Somerset Families,

Asian StoriesIn just 5 days we will be hosting our school-wide, outdoor, Asian American Pacific Islander Festival.  We are thrilled so many families have signed up.  If you still need to register, please follow this link. We are hoping for sunshine and will be moving forward even if it is rainy and windy, so please dress appropriately.  For those attending please note:

  • Arrive at your scheduled time to support physical distancing and limit crowding in the experience areas
  • Please park in either parking lot or use street parking, avoid parking in front of our neighboring driveways. Walk around the front and side of building to our main event entrance.
  • Check-in at the entrance (crosswalk on 143rd Pl) for your bag of materials and ticket for Bubble Tea.
  • We are asking all family members in attendance to wear a mask.
  • Follow the specific schedule provided to visit all 7 experiences.
  • Have fun learning and connecting as a family with the stories of your greater community.
  • Enjoy a free Bubble Tea and exit through the side parking lot next (near garbage containers)

7 Experiences:

  • Somerset Wind Wish Flags: All Somerset students were invited to share their wish for the world on a flag that will fly proudly above our Somerset gardens. Come by and read our student wishes!
  • Origami: Students will be provided multiple sheets of origami paper and instructions to fold into easy, medium, and challenging designs.
  • Book Look: A display of books written by diverse Asian authors will be shared with an opportunity to purchase for your home library or donate to your classroom library.
  • Personalized Name Tags and Bike Plates: in the spirit of Always Anjali, by Sheetal Sheth, students can proudly display their special given name into a piece of art to leave behind and one to take home.
  • Timeline: Our timeline will represent how Asians and Pacific Islanders have contributed to our collective history!
  • Somerset Story Stroll: Walk the track and read the stories of our Somerset Families
  • Bubble Tea: Enjoy a free bubble tea as you leave.

In addition to our 7 experiences, we will have a fun scavenger hunt and host two honorary guests.

One is former Somerset student, now Newport High School senior, Jeenah Gwak and her “What We Experience” team to share their student-run magazine, showcasing and advocating for Asian Americans.

Our second guest, health permitting, is Dr. Pio DeCano II, son of one of the foundational businessmen for labor in Seattle’s International District. His father became the first Asian immigrant legally allowed to own a house in the landmark Supreme Court case of DeCano vs. Washington.  Dr. DeCano II is a military veteran, scholar, and lifelong Seattle Asian American who continues work today in his retirement.  In 1971 he sat on the Washington State Asian Advisory Council. In 1972 he became one of the founding members of the Washington’s Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs formed by the Governor. CAPAA is now one of the longest running government commissions for BIPOC residents. Please make sure you stop in under the covered area and visit with both.

Share your story-We are still collecting family stories and would love to hear yours: We have invited all families who identify as Asian American or Pacific Islander to share their story.  We have provided a template (attached to email) to guide you and a Flip grid link if you prefer  Please submit either or both to your child’s teacher, by May 24th so we can display at our school wide event on May 26th. You can also send it directly to me at

Upcoming featured text for our k-5 students:

Featured BooksThis month of celebration is for all students.  Students are discovering their place in school and the world through the text we share.  Sometimes books are a mirror, reflecting their own lives, and others a window, giving them a peek into someone else’s.  Our hope is that our celebration will be an enlightening and memorable experience for all superstars as Student Identitythey are affirmed in their unique identity and learn about the beautiful diversity within our community.

In partnership!

Cathy Elder

Cathy Elder
Interim Principal
Somerset Elementary

StarHeart Somerset Elementary Important Information

Somerset Principal Update

Judy BowlbyThis morning you should have received two separate emails.  I sent one through School Messenger with an attached letter from Ms. Bowlby, announcing her retirement.  Ms. Bowlby has been a strong advocate for the students at Somerset over the last 7 years and an excellent school leader.  The second email was sent from Pub Info and included information from Executive Director, Heather Sanchez on the process for selecting Somerset’s next principal.  Please click here for a link to provide your important input and feedback.

Kindergarten Enrollment for 2021-22

If you know of a family who has an upcoming kindergarten student, please remind them that kindergarten registration is open now and they need to complete the “New Student Enrollment Packet”.  The more we know about our upcoming enrollment, the better we can staff our classrooms. New Student Enrollment Packet:  English (PDF) / Spanish (PDF) / Simplified Chinese (PDF)

5th Grade Promotion Celebrations

This year, we are pleased to announce that the following activities have been planned to celebrate our 5th graders’ promotion.

  1. Walk-by Promotion Ceremony – Wednesday, June 16th (assigned time by class between 1pm-3:45pm)

Students will gather by classroom at an assigned time in front of the school (details will follow in a separate class email). Your student’s classroom teacher will lead the class through a procession to receive his/her graduation certificate from the Principal at a station to be set up by the school’s front door. We kindly ask parents/guardians to remain at a designated area and refrain from approaching the Principal’s station to take pictures due to Covid safety measurements. We will have a professional photographer standing by to take a picture of each student with the Principal and teacher to capture this memorable moment for families. The promotion picture will be made available for download at no cost.

  1. Outdoor Carnival Celebration – Wednesday, June 16th (assigned time by class between 2pm-5pm)

Each class will move to the back of the school for an Outdoor Carnival Celebration. Before starting the carnival activities, parents/guardians will have the opportunity to take family pictures at a photo booth to be set up under the covered area of the playground. Following the photo session, students will participate with their class/cohort in planned fun activities on the field for 45 minutes. At the end of each class’ carnival session, each student will receive a Somerset promotion keepsake and an ice cream coupon. Students will be directed to an ice cream truck to receive their treats. We ask that families leave the school campus immediately after receiving and consuming their ice creams to avoid undue crowd gatherings.

  1. Virtual Promotion Ceremony on Teams – Monday, June 21st (6-7pm)

Parents, students and extended family are welcome to join the virtual promotion ceremony on Monday, June 21st at 6pm. A link will be sent out to all families. Principal’s and teachers’ words of wisdom along with a slideshow of our 5th graders will be shown. You can also watch the recording of the event any time at your convenience.

Feel free to contact our 5th Grade Promotion Committee at with any questions or to volunteer to assist with the activity preparation.

May Spirit Day

May Sprit DayMay’s student council spirit day will be “Student/Teacher Switch Day.”  It’s scheduled for Friday, May 28th.  The class that has the greatest percentage of students wearing teacher outfits (and teachers dressing like students) will be recognized in the assembly announcements and receive a small prize.


Principal Birthday lunches – 12:30-1:00

Cupcake Birthday

May’s Birthday lunch celebration will be Wednesday the 26th at 12:30.   Students with a May birthday will receive a Teams invite through their student email accounts from Ruth Embaye, our office manager on the day prior.  If you don’t receive an invitation, please reach out to and she will send the link.  Each session includes an opportunity for students to share something exciting about birthdays, a quick art project and a short story.  It is a highlight for us to share this time celebrating students.  Please note we have moved the birthday lunch celebrations to Wednesday to ensure all students, both virtual and hybrid can attend.

Somerset Library Wednesday Check-out Dates-Only One More Week

Librarian Mrs. Bravenec would like to remind families that students may reserve and check out books from our Somerset library! Books may be picked up by all families on Wednesday afternoons from 3:30-5:30pm at the front doors of Somerset. Masks and social distancing required.

For hybrid students attending in person, Mrs. Bravenec will deliver books to your child’s classroom teacher if you are not able to pick them up. For virtual students attending remotely, please contact Mrs. Bravenec to make alternate pick up arrangements if that Wednesday time is not convenient for you.

Check-out Wednesdays: May 26th

Student Safety at Drop off and Dismissal

Students arriving late to school (after 9:05 and after 1:05)

  • If your child(ren) is arriving to school late, please bring them to the main office doors and use the window to inform the office that students have arrived. We will ensure health check is complete and welcome them in the building.
  • If your child(ren) is arriving to school late without an adult, remind them to use the main doors by the office. Please call the school office to inform us that your child(ren) is arriving late, so we know to expect them.  Please note, crossing guard supervision ends shortly after the tardy bell.

We currently have 16 adults supporting arrival for each session to ensure students arrive safely and have their health check complete.  Adults remain at the crosswalk and at each drop off point for a few minutes after the tardy bell rings.  If children arrive after the start of the school bell (9:05 or 12:05) we need parents to help support the safe arrival of their child.  In addition, we call all families who have not notified us an absence when a student does not show up for a class session.

No U-turns in the drop off zone on 143rd Ave.Drop off Loop

  • U-turns in the drop off zone during our pick-up and drop-off times are extremely dangerous.
  • There are at least 3 loops that will allow you to return in the direction you wish to go without making a U-turn. The U-turn blocks traffic when congested and significantly decreases our visibility of students in the sidewalks on both sides of street.
  • Please be considerate of neighbors and leave the entrance to their driveways open while you wait.

Upcoming Important DatesStar One

May                     Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month
May 26             Somerset School-Wide, In-person, Outdoor Event 4:30-7:00 (Five 30 minute sessions)
                            Sharing the Pages of Asian Stories: past, present, & future! (please sign up today)
May 29                School Spirit Day-student teacher switch day
May 31                No School-Memorial Day

For more information and important dates please follow this link to our Somerset PTSA:  Link to Somerset PTSA

Photo(s) of the Week 

Students from Ms. Ayer’s virtual kindergarten class creating their “wish for the world” wind flags.  Over 600 student flags will be displayed in our school garden on Wednesday night.

Wind Flags  Wind Flags

The Bellevue School District acknowledges that we learn, work, live and gather on the traditional lands of the Coast Salish Peoples. We honor with gratitude the land itself and the Coast Salish Peoples of our region, past, present and future.