Wildcat Growl

March 27, 2022

Future Ready Wildcats

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


Principal's Message

Wildcats and Families,

The Cat Booster Club is hosting the first-ever Spring Opening Day event on Tuesday, March 29th. We are so appreciative of the new athletic facilities on our campus and want to invite the entire community to join us in support of our students. Additional information can be found on our website.

Congratulations to the following Quarter 3 CLASS Award winners: Aiden Ainley, Avery Baker, Gavin Billinger, Ayriana Blakney, Collin Bode, Jackson Bolen, Emily Breit, Greta Butcher, Pedro Carrillo Ortega, Chris Cowins, Jose DeLeon Escobedo, Nayeli DeLeon Marin, Bri Dodson, Ryann Doyle, Josh Dunn, Marco Duran, Eliana Fields-Lucio, Cameron Fisher, Sam Fox, Joshua Fulmer, Kathleen Geolas, Emma (Mey) Gregory, Mie Hansen, Maleigha Harris, Dylan Hartmann, Emilio Hernandez, Izzy Jones, Wyatt Jones, Aubrey Julian, Lindsay Kellogg, Xavier Kenfe, Corina Layne, Ava Lowry, Alayna Marovec, Edith Marquez Flores, Judith Marquez Flores, Hope Marriott, Emma McCracken, Claire McGinn, Brett McQueeny, Maycie Montgomery, Emily Morales Villanueva, Diana Nava Hernandez, Josue Perales, Jeremy Quintanilla, Layne Remillard, Dulce Rico-Iglesias, Arianna Sanchez Flores, Parker Sartin, Jacob Smith, Keyara Smith, Brady Swarts, Clayton Tilley, Lydia VanBooven, Isabelle Wegner, Madison Wenger, and Anna Zeller.

The Quarter 3 CLASS Awards ceremony will be held Thursday, March 31st at 10:50 am (during Seminar) in the theatre. Families of award winners are invited to attend.

Just a reminder to our students: During the school day (7:50 am – 2:55 pm), we need for you to enter and exit the building through the Main Entrance or the north Student Entrance (close to the Union). Both entrances are monitored and this request improves the safety and security at DHS for all of us. Please do not open exterior doors for others to enter the building. Thank you for your help.

Beginning April 11th, Christy Miller (CMiller1@usd232.org) will serve DHS as our new Registrar. As a result of this transition, we will have an opening for our Attendance Secretary. If you know of someone or have an interest in joining our team, the posting and application are on the district website. Thank you.

Upcoming Important Dates:

Delayed Start: Our third scheduled Delayed Start will take place Wednesday, April 6th. The building opens to students at 9:30 am, and the first block classes begin at 9:50 am.

State Assessments: State assessments will take place the last week of March and in April. We ask and appreciate the scheduling of appointments outside of these dates. Thank you.

Spring 2022 State Assessment Dates:

· 11th Grade Science - March 28-31

· 10th Grade English - April 11-14

· 10th Grade Math – April 19-22

Dance Marathon: Student Council has partnered with the Children’s Miracle Network/KU Med-Pediatrics in planning Dance Marathon. This fundraiser, scheduled for the evening of April 30th, has student teams participating in all kinds of fun activities. A short video about Dance Marathon can be found here.

Final Exams: Please take note of the second-semester final exam schedule. It will be important for students to attend during this time. In the interest of test security, we will expect students that are absent during final exams to take their exams when they return. We will not prearrange the taking of a final exam before the absence.

Thanks, and have a great week.

Sam Ruff


De Soto High School

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Best School Districts in Kansas 2022

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

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Click here to follow DHS on Twitter: @DeSotoWildcats

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Advanced Placement Seminar

Dear Parents of College-Bound Students:

Recently, De Soto High School has added a course called Advanced Placement Seminar that is specifically designed to help students prepare for and succeed in Advanced Placement and future college courses. Not to be confused with our Seminar class, which is a study hall, Advanced Placement Seminar is a full class meant to help college-bound students improve the skills that they will need at the next level.

In AP Seminar, students will encounter both team and individual projects that help prepare them for the next level. The projects enhance their chances of being successful in college in the following ways:

- Develop Web Literacy Skills – Students learn how to navigate the obstacles of finding good information on the web, avoid misinformation, and select quality research, both for college courses and their own personal lives.

- Grow and Mature as Leaders and Teammates in an Academic Setting – The team project requires students to learn how to navigate interpersonal challenges and find success while supporting their groupmates. Students each write a paper from a different perspective of the same challenging issue that they have selected to explore as a team and use that research to build a team argument that they present to the class.

- Supports and Supplements Other Advanced Courses – The course builds general writing, reading, speaking, listening, and collaboration skills, which help across a variety of different content areas. It enhances Pre-AP and AP English classes with further reading and writing. It works on reading informative texts like what might be featured in AP Biology or AP European History. It helps students organize and keep track of long-term projects. It helps students improve both timed and formal writing like what they will find across a variety of demanding, college-level courses. It allows them to develop a comfort level with giving presentations to other learners.

- Manageable Course Load that Helps Students Get Ready to Be Successful in College Classes – While there is consistent homework in the class, the homework is designed to be manageable for students who are still new to college-level coursework. A single, dedicated study-hall session in regular seminar will usually be enough to complete the homework.

- Take it Any Year and Reap the Benefits – Advanced Placement Seminar is a great starter AP course for sophomores, a wonderful supplement to typical junior classes like AP Language and Composition and AP U.S. History, and an outstanding course for seniors who are making a final push to prepare for college.

- Gain College Credit and an AP Capstone Diploma – Students can gain credits that will transfer as either a research credit or an English credit at most universities. If the student moves on to AP Research and takes four other AP tests in high school, they will receive a special commendation from Advanced Placement that demonstrates to colleges that they are ready for the highest-level courses.

Even if your student has already selected classes for next year, it is not too late to switch into the course. We would love to have your advanced teen student in our class next year.


Phillip Hamilton

AP Language and Composition, AP Seminar, and AP Research

USD232 Secondary Teacher of the Year, 2016

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Vaping Myths and Facts

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

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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.
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Prepped and Ready: Experts Edition

Children’s Mercy has created Prepped and Ready: Experts Edition, a free online video series for parents and caregivers who are raising teens. This educational series is being offered online and brings the experts at Children’s Mercy right to parents and before there is a crisis with topics covering vaping, hard conversation, safe storage and more.


Wildcat Nation

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

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

Kansas State University’s Health Professions Summer Program:

KSU is launching a new health professions program for current high school juniors and seniors. This week long program is for students who are interested in a career in helping others through the health care industry. The program will run from July 10th – 15th. Registration opens on March 14th. For more information, visit https://www.hhs.k-state.edu/summerhealthprogram/

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American Legion Boys State of Kansas

Applications are now available for Boys State of Kansas. Boys State is week-long camp opportunity for current sophomores and juniors to strengthen confidence, inspire leadership, build bonds of friendship, as well as an introduction to civic responsibility. It will be held June 5th – 11th at Kansas State University in Manhattan, KS. For more information and to apply for Boys State of Kansas visit www.ksbstate.org. Applications must be submitted by March 31st.

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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
  • 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.

Pro X and KC Scholars Summer Internship Opportunity

KC Scholars is looking for high school students for a 5 week paid summer internship opportunity. Students will need to commit to 25 hours per week and will be paid $1250 for their time. Prior to the internship, students will participate in a workshop to learn how to create a resume, interview tips, and prepare for the ProX Hiring Fair which will lead to their summer internship that is aligned with your interests. Application opens March 11th. For more information, visit https://proxsummer.org/.

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Johnson County Community College – Summer Transportation Institute -

When: Monday – Friday, July 25 – August 5, 8am-5pm

Where: We will start on the main campus of Johnson County Community College each morning.

Participants will be traveling throughout the metro to participate in hands-on

demonstrations at airports, rail yards, trucking centers, waterfront ports, etc.

Cost: $0, all expenses are covered

Who: The camp is open to anyone, but we are targeting female, minority, and disadvantaged

youth who may not be able to attend other camps this summer.

Requirement: Participants must fill out an application. We are limited to 20 participants. The interest

form and course info can be found at www.jccc.edu/jcccnsti.

Selection Criteria:

• Must be entering 9th, 10th, or 11th grade in August.

• Must have completed algebra or will be qualified for enrollment in algebra in August.

• Must have a minimum of a 2.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale.

• Must be a KS resident.

• Commit to attend all 10 days of the camp.

• Qualify for either free or reduced lunch

What will take place:

The Johnson County Summer Transportation Institute (JCSTI) will use resources both on and off campus

to allow students to explore in depth regional transportation industries. The transportation curriculum

will be focus on land (rail and trucking), air (air traffic control), and water (inland ports and barge

transportation). While experiencing firsthand the inner workings of these transportation industries,

students will gain knowledge of efforts towards a sustainable transportation system. Further the JCSTI

will partner with the JCCC Center for Sustainability to provide curriculum in sustainable transportation.

The curriculum will also include enhancement activities designed to help students with career planning

and overall professionalism within the workplace.

As an on-going project throughout the camp, students will work in groups on a project to reflect on how

all the modes of transportation come together to move goods. The students will be tasked with planning

how to transport goods across the country using rail, truck, inland waterway, and air. The student

groups will be assessed based on how quickly they can transport the goods, the estimate cost of doing

so, and how much of a carbon footprint their proposed shipping will leave behind. Each day of the camp,

students will collaborate on their project for at least one hour.

For a copy of the application, please contact Mrs. Johns, DHS Counselor

Questions? Please contact Molly Salisbury at summeryouth@jccc.edu.

Technology Help Desk

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


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.

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.