Wildcat Growl

January 31, 2020

Future Ready Wildcats

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


Principal's Message

Wildcat Students and Parents,

Every week I am impressed by the successes of our students – be it Science Olympiad, Scholars Bowl, Athletics, or Band. Check out all the great things happening in this week’s Growl.

Thursday, February 6th is Future Wildcat Night, where we welcome incoming 8th-grade students and parents. The event begins at 6:00 PM with an Activity Fair in the commons of DHS. The presentation will begin at 7:00 PM in the main gymnasium. During the presentation, we will talk about life at DHS, course selection, and new programming. We are excited about this opportunity to meet with future students and parents.

Next week is Winter Homecoming at DHS. On Friday, February 7th our Pep Assembly will take place during the school day and the basketball games take place later in the evening. The dance is scheduled for February 8th from 8:00 PM -11:00 PM. The theme is ‘Disco’. The dress for this event is semi-formal and STUCO has hired a DJ. Information about the week’s activities can be found on our website: HERE.

2020-2021 School Year Course Selection has begun. Our counselors have met with current DHS students concerning selecting courses for the 2020-2021 school year. Important information about the courses we offer can be found in the Course Guide on our website. We are offering several new courses next year, so students and parents should review the course guide before completing the course guide form.

Several staff members have spoken to me with excitement about the projects their students are engaged in for Spotlight-DHS. This senior recognition and academic community open house will take place on April 29th, 2020. We hope to see you there.

Kind Regards,

Sam Ruff

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Congratulations to Scholars Bowl for beining the UKC Conference Champions!!

The De Soto Scholars Bowl team earned the 2020 UKC Championship after going 10-0 in the conference tournament, hosted by Shawnee Heights. The team includes members Sara Murphy, Abi Yarbrough, and Luke LeBar, along with senior captain Brandin Chase and seniors Mason Ericson, and Austin Bradley (pictured from left to right). All players answered at least two questions at the tournament, and the team averaged 91.5 points per round, scoring on more than half of the questions. Leavenworth placed second with a 6-4 record.

This is the first UKC Championship for the Scholars Bowl team. The team placed third last season in the initial season for the conference.

Congratulations Wildcat Band Members!

Last weekend, we had seven DHS band members go to Salina for a live audition for a spot in the Kansas Music Educators Association All-State Honor Groups. This year, we had three students selected:

Nic Weaver, trumpet – Orchestra, 1st Chair

Jacob Dority, trombone – Orchestra, 3rd Chair

Josh Daniels, trumpet – Band, 3rd Chair

Selection to these groups is the highest individual honor that a student can receive in the state of Kansas and is comparable to being named All-State in a sport or other activity. For reference, over 500 trumpet players began the audition process in November, and a total of 4 were selected to the All-State Orchestra.

Please be sure to congratulate those students if you see them! They’ve worked hard and we are very proud of them.

Science Olympiad

On Saturday, January 25th, the DHS science olympiad team competed in the Pembroke Hill invitational tournament at Pembroke Hill Upper School. Twenty-six area high schools competed in 23 events ranging from building and engineering challenges to knowledge and skills testing across the scientific disciplines. Making Wildcat history, DHS ranked 5th overall; this is the first time our team has ever ranked in the top six teams to be announced as finalists in ANY of our competitions since the team was assembled eight years ago! This is quite an accomplishment for them as they competed against a few private schools as well. The team also brought home eight placing medals:

  • 1st place in “Chemistry Lab,” a challenge in problem solving through experimentation and knowledge of chemical concepts
  • 1st place in “Water Quality,” a testing event over the knowledge of marine and estuary aquatic environments
  • 2nd place in “Sounds of Music,” a challenge in building a musical instrument and demonstrating knowledge of music theory
  • 4th place in “Ornithology,” a testing event over the knowledge of bird species
  • 4th place in “Dynamic planet,” an in-depth exam on plate tectonics
  • 5th place in “Ping Pong Parachute,” a challenge in building two bottle rockets that are capable of launching a ping pong ball with an attached parachute that will remain in the air for as long as possible.
  • 5th place in “Forensics,” a laboratory investigation to solve a crime simulation
  • 5th place in “Write it, Do it,” a challenge in technical writing in which one partner describes an object and the other partner must use their writing to build the object from its components, sight unseen

We wouldn’t have been able to place as high as we did without the participation of all team members; congratulations to all who came, who saw, who did science. Our next competition is the regional tournament at JCCC on Saturday, February 29th.

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Planning Successful Transitions for Special Education

If you are a parent of a child with special needs and are preparing to transition your student to a new school setting within our school district for the 2020-21 school year, the USD 232 Special Services Advisory Committee (SSAC) would like to invite you to attend our Parent Forum on Transition on Tues., 2/25/2020 at 6:30 pm at Mill Creek Middle School.

Our families play an important role in supporting their child with special needs as they navigate different transitions throughout their school careers. At this forum, we will have staff available to share information and answer questions parents may have pertaining to transitions. If you are interested in attending on forum on Feb. 25, please register HERE.

Important Information, Events, and Dates

Click this button for Important Information, Events, and Dates.

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Upcoming Extra-Curricular Events

Click this button to find our upcoming events throughout Wildcat Nation!

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 an 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.

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Five Day Exclusion

The seven day exclusion policy for influenza (flu) has changed from seven days to five days. Students and staff who are diagnosed with the flu will be excluded for five days, starting with the first day of symptoms. For example, if a staff member feels ill on Sunday and goes to the doctor and is diagnosed with flu on Wednesday, the five day exclusion starts on Sunday.

Students and staff must be fever free for 24 hours without the use of medication to bring down the temperature. If a staff member has followed the five day exclusion, but still has a fever on day six, the staff member must still be excluded until fever free with medication.

ACT Registration

click here for additional dates

Message from Student Services

College Credit Deadlines Approaching:

Students who are enrolled in DHS Classes that count toward college credit, need to be aware of the upcoming deadlines. Please visit the College Credit/Dual Enrollment page for more information

For more information on each of these programs and how to enroll please click here.

Scholarship Information:

Looking for money to help pay for college? Check out the DHS Student Services Scholarship page! Throughout the year scholarships will be posted that are available to seniors. There is also a “Scholarship Search Tips” that can help aid the search process. Click here to go to the page.

College Visits:

If your student will be going on a college visit, students must fill out a College Visit Form. Forms are available in Student Services or online by clicking here. Students are to take the form with them on the day of the visit and bring it back signed by an admissions representative.

JCCC Scholarship Application: Deadline April 1, 2020

Seniors: if you are going to JCCC next year, don’t forget to fill out the JCCC scholarship application. The Scholarship Priority Deadline is April 1. There are millions of dollars available for a variety of degree and program areas. With just one application, students could be eligible for hundreds of JCCC scholarships.

In addition, Johnson County high school graduates are eligible for:

  • CavGuarantee Scholarship (3.25+ GPA)
    • Guarantees $500 for their first year at JCCC
  • President’s Scholarship (3.50+ GPA)
    • Covers 12 credit hours and $300 for textbooks each semester and is renewable

Course Selection Information:

  • Course Selection Meetings: Last week, counselors concluded meetings with the individual grade levels. To view the presentations that were given go to: https://www.usd232.org/Page/4417
  • Course Selection Forms Due Date: Forms will need to be turned into Student Services no later than February 19th.
  • Honors/AP Course Meetings during Seminar: This time is specifically set aside for Honors and AP teachers to meet and discuss with interested student’s information about their Honors or AP course. Students are highly encouraged to attend to help determine if the Honors/AP course is the right fit for them. Meetings will begin January 27 and run through February 11 during seminar. Students will receive a Honors/AP Course meeting schedule during their course selection meeting.
  • Course Selection Change FINAL Deadline: Students will have until April 3rd to make any changes in their course selection for next school year. After this deadline, no schedule changes will be allowed unless it meets the specific criteria that is listed on the course selection form.
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Scholarships for Seniors:

All of the local scholarships that are available to DHS seniors will be posted on the Student Services website by the end of February. These scholarships include: De Soto Teachers Association, DHS Cat Boosters, VFW, Casey Blake Johnson Running Scholarship, J. Trenton Hughes Memorial Scholarship and a few others. Please note the application deadlines are in April, but each scholarship has different deadlines. Winners are announced at Senior Breakfast/ Awards Ceremony in May.

Olathe Healthcare Scholarship:

The Olathe Health Healthcare Career Scholarship Program provides financial assistance to seniors graduating from the high schools in our service area who choose to pursue a career in the healthcare field. Olathe Health will award scholarships annually to graduating seniors at each of the area high schools. The deadline for this scholarship is February 28th. For more information visit: https://www.olathehealth.org/scholarships

Discover Law Day at UMKC

The University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law is proud to host Discover Law Day on Saturday, February 1st from 10 am to 2 pm. Lunch will be served, and there is NO COST to participants. Questions? Contact the UMKC Law Admissions Office at law@umkc.edu or at 816-235-6264.

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For information regarding DHS Graduation please click this button.

De Soto Wildcats Customized Yard Sign

DHS - "Start thinking about warmer weather with a NEW Wildcat Yard Sign!"

Order Forms Now Available. The 2020 Spring Order Deadline will be Tues, March 24th.

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