Wildcat Growl

September 11, 2022

Our Vision:

De Soto High School ensures all students learn at a high level and have a positive sense of belonging, developing each student to be ready for their future.

Principal's Message

Wildcat Family,

Homecoming week begins tomorrow, Monday, September 12th. Fun activities are planned to take place all week long, ending with the dance on Saturday, September 17th. More information is included in this newsletter or can be found on our website, here.

Congratulations to our 2022-2023 Homecoming Candidates: Chino Calderon, Chloe Collins, Jenna Haswell, Ryan Jenkins, Will Kerr, Lauren Pratt, Andrea Valenzuala, and Sam Torline.

Welcome new Wildcat staff! This week we welcome Katie Miller, Savannah Steinmetz, and Javier Vieyra to DHS. Ms. Steinmetz returns to her alma mater to teach Special Education. Mr. Vieyra teaches US History, World Geography, and Civics. Mrs. Miller teaches Spanish. We are excited they are part of our team.

Our first Delayed Start day is Wednesday, September 21st. The building opens to students at 9:30 AM, and the first block classes begin at 9:50 AM.

We hope to see you at Parent-Teacher Conferences. The conferences will be held on Wednesday, September 28th from 3:30 pm – 7:30 pm, and Thursday, September 29th from 9:30 am – 8:00 pm.

Wednesday conferences will take place at DHS in person in the commons and the aux. gym. This open format allows parents to stop by tables as teachers become available throughout the evening.

Thursday conferences will take place by appointment in both a virtual and in-person format based on the needs of the parent. Families will sign up for Thursday conference times through Skyward. Directions regarding how to sign up for conferences will be sent via email on Wednesday, September 14th.

In order to improve the safety and security of our building, an Attendance Office was added to the north student entrance (door #21). This creates a secure student entrance/exit to DHS, where students will be able to enter/exit the building closer to the student parking lot from a door that is monitored by our attendance secretary and school resource officer during the school day (7:50 am-2:55 pm).

We ask that all students use this exit/entrance during the school day. Families can pick up or drop students off at this door. Our visitors will continue to use the Main Entrance on the south side of the building.

Thanks, and have a great week!

Sam Ruff


De Soto High School

Big picture
Green & White Calendar

Click here for school calendar and bell schedule

Big picture
Big picture

Attendance Procedure and Tips

We want to share some important information and reminders for parents. During the summer, we added a new Attendance Office to the north student entrance (door #21). This new student-only entrance/exit will be where students should be dropped off or picked up during the school day (7:50 am - 2:55 pm). Visitors will continue to use the Main Entrance on the south side of the building.

Please remember to call DHS, before 10:00 am on the day of an absence if your student is absent. 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 due to a physician/medical/dental appointment verify the appointment by turning in an appointment note/slip from the healthcare provider. This helps us ensure the absence is excused rather than considered a parent request. Students can turn the note in to the attendance office when they return from the appointment.

Big picture

Homework Request Information

When your student is absent from school, please encourage your student to reach out to teachers requesting assignments missed due to the absence. Certainly, parents can also reach out to teachers, but part of becoming a self-directed independent learner is communication, being organized, and advocating for yourself. If your student is experiencing a longer-term absence (a week or more), our counselors are available to assist in this process.

Wildcat Nation

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

Big picture
Big picture
Text Alerts

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

Big picture
Big picture

School Meals

School meals for the 2022-2023 school year will revert back to standard pricing. Meals for all students will no longer be free because federal waivers were not extended. Only students/families who qualify financially will be eligible to receive free or reduced-price meals for the 2022-2023 school year. Families may complete an Application for Free or Reduced Price School Meals online at skyward.usd232.org or by completing a paper copy. If a family has already received communication that their child(ren) qualifies for free or reduced-price meals, a Consent for Disclosure/Waiver must be completed in order to receive a reduction in school fees or transportation.
Big picture

Suicide Awareness and Prevention Month

Wildcat families,

September is designated as Suicide Awareness and Prevention Month across the globe. This month in The Growl I’ll be sharing information about awareness and prevention efforts at DHS and in Johnson County.

The most recent research data for Johnson County reports a 26% decrease across all age in suicide completions over the course of the pandemic. For individuals 19 years and younger our community experienced a 33% decrease in suicides and for individuals 20 years and old there was a 25% decrease. While it may be early to identify all of the factors leading to these decreases, we have observed the following pieces contribute to the data; an increase in the discussion around mental health and suicide in our communities, an increase in the access to crisis services, more police departments offering co-responder supports (mental health professional embedded within a police department) on mental health calls and closer contact with family and friends over the pandemic due to community isolation and quarantine. While these numbers are encouraging our push is to continue talking about, providing support and connecting individuals with services.

Here are couple resources offered through the Johnson Co. Suicide Prevention Coalition.


Since July 16th 2022 the National Suicide Prevention Hotline now operates under the number 988. The number provides the same service with qualified mental health and crisis interventionist supporting individuals in need.

Technology Help Desk

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

Big picture
Follow us on Twitter

Click here to follow DHS on Twitter: @DeSotoWildcats

Need to contact the Counselors?

DHS Counselors and Social Worker

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

Abbey Heller (H-N): aheller@usd232.org

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

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

KC Metro College Fair:

The KC Metro College Fair is an excellent opportunity for all high students to visit with college reps from over 85 colleges. Financial aid presentations are also available. Students who attend may enter to win prizes, including a MacBook and Amazon gift cards. The college fair will take place at Olathe North on September 12th, 2022 from 6:00-8:00 PM.

College Representatives Visiting

A representative from the following Universities will be in Student Services during seminar if your student is interested in more information.

Date they are coming: College:

9/21/22 K-State

9/22/22 FHSU

9/28/22 Wichita State

10/6/22 Kansas University

10/13/22 Missouri State

Kansas ScholarShop

In partnership with Sallie Mae, Kansas State Treasurer’s office has launched the Kansas ScholarShop initiative. ScholarShop aims to restore hope and excitement for students seeking educational and career advancement after high school. With access to 6 million scholarships worth up to $30 billion; students can search and find scholarships, grants and awards tailored specifically to their deepest passions. For more information visit: https://kansascash.ks.gov/scholarshop.html

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 Jason Anderson, CFA, CFP, of Gradmetrics, as he walks line-by-line through the FAFSA form, using it to explain the ins-and-outs of the college admissions and financial aid process.

· Tuesday, September 27th, 6:30-8 pm (Online via Zoom)

· Tuesday, Oct 18th 6:30-8pm (at the Central Resource Library and online via Zoom)

Registration is required. Go to jocolibrary.org/events and check "Career and Finance" in the Event Type section.

Wednesday, October 5th, 2022

Ready to go to college? Not sure where to start in your planning? Want to hear from some experts on the subject?

Save the date and join us at the Cedar Trails Exploration Center for an evening event all about planning for College.

Big picture
Driver's Education Classes

Click here to find out more information and sign up.

Cat Booster Club

The Cat Booster Club works to support all of our students at DHS. They provide teacher grants for classroom needs, support Gradfest, assist school activities in fundraising, organize Teacher Appreciation Week, and fund scholarships to graduating seniors. They are able to do all of this by selling spirit wear and donating their time in the concession stands. We are so appreciative of them. The membership drive for this year is currently underway, with multiple levels to choose from. Check out their website - here.
Big picture
Big picture

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.