Starside's Comet

Newsletter Communication for March 29, 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!


Nominate a deserving Starside educator, today!

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 review the details below and fill out the nomination form at:

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!

Your nomination must be completed by noon on April 16, 2021.

Click HERE to nominate!

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 Rewards?

  • Building winners will receive $150 to use for classroom resources or conferences. These awards are non-transferable.
  • District winners receive $1000 to be applied to any regional or national educational conference of their choice. They are also allowed one free professional day to use in writing the state application.
  • Regional winners receive a $2,000 award from Security Benefit Life
  • THE Kansas Teacher of the Year receives $4000 from Security Benefit Life and awards and opportunities too numerous to list.

Click HERE to nominate!


Corporate Sponsors Needed!

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PTA School Supplies for 21-22

See Flyer below to order boxed school supplies for next year! Orders Due May 14th!
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Starside's Virtual Variety Show

Important Dates!

Wednesday, March 31: Permission Form Due

Friday, April 2-Monday, April 19: Complete at-home recording

Monday, April 19: Submit video recording to Mrs. Mispagel or Mr. Jennings

Friday, May 28: Starside Virtual Variety Show will be shared with families

Save the Date


  • Tuesday, March 30 - 4th Quarter begins
  • Wednesday, March 31 - SE Virtual Variety Show Permission form due


  • Friday, April 2 - Community Service Logs are due
  • Tuesday, April 13 - 4th General PTA Meeting – 6:00 pm

  • Friday, April 23 - Walk-A-Thon

Counselor's Corner

Community Service Hours Due this week!

Starside will continue the President’s Volunteer Service Award and tradition of recognizing students for community service. Community service hours are tallied from April 1, 2020, to March 31, 2021. Community service hours are due Friday, April 2. The log sheet for community service hours is linked below. Students can also pick up forms from Mrs. Mispagel.

Students who reach the goal of 10 or more hours will receive a certificate in May. Students earning 26 hours receive a bronze pin and certificate from the President of the United States. Students who achieve 50 hours receive a silver pin, and the gold pin is awarded for 75 hours or more. Students achieving between 10 and 25 hours are recognized with a Starside Community Service certificate.

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 community service hours. Log sheets should be turned in approximately every 10 hours earned. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our Counselor, McKenzi Mispagel at

Spark After-School Program

What: The Spark program focuses on individual and differentiated instructional student needs.

Who: Spark is available to students in grades 2 through 5. Students are recommended by classroom teachers, reading and math specialists, and the admin team. Spark also supports the MTSS Tier II and III placements.

Where: Starside Elementary

When: After school on Tuesdays and Thursdays until 4:45 p.m. Spark runs from November to the end of April.

Why: Through Spark, our goal is to close achievement gaps and offer additional academic support for students.

If you are interested in your child being a part of the after-school Spark program please contact McKenzi Mispagel ( or Chris Wilhelm ( Space is limited.

Nurse Tara's Health Notes

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Summer Camps and Clinics!

Click on the link to find options for summer clinics and camps for all sorts of different activities!

21-22 Kindergarten Enrollment: Click HERE!

If you have a child who will attend kindergarten during the 2021-22 school year, we've already had Kindergarten Round-up, so please check out this USD 232 link for more information!


Nominate a Deserving Starside Staff Member for March!

USD 232 and the USD 232 Education Foundation present the Making a Difference Award!

Nominations are due March 31, 2021! The recipient will be recognized in April.

This award is designed to honor and recognize those staff members who go above and beyond, exceeding expectations, to make a difference for the students, families, and other employees in our district.

Award Criteria

• Anyone (staff, parents, students, etc.) can nominate any USD 232 employee (Previous Making A Difference Winners ineligible)

• Nominations are due by the last Wednesday of each month

• Recognitions will be given monthly throughout the school year

• Each recipient of this award will be presented a check for $250 along with a special trophy designed and manufactured by our high school students

Making a Difference Nomination Form

New! Parent/Guardian Procedures for 20-21


Starside will be taking regular attendance. The Attendance Secretary calls families to check on students who have not notified the school of an absence.

OPTIONAL REMOTE parents need to report absences for any Zooms students will miss.

ON-SITE parents need to report absences:

  • Any time your student is supposed to be at school.
  • If your student is ill, PLEASE include all symptoms & if diagnosed with Flu, Strep, or Covid.


You may not bring outside food into your child nor join him/her for lunch.

If your child forgets his/her lunch, he/she may get a free school lunch or you may bring a lunchbox with your students' name on it and drop it off at the school by ringing the doorbell to notify the office of the delivery and drop it off on the table in the foyer.

Visitors/Parent Volunteers

At this time, we will not be able to have visitors or parent volunteers. We miss you and look forward to seeing you soon. You may bring a forgotten item; however, you will not be allowed to enter past the foyer. Please ring the bell and we will let you in. Place the item, marked with your child's name on it, on the table in the foyer and we will get the item to your child.

Dropping off your child after the start of school:

  • Submit the absence online or call/email the office to notify the school that your child will be late. Please let us know the reason for the tardy (appointment, headache, or just running late).
  • You DO need to safely escort your elementary-aged child to the front door. Ring the bell and we will let only your child inside.
  • If we have not heard from a parent/guardian the tardy will be marked as unexcused, so please do not forget to notify the office of the reason for the tardy.

Checking your child out of school early:

  • Please call or email to notify the office and teacher ahead of time.
  • Have an ID ready to show when picking up your child.
  • Press the bell, show your ID, and let us know who you are checking out.
  • We will let you inside where you may wait for your child in the foyer.
  • We will locate your child and send him/her to you in the foyer.

We sincerely appreciate your patience and support during this time. If you have any questions, please call 913-667-6270 and we will be happy to assist you in any way we can!

Sending Treats to School

Due to the need for extra safety precautions during the pandemic, students will not be permitted to bring homemade treats to share with their class for birthdays or any occasion. Families who wish to send birthday treats to share with the entire class may send in store-bought (sealed) baked goods or store-bought, individually-wrapped treats.

Technology Corner

Parents: Do you ever wonder what your child searches for on their school device?

Do you ever wonder what websites your child most often visits?

Do you ever wonder how much time your child spends on their device while at school?

If you answered 'YES' to any of these questions, you are strongly encouraged to check out the Securly Home App! Securly is a free web-monitoring platform available to all USD 232 families.

See your child’s online activity in real-time and catch up with weekly email snapshots!

For more information and to learn how to install the app, click HERE.

USD 232 Lost/Damaged Technology Policy

The following cost structure will apply when iPads are sent home with elementary students. If damage or loss occurs due to intentional acts or as the result of negligence in handling the device:

-1st Incident: No Fee;

-2nd Incident: $25.00;

-3rd Incident: $50.00 and

-4th and Subsequent Incidents: Actual cost of repair/replacement

The repair cost structure will reset annually for elementary students. In the event a device is stolen, a police report must be filed with local law enforcement and a copy of the report submitted to the school administration to prevent being charged the replacement cost of the device.

Accessories and parts that do not carry a warranty are charged at actual replacement cost.

Replacement cost for lost crayon (digital pencil for iPad):

-1st Incident: $25.00

-2nd and Subsequent Incidents: $50.00 (full replacement cost)

Replacement cost for lost/damaged charger:

-1st Incident: $11:00

-2nd and Subsequent Incidents: $22.00 (full replacement cost)

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.

LIKE the Starside Facebook page!

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

Contacts: Front Office

Email: to reach our secretaries, Starla Newberry and Jackie Johnson 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!

Contacts: Student Services

Kris Meyer


Jan Hicks

School Improvement Specialist

McKenzi Mispagel


Tara Brown


Virtual Tour of Starside Elementary

Clickable Links: