Somerset Families,

Fall is one of my favorite seasons and our Somerset campus is a beautiful setting showcasing vibrant leaves and autumn skies.  The school garden is full of pumpkins for the kindergarten students to harvest soon. Our students are settling in and developing positive classroom communities.  School pictures were snapped this week and curriculum night is in the rearview mirror.  So much to celebrate as we wrap up this first month of school.

Here is the link to watch the principal presentation from last Friday’s curriculum night: (Instructions for viewing: The video is uploaded to Microsoft Stream. In order to watch this video, you will need to be logged into the site with your student’s BSD email and password. This is their email and their s#IDnumber password. You will know you are successfully logged in when you see your student’s name in the top right corner of the screen.)

I am excited as we launch into October.

This October News is packed full of important information about upcoming events, important dates, and schoolwide activities.

This communication is one way I strive to help families feel informed of the happenings at Somerset.  Please take the time to read through each heading to be more informed and find ways to feel more connected.

Somerset Shines

In partnership,

Cathy Elder

Cathy Elder
Somerset Elementary


In this issue:

  • Principal Parent Connect Focused on New Illustrative Math Curriculum
  • Fall weather requires appropriate clothes for outside play.
  • Fall Fundraising for PTSA is happening now.  Your support and contributions are needed, make a difference, and appreciated.
  • Early Dismissal/Emergency release follows an important process.  Please read.
  • Parent Teacher conferences are Early Release Days and follow Wednesday’s schedule.
  • School-wide October opportunities to promote stronger Sense of Belonging.
  • Principal Parent Connect Focused on New Illustrative Math Curriculum

Please continue to read below for more information.

StarHeart Somerset Elementary Important Information

October Principal Parent Connect

Join Ms. Naish, Ms. Scott and I on Microsoft Teams Thursday, October 7th to learn about our new math curriculum!  We are excited about the launch and want to share some important elements and shifts in Illustrative Math.  This highly regarded curriculum is highly aligned to Common Core State Standards, centered on a problem-based approach to learning math, and ensures students have ample opportunities to own the cognitive lift.  It also embeds language routines & prompts within lessons, ensuring students are regularly getting opportunities to authentically use mathematical language.  Our Somerset students have shared that math is fun this year and teachers are noticing a lift in the rigor of the questions.  The session will be recorded and shared for those unable to attend live.

October 7th
9:30-10:15 K-2 connect: Click here to join the meeting
10:30-11:15 Grades 3-5 connect: Click here to join the meeting

Fall Weather Recess

Fall RecessFall is here! With the splendor of the brightly colored leaves comes cooler temperatures and rainier recesses.  Students will be going out to the fresh air in all kinds of weather.  Please send your child with appropriate shoes, coats, and clothing.  Water resistant/repellant coats and shoes are helpful in keeping your child comfortable outside and when they return to the classroom.  We have limited clothing and staff to support students changing into dry clothes.  Students will have indoor recess on the rare days that the rains are heavy, winds are excessive or pose danger and when the playground is unsafe due to ice.

PTSA Fall Fundraiser: Participation and financial goals

PTSA is an important partnership between our school and families within our community to enrich the student experience for all Somerset students.  The relationship we have is rooted in a strong shared belief that we want every student to be seen, valued, and affirmed while receiving a quality learning experience.  Our PTSA is currently working hard to ensure they have the funding to support existing key programs, enhance the learning of the classroom curriculum for all students, and provide additional adult staffing for our school.  They are always looking for new volunteers to support our activities at school.

Every dollar raised by our PTSA stays at Somerset for our students and programs.  The goal for this year’s fall fundraiser is two-fold: family participation and dollar support.  The first goal is to ensure every family is informed about the important programs and funding that PTSA supports and to recognize the benefits donated funds provides.  We recognize the amount families can give varies and would love to encourage a donation of support in the amount in which you can.  Every family that contributes to the PTSA is recognized and appreciated. The monetary goal to support existing programs to ensure they can continue with current plans is $150,000.  The suggested donation of $250 is based on the simple division of $150 k divided by our 600 students.  Our hope is that we can achieve both the participation and dollar goals.  We appreciate the generosity of families that have contributed and hope to inspire a few more contributions as we continue with our Fall Fundraising drive.  Many employers in our area match charitable donations.  PTSA can receive matching donations which maximizes your generosity and support. To donate today or anytime throughout the year, please follow this link to share your support.

Walk to School Day

Walk to SchoolIn partnership with the City of Bellevue, students and parents are encouraged to participate in the annual Walk to School Day on Wednesday, Oct. 6.  This event promotes safe walking, healthier students and more connected neighborhoods.  My hope is that if you are close enough to walk that you do.  I would like to discourage folks from driving, parking on the streets near campus, and then walking to campus because of the disruption it will cause for drop-off.   Participating schools are eligible for up to $1,000 in qualified incentives, such as safety equipment, pedestrian crossing flags, ped-bike safety training, etc. This year we hope to provide bright warm jackets that make our staff more noticeable while they are supporting the safe arrival and dismissal of students. Our proof of participation this year will be through photos of the event.  Students in pictures will be asked to have parent consent.   All students will receive reflective shoelaces, LED keychains and a Walk and Roll BONGO card.

Fall Smarter Balanced Assessment

Who: 4th and 5th graders only

The fall tests are an extension of the 2020–21 school year, and thus students will be taking tests corresponding to their grade level in the 2020–21 school year. For example, a student who is a 4th grader in the 2021–22 school year would take a 3rd grade test in fall 2021.

Fast facts:

  • English language arts and Math tests will have only ONE component – the Computer adaptive test. This includes multiple choice questions, short answer, and drag and drop.  There will not be a performance task component.
  • Estimated test time for ELA is 75 minutes
  • Estimated test time for Math is 60 minutes.


October 6th      4th Math: Campbell and Jackson
5th Math: Rogers, Tonning, and Geren Ziegler

October 7th      4th AL ELA: Campbell and Jackson
5th AL ELA: Rogers, Tonning, and Geren Ziegler

October 14th      4th ELA: Veit, Pelto, McLean
5th ELA: Serafin, Hunter, and Adams

October 15th      4th Math: Veit, Pelto, McLean
5th Math: Serafin, Hunter, and Adams

Make up test for students who are absent on their scheduled day will occur the week of October 18th. 

Parent Teacher Conferences-EARLY RELEASE schedule October 11-13

All Bellevue elementary schools have 3 early release days to support Parent Teacher conferences.  The schedule follows the Wednesday dismissal time for all three days.  Bus transportation will run on the Wednesday schedule.  Your child’s teacher will be sending you an invitation for your one-on-one conference.  You will have the choice to attend in person or virtually through a Teams call.  For those coming in person, please stop by the front office and check in at the Lobby Guard screen before heading to your conference. The purpose of the conference is to provide you time to talk to and with your child’s teacher about their social, emotional, and academic start to the school year and goal set for the remainder.

 Unity Week-October 18-22

October is both National Bullying Prevention Month, and Disability History Month. We will be celebrating our annual Unity Week the week of October 18th-22nd to promote kindness, acceptance, and inclusion. Wednesday October 20th is Unity Day, and all students are encouraged to wear Orange to show unity against bullying. We are excited to celebrate in person this year and have several fun and meaningful activities and programs for our students to participate in during Unity Week. Please look for follow up communication from Ms. Schuyler, our school counselor, and your child’s teacher.

 Sense of Belonging: Somerset Shines on Wednesdays

T-shirt Day

Wear your T-shirt!!

It is important to us that all students feel they belong at Somerset.  One way we encourage students to feel they are a part of our school is to promote Wednesday School Spirit Day and encourage students to wear their Somerset Shines t-shirts every Wednesday.


Sense of Belonging: Birthday Fun Run with the Principals

Every month Ms. Naish and I will host a Birthday Fun Run for all students who have a birthday in that month. Students will come out to the field and run one lap around the field and have a picture taken with the birthday club members of that month.  Students are encouraged to wear their Somerset Shines t-shirt on their Fun Run Day!

October 19th TuesdayBirthday Fun Run
November 17 Wednesday
December 2 Thursday
January 10 Monday
February 15 Tuesday
March 16 Wednesday
April 21 Thursday
May 9 Monday
June 2 Thursday
July (June 7) Tuesday

Somerset’s Emergency Dismissal Plan

Somerset has an “Emergency Dismissal Plan” that will go into effect if we were to close school early due to an emergency.  Our emergency plan is very different than our daily dismissal plan.  Safety is a top priority and we have plans in place to support a variety of emergencies.  We are responsible for the safety and care of your child until they are back in your custody.  We take the checkout process seriously and will follow our protocols to ensure kids are reunited with the right people.

Parents would be notified through a variety of media options including but not limited to district email, text and robocalls or possibly through local radio and tv channels. Once at school our check out process would follow these steps:

  1. Parents and Emergency Contacts will complete a check out slip and start at the “check out” table to request for dismissal.  Most likely the check-out table will be at the front of the school.
  2. IDs will be checked, and emergency contact verified.  (Please ensure you have your picture ID and have updated emergency contacts in Synergy).
  3. Once you have been verified, you will be directed to the reunification location to meet your child.
  4. Reunification location is different than check-in table by design and intention.  Please follow the process for efficiency and crowd control.
  5. School personnel will remain with students until the last child is reunited with emergency contact.

It is very helpful for the parent or emergency contact to know the teacher’s name for the students they are picking up.  If you are asking your child to be picked up by your emergency contact, please provide them teacher’s name so they have it and remind them to bring their picture ID.  It is likely if the power is out, our phones and computers will be down.

In order to receive communication, please make sure your contact information is up to date. If you haven’t already, please log into Parentvue and verify or update the following information:

  • Update their address online and provide the required proofs of address electronically.
  • Update their student’s demographic data.
  • Manage student’s emergency contact list.
  • Update student’s photo permissions.

October Safety Drill: The Great Shakeout Earthquake Drill 10/21

Washington state law and Bellevue School District policy require all schools to hold at least one drill per calendar month while school is in session. This month, we will be conducting an earthquake drill and practicing what we would do if we were at school in the event of an earthquake.

In the United States, the recommended actions to take in the event of an earthquake are Drop, Cover, and Hold On.

Earthquake Drill

Please talk with your student about preparing for emergencies and disasters such as earthquakes. Encourage them to talk about their concerns and express their feelings. Emphasize that even though sometimes things happen that we may not expect, there are lots of things we can do to help us stay safe.

For more information on earthquakes and general preparedness, you might want to visit the Washington Emergency Management Division ( or Great Washington ShakeOut ( websites. You may also find the site helpful.

Please let us know if you have any questions.


Strong StarAll students are receiving at least one outdoor snack break each day.  They are hungry.  Please send a “quick to eat” snack with your child each day.  Food is important fuel to help regulate emotions and fuel brain power for learning.  Great snack options include crackers and cheese, yogurt, sliced fruit with a protein drink, jerky, granola or protein bars, goldfish crackers…a good protein and whole grain carb keep kids full and satisfied.

Arrival and Dismissal

Although busy, our arrival and dismissal are running safety and efficiently.  600 students are being dismissed within a ten-minute window following the end of day bell.  Following the guidance below really helps make it happen smoothly.

Front Parking lot for k-2 students and their siblings:

For car drop off: Parents, please drive through the pickup lines at the beginning of the day to drop off your child and again at the end of the day for pick up.  For quicker pick up, please display your dashboard sign.  The only parents parking should be K parents.

For walkers: To avoid crowding, parents walking kids should dismiss their kids at the front of the school and allow them to walk independently to their classroom lines.  Student supervision begins at 8:45 am.

Side Drop off zone (143rd SE) for Grades 3-5:

Please help us keep students safe and provide an efficient drop off and pick up zone.  Even with the congestion of the last few days, all 3-5 students have been picked up at the end of the day in less than 15 minutes of the dismissal bell.  You can help make it safer and more efficient by doing the following:

  1. Please stay in your car so as soon as we send your student to your car, you can pull out safely Drop offleaving room for the next car. Please do not park and leave your car between the sign announcing the cross walk all the way up past the gate.  This allows for continual pick up of 15+ cars.
  2. Please use your dashboard sign. We can identify who is here even before school is dismissed and radio to the teachers as the students come out.  We have increased the number of radios at the pick-up station.
  3. Keep driveways clear. Our neighbors have asked for us to keep their driveways clear. Many have appointments and practices that they need to get out of their driveway during our arrival and dismissal times.
  4. U-turns are unsafe and unnecessary. Use the circular patterns of the neighborhood roads to help return you in the direction you wish to go.  There is no need to turn around in a driveway or make a U-turn.  There are three simple to follow routes that allow you to return in the direction you came.

Upcoming Important Dates

Star One

October 1st                       School Pictures- fliers with information to come home soon
October 6th                         Walk to School Day
October 8th                     No School for student, teacher professional development day
October 11-13                 Early release for parent-teacher conference days,
School follows the Wednesday schedule
October 18-22                 Unity Week-Stand up for Acceptance, Kindness, and Inclusion
October 19                        Birthday Club-Fun Run for October Birthdays
October 21                        Earthquake Drill

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

Photo(s) of the Month

Keep scrolling for a little Birthday Fun Run!

Birthday Fun Run

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.