Wildcat Growl

December 4, 2020

Future Ready Wildcats

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


Principal's Message

Dear Wildcats and Families,

Congratulations to the following DHS students who made this year’s John Philip Sousa Honor Band: Lucinda Mater, Joshua VanDeCreek, Ashlyn Jennings, and Isaac Daniels.

Congrats to Scott Sharp and Lindsay Hothan. Both are our staff Wildcats of the Month for November. Mr. Sharp and Mrs. Hothan contribute to the positivity of DHS and we appreciate them for it!

We are a week into all of our students being in the remote setting. While we understand that this change may require some adjustments, we are at an important time – late in the semester.

A few reminders about the Remote Learning environment:

  • Students are expected to be on time for class. The bell schedule is on our website (here).
  • All students are expected to remain for the entirety of each class.
  • Students should be in a location suitable for learning and dressed appropriately for school.
  • The camera on the laptop is expected to be turned on, with the student clearly visible.
  • The remote schedule for December can be viewed on our website (here).

Our Social Worker, Joe Kordalski included valuable insights and suggestions in dealing with change for students and families in this edition of the Growl.

Students should be aware that if a substitute teacher is needed for your course, a sub Zoom link will be placed on your teacher’s Canvas homepage. It may help to get in the habit of always checking the homepage at the start of each class.

Students are encouraged to make the most of their time during seminar. All teachers are available to assist students with questions or clarification needed on assignments. We also have expanded the after school virtual study tables – taking place on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Please reference the graphic below.

Believe it or not, 2021-2022 Course Selection is right around the corner. Important information about some exciting program offerings at the newest USD232 secondary facility - Cedar Trails Exploration Center (CTEC) is included below. Check it out!

Seniors! What may seem like far off in the distance, in reality, is right around the corner. The graduation ceremony is scheduled for May 22nd, 2020. The official DHS cap and gown are needed for participation in the ceremony. Information is included in this Growl about ordering the cap and gown.

Kind Regards,

Sam Ruff

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Updated November/December Schedule

Click here for the latest Schedule for November and December

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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

Technology Help Desk

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

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Attendance Procedure and Tips

If your student is hybrid and not physically in class on a day that they should be, they will be considered absent even if they sign in remotely.

Please remember to call DHS, preferably before 10:00 am on the day of the absence if your student is absent. This also includes Optional Remote Students.

You can also call in a prearranged absence ahead of time. The 24-hour attendance voicemail

is 913-667-6259. We also ask that students missing school as a result of an appointment to verify the appointment by turning in an appointment note/slip. This helps us ensure the absence is excused rather than considered as a parent request. Students can turn the note into the school office when they return from the appointment or email the attendance secretary at mpartlowwilliams@usd232.org.

Text Alerts

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

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Canvas for Parents

Click Here for More Information about Navigating Canvas

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Dropping off forms or items for your student?

DHS has placed shelves just inside the front doors for parents and students that need to bring in forms and items or would like to pay fees during office hours. 7:30-3:30 Monday-Friday
Teacher Zoom Office Hours

Click here to see zoom office hours for teachers

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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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School Meals in Any Learning Environment

Click here for more information on Take-home Meal Kits

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PSAT Registration

PSAT Registration

This week an email was sent out via Skyward to all 10th and 11th grade students and their parents/guardian about registering for the PSAT. This is an optional exam. If you would like to learn more about the benefits of taking the PSAT please click the link below! If you have specific questions about how to register please check your email sent on 11/2 titled “PSAT Registration.”


Virtual College and Career Planning Night

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

K-State Extends Priority date for Scholarships:

It's not too late to complete your K-State application and be considered for one of K-State's many scholarship opportunities. They are extending their priority date for general university scholarship and award consideration to January 5th.

K-State offers more than $46 million in four-year renewable and one-time awards each year. Students can apply today to become the next Wildcat and receive full scholarship consideration and get access to sign up for housing, as the portal is about to open!

If you would like to attend one of the workshops during a Saturday session, please see below:

  • Application Workshop – they can join us from their computer, and we will walk them through the application. We will also waive the $40 application fee just for attending.
  • Q&A with Current Students - students will share why they chose K-State and what their college experience has been like during COVID.

Pittsburg State University Virtual Information Sessions

Pitt State has scheduled two evening Zoom sessions in which parents and students can log-in to join a Pitt State presentation and Q/A's. The best part is that they will be doing a drawing for a $1,000 scholarship for students who register and attend the Zoom session! Those dates are Thursday, December 3rd and Thursday, December 10th, both at 6:00 p.m. To register for the sessions, please click on the link of the date you would like to attend.

· Thursday, December 3rd at 6:00 pm

· Thursday, December 10th at 6:00 pm

In addition, Pitt State is eliminating their application fee for the 2021 school year! Yes, you heard that correctly! If you have already applied and paid the $30 application fee, please fill out this form for a refund.
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College Fair

Upcoming College Fair:

The National Association of College Admission Counseling is hosting 3 upcoming virtual college fairs on November 8th. For more information please visit: www.virtualcollegefairs.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!

Spirit Wear makes a good stocking stuffer

Click here to order Booster Club Spirit Wear

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District Recommendation for Students Returning from Quarantine or Isolation

If a student is gone from school due to a COVID-19 quarantine or isolation, the district is recommending that students disinfect their textbooks, library books and MacBook at home before coming back to school.

Thank you.

Wildcat Nation News

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

Winter Sports Broadcast Schedule

Click here to find out more about live streaming events.

Wildcat Families,

It is my hope that as we work our way through the end of our first week of students working remotely there are pieces to their new routine that are falling into place. We understand that the changes and adaptations to their schedules can be difficult. This often takes time to take shape and can be a bit unpredictable. When I spend time talking with students about growing their abilities to adapt to stress and adversity and to show resiliency there are 4 keys points that I work into the conversation that I wanted to highlight this week.

Making Connections: The restrictions and missed opportunities that COVID has placed in our lives has been a big social interruption. Making connections and maintaining those over a longer periods of time with restriction can disrupt our social successes and leave us feeling less fulfilled. I encourage student to be more intention in how and when they are reaching out to their friends and family in additional to being thoughtful of how this time is used. This is also the same for the connections they are experiencing with teachers and staff at DHS. Of late, I’ve noticed a greater reluctance in students reaching out to teachers for clarification or in general about their course work. While it can feel repetitive the more we can model and role play what those Zoom calls and email should look and sound like can really help remove some of the barriers and build effective paths of communication.

Accepting that change is a part of life: When we remain in the mindset that nothing should be going wrong and that this experience should be over, with an end date in mind we are putting ourselves in the position of feeling stuck. When I talk with students about their outlook I can observe in a fairly quick manner that talking through these persistent thoughts helps to identify actions they can take to move forward. I use the phrase “name it to tame it” as a way of identifying feelings/emotions, putting those into words and then brainstorming strategies to make forward progress.

Taking care of yourself: While this is often a topic we discuss it is often behavior that I see not happening for a variety of reasons. Feeling overwhelmed tends to keep us in a state of hyperarousal which can compromise our ability to make thoughtful decision and heathy choices. Focusing on the basics of our health like; balanced eating, positive coping skills, restful sleep, getting outdoors, exercising, practicing open communication and having fulfilling social interactions are all pieces to building a more balanced self. As you have likely experienced these often take time and practice to then become habit.

Looking for opportunities for self-discovery: As we adjust to the changes in remote learning there is the possibility that our schedule have gaps or holes in them. I encourage students to step out of their comfort zone and pursue and new interest like art, music, writing, journaling or participating in various other mindfulness activities. Here’s the link to a site that helps summaries mindfulness and how it can be used to support our success. http://mindfulnessforteens.com/

The following is a short article on how teens are using their down time and the implications it can have on their ability to feel recharged.


Feel free to reach out if there are questions you have or concerns regarding your student’s mental health.

Joe Kordalski, LMSW

x. 2434

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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.


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Prepped and Ready

Prepped and Ready is a presentation to help equip parents for the transition into parenting teenagers. Prepped and Ready aims to help you learn what steps you can take before a crisis develops with your teenager. We seek to empower you to address the hard topics that can be very uncomfortable and we talk about changes each one of us can make within our own homes to make them safer.

The Prepped and Ready presentation was developed after Shayla Sullivant, MD spent many hours with families in crisis at Children's Mercy. After providing advice to parents on the next steps to take, many parents asked an important question: Why didn’t anyone ever tell me this sooner?

The Prepped and Ready presentation provides a brief overview on the following topics, with an emphasis on suicide prevention:

Eating disorder prevention

Home safety (including storage of firearms, medications, etc.)

Screen time


Substance use (including vaping)

Suicide prevention

As a parent, you face new challenges that our parents never encountered, but there are steps you can take that make a difference. Prepped and Ready can address problems before they become too big and together, we can take steps to prevent tragedies from happening within our own homes.

Register for an upcoming online presentation:

December 8, 2020 – 7:00 p.m. Register for the virtual event sponsored by ADHD KC.