Wildcat Growl

October 9, 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 Jackson Miller and Hunter Finerty! Both are Wildcats of the Month for September. We appreciate who they are and all that they do at DHS.

Congratulations to Coach Justin Hoffman and the Girls Tennis Team! They are the 2020 United Kansas Conference Champions. This is their 2nd consecutive UKC title. Jenna Doran and Emma Hellerich went 3-0 on the day winning the doubles championship. Congrats to the entire team!

DHS would like to welcome Dr. Johnny Lewis to our staff. Dr. Lewis joins our Special Services department. We are glad he is part of our team.

Student Council is planning and preparing for Homecoming Week, October 19th through the 23rd. Look for more information next week as they finalize plans.

The Academic Week at a Glance for the week of October 12th (found here) can be reviewed on our website. The Academic Week at a Glance provides detailed information for Hybrid and Optional Remote students about the schedule for each day of the week.

The school district published the Hybrid Schedule for the remainder of October through Friday, November 20. Please note, at the request of some parents the hybrid schedule was posted to assist families in planning work and family schedules. Should the school district remain in the hybrid learning environment, this will be the schedule the district follows.

The October/November hybrid schedule for the De Soto Cohort (A-K) is published on our website here. The October/November hybrid schedule for the Wildcat Cohort (L-Z) is published here. It is important to note that on October 26th, students in the Wildcat Cohort (L-Z) are in-person for an 8-period day. The De Soto Cohort (A-K) students are in-person on October 27th, for an 8-period day. Optional Remote students will follow the same schedule remotely.

We are looking for two freshmen students to represent DHS on the District Student Advisory Team. We want to remind our freshmen students that the deadline to apply is October 21st. The application was included in the Skyward message sent last week.

In order to assist students, teachers have regular Zoom office hours at various times throughout the day. This allows students access to teachers on Canvas days. The teacher office hours and Zoom link are posted on the homepage of each Canvas course. The Zoom office hour schedule can also be viewed on our website here.

Virtual Study Tables are free online peer tutoring after school on Wednesdays via Zoom. If a student needs additional academic assistance, this is great support for students. The specifics are included below.

Parent-Teacher Conferences will be held virtually on Wednesday, October 28th, and Thursday, October 29th. Each teacher will email families information on October 19th about online conference appointment sign-up. If families need assistance with signing up, please contact us.

Thank you,

Sam Ruff


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Canvas for Parents

Click Here for More Information about Navigating Canvas

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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

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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.

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Teacher Zoom Office Hours

Click here to see zoom office hours for teachers

Technology Help Desk

Please remember that the fastest way to start getting a solution to any technical issues is to contact our help desk. This is also available to all students.

Technology Help Desk

Get help with district technology

Students and Parents: You can reach our Help Desk by calling 816-382-4840.

Hours of Operation
Monday - Friday, 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

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

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.

Wildcat Nation News

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

Parents Choosing the Opt Out Process-Virtual Counseling for Students

USD 232 cares about the social-emotional wellbeing of all students. Given the changing circumstances surrounding school, we know students’ wellbeing must continue to be a focus. We are pleased to continue offering virtual sessions for students with their school’s social worker/counselor when meeting in person is not an option. All video conference sessions will be through a platform called Zoom and we will take steps to ensure the sessions comply with HIPAA and FERPA requirements. However, if a parent would prefer that their student not participate in virtual sessions with the school social worker or counselor, you may opt out by completing a simple form: VIRTUAL COUNSELING OPT OUT FORM

School Meals in Any Learning Environment

Click here for more information on Take-home Meal Kits

9th and 10th Grade Pre-ACT Information

Attention 9th & 10th Grade Parents - PreACT

During the week of November 9th, your student will take the PreACT at school.

What is the PreACT? The PreACT simulates the ACT testing experience within a shorter test window on all four ACT test subjects: English, math, reading and science. Results predict future success on the ACT test, and provide both current achievement and projected future ACT test scores on the familiar 1-35 ACT score scale.

When will my student take the PreACT? The test will begin at the start of 1st block. The date is based on your student’s cohort group:

  • 10th grade Wildcat Cohort (last names L-Z) - Monday, Nov. 9th
  • 9th grade Wildcat Cohort (last names L-Z) - Tuesday, Nov. 10th
  • 9th & 10th Grade Optional Remote Students – Wednesday, Nov. 11th
  • 10th grade De Soto Cohort (last names A-K) - Thursday, Nov. 12th
  • 9th grade De Soto Cohort (last names A-K) - Friday, Nov. 13th

No make-up tests will be provided.

Students will test in a large-group format in the gym. They will be socially distanced and required to wear a mask.

What should my student(s) bring for the test? They should bring a couple of sharpened #2 pencils (no mechanical pencils, please), a calculator, water & a snack (if they’d like).

Please make sure your student gets a good night’s sleep and eats breakfast before coming to school to test.

If you have any questions about the test, please reach out to your student’s counselor.

Schedule Changes

The window for schedule changes has passed. If a student is facing challenges in classes, we ask that the student reach out to teachers to ask questions. Teachers have Zoom office hours that students can attend for assistance. Office hours are posted on each Canvas course homepage.

In addition, starting October 7th from 3-4, every Wednesday, students can take part in Virtual Study Tables. If students need additional assistance, they can reach out to their counselor.



DHS is pleased to announce that the PSAT/NMSQT test will take place on January 26, 2021 for all sophomores and juniors who wish to take the exam. The January administration will have the same benefits as the October PSAT/NMSQT, including eligibility for programs administered by National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

Be on the lookout in November for registration information and procedures. For more information about the PSAT/NMSQT visit https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/psat-nmsqt-psat-10

Virtual College and Career Planning Night

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

College Fair

Upcoming College Fair:

The National Association of College Admission Counseling is hosting 3 upcoming virtual college fairs on October 12th, October 18th and November 8th. For more information please visit: www.virtualcollegefairs.org.

KACRAO Virtual College Fair:

Students will have the opportunity to participate in multiple virtual college fairs where you can hear from several different colleges and universities in one session and have the ability to ask questions to college reps:

  • Sessions will have six different colleges and universities presenting.
  • Sessions are offered over four days to provide you a variety of opportunities
  • Students are encouraged to register for multiple sessions!

To see a list of schools for each session, click on the links below. Students will register for sessions using the same links below.

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FAFSA 2021-22 Application Opens Soon!

FAFSA 2021-22 Application Opens Soon!

Seniors who are attending a post-secondary institution next year need to fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). This application will determine eligibility for grants and scholarships and many colleges and universities, but also provides loans as well. Students can begin filling out the 2021-22 application, starting October 1st. For more information, please visit: www.studentaid.gov.

JCCC has a helpful website on completing the FAFSA and offers assistance daily from 10 am – 3 pm via Zoom. Visit https://www.jccc.edu/admissions/financial-aid/ for more information.

The Johnson County library is offering an online step by step session to help students and parents with the FAFSA process. The next session available is October 28th from 6:30 to 8 pm. Students must register by visiting the following link: JCCC FAFSA Event.

Free Virtual FAFSA help with JOCO LIbrary

Johnson County Library is offering a free virtual FAFSA program this fall. Please share this information with
students, parents and anyone else you think may be interested in attending:

Step-by-Step through the FAFSA

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, is the federal application necessary to get free and low-cost money for college.
Join us as Jason Anderson, college and career planner, walks line-by-line through the FAFSA form,
using it to explain the ins-and-outs of the college admissions and financial aid process.
Wednesday Oct 28 6:30-8pm

To register to attend this virtual program, please visit our calendar jocolibrary.org/events and check "Career and Finance" in the Event Type section.

Thank you!

Debbie Lowery
Information Specialist/Shawnee Library
13811 Johnson Drive, Shawnee KS, 66216
913.826.4600 (office) | 913.826-4671 (fax)

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Meet with the University of Missouri Rep Virtually

Student Services has scheduled a virtual info session for students at De Soto High School on Tuesday, October 27th at 4:30 pm. Students who are in our system will receive an invite one week out and then one day out. Do you have a way to send out the registration info on your end?

If so, students can register at https://futuretigers.missouri.edu/register/DHS102720.

Meet with Emporia State Representative


Emporia State

Meet with the Emporia State Representative, Stephanie Darden via Zoom on Thursday October 8th or Tuesday, October 13th at 2:00

Zoom link: https://emporiastate.zoom.us/j/93418273009

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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.

Notes from the Nurse

New Illness Exclusion policy:

As many of you have read per our USD 232 website, our exclusion guidelines in regard to illness have changed per Johnson County Health Department. Please see below for a detailed explanation.


Students with at least one primary symptom OR two or more secondary symptoms are assumed to have COVID-19 and should be excluded from school and school-related activities and isolate at home. Fever is considered a secondary symptom in children.

Student Primary Symptoms (at least one)

New cough • Difficulty breathing • Loss of taste/smell

Student Secondary Symptoms (at least two)

Extreme fatigue • Fever (≥100 degrees Fahrenheit) or chills • Congestion/runny nose • Nausea/vomiting/diarrhea • Sore throat • Headache • Muscle or body aches

Students who exhibit one primary symptom OR two or more secondary symptoms and are not tested or test positive for COVID-19 should remain out of school and all school-related activities for 10 days after their symptoms began AND 24 hours after their fever (if present) has resolved without the aid of medication AND their initial symptoms have improved.

If a student is tested for COVID-19 and is negative, they can return to school 24 hours after their symptoms improve. If a physician indicates the symptoms are due to a non-infectious diagnosis (e.g., allergies, asthma), the child can be readmitted to school prior to their symptoms resolving. If a child has only one secondary symptom, the individual should be excluded for 24 hours after their symptom improves.


Our first exclusion date for missing immunizations is approaching. Per our Board of Education policy. Letters will be sent to those families of students with missing required immunizations. If your student is remote please remember to still send a copy of updated immunizations to me.

I have been notifying families of any students that DO NOT have the required vaccines on file, or have a religious or medical waiver on file to exempt their student.

This vaccines must be documented or a medical/religious waiver be on file for your student by October 12th, 2020.

If you have record that your student has had this vaccine, please send in a copy, email mfarverlightcap@usd232.org or fax (913-667-6251). If your student has not had this vaccine please schedule an appointment with your pediatrician to discuss this vaccine before October 12th, 2020

You may look this information up on Skyward family access under Health Info choose “Display Options” next to your student’s first name, select “Show Vaccinations”. Skyward will display which vaccinations are deemed Noncompliant.

***If this is not addressed by October 12th, your child will not be able to attend classes. This will be an UNEXCUSED ABSENCE.***

Please contact me if you have any questions,

Anne Lightcap BSN, RN

De Soto High School Nurse

Wildcat Boosters Closet

Click here for the latest DHS Booster Wildcat Spirit Gear

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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.