Starside's Comet

Newsletter Communication for December 17, 2021

Starside Elementary

Our Starside Mission:

Through a collaborative learning community we will build a foundation upon which all students can develop essential academic and life skills.

Click HERE to visit our school website!

A Message From Principal Hicks

Starside Families – It’s hard to believe the school year is half over and here we are at winter break. It has gone so fast! As I reflect on this year, I am reminded of many happy times and many memories made around Starside. I thank you for sharing your children with us. They are growing and learning every day! I’m also excited to ring in the new year of 2022 and look forward to all the possibilities a new year can bring. For now, my wish is that you all have a restful, relaxing winter break enjoying time spent with family and friends. Happy Holidays!

Grant Strong Event! You Can Still Register!

This benefits one of our Starside students. You can help! If you missed the basketball tournaments last week and didn't get registered, it's not too late. See below...use the QR code and text information to request a kit to be mailed to your home. You could save a life!! Let's continue to show our support! #WeareonebigfamilyatStarside
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We would like for you to nominate any teacher whom you consider to be an outstanding and effective educator and whom you or your child has had as a teacher. This person must be a tenured employee of USD 232. If there is a De Soto educator whom you believe to be outstanding and deserving of special recognition, please fill out the nomination form at This form needs to be completed by noon on January 14, 2021.

The De Soto School District has been an important and strong participant in the Kansas Teacher of the Year Program for many years. De Soto has had fifteen state finalists and twelve semi-finalists represented in the program since 2000. Two of our very own teachers were chosen as The Kansas Teacher of the Year; Keil Hileman in 2004 and Jeri Powers in 2008. This is truly unprecedented!

Why Should We Participate?

¨ To recognize and honor all teachers and publicize all that is good in public education

¨ To reward those teachers who are particularly effective in many areas of endeavor---in the classroom, with colleagues, and in school and community affairs.

¨ To promote our own school and school system, but, most of all, to promote the quality of education that we believe we are giving our students.

¨ To work with other teachers across the state for the improvement of our schools, student performance, and the teaching profession.

Who Can Participate?

¨ Any full-time classroom teacher in the De Soto Unified School District; this includes special education teachers.* Teachers must assign grades to be eligible by KSDE.

¨ Any full-time classroom teacher who was not selected as his/her building nominee the previous year.** (Teachers that have been selected as a Kansas Teacher of the Year district nominee or state semi-finalist are eligible after 5 years of serving on the state team).

What Are the Steps in this Program?

¨ Teachers are nominated on the building level by their colleagues, students, and/or parents

¨ The district team, made up of building representatives, will select one nominee for each building; this selection will be announced before the end of the school year.

¨ A different selection team will evaluate all building applications and will select one elementary and one secondary USD 232 district representative which will be announced in August.

¨ The two district representatives will attend the regional recognition banquet in March in Overland Park and will have the chance to participate in other Teacher of the Year opportunities throughout the year.

Save the Date

December 17 through January 4, 2022 - No school for students


  • 3 - No School for Students - Teacher PD Day
  • 4 - No School for Students - Teacher Work Day
  • 3-7 - No SPARK or Clubs!
  • 5 - Start of Q3, Semester 2 - Students Return to School
  • 7 - Q2/Semester 1 Grades posted
  • 10-14 - SPARK Resumes - 2ND Session Clubs Begin!
  • 10 - PTA Chipotle Restaurant Night - See Flyers in the PTA section
  • 11 - PTA Meeting
  • 18 - Choir Resumes!

Book Fair Thank You!

Thank you to the families of Starside for supporting the book fair this year.

A huge thank you to PTA for donating a $5.00 certificate for every child to spend at the book fair.

A big shout out of thanks to my volunteers for helping run a successful book fair for our Starside students and families. They all were lifesavers!

When everything is completed from Scholastic I will share with you how many new books I can add to our Starside Library for the students as a result of the Book Fair.

My co-chair, Mrs. Jacobsen and I thank you for your support.

Mrs. DeHoff

Library Media Specialist

Counselor's Corner

SPARK & Clubs

No SPARK or Clubs January 3-7, due to Winter Break! If you have any questions, please contact Mrs. Mispagel or Miss King.

SPARK and 2ND Session Clubs begin again the week of January 10-14! You will receive an email reminder of your 2nd Session Club. Your classroom teacher will also have a list if you can't remember which club you are starting.

McKenzi Mispagel,

Madison King,

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Order your Starside Yearbook now!!

Yearbook Order Deadline is March 28th!

The online ordering code is:

If you have any questions about Yearbook, please contact Mrs. King or Mrs. Hessong.

Maddie King,

Danielle Hessong,


4th and 5th Grade Choir performed for Starside Students this week. We hope you can check it out - you can enjoy your own private Choir Concert at home! Choir will resume on January 18th!
Starside Choir Winter Performance 2021-22

5th Grade Winter Band Concert

Dimension of Student Achievement in Action: High Quality Work

Mr. Foster and the band students sounded excellent at their concert, and there was even a surprise guest...Santa!

2021 Winter Band Concert


Happy Holidays!

Check out the link to our updated calendar on our website - Starside PTA Calendar.

Or go to and click on Calendar and then the Calendar file.

You can also view our monthly meeting minutes from November on the website, too.

Join our Facebook page at Starside PTA and follow us on Instagram at starsidepta232 to stay up to date on information and events.

Fundraising Opportunities:

  • Casey's Rewards - download their app and earn points
  • BoxTops - download the app and scan your store receipts
  • - choose Starside PTA as your favorite charity
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MAKERSPACE Donations Appreciated!

If you have any of the following items and would be willing to donate them to the Starside Makerspace, we would greatly appreciate it!

-Cotton balls-Hot glue sticks-Pringles cans-Pipe cleaners-Aluminum foil-Small canning jar lids-

SE Community Information

USD232EF Quarter Kudos

The USD 232 Education Foundation would like to recognize the amazing teaching and learning going on in our classrooms. We even want to brag about it! Getting students excited about learning is a teacher's superpower, so we want to CELEBRATE the teachers of USD 232!

Last quarter, we came up with the idea of “Teacher Kudos”. This gave parents and teachers alike a chance to share a fun or innovative activity that really impacted students' learning by posting on Facebook. Each post submitted was a chance for the teacher to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card from the USD 232 Education Foundation.

We are doing this again for the second quarter which will be a great way to end the semester. Here is the Facebook link:

Second Quarter Teacher Kudos

Construction News will be continued next Spring...

Eastbound K-10 on-ramp and highway are now open! Both East and Westbound K-10 will remain open until construction begins on the Westbound ramp and highway in late spring or early summer!


Community Service

Community service hours should be tallied from April 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022. Attached you will find a form for tracking service hours. All service hours are due no later than Monday, April 4th this school year.

The definition of service under the President’s Volunteer Service Award program includes any activity that has a significant impact on meeting the needs of the community. Services that are paid for or carried out for a family member do not count towards service hours. Some examples of services include helping with community organizations, school-based programs, scouting services, or any effort to help others.

Students are responsible for keeping track of ALL of their community service hours including hours completed at Starside such as Comet Guard. If you have any questions, please feel free to call me at Starside at 667-6270 ext. 2196 or e-mail me at Thank you for your support.


McKenzi Mispagel

Starside School Counselor

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Contacts: Front Office

Email: to reach our secretaries, Starla Newberry and Jackie Johnson, and Nurse Tara Brown with your inquiries, attendance reporting, or student enrollment/records requests.

Be sure to add to your contacts list so we don't end up in your spam folder!

LIKE the Starside Facebook page!

"Like" our new Starside Facebook page: to receive updates on school news and events via Facebook!

Making A Difference

We are blessed to have such an amazing staff members here at Starside! They deserve to be recognized! Through the Great American Bank and our very own USD 232 Education Foundation they are providing you the opportunity to recognize staff members that you feel go above and beyond in their daily interactions with our students. All you need to do is click on the link below and fill out some general information of the deserving nominee. Thank you for helping our staff feel special!

Making a Difference Nomination Link

What is Bullying?

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SKYWARD Report Card Access

Parents – This year Starside will not be printing grade cards to send home with students. However, you may access your child’s grades in Skyward.


Log in to Skyward Family Access

Click on the Documents tab on the left side

Next, click on the blue link that says 21-22 Q1 Report Card

For further instructions please reference the Link (Pay close attention to page 3 and page 7):

Skyward Directions

Substitute Teachers Needed

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USD 232 Parents As Teachers

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Clickable Links:

Virtual Tour of Starside with Principal Hicks

Welcome to Starside
USD 232 Text Alerts

Sign up to receive alerts regarding special events like school closures, school pictures, late start reminders, etc.

2021-2022 School Year District Calendar

Details on school dates - late start dates and holidays, etc.

Starside Website

Your best resource for all things Starside!

Skyward Family Access Guide

Skyward Family Access instructions to check grades, SE Messages, fees, enrollment, and more.

Nutrition Resources

Menus and information regarding the USD #232 Nutrition program.

FirstView Student Bus Application

Parent App providing up-to-the-minute bus information including estimated bus arrival time, opt-in district messaging regarding delays or issues and customizable alerts.

Starside Family Handbook

Details on Starside procedures regarding arrival and dismissal, attendance notification, birthdays, snacks, special events, transportation changes, and everything Starside!

USD 232 Flyers

Electonic flyers for Scouts, Clinics & Camps, Sports & Miscellaneous events.

Family Resources

Community resources and information for USD 232 Families.

Education Foundation

Benefitting the District and enhancing the services and education provided by USD232.