Wildcat Growl

February 13, 2022

Future Ready Wildcats

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


Principal's Message

Wildcats and Families,

Congrats to the DHS Scholar’s Bowl team for earning Runner-up in the KSHSAA 5A Scholar’s Bowl Tournament. Members include Sara Murphy (Captain), Mason Laney, Waverly Altis, Alex Boresow, and Nick Weaver. Great job, team!

Congrats to Gabby Cheney! Gabby is the first Wildcat to qualify for the Girls State Wrestling Tournament. Way to go Gabby!

Congrats to Alexsandra Bonilla and Cole Krudwig for being named Wildcats of the Month for January! Alexsandra and Cole are involved in and have a positive impact on a variety of activities at DHS. Way to go!

Congrats to Will Mercer and Holly Balch! Mr. Mercer teaches Communications and is the Head Coach of our Debate and Forensics teams. Mrs. Balch is a paraprofessional at DHS and provides support to many of our students. We are lucky both are Wildcats!

This is Homecoming Week at DHS. Dress-up day information is included below. Our pep assembly is scheduled to take place Wednesday. The theme of the dance is Hollywood Night and will take place Saturday from 8:00 PM -11:00 PM.

Congratulations to the Queen/King candidates: Alexis Tranbarger, Macy Carver, Sadie Carver, Emma Klingler, Zander Barkemeyer, Kendan Powers, Owen Gier, and Bryce Englehart.

Parent-Teacher Conferences are also taking place this week. The virtual conferences will be held on Wednesday, February 16th from 3:30 PM – 7:30 PM, and Thursday, February 17th from 9:30 AM – 8:00 PM.

Information about how to sign up was sent out by each seminar teacher last week, but feel free to reach out to teachers if you missed that communication.

The focus and format for Spring Parent-Teacher Conferences will include a student lead discussion regarding their Individual Plan of Study with their parent and Seminar teacher.

If an in-person conference is needed, please reach out to your student’s teachers. We look forward to the opportunity to connect with you to discuss student progress.

Just a reminder that we do not have school on Thursday, February 17th, Friday, February 18th, and Monday, February 21st (due to President’s Day).

Thanks, and have a great week.

Sam Ruff


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Best School Districts in Kansas 2022

De Soto District Ranked Second! Click here to read more.

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DHS Scholastic Art award winner Julie Steeb

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Vaping Myths and Facts

Click here to learn more about Vaping from Children's Mercy Hospital

Text Alerts

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

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Technology Help Desk

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

Reminder of updated Covid-19 exclusion guidelines

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Wildcat Nation

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

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Paraprofessionals and Student Nutrition Positions Available Now

De Soto School District is looking to hire for paraprofessionals and student nutrition openings in the district. If you are interested please click here for para information and here for student nutrition.
Follow us on Twitter

Click here to follow DHS on Twitter: @DeSotoWildcats

Note from the Counselors:

Senior Scholarship Information:

Now is a good time to start looking for scholarships for college. If you haven’t already done so please check out the DHS Student Services site: https://www.usd232.org/Page/3287. Click on the Financial Aid/Scholarship tab. Scholarships for DHS seniors only will be posted in January/February. General scholarships are updated on a regular basis so check the page often.

FAFSA Application Open for the 2022-23 School Year:

In October the 22-23 FAFSA application opened. This is used to determine financial aid which comes in the form of grants or scholarships. It is also used for parents/students to qualify for loans to help subsidize the cost of college. For more information on financial aid go to: https://studentaid.gov/

Individual Plan of Study (IPS):

Every DHS student will have a completed Individual Plan of Study upon graduating from De Soto High School. Students complete different IPS lessons approximately twice each month during seminar. Xello is the platform for IPS and contains all kinds of important information, specific to each student including career matches, personality styles, skills, interests, saved colleges, saved careers, scholarships, etc. Students will review their IPS with their seminar teacher and their parents during spring conferences. This video gives a short summary of why IPS is important and gives students/parents an idea of what is to be expected.

Social-Emotional Lessons (SEL):

DHS seminars are now including SEL (Social-Emotional Learning) activities to help provide tools and resources for students. Upcoming topics include: analyzing emotions, goal setting, perseverance, and managing responses to emotions. The overall health and well-being of our students are important to us. If you are ever concerned about another student or your own, please don’t hesitate to reach out to their counselor or the social worker.

Resources from CollegeBoard:

Parent Action Plan for Seniors

Financial Aid Checklist

FAFSA Resources:


Quick Video Instructions on how to fill out the FAFSA

How to Create Your FSA ID

Types of Federal Student Aid


DHS Student Services Scholarship Page (updated frequently)

Scholarship Search Websites

DHS Counselors and Social Worker

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

Lindsay Hothan (H-N): LHothan@usd232.org

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

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

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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

  • DHS CAT Booster Scholarship: Application coming soon!
  • De Soto Alumni/VFW Scholarship: Application coming soon!
  • Olathe Health Center Health Care Scholarship: Deadline February 22
  • De Soto Teachers Association Scholarship: Deadline April 15
  • Shawnee Vision Care Scholarship: Deadline April 15
  • McCarthy Auto Group Scholarship: Deadline April 15
  • Trenton Hughes Scholarship: Deadline April 22
  • Casey Blake Johnson Running Scholarship: Deadline April 22
  • Jess Johnson Scholarship (Rotary Club): Deadline April 30

Winners will be announced at the Senior Awards Ceremony that is currently scheduled for May 18th.

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JCCC Junior/Senior Day

JCCC is a smart, affordable college choice, providing all students with individualized attention. Invite your juniors and seniors to an engaging and informative on-campus event showcasing life as a JCCC Cavalier. Parents are encouraged to attend.

Junior/Senior Day
Mon. Feb. 21
8 – 11:30 a.m. or 1 – 4:30 p.m.
RC 101 A-D & Hudson Auditorium

JCCC is the perfect place for your students to continue their education. During Junior/Senior Day, they will:

  • Connect with Financial Aid and Counseling to discuss funding options and educational goals
  • Tour our easy-to-navigate campus and explore resources to help them succeed
  • Experience life as a JCCC student: dining, study spaces, clubs, Student Lounge and more

Encourage students to take this opportunity to find their tomorrow at JCCC.

RSVP for this event

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Parent Connect events from JCMC

Johnson County Mental Health Center has two upcoming virtual events as part of their Parent Connect series Parent Connect events provide information and learning opportunities from parenting experts and community presenters. Parent Connect focuses on families’ strengths to help find solutions and encourage self-care. These events are open to any parent/guardian living in Johnson County, Kansas. No registration is needed.

February 15, 2022 at 5:30- For this session, three members of the LGBTQ community will join to support caregivers gain insight into their children’s experiences.

February 24, 2022 at 5:30- For this session, Lesli Girard, Families Together Inc., and Jane Groff, KPIRC, will provide families and caregivers with information on the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), different forms of stress, and practices that promote resilience.

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Winter Sports Spectator Guidelines

Click here for information and guidelines for spectators


Kansas Compulsory Attendance Statutes

Regular attendance is required of all pupils enrolled in elementary and secondary school under Kansas compulsory attendance statutes. It is a parental responsibility under Kansas statutes to require the regular school attendance “of any child who has reached the age of seven (7) years and is under the age of eighteen (18) years,” unless the child is exempted by statute.

District Policy for Excused Absences

The State of Kansas delegates to the Board of Education the responsibility of determining reasons for excusable absences.

The following are reasons for excusable absence:

1. Personal illness. A physician’s note will be required for chronic absenteeism.

2. Serious illness or death of a member of the family or close friend.

3. Obligatory religious observance of the student’s own faith.

4. Participation in a school-approved activity.

5. Physician or dentist appointments that can be verified by appointment card.

6. Court appearance that can be verified through court services’ officer.

7. Verifiable, emergency situations requiring immediate action at the request of the parent. Limit of five.

8. An absence that has been requested in writing and approved in advance by the building administrator.

Parents will be notified after five, and then again after ten absences making them aware of their student’s attendance record. A student who is absent from class or school without an excusable reason, as outlined above, will be considered unexcused. An unexcused absence for one or more classes will receive disciplinary consequences and credit may not be given for missed classes.

Procedure for reporting absences

1. Parents or legal guardians are requested to call the 24-hour attendance voice mail line (913- 667-6259) on the day of the absence. If a call is not received the day after the absence, the absence may be considered unexcused.

2. A telephone call will be required each day the student is absent unless prior arrangements have been made.

3. When reporting an absence, the parent or guardian should give the following information: • His or her name and relationship to student • student’s name and grade in school (please spell the name) • reason for absence • the date and hours of absence

4. Upon returning to school the day following an absence, the student should go directly to class. If there is a question about the absence, the Main Office will contact the student.

5. If a student leaves the school building during the school day, the student must sign out with the Main Office. Students must sign in at the Main Office upon returning to school that day or arriving at school after the school day begins, even if returning or leaving during a passing period. Failure to properly sign in or out could result in the student’s absence being marked as unexcused.

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Children's Mercy Hospitals Prepped and Ready Series

DHS families, Children’s Mercy Hospitals have graciously kept the Prepped and Ready: Experts Edition video series open for the community!

As a reminder, the series is a collection of 3-5 minute videos addressing difficult topics that pertain to raising teens. It takes less than an hour to watch the videos and complete the research surveys. The content touches on a variety of topics, but a major focus is empowering parents with tools to prevent suicides in our community.

Excerpts from the videos are below, and showcase a variety of speakers from CMH and our community:

Intro to Prepped and Ready Trailer - https://youtu.be/ECsW7XbsSqo

Prepped and Ready Impulsivity Trailer - https://youtu.be/TnJcmzcIGLc

Prepped and Ready Asking Tough Questions Trailer - https://youtu.be/O-uvmB8xlhg

Prepped and Ready Ingestions Trailer - https://youtu.be/D_sP7PyQZV8

Prepped and Ready Vaping Trailer - https://youtu.be/34r5_xOIKCg

Prepped and Ready Safe Storage Trailer - https://youtu.be/24SPNXfHAGE

Prepped and Ready Eating Disorders Trailer - https://youtu.be/6k6n_DYP0IA

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.