Wildcat Growl

October 3, 2021

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 both virtually and in person for Parent-Teacher Conferences. While we missed getting to invite everyone into the building, teachers have reported how great it was to get to collaborate with families on the success of our students. 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.

We also want to thank the Cat Booster Club for providing teachers dinner on Wednesday night, and breakfast Thursday morning. We greatly appreciate all you do for the students and staff at DHS.

Last week our girls' golf team placed 3rd in the United Kansas Conference tournament. Congratulations to Crystal Sinclair-King for being named 2021 UKC Girls Golf Coach of the Year!

On Thursday, October 7, USD 232 is hosting the annual College & Career Planning Night at De Soto High School. The event will begin at 6:00 PM and will end at 8:10 PM. There will be presenters from K-State, KU, JCCC, and more. Topics that will be covered include FAFSA, advice for college athletes, and more!

We all know the power of social media. It can be used positively, to narrow the distances between, connect and reconnect people in countless ways. It can also have the tremendous power of influence – which can be positive or negative. I want to take a minute and address what’s been going on with social media trends, teenagers, and schools.

Most recently, a negative trend, the ‘devious lick’ has been well-publicized in the media over the last few weeks with the increase in vandalism in schools, including DHS. It’s recently been brought to our attention that September’s vandalism “challenge” has been expanded to extremely negative monthly challenges that are communicated and then posted on the social media video app, TikTok.

The October “challenge” is to slap a teacher. While this hasn’t happened at DHS, we wanted to be proactive in sharing this information with our parents. This challenge absolutely does not fit with the values of the DHS community, and the consequences of this behavior are serious.

We strongly encourage parents to have a conversation with their students about these “challenges” and to encourage them to put their energy towards more positive and productive uses of social media. Here’s an article from “Psychology Today” that offers parents tips on talking to kids about the Tik Tok Challenge. It focuses on the TikTok vandalism in schools but its advice is general enough to be expanded to any of these “challenges.” As always, DHS appreciates the support of our parents and community.

Thanks, and Go Wildcats!

Sam Ruff,


Best School Districts in Kansas 2022

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

Wildcats of the Month for August!

Follow us on Twitter

Click here to follow DHS on Twitter: @DeSotoWildcats

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Text Alerts

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

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.
Technology Help Desk

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

DHS Band Mattress Sale Fundraiser

Our 7th Annual Mattress Sale Fundraiser is on Saturday, Oct 2nd. If you need to replace a bed in your home, we hope you’ll consider this event!

Quick overview: On Oct. 2nd we will have a mattress showroom set up at the school from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will be about 25 floor models on display for customers to try. Brand name beds from Simmons, Wellsville, Therapedic, Southerland, and more! All models come in all sizes, are made to order, and come with factory warranties. Pillows, adjustable power bases, sheets, frames, and mattress protectors will also be available. Delivery and haul away are available. Best of all, prices are up to 50% less than suggested retail because of the fundraising company's unique business model. Financing is available, with special promotions. Every purchase supports students in the De Soto Music Programs!

Special Deal: as a school employee, you and your family receive a special discount of 10% off your bed and/or adjustable base purchase.

If you’re not familiar with the “Mattress Sale Fundraiser” you can check out this 1-minute video to see how it works: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_pQ6O8aVus

For more details about the fundraiser, visit the Facebook event page: https://fb.me/e/2ougFDxLF

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Note from the Counselors:

It has been great to see our students in the building the past couple of weeks! All students should have full schedules and the deadline to request any schedule changes has passed. We are excited to get to know all of the students in our alphabet this year! Contact information for counselors and our social worker is below.

Senior Meetings: Counselors are now meeting individually with seniors to discuss plans for after high school. Some of the topics included in the discussion are: Post-Secondary options, How to Apply to Colleges, FAFSA Information, Scholarships, Transferring Credit from JCCC, etc. We have included some helpful links below to resources we reference in our meetings.

College & Military Representatives: This year we are allowed to have visitors in the building! We will be inviting various college and military representatives to DHS to share about all the opportunities their institutions offer. Students will have the opportunity to meet with the representatives during seminar. We will have the representatives from the following schools available to talk with students during seminar on Tuesday, September 14th: University of Arkansas, Missouri State, Pittsburg State, Wichita State, JCCC, KU and K-State.

Upcoming Deadlines for University Scholarships: Seniors who apply for these schools by the deadline listed will be considered for scholarships that are typically based on high school GPA and ACT scores:

· Kansas State University: December 1st

· University of Kansas: December 1st

· Wichita State University: Freshman Merit Scholarships – December 1st, Distinguished Scholarships – October 15th (Application deadline) and Scholarship Application – November 1st

Individual Plan of Study (IPS): Every DHS student will have a completed Individual Plan of Study upon graduating 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 is 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 (updates 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

UMKC-School of Medicine Saturday Academy

The University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Medicine is pleased to share that the 2021-2022 Application for the Saturday Academy Program is now live. Saturday Academy is a free, educational program open to motivated middle and high school students in the Kansas City metro area. The program is geared toward students belonging to groups traditionally underrepresented in scientific careers including African American, Native American, and Latinx students. However, the program is open to any area student who is interested in attending and learning more about careers in health care. Sessions will run each Saturday from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., in a hybrid format. The program will start with a virtual parent and student orientation on Saturday, October 16, 2021 and will conclude on Saturday, April 23, 2022. For more information please visit: https://med.umkc.edu/saturday-academy/

Kansas Promise Scholarship

The state of Kansas is starting a new initiative called the Kansas Promise Scholarship.

Kansas Promise Scholarship is a “last dollar” scholarship that can pay for tuition, books and other Promise-eligible, course-related materials, not covered by other scholarships or grants. In exchange, students agree to work in Kansas for two years after completing their program.

Kansas Promise dollars subsidize middle or high-income students who might not qualify for federal and state aid to cover all college expenses.

For more information, visit Kansas Promise Scholarship.

JOCO Library offering FAFSA Programs

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 us as Jason Anderson, CPA, CFP®, Managing Member and Senior Consultant at Gradmetrics, as hewalks line-by-line through the FAFSA form, using it to explain the ins-and-outs of the college admissions, and financial aid process.

Program dates:

Wednesday, October 14, 2021, 6:30-8pm

To register to attend these virtual programs, please visit our calendar:https://jocolibrary.bibliocommons.com/events/search/fq=types:(5ed14ce9e19e6b240078c0d0)

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Updates from our Missouri Colleges and Universities!

Missouri University of Science & Technology:

· #1 public engineering college in the US

· Awarding 50 $1000 scholarships to PLTW students

· Qualifying Kansas Students: out of state portion is waived (approximately $18,000)

· December 1st scholarship priority deadline

University of Missouri:

  • Superscore ACT for Scholarships
  • Journalism is direct admit program
  • Esports: one of the top programs available
  • December 1 scholarship priority deadline

University of Missouri-St. Louis:

  • No application fee
  • Criminology and Criminal Justice ranked #4
  • International Business ranked in the top 25
  • Nursing: guaranteed spot for incoming freshman with a 3.0 GPA and a 24 ACT
  • January 1 scholarship priority deadline


  • Race, Ethnic and Gender Studies
  • Fall 2022: Bachelor of Media Arts and Design and Bachelors of Applied Sciences
  • 40% students of color, Over 85 countries represented, multiple LGBTQIA scholarships
  • Test Optional Admissions and Scholarships ($1500-2000)
  • Kansas Residents pay nearly the same tuition as In-State residents

Essay Contest for Students in Kansas, Grades 5-12

The State of Kansas holding an essay contest for all Kansas students in grades 5 - 12! What's their prize? A chance to win a $529 award to invest in a new or existing Kansas Learning Quest 529 Savings Account! Submissions will be accepted now until October 8th. To fill out the application and submit the essay, please visit: State of Kansas Essay Contest.

Career Expo Event

Click here for more information

  • Nov. 3-4
  • Public Sector Careers
  • Free virtual event
  • Deadline to register your class/school is Oct. 15th

Event Questions?
Contact Annette at avaughn@marc.org or visit careerexpokc.org

Registration Questions? Contact Carmellya at canderson@marc.org

College and Career Planning Night

De Soto High School will be hosting our annual College & Career Planning Night on Thursday, October 7th with Mill Valley High School from 6:00-8:15 pm. This event is geared towards high school students & families interested in learning more about college and technical school planning! We will have college representatives presenting on topics such as:

  • Advice for College Athletes
  • Technical Career Options
  • Transferring College Credit in High School
  • Undecided Majors
  • Paying for College
  • College programs/pathways

This is a great opportunity to learn more about post-secondary options and ask questions you might have. See you on October 7th at De Soto High School!

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Notes from the Nurse


The State of Kansas requires incoming 11th graders to have one Meningococcal vaccine on or after their 16th birthday. Your shot record might say MCV, MCV4, MCV40, MCV4P, Menveo or Menactra or just meningococcal. All of these meet the requirement.

If your student has already had these vaccinations, please email Anne Lightcap, BSN, RN the shot record (mfarverlightcap@usd232.org). If you have already submitted a shot record containing this vaccine, you do not need to send it again. How can you check? From your desktop (it will NOT work on your phone), go to Skyward, then choose:

Health Info (tab on the left side) Display Options Show Vaccinations

UPDATED Immunizations

If your child has received any UPDATED immunizations since last Spring- please send these to the nurse at mfarverlightcap@usd232.org

If no changes to your current immunizations, I do not need another copy unless you are a new student or have been contacted by me about state required immunizations.

Medications to be given by the nurse

For students that take a medication to be given by the nurse at lunch or during the school day. Please remember I must have a signed doctor's order. A link to medication form on the USD 232 district Health services website can be found here. Or you can print the form below.

Please contact me if you have any questions.


Anne Lightcap BSN, RN

De Soto High School Nurse


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Wildcat Nation

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

Children's Mercy Hospital "Prepped and Ready"

Children’s Mercy Hospital has recently released information about the next iteration of their “Prepped and Ready” for parents information sessions. Prepped and Ready: Experts Edition is available to parents and caregivers raising teens. This is a free of charge video series that takes only 45-minutes and brings Children’s Mercy expert tips right to parents.

Caregivers today face new challenges their parents never faced, but we can address problems before they become too big. We can help parents take steps to prevent tragedies from happening within their own homes.

Topics include; self-care, eating disorder prevention, vaping, suicide prevention, safe medication storage and more…

The videos will be available Oct. 4-21. Safety toolkits will be mailed to participants who participate in research on the videos and complete pre and post surveys. Follow the link for more info;


Fall Sports Spectator Guidelines

Click here to find out more on recent guidelines.

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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.