We need your help! Sign up to volunteer HERE.

Receive Transportation Updates

Sign up for Edulog Parent Portal to Receive Transportation Updates

Beginning in January 2024, all BSD bus cancellations, delays, and updates will be shared directly through the Edulog Parent Portal, the district’s transportation information platform. Families who would like to receive notification about impacts to their bus routes must sign up for Edulog. Specific route cancellations, delays and updates will not be shared routinely through direct district emails, text messages, robo calls or social media in the new year. However, districtwide messages will continue to be sent at the discretion of the district, on an as-needed basis.

The Edulog Parent Portal provides an efficient student transportation resource management tool allowing families to receive more timely messages that impact student safety, ridership, and routing. For students or families unable to acquire access to the smartphone app, the district will contact families through text message using the Talking Points platform in their preferred home language to ensure all families have equal access to information. Additionally, a route cancellation link will be added to the BSD transportation webpage listing service impacts.

Used Book Fair and Belonging Benefit Concert, January 19th

100% of the ticket price will go to the PTSA and school community! Join us at 5:00pm on January 19, 2024, at Cherry Crest Elementary School. Invite your classmates, club-mates, friends, parents, siblings, grandparents, and neighbors. The more the merrier!

The theme of this concert is You Belong! In this concert, through piano, trumpet, guitar, singing, and improvisation, Bellevue High School’s You Belong! Concert musicians will take you on a musical journey across time, genres, and cultures. You get to sing along, too!

Please look for more information about this event and fundraiser soon! Details about used book donations will be shared as soon as possible. In the meantime, begin collecting gently used books at home that you would like to donate to this event.

Newly Revised Cherry Crest Handbook: Please review.

The new Cherry Crest Handbook for the 2023-24 school year is available for review! The handbook is also available on the Cherry Crest website. At Cherry Crest Elementary, we are committed to strengthening the partnership between staff, students, and families to build a positive learning environment for all students. Please take a moment to review the handbook linked here, and fill out the Microsoft forms to acknowledge you have received and reviewed the community handbook.

Microsoft Forms Acknowledgement:

North Zone Orchestra Concert Details (5th Grade Orchestra ONLY)

The North Zone Concert will be held at Interlake High School on Wednesday, February 6 at 7pm (students arriving between 6:15 & 6:30). Please look for a letter in your inbox providing more details from our wonderful orchestra teacher, Colleen Fretz ([email protected]).

Register for Spring for Schools, Hosted by the Bellevue Schools Foundation

I’m excited to share that Spring for Schools 2024 registration is live! You are invited to attend Bellevue Schools Foundation‘s annual event on Saturday, March 30 at 5:00 p.m., and I truly hope to see you there! As a reminder, Bellevue Schools Foundation provides critical funding to our school– you can take a look at the programs supported in our classrooms here. {Insert a line about a favorite program of yours/why you believe funding from BSF is critical} The evening will offer attendees a chance to connect with one another and teachers, and explore the initiatives funded by BSF in their signature Education Showcase.

Event registration is free, and childcare will be provided as capacity allows. Additional event details can be found here. The purpose of the evening is to raise funding so that BSF can continue to provide transformational opportunities for our students and teachers — please consider making a donation here.

Celebrating Diversity and Inclusion at Cherry Crest

Please refer to our District’s cultural calendar (linked HERE) for each month. At Cherry Crest, we aim to recognize the many celebrations, holidays, and heritages that make our world, community, and neighborhood so beautiful. If you’re interested in sharing your rich culture with us, please reach out as we’re always looking for ways to enrich our students’ experiences and for students to see themselves in our hallways and in our classrooms.

January is:

January Is Americans of Chinese Descent Month in Washington

History of Americans of Chinese Descent | OER Commons

Washington-Americans of Chinese Descent Posters | OER Commons

January 2024 marks the first annual celebration of Americans of Chinese Descent Month. In May of 2023, Governor Jay Inslee signed into law legislation that made Washington the first state in the nation to honor Chinese Americans with this acknowledgement. Senate Bill 5000 is the culmination of advocacy by parents, students, educators, and others throughout the state, including many individuals from BSD, who brought forth the measure and worked to see it passed. The new law also encourages public schools to designate time for educational activities that commemorate the state’s “complicated history with the Chinese community — the good and the bad.”


Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Family Resources:

A guide to resources for parents on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. day

Books for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day

19 Picture Books That Help Keep Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dream Alive

Let the Children March read aloud:

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.