Wildcat Growl

September 18, 2022

Our Vision:

De Soto High School ensures all students learn at a high level and have a positive sense of belonging, developing each student to be ready for their future.

Principal's Message

Wildcat Family,

This has been a great Homecoming week. The students won the staff vs student volleyball game on Tuesday. The parade, spirit rally, and powder puff games took place on Wednesday evening. The sophomore and junior girls were victorious on the gridiron. Dr. Lewis' Seminar won the door decorating contest on Thursday. The Pep Assembly took place on Friday. Nick Budimlija, Mr. Stamey, and Mr. Bradford impressed everyone with their drum solos. The Cheer Team, Diamond Dancers and Dudes performed. The student leaders of fall sports teams and activities spoke to the student body about their events. The Homecoming Court was introduced, and Mr. Bell took a pie to the face from Mr. Rice for a great cause.

We had a great turnout for the football game Friday night. Shout out to the student section - Awesome job supporting our Wildcats! The semi-formal Homecoming dance took place on the football field Saturday night.

Thanks to all the teachers and students for getting involved and showing off our school spirit.

Congratulations to Lauren Pratt and Tyler Gillespie for being selected as our Wildcats of the Month for August! Each month we select outstanding two senior students that have demonstrated commitment and dedication to making DHS a great place. Both of these students are great representatives of DHS.

Congratulations to Martha Sanchez and Susan Coffee! Both are our DHS Staff Members of the Month for August. Ms. Sanchez serves DHS as one of our awesome custodians. Mrs. Coffee is the Math Department Head and sponsor of the National Honor Society. We appreciate all that they do for our students.

Our first Delayed Start day is Wednesday, September 21st. The building opens to students at 9:30 AM, and the first block classes begin at 9:50 AM.

Parent Teacher Conferences are scheduled to take place on Wednesday, September 28th from 3:30 pm – 7:30 pm, and Thursday, September 29th from 9:30 am – 8:00 pm.

Conference Formats:

Wednesday, September 28th – Teachers will be available at tables in the Commons and in the Aux Gym at DHS for in-person conferences on a first come first served basis from 3:30 pm – 7:30 pm. Please note that we will take a break from conferences from 4:30 pm to 5:00 pm for staff to eat dinner.

Thursday, September 29th – Teachers will be available by appointment only for in-person or virtual (Zoom) conferences from 9:30 am – 8:00 pm. Directions for reserving/selecting an appointment time through Skyward Family Access were sent to families on September 14th.

Future Ready Day is scheduled for October 26th. On this day, students participate in a variety of activities assisting them in planning for their future.

On October 26th, all 9th/10th-grade students are scheduled to take the Pre-ACT. This important assessment simulates the ACT test experience, predicts ACT test scores, and offers insight to students toward post-secondary readiness.

Additionally, 11th-grade students will participate in a school-supervised college visit. Students will have an opportunity to select from a list of colleges. Thanks to a USD232 Education Foundation grant, all transportation will be provided by DHS. In the coming weeks, Juniors will be sent a survey asking them to rank their preference from the list of schools.

On the same day, our 12th-grade students will be able to select from several activities including:

  • Senior Service Day - community service projects.
  • Taking the ASVAB - a test provided by the United States Military Entrance Processing Command measures developed abilities and helps predict future academic and occupational success. This option may also include a field trip to the Armory to meet with and listen to presentations given by US Armed Services personnel.
  • individually/self-planned college visits*, or
  • job shadow*.

We are sending each Senior a survey next week to self-select which activity they are choosing. (*college visits and job shadows require the completion of a form found in Student Services)

Thanks, and have a great week!

Sam Ruff


De Soto High School

Green & White Calendar

Click here for school calendar and bell schedule

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Attendance Procedure and Tips

We want to share some important information and reminders for parents. During the summer, we added a new Attendance Office to the north student entrance (door #21). This new student-only entrance/exit will be where students should be dropped off or picked up during the school day (7:50 am - 2:55 pm). Visitors will continue to use the Main Entrance on the south side of the building.

Please remember to call DHS, before 10:00 am on the day of an absence if your student is absent. You can also call in a prearranged absence ahead of time. The 24-hour attendance voicemail is 913-667-6259. We also ask that students missing school due to a physician/medical/dental appointment verify the appointment by turning in an appointment note/slip from the healthcare provider. This helps us ensure the absence is excused rather than considered a parent request. Students can turn the note in to the attendance office when they return from the appointment.

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Text Alerts

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

Homework Request Information

When your student is absent from school, please encourage your student to reach out to teachers requesting assignments missed due to the absence. Certainly, parents can also reach out to teachers, but part of becoming a self-directed independent learner is communication, being organized, and advocating for yourself. If your student is experiencing a longer-term absence (a week or more), our counselors are available to assist in this process.

Wildcat Nation

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

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School Meals

School meals for the 2022-2023 school year will revert back to standard pricing. Meals for all students will no longer be free because federal waivers were not extended. Only students/families who qualify financially will be eligible to receive free or reduced-price meals for the 2022-2023 school year. Families may complete an Application for Free or Reduced Price School Meals online at skyward.usd232.org or by completing a paper copy. If a family has already received communication that their child(ren) qualifies for free or reduced-price meals, a Consent for Disclosure/Waiver must be completed in order to receive a reduction in school fees or transportation.
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Suicide Awareness and Prevention Month

Wildcat families,

September is designated as Suicide Awareness and Prevention Month across the globe. This month in The Growl I’ll be sharing information about awareness and prevention efforts at DHS and in Johnson County.

The most recent research data for Johnson County reports a 26% decrease across all age in suicide completions over the course of the pandemic. For individuals 19 years and younger our community experienced a 33% decrease in suicides and for individuals 20 years and old there was a 25% decrease. While it may be early to identify all of the factors leading to these decreases, we have observed the following pieces contribute to the data; an increase in the discussion around mental health and suicide in our communities, an increase in the access to crisis services, more police departments offering co-responder supports (mental health professional embedded within a police department) on mental health calls and closer contact with family and friends over the pandemic due to community isolation and quarantine. While these numbers are encouraging our push is to continue talking about, providing support and connecting individuals with services.

Here are couple resources offered through the Johnson Co. Suicide Prevention Coalition.


Since July 16th 2022 the National Suicide Prevention Hotline now operates under the number 988. The number provides the same service with qualified mental health and crisis interventionist supporting individuals in need.

Technology Help Desk

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

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Follow us on Twitter

Click here to follow DHS on Twitter: @DeSotoWildcats

Need to contact the Counselors?

DHS Counselors and Social Worker

Crissy Johns (A-G): CJohns@usd232.org

Abbey Heller (H-N): aheller@usd232.org

Kaitlin Britt (O-Z): KBritt@usd232.org

Joe Kordalski (Social Worker): Rkordalski@usd232.org

Scholarship Essay Event:

The state of Kansas and Sallie Mae are hosting a free event to learn about scholarship essays. Scholarships play a huge role in helping college-bound students pay for their education. Some scholarships require an essay. A strongly written essay can prove to be the main factor in winning a scholarship. In this panel discussion moderated by Sallie Mae, you’ll learn tips, best practices, and pitfalls to avoid when crafting your essay. This online event is Wednesday, September 28th at 7 pm.

Join the conversation with our panelists:

  • Marcie Frederickson, Counseling Department Chair – Washburn Rural High School, Topeka
  • Jim Hohenbary, Director of Nationally Competitive Scholarships and Associate Director, Honors Program – Kansas State University

To register for the event please visit: Scholarship Essay Event

KC Metro College Fair:

The KC Metro College Fair is an excellent opportunity for all high students to visit with college reps from over 85 colleges. Financial aid presentations are also available. Students who attend may enter to win prizes, including a MacBook and Amazon gift cards. The college fair will take place at Olathe North on September 12th, 2022 from 6:00-8:00 PM.

College Representatives Visiting

A representative from the following Universities will be in Student Services during seminar if your student is interested in more information.

Date they are coming: College:

9/21/22 K-State

9/22/22 FHSU

9/28/22 Wichita State

10/6/22 Kansas University

10/13/22 Missouri State

Kansas ScholarShop

In partnership with Sallie Mae, Kansas State Treasurer’s office has launched the Kansas ScholarShop initiative. ScholarShop aims to restore hope and excitement for students seeking educational and career advancement after high school. With access to 6 million scholarships worth up to $30 billion; students can search and find scholarships, grants and awards tailored specifically to their deepest passions. For more information visit: https://kansascash.ks.gov/scholarshop.html

Step-by-Step through the FAFSA

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, is the federal application necessary to get free and low-cost money for college. Join Jason Anderson, CFA, CFP, of Gradmetrics, as he walks line-by-line through the FAFSA form, using it to explain the ins-and-outs of the college admissions and financial aid process.

· Tuesday, September 27th, 6:30-8 pm (Online via Zoom)

· Tuesday, Oct 18th 6:30-8pm (at the Central Resource Library and online via Zoom)

Registration is required. Go to jocolibrary.org/events and check "Career and Finance" in the Event Type section.

Wednesday, October 5th, 2022

Ready to go to college? Not sure where to start in your planning? Want to hear from some experts on the subject?

Save the date and join us at the Cedar Trails Exploration Center for an evening event all about planning for College.

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Driver's Education Classes

Click here to find out more information and sign up.

Cat Booster Club

The Cat Booster Club works to support all of our students at DHS. They provide teacher grants for classroom needs, support Gradfest, assist school activities in fundraising, organize Teacher Appreciation Week, and fund scholarships to graduating seniors. They are able to do all of this by selling spirit wear and donating their time in the concession stands. We are so appreciative of them. The membership drive for this year is currently underway, with multiple levels to choose from. Check out their website - here.
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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.