Wildcat Growl

March 12, 2021

Future Ready Wildcats

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


Principal's Message

Wildcats and Families,

One last opportunity for students to retake their school photo has been scheduled for Wednesday, 3/17/21. Students will be able to use seminar and lunch as opportunities during the day. Optional Remote students are invited to attend a session from 3-4:00 PM in the Black Box. Optional Remote students should enter the Activities entrance when arriving.

It is just about time for our students to update the operating system of their assigned USD232 MacBook. We will ask students to complete the process of upgrading to the Big Sur operating system at home over Spring Break – when it becomes available. Please look for an email from our technology team with the steps students can take to prepare for the upgrade.

We are in the final stages of meeting with students regarding course selection for next year. On Tuesday, 3/23/2021, we will mail confirmation of those requests to parents. Please review the selections and let us know if there is an error or needed change. The deadline for changes to a student’s course request for the 2021-2022 school year is 4/23/2021.

The end of the third quarter is Tuesday, 3/23/2021. Spring Break begins Wednesday 3/24/2021 and continues through Monday, 3/29/2021. Students return to a White day on Tuesday, 3/30/2021. The DHS main offices are closed: Tuesday, 3/23/2021, at 3:30 PM through 3/29/2021.

Seniors and senior parents should have received a letter in the mail a few weeks ago containing information about graduation, May 22nd (now 43 school days away). A copy of this letter can be found here.

Kansas State Assessments are scheduled to take place this spring. Onsite sophomore students will take the ELA exam the week of 4/6/21, and the math exam the week of 4/26/21. Optional Remote sophomores will test both ELA and math on 4/28/21 and 4/29/21. Onsite junior students will take the science exam the week of 4/26/21. Optional Remote juniors will take the science test on 4/26/21. Thank you in advance for scheduling appointments around these important weeks.

The Habits of Mind topic is ‘self-acceptance’. Check out the information provided by Mr. Kordalski below.

Thanks, and have a great weekend,

Sam Ruff


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Bell Schedule

Click here to view Bell Schedule

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Habits of Mind

DHS Families,

In this week’s Habits of Mind Series the focus shifts back on ourselves. The video highlights the importance that acceptance plays in our daily lives. As we work to juggle the multitude of events and responsibilities, it can become difficult to accept and appreciate the strengths and challenges that make us unique.

The message of acceptance and fostering a mindset of growth toward failures, mistakes and/or missed opportunities can help us to continue moving in a forward direction, versus allowing obstacles to keep us stuck, stagnant and unfulfilled.

Acceptance can take practice but it is so worth the reward! Here’s the link to video: https://youtu.be/hzDWPtpKq3I.

Have a wonderful finish to your week,

Joe Kordalski, LMSW

Teachers Zoom Office Hours

Click here to see zoom office hours for teachers

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Allergy Season!

When the weather warms up, days are longer and the world is blooming, we all want to be outdoors more often. For students with allergy symptoms. Here are some ways you can help your student.

  • Shower after spending time outdoors – prevents transfer of pollen to your bedding at night and decreases symptoms. At the very least, change clothes and was your hands and face.
  • Take your shoes off at the door – reduces pollen transfer to carpets and furniture.
  • Use a sinus rinse – A neti pot or over the counter sinus wash kit can help rinse allergens from your nose. Just make sure to follow directions for safe use.
  • Consider a daily allergy medication – Antihistamines like Claritin, Zyrtec and Allegra can be very helpful in controlling symptoms. Nasal sprays and eye drops can also be helpful.

o Allergy medication options: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases- conditions/ allergies/indepth/allergy-medications/art-20047403

o Why antihistamines work best when taken consistently:


o Save Benadryl (diphenhydramine) for bedtime or severe allergic reactions. It often makes students too sleepy for use during school.

  • If your student is still miserable after home treatment consider consulting with your pediatrician or an allergist. There are prescription medications and other allergy treatments that may help.

Remember, the school health room does NOT have antihistamines for seasonal allergies. You must treat these at home!

Be aware that allergies sometimes present as Covid-19 symptoms and your student may be sent to the doctor to be evaluated.

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A&M Crew Applications

Applications for Ambassadors and Mentors (A&M Crew) for the 2021-22 school year are open! A & M Crew members serve DHS as Freshman Focus Mentors, provide building tours for new students, volunteer for event support throughout the year, and assist with peer tutoring during after school Study Tables. Any DHS student who will be a junior or senior during the 2021-22 school year is eligible to apply. Current A&M Crew members will need to reapply. Any questions can be directed to Abby Adams aadams@usd232.org . To apply fill out the following application by March, 30th 2021: https://forms.gle/o2VWko9Rxe4d2ETz9, you will also need one teacher recommendation filled out via this google form: https://forms.gle/YwzFdkGtLnj7ZPBk7

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Auditions for De Soto Voce are coming up!

The only prerequisite for auditions is that a student has already taken Choir Foundations. For more information, please visit this Google Doc or check in with Mrs. Fry for details. mfry@usd232.org

click here for more information. De Soto Voce Auditions

Text Alerts

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

Horizon Award Nomination

It is the time of year to honor and recognize exemplary first-year teachers who perform in a way that distinguishes them as outstanding. These teachers will finish their first year of teaching in May, 2021.

This fall the state will allow the De Soto School District to nominate one Elementary and one Secondary teacher for the Horizon Award. The Horizon Award honors and recognizes exemplary teachers who will complete their first year this May. These spectacular teachers perform in a way that distinguishes them as outstanding. All of our 2020-2021 teachers who were new last August to the profession are eligible for this honor! Below you will find the guidelines for nominating a teacher:

Novice teachers who will have successfully completed their first year of teaching are eligible to be recognized. A teacher (Pre-K through grade 12) who successfully completes his/her first year of teaching by May 2021 is eligible. The Kansas Horizon Award Program is a regional competition. The regions correspond to the state’s four U.S. congressional districts.

The Kansas State Department of Education will appoint regional selection committees responsible for reviewing the nomination forms and selecting four elementary classroom teachers and four secondary classroom teachers per region for a total of 32 teachers.

The criteria for this award are:

  • Nominee will have successfully completed his or her first year of teaching in a pre-kindergarten through grade 12 Kansas school accredited by the State Board of Education.
  • Nominee will be a full-time classroom teacher.
  • Nominee will be responsible for the assessment of students, assignment of grades, preparation of lesson plans, parent-teacher conferences, discipline, attendance, and other daily educational tasks.
  • Nominee will have performed in a way that distinguishes him or her from other novice teachers. Nominee is considered to be exceptionally skilled, dedicated and able to inspire students of all backgrounds and abilities.

In order to facilitate the process, we will begin the nominating portion of the program from February 22-March 19. Anyone can nominate an outstanding teacher who will complete their first year this year: administrators, teachers, and/or parents. (A first year teacher is considered a teacher new to the profession). If you would like to nominate a first year teacher go to www.usd232.org/horizonaward and follow the Horizon Award nomination link. The deadline for nominating a first year teacher is noon on March 19, 2021.

Remember: the nominees are NEW FULL-TIME TEACHERS THIS YEAR. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Wildcat Nation News

Click here for Weekly Updates from the De Soto High School Activities Department

Science Olympiad Qualifies for State for 5th Consecutive Year

The DHS Science Olympiad team will be participating in the state competition this April for their fifth consecutive year.

Please congratulate and cheer on the following students if you see them; they appreciate your support.

Seniors: Brent Smith (team captain), Kyle Smith, Caleb Kmiecik, Luke LeBar, Matthew Deibert

Juniors: Scott Blanck, Mason Laney

Sophomores: Alex Boresow, Lauren Fandre, Zach Myers

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Virtual College and Career Planning Night

Click here to find out more on our Student Services website.

Scholarships for Seniors

The DHS Seniors Only Scholarships are now available for seniors to access.

Click on the following link: https://www.usd232.org/Page/3287

Winners will be announced at the Senior Awards Ceremony on May 21st.

  • DHS CAT Booster Scholarship: Deadline April 9
  • Shawnee Vision Care Scholarship: Deadline April 15
  • McCarthy Auto Group Scholarship: Deadline April 15
  • Trenton Hughes Scholarship: Deadline April 23
  • Casey Blake Johnson Running Scholarship: Deadline April 23
  • Jess Johnson Scholarship (Rotary Club): Deadline April 30
  • De Soto Teachers Association Scholarship: April 15th
  • De Soto VFW Scholarship: Deadline April 23rd

Research College of Nursing – Summer Nursing Program

Research College of Nursing is planning a summer program for rising high school juniors and seniors titled “Explore RCoN!”. This experience will help students explore not only our college but the nursing profession as a whole. Applications are open now through May 1, 2021!

· Students can choose to attend; June 7-9 or June 14-16

· There is a cap of 30 students attending the program each week

· Currently we are planning for scenarios of an on-campus event and a back-up plan of a remote experience if necessary

· To see a draft of the schedule, visit https://tinyurl.com/2021draftschedule

· Scholarships available through The Research Foundation, thanks to a grant from the R.A. Long Foundation

· Additional information about this summer exploration and scholarship opportunities can be found at www.researchcollege.edu/explore

Virtual College Fairs

Click here for more information

JCCC Scholarship Application – Deadline April 1st

De Soto High School Seniors who are planning on attending JCCC in the fall, need to fill out the JCCC scholarship application no later than April 1st. JCCC offers several scholarships, including the Presidential Scholarship that will be awarded to one high school senior from DHS. Students can apply by filling out the JCCC General Scholarship Application. To be eligible for JCCC scholarships, students must change their current status to degree seeking by visiting the following website: https://www.jccc.edu/student-resources/records/change-major.html
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American Legion of Kansas Boys State

Every year, the American Legion of Kansas offers an opportunity for students in Kansas. It is a week-long leadership opportunity where young men will:

  • Distinguish you in the competition for college admissions and scholarships
  • Expand leadership and problem-solving skills that will help you throughout life
  • Give you a huge head start in your senior government class
  • Introduce you to some of the smartest, most motivated high school students in Kansas
  • Establish lifelong friendships
  • Who – Male Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors in the top half of their class;

What – The American Legion Boys’ State of Kansas;

When – August 1st- August 7th

Where – Kansas State University in Manhattan;

Why – For Democracy to work, we must learn how to work together;

How – Apply at American Legion Boys' State of Kansas ... (ksbstate.org)

If you are interested in this program and need a sponsor to help pay for the cost, please contact Mrs. Johns at cjohns@usd232.org.

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KCKCC What to Expect Wednesdays:

Join KCKCC on Wednesday nights at 6 P.M. on the KCKCC Admissions Facebook page for a Live interactive event, "What to Expect Wednesdays"! Join our Admission Coordinators as they dive into topics like the enrollment process, college terms and how to get involved. The Coordinators will answer questions from parents and students as they come in live! This is a great way for students and parents to get started on their transition into the collegiate experience!

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USD 232 Making a Difference Award

Anyone in USD 232 (staff, parents, students, etc.) can nominate any USD 232 employee. All teachers, support staff, custodians, administrators, secretaries, counselors, food service workers are eligible to receive this award. (Previous Making a Difference Winners ineligible). Monthly entries are encouraged as new nominations are reviewed on a monthly basis (i.e. we don’t look at nominations from previous months)

This award is given monthly throughout the school year to individuals who are truly “making a difference in the lives of young people” and was specifically created to celebrate and honor the exceptional teachers and staff in USD 232.

Thank you for taking the time to nominate your deriving candidate!

Making a Difference Nomination Form

Technology Help Desk

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

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Face Mask Facts

Face masks are required to be properly worn by all individuals in K-12 schools by Kansas Executive Order 20-59.

Wearing a mask is an important tool to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. This evidence-based approach is supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, and the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment.

In compliance with the state order, USD 232 requires the wearing of masks at all times, with few exceptions. Exemption requests will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and require medical verification. Requests can be made by contacting our nurse at 913-667-6250 or mfarverlightcap@usd232.org.

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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.


Paraprofessional Substitutes needed!

USD 232 is in need of paraprofessional substitutes who are flexible and willing to substitute throughout the district on an as needed basis. Stay-at-home parents make great substitute paraprofessionals! The ideal candidate is caring, compassionate and dedicated to the students’ success by looking for ways to support the teacher and making a positive difference in the lives of our children. Becoming a para sub is a great way to support the district, our students and our teachers which is needed now more than ever.

To learn more about becoming a substitute paraprofessional for the district, please speak with your Principal or contact Human Resources at the USD 232 District Office. Ready to apply?

Click here > Paraprofessional Substitutes for USD 232

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School Meals in Any Learning Environment

Click here for more information on Take-home Meal Kits

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