Wildcat Growl

November 14, 2021

Future Ready Wildcats

De Soto High School staff and students endeavor to model the following core values:


Principal's Message

Wildcats and Families,

Congratulations to the Boys Soccer team. They had a great season including a KSHSAA Class 5A Regional Championship. Several Wildcats also earned United Kansas Conference Honors. Kyle Newberry, Austin Lum, Brody Macoubrie, and Ashton Hoffman earned 1st Team All-Conference. Colter Mabe, Jackson Porras, and Logan Boehm earned 2nd Team All-Conference. Ethan Koch, Luke VanBooven, and Tate Atkinson earned Honorable Mention. Congratulations to Coach Proctor for earning UKC Boys Soccer Coach of the Year.

Congratulations to all the staff and students involved in our fall production of Once Upon a Mattress. It was a great show!

Congratulations to the following students that made this year's ECKMEA District Honor Bands: Abby O'Donnell, Ryan Handley, Nic Weaver, Cole Bichelmeyer, Ryan Lange, Jacob Dority, Aidan Hamer, and Kellan Flynn. Additionally, congratulations to the following students that made this year’s ECKMEA District Honor Choir: Lindsay Kellogg, Mathys Moore, Alex Bonila, and Ellie Dossett. Congratulations to all these musicians who will now be eligible for our All-State Honor ensembles.

Last weekend several DHS Students submitted artwork at the DeSoto Fall Arts and Crafts exhibition. Congratulations to the following students: 1st Place- Julie Steeb -"Chaos" Collage, 2nd Place - Waverly Altis -"Deconstructed Self" -Portrait, and 3rd Place- Ella Lawson -"Cat Portrait - Colored Pencil.

Last week, DHS celebrated Wildcat Community Week. Each day had a theme designed to share positivity, reinforce good choices, and build on our goal of belongingness at DHS. Thank you to all the staff and students that participated in the various events.

Last week's GROWL message included information regarding optional programming aimed at increasing student and family awareness around the dangers of adolescent drug use. On November 29th information will be sent to students and families about the details of the program. This will include a student sign-up link for a planned presentation that will occur during a seminar the week of December 6th. The communication will also include a link and code to gain access to the parent video DON'T WAIT a film by Addiction is Real. We are planning a Zoom Q & A session for parents in early January. We are grateful for the opportunity to provide this important information to our students and families that will fall under our District approved, Student Well-Being series.

Semester final exams are scheduled to begin Monday, December 13th, and end Thursday, December 16th. Winter Break begins on December 17th. For the purpose of consistency, clarity, and the importance of finals, if students have to leave town prior to and/or during finals week, they will need to work with the teacher to make up the final within two weeks of their return (not before).

Graduation may seem far off, but May 21st will be here before we know it. Seniors and senior parents may want to review the information posted on our website.

Thanks, and Go Wildcats!

Sam Ruff,


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Best School Districts in Kansas 2022

De Soto District Ranked Second! Click here to read more.

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Text Alerts

Sign up to be notified of school closers and other alerts within the district.

Paraprofessionals and Student Nutrition Positions Available Now

De Soto School District is looking to hire for paraprofessionals and student nutrition openings in the district. If you are interested please click here for para information and here for student nutrition.
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Kansas Compulsory Attendance Statutes

Regular attendance is required of all pupils enrolled in elementary and secondary school under Kansas compulsory attendance statutes. It is a parental responsibility under Kansas statutes to require the regular school attendance “of any child who has reached the age of seven (7) years and is under the age of eighteen (18) years,” unless the child is exempted by statute.

District Policy for Excused Absences

The State of Kansas delegates to the Board of Education the responsibility of determining reasons for excusable absences.

The following are reasons for excusable absence:

1. Personal illness. A physician’s note will be required for chronic absenteeism.

2. Serious illness or death of a member of the family or close friend.

3. Obligatory religious observance of the student’s own faith.

4. Participation in a school-approved activity.

5. Physician or dentist appointments that can be verified by appointment card.

6. Court appearance that can be verified through court services’ officer.

7. Verifiable, emergency situations requiring immediate action at the request of the parent. Limit of five.

8. An absence that has been requested in writing and approved in advance by the building administrator.

Parents will be notified after five, and then again after ten absences making them aware of their student’s attendance record. A student who is absent from class or school without an excusable reason, as outlined above, will be considered unexcused. An unexcused absence for one or more classes will receive disciplinary consequences and credit may not be given for missed classes.

Procedure for reporting absences

1. Parents or legal guardians are requested to call the 24-hour attendance voice mail line (913- 667-6259) on the day of the absence. If a call is not received the day after the absence, the absence may be considered unexcused.

2. A telephone call will be required each day the student is absent unless prior arrangements have been made.

3. When reporting an absence, the parent or guardian should give the following information: • His or her name and relationship to student • student’s name and grade in school (please spell the name) • reason for absence • the date and hours of absence

4. Upon returning to school the day following an absence, the student should go directly to class. If there is a question about the absence, the Main Office will contact the student.

5. If a student leaves the school building during the school day, the student must sign out with the Main Office. Students must sign in at the Main Office upon returning to school that day or arriving at school after the school day begins, even if returning or leaving during a passing period. Failure to properly sign in or out could result in the student’s absence being marked as unexcused.

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Vaping Myths and Facts

Click here to learn more about Vaping from Children's Mercy Hospital

Note from the Counselors:

As we near the end of semester 1, now is a good time to start preparing for finals. Here are a few helpful tips. Visit your teacher for classes that you need the most help with during seminar. Ask clarifying questions in class. Review old tests (if possible) to understand what you missed. After completing the review and studying it, try filling it out based on what you remember. Need extra help? Visit the student union after school, Monday – Thursday from 3-4.

Schedule Change Requests:

Students who would like to submit a schedule change request for the second semester will need to fill out the schedule change request forms. The forms will be available in Student Services upon the return from Thanksgiving break. Schedule changes will only be approved if it meets the criteria on the form.

Senior Scholarship Information:

Now is a good time to start looking for scholarships for college. If you haven’t already done so please check out the DHS Student Services site: https://www.usd232.org/Page/3287. Click on the Financial Aid/Scholarship tab. Scholarships for DHS seniors only will be posted in January/February. General scholarships are updated on a regular basis so check the page often.

FAFSA Application Open for the 2022-23 School Year:

In October the 22-23 FAFSA application opened. This is used to determine financial aid which comes in the form of grants or scholarships. It is also used for parents/students qualify for loans to help subsidize the cost of college. For more information on financial aid go to: https://studentaid.gov/

Upcoming Deadlines for University Scholarships:

Seniors who apply for these schools by the deadline listed will be considered for scholarships that are typically based on high school GPA and ACT scores:

· Kansas State University: December 1st

· University of Kansas: December 1st

· Wichita State University: Freshman Merit Scholarships – December 1st,

Individual Plan of Study (IPS):

Every DHS student will have a completed Individual Plan of Study upon graduating De Soto High School. Students complete different IPS lessons approximately twice each month during seminar. Xello is the platform for IPS and contains all kinds of important information, specific to each student including career matches, personality styles, skills, interests, saved colleges, saved careers, scholarships, etc. Students will review their IPS with their seminar teacher and their parents during spring conferences. This video gives a short summary of why IPS is important and gives students/parents an idea of what is to be expected.

Social Emotional Lessons (SEL):

DHS seminars are now including SEL (Social-Emotional Learning) activities to help provide tools and resources for students. Upcoming topics include: analyzing emotions, goal setting, perseverance, and managing responses to emotions. The overall health and well-being of our students are important to us. If you are ever concerned about another student or your own, please don’t hesitate to reach out to their counselor or the social worker.

Resources from CollegeBoard:

Parent Action Plan for Seniors

Financial Aid Checklist

FAFSA Resources:


Quick Video Instructions on how to fill out the FAFSA

How to Create Your FSA ID

Types of Federal Student Aid


DHS Student Services Scholarship Page (updates frequently)

Scholarship Search Websites

DHS Counselors and Social Worker

Crissy Johns (A-G): CJohns@usd232.org

Lindsay Hothan (H-N): LHothan@usd232.org

Kaitlin Britt (O-Z): KBritt@usd232.org

Joe Kordalski (Social Worker): Rkordalski@usd232.org

JCCC Academic Campus Visits

If you want to explore possible JCCC careers and imagine their future as a college student, then you should attend JCCC’s Academic Campus Visits. These visits allow students to take a deep dive into specific programs and experience what it’s like to be a Cavalier. At the visit they will hear from our admissions representatives and faculty, get answers to questions that matter to them, and tour our state-of-the-art facilities.

  • Computer Science: Wednesday, November 10th, 3:30 – 5 pm
  • CS/IT: Wednesday, November 17th, 3:30 – 5 pm

To register for any of these events, go to JCCC Academic Campus Visits

Technology Help Desk

Having issues with district provided technology? Click here to get in touch with K12.

K-State Engineering Nights

K-State Engineering is hosting events in our area for high school and community college students. Students can join us at 6:30 p.m. CT on —

  • Thursday, Nov. 18 | Lenexa – Kiewit

Students will learn more about engineering degrees, scholarships, career opportunities and industry partners. We encourage all interested students to register at engg.k-state.edu/engineering-night.

Kansas Promise Scholarship

The state of Kansas is starting a new initiative called the Kansas Promise Scholarship.

Kansas Promise Scholarship is a “last dollar” scholarship that can pay for tuition, books and other Promise-eligible, course-related materials, not covered by other scholarships or grants. In exchange, students agree to work in Kansas for two years after completing their program.

Kansas Promise dollars subsidize middle or high-income students who might not qualify for federal and state aid to cover all college expenses.

For more information, visit Kansas Promise Scholarship.

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Senior Shortened Day Application

Starting Monday, November 1st, the senior shortened day application will be available in Student Services. This application allows seniors to shorten their schedule for semester 2, dropping their classes that are not needed for graduation or KSHSAA eligibility. There are certain requirements in order to participate in shortened day second semester. Please read through all requirements on the application.

Once applications are submitted, counselors will call students in on an as needed basis to discuss any scheduling conflicts or issues. Students who turn in the application by the priority deadline of November 12th, can view their updated schedule in Skyward by December 1st. This worksheet is for planning purposes only. There is no guarantee of a student’s requested schedule.

Updates from our Missouri Colleges and Universities!

Missouri University of Science & Technology:

· #1 public engineering college in the US

· Awarding 50 $1000 scholarships to PLTW students

· Qualifying Kansas Students: out of state portion is waived (approximately $18,000)

· December 1st scholarship priority deadline

University of Missouri:

  • Superscore ACT for Scholarships
  • Journalism is direct admit program
  • Esports: one of the top programs available
  • December 1 scholarship priority deadline

University of Missouri-St. Louis:

  • No application fee
  • Criminology and Criminal Justice ranked #4
  • International Business ranked in the top 25
  • Nursing: guaranteed spot for incoming freshman with a 3.0 GPA and a 24 ACT
  • January 1 scholarship priority deadline


  • Race, Ethnic and Gender Studies
  • Fall 2022: Bachelor of Media Arts and Design and Bachelors of Applied Sciences
  • 40% students of color, Over 85 countries represented, multiple LGBTQIA scholarships
  • Test Optional Admissions and Scholarships ($1500-2000)
  • Kansas Residents pay nearly the same tuition as In-State residents
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Wildcat Nation

Click here for the latest on anything activities or sports related.

Children's Mercy Hospitals Prepped and Ready Series

DHS families, Children’s Mercy Hospitals have graciously kept the Prepped and Ready: Experts Edition video series open for the community!

As a reminder, the series is a collection of 3-5 minute videos addressing difficult topics that pertain to raising teens. It takes less than an hour to watch the videos and complete the research surveys. The content touches on a variety of topics, but a major focus is empowering parents with tools to prevent suicides in our community.

Excerpts from the videos are below, and showcase a variety of speakers from CMH and our community:

Intro to Prepped and Ready Trailer - https://youtu.be/ECsW7XbsSqo

Prepped and Ready Impulsivity Trailer - https://youtu.be/TnJcmzcIGLc

Prepped and Ready Asking Tough Questions Trailer - https://youtu.be/O-uvmB8xlhg

Prepped and Ready Ingestions Trailer - https://youtu.be/D_sP7PyQZV8

Prepped and Ready Vaping Trailer - https://youtu.be/34r5_xOIKCg

Prepped and Ready Safe Storage Trailer - https://youtu.be/24SPNXfHAGE

Prepped and Ready Eating Disorders Trailer - https://youtu.be/6k6n_DYP0IA

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Follow us on Twitter

Click here to follow DHS on Twitter: @DeSotoWildcats

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Securly App

Parents can have peace of mind in knowing your student’s search history and time on their device. See your student’s online activity in real-time and catch up with weekly email snapshots by signing up with the Securly app. Follow the link for more information and directions.