Starside's Comet

Newsletter Communication for December 11, 2020

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 Meyer

Twas the 12 Days of Kindness at Starside

12 Days of Kindess @ Starside!

  • Monday, December 14 - Be a secret Starsider! Secretly slip a Happy Note in a student, teacher, or neighbor’s mailbox. *Extra Happy Notes can be found in the Starside office or for pick-up during ORL pick-up day on 12/11!
  • Tuesday, December 15 Thanks for giving me a hand! Trace your hand and write “Thank you for giving me a hand!” in the middle. Give your hand to someone who helped you at school or home.
  • Wednesday, December 16Treat day! Treat someone who you normally would not treat (neighbor, sibling, a student in a different class or grade) with a homemade/handmade gift or act of appreciation.
  • Thursday, December 17 - Actions speak louder than words! Show our hard-working custodians your appreciation by making your classroom/halls extra tidy, writing Happy Notes, or treating them with compliments! ORL students: email Mr. Wingo at:
  • Friday, December 18Show your class! Involve your entire class in a random act of kindness (RAK) somewhere in the building! ORL students perform RAKs virtually (email) or for someone at home!
  • Monday, December 21Be classy. Be kind. Be creative. Thank a classified staff member (nurse, secretary, para, aide, café member)! This can be done in person, by calling the Starside Office to thank Mrs. Jackie or Mrs. Starla personally at (913-667-6270), or send a letter in the mail to someone at Starside. Starside’s address: 35400 W. 91st Street, De Soto, KS 66018
  • Tuesday, December 22 – SPREAD JOY! Wear your favorite holiday sweater or PJ’s and share your joy with others!

2020 Starside Spelling Bee

Congrats to our Starside Spelling Bee Qualifiers & *Alternates! GREAT JOB, COMET SPELLERS!

3rd Grade

Dario Diaz, Palmer Fixsen, Olivia Lavendusky, *Madi Lewis,

*Mckenzie McPherson, Lucas Nelson, Gabe Smith, Cason Simmons,

Trey Wilkins, *Samantha Villa, *Makenzie Woolever

4th Grade

Providence Brownell, *Raegan Budimlija, David Gonzalez,

*Chloe McCracken, Crosby McCracken, Chloe Miller,

*Andrew Ramirez Ayon, Preston Streeter, Emma Wagner

5th Grade

Miles Addis, Lauren Buckingham, *Perla Carlos, Ava Clark, Rafa Fernandez,

*Landon Gregory, *Jayce Henning, Liam Johnsson, Emma Shrout

PTA Winter Movie Parties

PTA Movie Parties will be taking place on Tuesday, December 22nd. Your PTA Room Parent should be reaching out to you regarding organizing for the event. Please remember that snacks must be individually packaged and store-bought. The kids will not be able to take their masks off in the classroom to eat, so snack items (things that do not require a utensil to eat and that can be snuck up under a mask) are necessary.

If you have any questions, please reach out to your room parent for help. This toilet paper snowman is looking forward to the fun times before we start winter break!


Please join us Tuesday, December 15th for a Book Swap. We will be open from 8:15-9:30 a.m.

Tired of reading the same books over and over? If so, please take part in this event by having your family go through your books at home. Send in your gently used books and your student can swap them out for fresh, new titles. This is a great way to update home libraries and get prepared for reading over the winter break!

*Students will use hand sanitizer before entering to select books.

No books that are turned in will be given back out on this date.

The number of students swapping out books will be limited to small groups.*

Nominate a Deserving Starside Staff Member for December!

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

Nominations are due December 31, 2020! The recipient will be recognized in early January.

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

De Soto Christmas Tree Lighting

Mrs. Hodges' 1st Grade Class was invited to sing with De Soto Mayor, Rick Walker, for the Lighting of the Mayor's Christmas Tree. The mayor sent a video of himself playing the guitar and singing a Christmas song. Mrs. Hodges' class learned the song in a day and a half and made a video of themselves singing with Mayor Walker. They worked hard to learn the song and were honored to help with the countdown to the tree lighting.

While making the video, they learned a little bit about using technology to create a music program to share with others. They did some test videos to see the best way to play the mayor's recording (through a laptop or through the projector and speakers) and learned that using external mics helped pick up their singing better than just using the iPad mics. They experienced that making a recording takes a little time and practice, but it is well worth it when you see and hear the final product.

If you missed it, you can watch it at under 'City Announcements.'

Save the Date

  • Tuesday, December 22 - Winter Movie Parties (times & details to be emailed by teachers)
  • Wednesday, December 23 through Monday, January 4 - Winter Break
  • Tuesday, January 5 - Classes Resume
  • Friday, January 15 - End of Q2, Semester 1
  • Monday, January 18 - No School, Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday
  • Tuesday, January 19 - No School for Students, Teacher Workday
  • Wednesday, January 20 - Q3 Begins, Semester 2 Begins

Counselor's Corner

31st Annual Kindest Kansas Citian Contest

Please read the following contest guidelines carefully.

The guidelines listed below are designed to help students meet the contest objectives of defining kindness and identify adult role models who demonstrate kind, caring, and respectful behavior that the students would like to emulate in their lives.

1. Kindergarten through 12th grade students may participate in the essay contest. Only kindergarten through 2nd grade students may submit a drawing with a one sentence description. Entries are judged in the following grade level groups: K-2 Drawing; K-2 Essay; 3-5 Essay.

2. Essays should not be longer than one page written in ink or typed. Drawings must be on 8.5 x 11 inch paper. All entries must be completed on or accompanied by an Official Contest Form with the required information complete and correct to qualify in the top 20 honorees (see the Official Contest Form for the list of required information).

3. Individuals, couples, or groups may be nominated for the Kindest Kansas Citian Contest. The nominee must be a Kansas City Metro area resident, 18 years of age or older, and NOT related to the nominating student. Famous individuals will NOT qualify in the top 20 honorees unless they have personal relationships with the nominating students.

4. Entries should demonstrate the positive impact the nominee has made on the student’s life. Judges are looking to identify kind acts that come from the heart. Emotional content takes precedence over spelling and grammar. Entries must be created by the youth and not parents or teachers. For very young children and youth with disabilities, adults may take dictation for essays or write a descriptive sentence for drawings. Students are allowed write about someone they have nominated in the past as long they were not previously a finalist with that nomination.

5. Entry information and form is attached below. Copies are also available from Mrs. Mispagel or the office. Entries must be returned/submitted to Mrs. Mispagel by Friday, January 22nd, 2021.

Spark Information

Spark begins after school on Tuesday and Thursday, ending at 4:45.

No Spark: weeks of December 21, and December 28 (Winter Break).

Please contact Mrs. McKenzi Mispagel ( or Mrs. Chris Wilhelm ( with any questions

Information about COVID-19 related District Communications

Defining a Case of COVID-19 Disease and the Infectious Period
A person is considered a case of COVID-19 disease if they have tested positive for the SARSCoV-2 virus by a diagnostic test. Based on what we currently know, a case is considered infectious three days prior to the onset of symptoms through at least 10 days after the onset of symptoms. For cases that do not have symptoms, the infectious period is considered as three days prior to the date the sample was collected through a minimum of 10 days from the date the sample was collected. Cases must remain in isolation until they have met the criteria for release from isolation set by state and/or county health departments.

Defining a Close Contact
A person is considered a close contact of a case if they were within six feet of the case for ten minutes or more without masks, or if they had exposure to secretions (for example, being coughed or sneezed on). People who are close contacts of a COVID-19 positive or presumed positive individual during that person’s infectious period are considered exposed and should quarantine. Close contacts are recommended to remain in quarantine until they have met the criteria for release from quarantine set by state/county health departments.

General Notification Letter
Schools will send a general notification letter to families and staff when an individual or individuals connected to the school test positive for the virus.

Low-Risk Notification Letter
A person may receive a low-risk notification letter indicating they may have had a low-risk exposure to someone who tested positive for COVID-19. Although the risk of developing COVID-19 based on this exposure is low, watch for symptoms of COVID-19. Symptoms include, but not limited to, fever, cough, loss of smell and/or taste, chills, fatigue, loss of appetite, shortness of breath, muscle aches, chest pain, headache, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, sore throat, and runny nose.

High-Risk Notification Letter
A person will receive a high-risk notification letter from Johnson County Department of Health and Environment (JCDHE) indicating they had close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. JCDHE carefully considers all information when determining isolation and quarantine recommendations. If a person was identified in the case investigation, their proximity to or nature of the interaction with the positive individual was enough to put them at higher risk for contracting COVID-19. Because the exposure is considered high risk and per public health recommendations, students will be excluded from school for 14 days from the date of last exposure, if no other exposures occur.


Nurse Tara's Notes

Big picture

Do your part to keep Starside open!

Starside Families,

We have collectively been in school for over two months and for students who attend school in-person, we've been full, in-person for over a month. Since the start of the 20-21 school year on September 8, USD 232 is not aware of any spreading of Covid-19 from students or staff while at school. Through the partnership of the Johnson County Health Department, we are closely monitoring people who are considered "close contacts" at school, and so far, none have been positive in the fourteen days of quarantine to follow.

Masks are working! We have the data to prove it! (Check out the link to the Covid-19 Dashboard, below!) Our students are doing a phenomenal job wearing their masks, socially distancing, and handwashing/sanitizing while at school. Our staff remains diligent when following safety protocol in their efforts to mitigate the spread of Covid-19. Students are learning, safely socializing, and demonstrating remarkable resilience during this pandemic!

I plead with you to remain vigilant when it comes to public health and our ability to remain open to in-person learning this winter. The community spread of COVID-19 is evident within USD 232 schools as the number of individuals recommended for quarantine and isolation jumped by 150 students and 24 employees in just one week. Another growing concern is the district’s continued ability to staff teacher absences with substitute teachers.

Remember the days where schools were shut down and everyone was required to learn remotely? We don't want to be back there, so please do your part in the evenings and on weekends!

Kris Meyer

USD 232 Covid-19 Data Dashboard: Click HERE.

Have you heard the one about treating your masks like your underwear?

Have you heard the one about treating your masks like your underwear? We know. A joke in poor taste. But seriously, it's one of the easiest comparisons to understand why our MASKS should be washed every day. There are dozens of memes circulating out there with this sentiment, but truly...masks need to be clean to be effective. PLEASE dig all of the used masks out of your child's backpack and wash them. They just might be hoarding their favorite one and changing into it when they're out of your sight in the morning. We all have favorites, but a clean mask every day is maybe even key! Thanks for helping to keep your child and their friends and teachers as safe as possible!

Check out the cool video from Principal Meyer as she talks to several Starside students about the importance of wearing masks!

Principal Meyer + Comet Kid Talks = Masks

Principal Meyer + Comet Kid Talks = Masks

20-21 Yearbooks are on Sale Now!

Yearbook orders will take place online (paperless unless otherwise requested.) To order online, use the link and code provided below. If you prefer a paper order form, please email Maddie King ( or Danielle Hessong ( with your child’s name and teacher. We will get an order form for the teacher to send home with your student.

Important Note: Due to an increase in production cost, yearbooks are $14 and there is not an option to order a personalized book. If ordering via the paper order form, make checks payable to Starside!

To Order Online: and enter code 53592X


Maddie King & Danielle Hessong

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)

Car Loop Reminders:

Morning Arrival:

Be ready…As you enter the car loop students need to have:

  • Backpack on!
  • Mask on!
  • Water bottle in hand!
  • Promptly exit car on the sidewalk side of car!

Afternoon Dismissal:

Car Loop Numbers:

  • Hanging from the rearview mirror of your vehicle
  • Should remain displayed until your child is in the vehicle
  • If you need another car loop number, please contact the office.

Colored Cones:
  • Pull forward to fill the 6 spots designated with colored cones
  • Do not leave the line or try to bypass the line.

  • Must enter the vehicle from the right side (sidewalk side)
  • Must remain behind the painted white line until all vehicles have come to a complete stop.
  • Please remind your child to memorize and listen for their number.

  • Remain in your vehicle.
  • If you need to assist with seatbelts or other items, you should pull up to the designated spots beyond the colored cones.

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.

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!

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.

Need to reach the Starside Office?

Email: with your inquiries or attendance reporting and a member of our office team will direct your email to the appropriate person on our staff.

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

LIKE our new Facebook page!

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


Kris Meyer


Jan Hicks

School Improvement Specialist

Jackie Johnson

Lead Secretary (students records)

Starla Newberry

Building Secretary (attendance)

McKenzi Mispagel


Tara Brown


Virtual Tour of Starside Elementary

Clickable Links: