Somerset’s November Principal communication

Somerset Families,

Fall Conferences:

We are looking forward to inviting you into your child’s classroom this month to meet with their teacher for fall conferences.  This time is set aside to share your child’s strengths, current classroom and beginning of year data, as well as goal setting.  If your child’s teacher has not already sent out invitations for time slots, make sure to look for the communication and sign up for a time.  If you are needing a translator, please let your child’s teacher know so we can work to accommodate.  To make time for conferences, school will be on the Wednesday early release schedule on Monday, November 20th and Tuesday, November 21st.  Dismissal on those days will be at 1:20.

Activities Beyond the School Day:

Somerset continues to be a lively school community during the school hours as well as before and after school.  Each day there are multiple options for enriching activities.  Over 80 students participate in the Right At School (RAS) Program.  RAS is a district partner providing childcare before and after school.  This year they have added daily electives that include chess, clay, Mad Science workshops, and sports play for students enrolled.  You can learn more about these programs at

In addition, our Somerset PTSA has put together more enrichment activities than ever before.  There are programs offered every day of the week before and after school.  Fall registration is complete for most of the classes but new sessions will open in the coming months.  Currently chess, drama, Small Hands on Art, Math Kangaroo, Chinese, Kung Fu, Taekwondo, Soccer, Chinese Drumming, art, and math circle are being offered.  To provide a safe transition from school to clubs, volunteers are needed to help with check-in, supervision, and clean up.  Please check out the PTSA website for more upcoming programs.  Also, have you signed up to receive their weekly eNews?

Somerset staff also provide a few opportunities outside of the school day.  Ms. Andersen-Markee, music teacher, leads our 4th-and 5th grade choir one morning a week, Mr. Pelto leads our student council before school once a month, and two 5th grade teachers partner with high school students to lead the Future Problem Solvers competitive team.  We are beginning an after-school affinity group in the next few weeks for our Black and Hispanic students.

Bellevue Schools Foundation Announces Grants

This year, Bellevue Schools Foundation is contributing nearly $1 million to support essential programs throughout the entire school district that directly benefit OUR students and all students throughout the Bellevue School District. Districtwide programs include Early Learning, supports for mental health for elementary students through high school, computer science curriculum, and Arts, Enrichment, and Innovation!  I am attaching Somerset’s impact report for you to see how supporting the foundation, directly supports our students at Somerset.  This year our fifth graders will have transportation provided to hear the Newport High Brass Band Concert, experience an onsite author visit, and receive new books to add to our inclusive libraries for all 30 of our classrooms.

There is an exciting fundraising going on right now to support the Bellevue School’s Foundation (BSF) call BFF with BSF.  You should have received an email detailing the quick campaign that ends Saturday!  You can join the campaign and show your support by donating here:

Trunk or Treat

A HUGE SHOUTOUT to our Trunk or TREAT PTSA co-chairs Jillianne Brakenridge and Steph Lee for a wonderful fun community event!  The weather was perfect, the event was well organized and there was plenty of candy to pass out to over 650 kids!  If you haven’t had a chance to see Superintendent Aramaki’s post on Instagram, I encourage you to check it out and see the fun!

First Assembly: Honoring our Veterans

For the first time since early 2020, we will be hosting a school-wide assembly next Thursday to honor our Veterans.  Every Veteran’s Day, we take some time to educate our students about what a Veteran is, why we recognize Veteran’s Day and acknowledge Veterans in our community. We will do so through a school assembly at (roughly) 9:15 on November 9th. If you have a member of your family who is a Veteran or on Active Duty, who would like to attend the assembly, please fill out this form by Tuesday, November 7th, letting us know who they are, which student they are connected to and how, and how many people, including them would likely attend.

If you have a member of your family who is a Veteran or on Active Duty, but unable to attend who you would like to have acknowledged at the assembly, please e-mail [email protected] by Tuesday. November 7th:
– Name
– Rank
– Branch
– Connection to Somerset student
– A picture if available.

We will show the slides of these individuals as students walk in and exit the assembly.

We look forward to coming back together in our December assembly to enjoy the Somerset’s choir perform winter songs.

In Partnership,

Cathy Elder, Principal

Somerset Elementary Information

Safety: Dismissal on 143rd Reminder

If you are picking your child up in the 3-5 car pick line and you pull up on 143rd street along the sidewalk next to the forest, please remain in your car, use your dash card, and we will radio for your child to come to you.  While you wait, please pull forward as the line allows making room for more cars at the end of the line past the sidewalk.  Please do not leave your car when in the loading and unloading zones because it stops the flow of traffic for all other kids being dismissed.  This is also true if you are picking up your child across the street between Somerset Blvd and the crosswalk.  Please support our neighbors and keep their driveway entrance clear at all times.

Student Council Spirit Day

Somerset Student Council is made up of two students from each fourth and fifth grade classroom.  They work under the leadership of Mr. Pelto and create monthly spirit days, a yearly service project and more.  Somerset Student Council has chosen “Red, White, and Blue Freedom Day” which will take place on Thursday, November 9.  To honor our nation’s veterans before Veterans Day, each student will be encouraged to wear a combination of red, white, and blue.  The class that has the greatest percentage of students participating will get a special prize and an acknowledgement in the morning announcements.

November Safety Drill:

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 a lockdown drill and practicing actions to help keep us safe in the event of a threat or intruder.

During a lockdown drill, students learn about the importance of listening to school staff and following instructions quickly and quietly.

Lockdown is initiated when there is a threat to the campus or school. All threats are taken seriously. In the interest of student safety, lockdown may be initiated while the nature of the threat is evaluated. Staff are trained to lock classroom doors, shut off the lights, close the blinds, and to continually assess the situation.

Please talk with your student about preparing for emergencies and disasters. 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 talking to your child about school safety, you might want to visit the website

 Volunteers Needed to Inventory Classroom Emergency Bag

As part of our ongoing emergency preparedness, we want to do a refresh of what teachers have in their classroom emergency bag. This starts with inventorying each bag in the school. We would love some volunteer help with this if possible. It would mean going to each classroom, borrowing their emergency bag, looking through it and recording what is in it, then putting it back. Once we have that list we can make sure we have everything we need in each bag, make sure that expired or out of date supplies are replaced, etc. Long term, once this inventory and refresh is complete, our goal would be to keep a digital record, so that the next refresh does not need the inventory step. If you have some time between 8AM and 4 PM, it would be a great help to the Safety Team and the school. Please reach out to the main office, or to Mr. Moe-Lobeda [email protected] .

Rocket Run: Birthday Fun Run with the Principals

Every month Mr. Moe-Lobeda, Ms. Yen 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 Speaks t-shirt on their Fun Run Day!

November 15
December 13
January 17
February 7
Mar 13
April 10
May 8
June 12 (June& July)



November 9th: Spirit Day: Wear Red, White and Blue

Veteran’s Day Assembly

November 10- No school, Somerset is closed in observance of Veteran’s Day

November 20-21: Monday and Tuesday Early release days for Parent Conferences (we will follow Wednesday schedule for lunch and recess schedule, dismissal time, and bus routes)

November 29: Parent Conference Afternoon 1:30-4:00

Wednesday, December 20-Tuesday thru January 2: Winter break

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

Bellevue School District Official Announcements

Apply Now to Co-Design the Next BSD Strategic Plan
Superintendent Aramaki invites our learning community to join the Strategic Plan Guiding Coalition and help shape the future of the Bellevue School District. The Guiding Coalition — a team of students, staff, families and community members, along with the Superintendent — will actively engage with the broader community to co-design the district’s next 5-year strategic plan. If you are hopeful about the future and passionate about the possibilities for innovation in education, please apply to be a part of this team.

Click here to apply. Use the pull-down menu in the form for language access. The application period for the Guiding Coalition will close on Wednesday, November 15, 2023, at 4:00 p.m. Applicants who are selected will be notified by Monday, November 20, 2023, and the first Coalition meeting will take place on Wednesday, November 29, 2023, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.

More information about commitment details, meeting dates and a tentative timeline will soon be available on the district website.

BSD Presents: One Pill Can Kill, Fentanyl Information for Families

On Wednesday, November 15, 2023, Bellevue School District will bring together experts from local, state and federal agencies to provide a comprehensive look at the dangers of fentanyl and opioids in our community. The program will take place at Sammamish High School beginning at 6:00 p.m.

The evening will include a series of presentations followed by an opportunity for community members to ask questions. Presenters include representatives from the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, Youth Eastside Services (YES), BSD staff and parents sharing how opioids have impacted them personally.

In addition, representatives will be on hand to answer questions including members of the Bellevue Police Department, local health organizations, public health agencies, and Bellevue School District Safety and Security and Mental Health Assistance teams. The event is made possible with the support of the Bellevue Schools Foundation.

This comprehensive night of information is intended to give families additional knowledge that can help support their students and keep schools and communities healthy and safe. This presentation is free and open to the public.

Community News and Resources

 You may also view the event flyers in English, Spanish and Simplified Chinese.

 Bellevue Centers Communities of Color Open House

Join the City of Bellevue for a community dialogue on Thursday, November 16, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., to discuss the needs and opportunities for communities of color. This event is part of the Bellevue Centers Communities of Color (CCC) Initiative. The Communities of Color Coordinating Team includes Bellevue school district students, staff and community members. Based on community input, the coordinating team will present recommendations to City leadership to ensure that all Bellevue communities have the opportunity to thrive and grow more equitably.

The meeting will take place at Stevenson Elementary School, 14220 NE 8th, Bellevue, WA 98007. For more information, please contact Marcus Johnson, DEI Community Outreach and Engagement Administrator for the City of Bellevue at [email protected].

Families Helping Families Thanksgiving Food Drive

The Families Helping Families Thanksgiving Food Drive is a long running tradition in the Bellevue community. Families Helping Families provides Thanksgiving baskets to Bellevue School District families in need. Over the past 16 years, more than 40,000 people have received support through Families Helping Families.

Each year Families Helping Families strives to provide full and delicious holiday feasts. If you would like to ensure that requested meals are made available, please contact [email protected].

BFF with BSF

So, what’s a BFF?! A Best Friend Forever, of course! And what’s BSF? Well, hopefully you know us by now, but if not, here’s an intro. This year, Bellevue Schools Foundation is contributing nearly $1 million to support essential programs throughout the entire school district. Check out the programs that are inspiring so many in our community to become BFFs of BSF. Learn how you can make an impact in the lives of your student– become a BFF now!

UW School Psychology Clinic, Free Mental Health Referrals

The University of Washington School Psychology Clinic has mental health services and evaluations available for students free of charge. The following services are available for children ages 8-18:

  • Counseling – using evidence-based practices. Counseling is available for a wide range of childhood issues and mental health challenges. Services start in January 2024. In-person and virtual options available.
  • Evaluation – examination of cognitive, academic, and socio-emotional/behavioral concerns. Evaluations do not provide diagnosed results but do provide broad cognitive, learning, and social/behavioral profiles. Services start in January 2024.

Students will first be screened. Then a decision will be made as to the best form of treatment for each individual client and family. Services are provided by school psychology trainees and supervised by a licensed clinician/faculty member from the University of Washington.

Parents, guardians, or professionals of potential clients are asked to fill out a Service Request Form to receive services. Recruitment will end mid-November 2023. Contact [email protected] or call 206-543-4970 for more information.

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.