Wildcat Growl

February 21, 2022

Future Ready Wildcats

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


Principal's Message

Wildcats and Families,

Thank you to all the families who joined us virtually for Parent-Teacher Conferences. While we missed getting to see all of our families in the building, teachers have reported that virtual conferences have been a great way to connect. If you were unable to arrange a conference, feel free to reach out to your student’s teachers to set up a time to meet.

Juniors will take the ACT on Tuesday, March 1st during W1-W3. Juniors and junior parents should check their email for important information regarding setting up their online MyACT. Directions were given out in seminar on February 9th for how to set up their account. Room rosters will be posted in the commons beginning on Tuesday, February 22nd – students should check these so they know where to report by 7:50 on March 1st.

The end of the third quarter is Friday, March 11th. Spring Break begins Monday, March 14th, and continues through Monday, March 21st. Students will return to a Green Day on Tuesday, March 22nd. The DHS main offices are closed on Friday, March 11th, from 3:30 PM through Monday, March 21st.

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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KSHSAA Class 5A State Scholars Bowl

The following members of the Scholars Bowl team for earning 5A State Runner-Up at the Scholars Bowl State Championship on Saturday in Newton:

Mason Laney

Waverly Altis

Nic Weaver

Alex Boresow

Sara Murphy

The team went 6-1 in pool play, losing on a sudden death tiebreaker to defending champion Andover Central. In semi-finals, the team beat home team Newton on a sudden death tiebreaker question. In the finals, the team lost again to Andover Central on a sudden death tiebreaker. It was an exciting day, and I am very proud of how they performed and represented De Soto High School. All of our players answered questions and performed well as a team.

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Vaping Myths and Facts

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

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Text Alerts

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

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Technology Help Desk

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

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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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Reminder of updated Covid-19 exclusion guidelines

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Wildcat Nation

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

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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.
Follow us on Twitter

Click here to follow DHS on Twitter: @DeSotoWildcats

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

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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!
  • Olathe Health Center Health Care Scholarship: Deadline February 22
  • 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.

Kansas CTE Scholar

Kansas CTE Scholar applications are due by March 1, 2022. The updated Kansas CTE Scholar Guide includes a checklist and online application link.


· Must be a graduating senior

· Completed (or upon success completion of current course enrollment) 3.0 CTE credits with at least 2.0 of above the introductory level. Credits can be earned across pathways.

· GPA in CTE Courses above the introductory level must be 3.5 or higher

· Technical skill attainment

· Civic engagement or outstanding community service

· Work based learning experience

· Career vision reflection

Students who earn Kansas CTE Scholar will be recognized in the following ways:

· Certificate with student’s name

· Graduation honor cord

· Commemorative pin

· Statewide news release

· KSDE website recognition

· Sample award script will be provided for local use

HirePaths blog to share with parents: Kansas CTE Scholar Program to Honor Outstanding High School Seniors

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Parent Connect events from JCMC

Johnson County Mental Health Center has two upcoming virtual events as part of their Parent Connect series Parent Connect events provide information and learning opportunities from parenting experts and community presenters. Parent Connect focuses on families’ strengths to help find solutions and encourage self-care. These events are open to any parent/guardian living in Johnson County, Kansas. No registration is needed.

February 24, 2022 at 5:30- For this session, Lesli Girard, Families Together Inc., and Jane Groff, KPIRC, will provide families and caregivers with information on the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), different forms of stress, and practices that promote resilience.

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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.

Winter Sports Spectator Guidelines

Click here for information and guidelines for spectators

Children's Mercy Hospitals Prepped and Ready Series

DHS families, Children’s Mercy Hospitals have graciously kept the Prepped and Ready: Experts Edition video series open for the community!

As a reminder, the series is a collection of 3-5 minute videos addressing difficult topics that pertain to raising teens. It takes less than an hour to watch the videos and complete the research surveys. The content touches on a variety of topics, but a major focus is empowering parents with tools to prevent suicides in our community.

Excerpts from the videos are below, and showcase a variety of speakers from CMH and our community:

Intro to Prepped and Ready Trailer - https://youtu.be/ECsW7XbsSqo

Prepped and Ready Impulsivity Trailer - https://youtu.be/TnJcmzcIGLc

Prepped and Ready Asking Tough Questions Trailer - https://youtu.be/O-uvmB8xlhg

Prepped and Ready Ingestions Trailer - https://youtu.be/D_sP7PyQZV8

Prepped and Ready Vaping Trailer - https://youtu.be/34r5_xOIKCg

Prepped and Ready Safe Storage Trailer - https://youtu.be/24SPNXfHAGE

Prepped and Ready Eating Disorders Trailer - https://youtu.be/6k6n_DYP0IA

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.