Wildcat Growl

March 5, 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 Maddy Calvello and Madison Page! Both have been named the February Students of the Month. Maddy and Madison are both involved in multiple activities at DHS and we are proud they are Wildcats!

Congrats to Laura Sixta and Cat Monroe. Both are our staff Wildcats of the Month for February. Mrs. Sixta and Mrs. Monroe contribute to the positivity of DHS and we appreciate them for it!

Congrats to the Science Olympiad Team! Seniors: Brent Smith, Kyle Smith, Caleb Kmiecik, Luke LeBar, Matthew Deibert, juniors: Scott Blanck, Mason Laney, and sophomores: Alex Boresow, Lauren Fandre, and Zach Myers have competed in several competitions throughout January and February. They take their 4th place state ranking into their 5th consecutive state competition this April. Good luck team!

Congrats to both Girls and Boys Basketball teams. They both won their first games of the tournament series and will play tonight (Girls) and tomorrow (Boys) for a Sub-State Championship. Good Luck to both teams!

This is just a reminder to students to take care of your district MacBook. Please do not remove the case. If the case is removed and the device is damaged you could be charged the full repair cost. Thank you.

The new De Soto High School Performing Arts Center construction project will begin on March 8th. Please be aware that this will include closing the drive and parking area on the west side of the building. Please use the new drive off 87th Street or the east drive to gain access to the student parking lot.

The graduation ceremony for the Class of 2021 will take place on May 22nd at 11:00 AM. Information about graduation can be found on our website (here).

Mr. Kordalski presents Optimism as the Habits of Mind topic for the week. Check it out.

Thanks, and have a great weekend,

Sam Ruff


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Bell Schedule

Click here to view Bell Schedule

Habits of the Mind

DHS Families,

This week in our Habits of Mind Series I focus on the importance of Optimism. The video highlights several actions we can do in the morning to create a positive morning mindset and how an end of the day mental “cool down” can be helpful. The morning mindset points focus on the importance of; breathe, being grateful, deciding on our daily outlook and lastly, reflection for a growth mindset. The afternoon/evening “cool down” talks about; looking for silver linings or ways to capitalize on errors and/or events that didn’t go as planned, identifying big or small wins for the day and finally identifying events, people, actions/behaviors, etc… that bring us down in an effort to avoid those if possible.

Link to video: https://youtu.be/02YJyG8Ly3Y

Optimism is a contagious behavior and one that I hope our students can build on as we near the end of a busy 3rd quarter.

Take care,

Joe Kordalski, LMSW

Teachers Zoom Office Hours

Click here to see zoom office hours for teachers

A&M Crew Applications

Applications for Ambassadors and Mentors (A&M Crew) for the 2021-22 school year are open! A & M Crew members serve DHS as Freshman Focus Mentors, provide building tours for new students, volunteer for event support throughout the year, and assist with peer tutoring during after school Study Tables. Any DHS student who will be a junior or senior during the 2021-22 school year is eligible to apply. Current A&M Crew members will need to reapply. Any questions can be directed to Abby Adams aadams@usd232.org . To apply fill out the following application by March, 30th 2021: https://forms.gle/o2VWko9Rxe4d2ETz9, you will also need one teacher recommendation filled out via this google form: https://forms.gle/YwzFdkGtLnj7ZPBk7

Text Alerts

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

Vision Screening for 10th Graders

The Nurse will be having vision screenings for 10th graders starting March 3rd and finishing up on the 8th. Please remember to bring your glasses/contacts if you wear them.

Thank you.

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Horizon Award Nomination

It is the time of year to honor and recognize exemplary first-year teachers who perform in a way that distinguishes them as outstanding. These teachers will finish their first year of teaching in May, 2021.

This fall the state will allow the De Soto School District to nominate one Elementary and one Secondary teacher for the Horizon Award. The Horizon Award honors and recognizes exemplary teachers who will complete their first year this May. These spectacular teachers perform in a way that distinguishes them as outstanding. All of our 2020-2021 teachers who were new last August to the profession are eligible for this honor! Below you will find the guidelines for nominating a teacher:

Novice teachers who will have successfully completed their first year of teaching are eligible to be recognized. A teacher (Pre-K through grade 12) who successfully completes his/her first year of teaching by May 2021 is eligible. The Kansas Horizon Award Program is a regional competition. The regions correspond to the state’s four U.S. congressional districts.

The Kansas State Department of Education will appoint regional selection committees responsible for reviewing the nomination forms and selecting four elementary classroom teachers and four secondary classroom teachers per region for a total of 32 teachers.

The criteria for this award are:

  • Nominee will have successfully completed his or her first year of teaching in a pre-kindergarten through grade 12 Kansas school accredited by the State Board of Education.
  • Nominee will be a full-time classroom teacher.
  • Nominee will be responsible for the assessment of students, assignment of grades, preparation of lesson plans, parent-teacher conferences, discipline, attendance, and other daily educational tasks.
  • Nominee will have performed in a way that distinguishes him or her from other novice teachers. Nominee is considered to be exceptionally skilled, dedicated and able to inspire students of all backgrounds and abilities.

In order to facilitate the process, we will begin the nominating portion of the program from February 22-March 19. Anyone can nominate an outstanding teacher who will complete their first year this year: administrators, teachers, and/or parents. (A first year teacher is considered a teacher new to the profession). If you would like to nominate a first year teacher go to www.usd232.org/horizonaward and follow the Horizon Award nomination link. The deadline for nominating a first year teacher is noon on March 19, 2021.

Remember: the nominees are NEW FULL-TIME TEACHERS THIS YEAR. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Wildcat Nation News

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

Auditions for De Soto Voce are coming up!

The only prerequisite for auditions is that a student has already taken Choir Foundations. For more information, please visit this Google Doc or check in with Mrs. Fry for details. mfry@usd232.org

click here for more information. De Soto Voce Auditions

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Virtual College and Career Planning Night

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

Scholarships for Seniors

The DHS Seniors Only Scholarships are now available for seniors to access.

Click on the following link: https://www.usd232.org/Page/3287

Winners will be announced at the Senior Awards Ceremony on May 21st.

  • 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: April 15th
  • De Soto VFW Scholarship: Deadline April 23rd
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Research College of Nursing – Summer Nursing Program

Research College of Nursing is planning a summer program for rising high school juniors and seniors titled “Explore RCoN!”. This experience will help students explore not only our college but the nursing profession as a whole. Applications are open now through May 1, 2021!

· Students can choose to attend; June 7-9 or June 14-16

· There is a cap of 30 students attending the program each week

· Currently we are planning for scenarios of an on-campus event and a back-up plan of a remote experience if necessary

· To see a draft of the schedule, visit https://tinyurl.com/2021draftschedule

· Scholarships available through The Research Foundation, thanks to a grant from the R.A. Long Foundation

· Additional information about this summer exploration and scholarship opportunities can be found at www.researchcollege.edu/explore

Virtual College Fairs

Click here for more information

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
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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 – August 1st- August 7th

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.

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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!

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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.

Science Olympiad

Despite the changes and challenges to in-person activities, the De Soto High School Science Olympiad team has been adapting and competing throughout 3rd quarter. If you don’t have time to read the details below, they are rocking it!

In the last week of January, we cohosted our first tournament with Mill Valley, “Schrodinger’s Invitational.” The team earned NINE first place medals out of 23 total events and brought home the team’s first ever trophy, 2nd place.

On Saturday, February 7th, the students gave their time to compete in a practice tournament hosted by Southern California with 338 schools across the nation. They were ranked 64th of the 339 total schools that participated, and students earned a 14th and 16th place ranking in two of the 23 events.

On Saturday, February 20th and on Wednesday, February 23rd, the team competed in the regional tournament with other Northeast Kansas high schools. They placed 4th overall out of the 15 regional teams, the best performance in our team’s history. When ranked with all the teams across the state of Kansas, we are still 4th in the state.

We will be participating in the state competition this April for our fifth consecutive year, and the team will be fighting hard to bump up our ranking to earn 3rd place. Please congratulate and cheer on the following students if you see them; they appreciate your support.

Seniors: Brent Smith (team captain), Kyle Smith, Caleb Kmiecik, Luke LeBar, Matthew Deibert

Juniors: Scott Blanck, Mason Laney

Sophomores: Alex Boresow, Lauren Fandre, Zach Myers

Laura (Draxler) Sixta

De Soto High School

Chemistry – Physical Science

Science Olympiad – Emerald City Rocket Club

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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.

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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.


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

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School Meals in Any Learning Environment

Click here for more information on Take-home Meal Kits

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