Wildcat Growl

February 19, 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 Abi Yarbrough and Elizabeth Schottler for being named National Merit Scholar Finalists! This distinction places them in the top 1% of high school seniors in the country. Both Abi and Elizabeth qualified as a result of their academic record, school and community involvement, and PSAT/SAT scores. Great Job!

We also want to recognize and celebrate several of our outstanding staff members. The following were presented with a Making A Difference Award for the month of January: Jim Bonar, Matthew Bradford, Anne Cahoone, Phil Hamilton, Philip Kaul, Will Mercer, Amy Reif, Ryan Robie, and Emily Thayer.

As a result of missing school due to the inclement weather/power outages, the daily Green/White Day schedule has changed. Monday, February 22nd will be a White Day. Tuesday, February 23rd, will be a Green Day. And, Wednesday, February 24th will be a White Day. The updated calendar for the end of February and March can be viewed on our website (here).

We hope you signed up for Parent-Teacher Conferences next week. The virtual conferences will be held on Wednesday, February 24th from 3:30 PM – 7:30 PM, and Thursday, February 25th from 9:30 AM – 8:00 PM. This is a great opportunity for parents and teachers to collaborate on the success of our students. Information about how to sign up was sent out by each teacher earlier this week, and the deadline to sign-up for a conference is February 22nd.

The ACT Test for junior students is scheduled to take place Tuesday, March 2nd for students with the last names A-K, and Wednesday, March 3rd for students with the last names L-Z. Optional Remote students intending to sit for the exam should come on the day designated by your last name. As a reminder ACT is used for college admissions, university scholarships, and can predict college readiness. This ACT test can be a reportable ACT test that students can submit to colleges. After the exam, ACT will mail every student their score report to their home address.

The Habits of Mind topic for this week is humor. Check out the resources provided by Mr. Kordalski below.

Kind Regards,

Sam Ruff


National Merit Finalists

Seniors Elizabeth Schottler and Abigail Yarbrough, at De Soto High School, advanced as Finalists in the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program. This distinction places both students in the top one percent of all high school seniors in the country.

Each senior received a Certificate of Merit which was presented on behalf of the National Merit Scholarship Corporation by Principal Sam Ruff. Both students met all the requirements to advance to the Finalist standing in the competition. These requirements included their academic record, a list of school and community participation, SAT scores, and a letter of recommendation from a high school official.

The selection of some 7,500 Merit Scholarship winners from the group of more than 15,000 Finalists is now in progress. All National Merit Scholarship winners will be announced at the beginning of April 2021 and conclude in July 2021.

Big picture
Big picture
Bell Schedule

Click here to view Bell Schedule

Big picture
Big picture

Habits of the Mind

DHS Families,

Here’s to the end of a short but long week!

Last week, I talked about the importance of consistency with the anticipation of the cold weather and the President’s Day holiday. While we were granted a couple additional days off, it can become tough when our schedules are uncertain and timelines quickly change. As a means of coping with some of these challenges, we shift the focus this week to the importance of humor. Here’s a link to this week’s video: https://youtu.be/2BxVajeT9fs and a link to parent resource: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress-relief/art-20044456

After long days and/or weeks, I personally find it challenging at times to muster the humor needed to keep life’s events in perspective. I’m thankful to be surrounded by staff and students who encourage me to find humor in our everyday interactions.

As you’ve likely experienced, day-to-day events and expectations are a balancing act. Humor can shift the balance towards a change in mindset.

Have a great weekend!

Joe Kordalski, LMSW

Big picture
Big picture

Seatbelt Enforcement

The 2021 SAFE program Seatbelt Enforcement campaign will begin on Monday, Feb. 22., and end on Friday, March 5. You will see an increase in enforcement efforts during this period.

The Kansas Department of Transportation and the SAFE Program will hold a two-week seatbelt enforcement beginning February 22 and ending on March 5, targeting drivers and their occupants.

Enforcement of seatbelt laws is the most effective way to encourage seat belt use and ultimately save lives. Various methods have been used to educate teens and adults about the dangers of driving unbelted.

We have learned that nothing impacts human behavior more than vigorous enforcement.






Good Luck at Sub State!

Big picture
Text Alerts

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

Big picture

Arriving to DHS after 7:50am

As a security reminder when you arrive after 7:50am you need to enter the building from the south/front office. Students you can park on the east/Media Center side of the building so you don’t have to walk far.

Thank you

Deputy Serpan (SRO)

Teachers Zoom Office Hours

Click here to see zoom office hours for teachers

Scholarships for Seniors

The DHS Seniors Only Scholarships are now available for seniors to access. We are waiting on two more that will be posted by the end of February. Click on the following link: https://www.usd232.org/Page/3287

  • Olathe Health Center Health Care Scholarship: Deadline February 24
  • 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: TBD
  • De Soto VFW Scholarship: Deadline TBD

Winners will be announced at the Senior Awards Ceremony that is currently scheduled for May 21st.

Virtual College and Career Planning Night

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

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
Big picture

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 – Sunday, June 6 through Saturday, June 12, 2021;

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.

Big picture

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!

Big picture
Big picture

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.

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.

De Soto High School Winter Sports Spectator Guidelines

Click here for the latest updates to the KSHSAA Spectator Guidelines

Junior ACT Test

Junior ACT

· Juniors w/ Last Names A-K: will test on 1st & 2nd block on Tuesday, March 2nd in the Aux Gym & Student Union – rosters will be posted in the commons the week of Feb. 22nd

· Juniors w/ Last Names L-Z: will test on 1st & 2nd block on Wednesday, March 3rd in the Aux Gym & Student Union – rosters will be posted in the commons the week of Feb. 22nd

· Optional Remote Students who are planning to take the ACT should come to DHS on the day their group is testing by last name

· Please email Leah Vomhof, associate principal, with questions: lvomhof@usd232.org

Winter Sports Broadcast Schedule

Click here to find out more about live streaming events.

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.


Wildcat Nation News

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

Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture

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

Big picture
School Meals in Any Learning Environment

Click here for more information on Take-home Meal Kits

Big picture