Wildcat Growl

April 2, 2021

Future Ready Wildcats

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


Principal's Message

Wildcats and Families,

Congratulations to Kyle Smith and Brayden Wadehera for being the Wildcats of the Month for March. We also want to congratulate Brett Hothan and Will Mercer for being named the staff Wildcats of the Month for March.

Each year the Arts Council of Johnson County conducts the Shooting Stars program in which they recognize and award scholarships to outstanding senior students in Johnson County. This year, DHS had 7 students recognized: Theater Performance – Brayden Wadehra, Voice Classical – Bryson Kendall, 2D Visual Art – Carly Parsons, 3D Visual Art – Hannah Purkey, Strings – Connor McCall, Literature – Kennedy Ebberts, and Photography – Alex Braley.

Each quarter teachers select students to recognize as demonstrating the De Soto High School core values. Students were recognized via virtual recognition on our website (here). The students include Zander Barkemeyer, Audrey Beebe, Noah Beggs, Samantha Beltran, Alexis Berard, Roger Bush, Pedro Carrillo, Diana Clipperton, David Cobin, Hayden Denny, Haxel Flores, James Fullmer, Oscar Galvan De Leon, Owen Gier, Emilio Hernandez, Keith Junger, Ollie Kellogg, Caleb Kmiecik, Jamie Kneebone, Adam Koch, Taylor Krehbiel, Anna LeCluyse, Sam Lindsey, Luke Lynn, Addison Mages, Nathan Mall, Edith Marquez Flores, Joseph McCracken, Will Mize, Emily Mlodzik, Lakai Mumford, Zach Myers, Shawn Neal, Cole Osterholm, Samual Pearson, Josue Perales, Elizabeth Polito-Mena, Mya Rajapakse, Thalia Raney, Ava Reinertsen, Evan Rhodelander, Alex Roggenkamp, Breonna Saving, Zach Schwarzenburger, Zach Switzer, Joel Sygman, Samantha Tush, Jaxon Tuttle, Jabriann Wakes, and Nicholas Weaver. Congratulations!

A reminder that the ACT will be given to Juniors at DHS next week, April 6th. Optional Remote students intending to sit for the exam should come to DHS on this day. Everyone will be socially distanced and required to properly wear a mask at all times.

Testing locations are published on lists in the commons. Students should check the list in order to find out which room they will test. For some students, the testing location has changed from early March. The test will begin promptly at 7:50 am so you should report directly to your testing location with a graphing calculator and #2 pencils.

State assessments start next week. We ask and appreciate the scheduling of appointments outside of these dates. Thank you.

Spring 2021 State Assessment Dates:

· 10th Grade English – April 6-9

· 10th Grade Math – April 26-29

· 11th Grade Science – April 26-29

· 11th Grade Optional Remote Science – April 26

· 10th Grade Optional Remote (English & Math) – April 28 & 29

Seniors, graduation announcements will be available for pick up next Friday, April 9th. We will set up a table for distribution outside Deputy Serpan’s office in the main hallway close to the commons. Optional Remote students will need to pick up your announcements Friday afternoon (3-4 pm) or make arrangements with the main office soon after. Cap and gown distribution will take place on May 14th.

This week, Mr. Kordalski addresses flexible thinking in the Habits of Mind series. Check it out.

Kind Regards,

Sam Ruff


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Bell Schedule

Click here to view Bell Schedule

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The De Soto School District has been an important and strong participant in the Kansas Teacher of the Year Program for many years. De Soto has had fifteen state finalists and twelve semi-finalists represented in the program since 2000. Two of our very own teachers were chosen as The Kansas Teacher of the Year; Keil Hileman in 2004 and Jeri Powers in 2008. This is truly unprecedented!

We would like for you to nominate any teacher whom you consider to be an outstanding and effective educator and whom you or your child has had as a teacher. This person must be a tenured employee of USD 232. If there is a De Soto educator whom you believe to be outstanding and deserving of special recognition, please fill out the nomination form at www.usd232.org/ktoy . This form needs to be completed by noon on April 16, 2021.

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Meet and Greet for New Volleyball Coach

DHS is having a Meet and Greet with our new head volleyball coach, Cassie Rockers, on Wednesday, April 7th at 6:00pm in the DHS commons.

Habits of Mind

DHS Families,

Good afternoon Wildcat families! As we begin 4th quarter this week’s Habits of Mind video highlights some of the important aspects of being a flexible thinker. As our students work through the next 9 weeks there will be occasions when they revert back to how they’ve solved academic problems, personal/social conflicts and many other challenges that come their way. This week’s video work to capture some of the most used and universal components to exercise being a flexible thinker as we work to close out this year.

The other component to the timing of this video is that stress often leads to rigidity in our thinking. I want our students to understand that there are many layers of support at DHS that can aide their success in and out of the classroom. If we can slow down their stress and build in some flexible thinking skills we can often see academic and social/emotional progress quickly.

As always, reach out if there’s something Student Services can do to assist you and/or your student.

Take care,

Joe Kordalski, LMSW

Click here to view video

Teachers Zoom Office Hours

Click here to see zoom office hours for teachers

De Soto High School - Important PROM Information

Masks will be required during Prom. There will be a DJ, Photo Booth, and yard games.


Cedar Valley Forest -29145 W. 83rd Street

Time Slots:

6:00 – 7:30 pm 7:45 – 9:15 pm 9:30 – 11:00 pm

To limit the amount of people in the venue at a time DHS has created time slots. Only 150 tickets will be sold for each time slot. Seniors will have early access to purchase tickets so that they are more likely to get the time they desire. Once each time is sold out of tickets, sales for that time will close. Students must know which time slot is their top choice before coming to Mrs. Friday for ticket codes (more information below). Students will not be able to change their time slot once they have purchased their tickets.


All Prom ticket sales will be digital this year. The price of the tickets will be $20 plus a small service fee. Seniors will have early access starting on March 30th. They will need to come to Mrs. Friday’s classroom (Room 113) before school, during seminar, or after school. She will then give each student their own unique code to purchase ONE ticket. Students must know the time slot they are purchasing their ticket for before seeing Mrs. Friday for the code.

This is the link to purchase the tickets:


Outside Dates:

A limited number of outside dates will be permitted in order to give more DHS students the opportunity to attend. Seniors will have early access starting 3/30 to pick up outside date forms from Mrs. Friday. Once the number of outside dates (60) is reached there will be no more outside date forms available. If any outside date forms remain available after seniors have purchased tickets we will open them up to Juniors. Outside date forms should be turned into the office NO LATER than Friday, April 9th! Students will need to get a separate code for their outside date from Mrs. Friday. Please read outside date form for more information.

Help Needed:

If parents are willing to let us borrow large yard games we would really appreciate it. Examples: jumbo Jenga, cornhole, horseshoes, ladder ball, etc.

We are also asking for parents to donate mini water bottles if possible. (the tiny ones) Water will be the only “food/drink” item allowed this year.

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Vision Screening

The nurse will be doing vision screenings for 12th graders April 6th and 7th. Please remember to wear/bring your glasses or contacts.
Text Alerts

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

Allergy Season!

When the weather warms up, days are longer and the world is blooming, we all want to be outdoors more often. For students with allergy symptoms. Here are some ways you can help your student.

  • Shower after spending time outdoors – prevents transfer of pollen to your bedding at night and decreases symptoms. At the very least, change clothes and was your hands and face.
  • Take your shoes off at the door – reduces pollen transfer to carpets and furniture.
  • Use a sinus rinse – A neti pot or over the counter sinus wash kit can help rinse allergens from your nose. Just make sure to follow directions for safe use.
  • Consider a daily allergy medication – Antihistamines like Claritin, Zyrtec and Allegra can be very helpful in controlling symptoms. Nasal sprays and eye drops can also be helpful.

o Allergy medication options: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases- conditions/ allergies/indepth/allergy-medications/art-20047403

o Why antihistamines work best when taken consistently:


o Save Benadryl (diphenhydramine) for bedtime or severe allergic reactions. It often makes students too sleepy for use during school.

  • If your student is still miserable after home treatment consider consulting with your pediatrician or an allergist. There are prescription medications and other allergy treatments that may help.

Remember, the school health room does NOT have antihistamines for seasonal allergies. You must treat these at home!

Be aware that allergies sometimes present as Covid-19 symptoms and your student may be sent to the doctor to be evaluated.

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Spring Sports Spectator Guidelines

Click here for Spectator Guidelines

Wrestling All Academic First Team

Not only did our team follow several guidelines and protocols to have our season safely. Their hard work and effort paid off on the mat and in the classroom earning KWCA All Academic First Team.
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Science Olympiad Headed to State

The DHS Science Olympiad team will be participating in the state competition this April for their fifth consecutive year.

Please congratulate and cheer on the following students if you see them; they appreciate your support.

Seniors: Brent Smith (team captain), Kyle Smith, Caleb Kmiecik, Luke LeBar, Matthew Deibert

Juniors: Scott Blanck, Mason Laney

Sophomores: Alex Boresow, Lauren Fandre, Zach Myers

Wildcat Nation News

Click here for Weekly Updates from the De Soto High School Activities Department


On Saturday, June 5, Donnelly College and Open Future are partnering to offer a FREE ACT Prep test to any student who feels they would benefit from the practice. The testing will start promptly at 9 a.m. The best part about this practice test is that there will be an official test the very next weekend and another in July. The timing is great!

Here is the link to register:


UMKC Pharmacy Summer Camp 2021

What: A one-day, activity packed experience to give students a glimpse of not only what it's like to be a pharmacist, but also an opportunity to see firsthand what it's like to study at one of our three UMKC Pharmacy campuses providing hands-on exercises and the ability to learn about the variety of pharmacy career practice areas!

Who: Any student who has completed 9th grade or above, current college students, or individuals looking for career change are encouraged to attend!

When + Where:
Friday, June 4, Columbia, MO (Mizzou Campus)
Friday, June 18, Springfield, MO (Missouri State Brick City Campus)
Friday, June 25, Kansas City, MO (UMKC Health Sciences Campus)

Cost: $35 per student

Questions or Need More Details:
Please contact us or head to the camp web site.

Registration: Click on the link above to register.
Virtual College and Career Planning Night

Click here to find out more on our Student Services website.

Scholarships for Seniors

The DHS Seniors Only Scholarships are now available for seniors to access.

Click on the following link: https://www.usd232.org/Page/3287

Winners will be announced at the Senior Awards Ceremony on May 21st.

  • DHS CAT Booster Scholarship: Deadline April 9
  • Shawnee Vision Care Scholarship: Deadline April 15
  • McCarthy Auto Group Scholarship: Deadline April 15
  • Trenton Hughes Scholarship: Deadline April 23
  • Casey Blake Johnson Running Scholarship: Deadline April 23
  • Jess Johnson Scholarship (Rotary Club): Deadline April 30
  • De Soto Teachers Association Scholarship: April 15th
  • De Soto VFW Scholarship: Deadline April 23rd
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Research College of Nursing – Summer Nursing Program

Research College of Nursing is planning a summer program for rising high school juniors and seniors titled “Explore RCoN!”. This experience will help students explore not only our college but the nursing profession as a whole. Applications are open now through May 1, 2021!

· Students can choose to attend; June 7-9 or June 14-16

· There is a cap of 30 students attending the program each week

· Currently we are planning for scenarios of an on-campus event and a back-up plan of a remote experience if necessary

· To see a draft of the schedule, visit https://tinyurl.com/2021draftschedule

· Scholarships available through The Research Foundation, thanks to a grant from the R.A. Long Foundation

· Additional information about this summer exploration and scholarship opportunities can be found at www.researchcollege.edu/explore

Virtual College Fairs

Click here for more information

American Legion Auxiliary Sunflower Girls State program: June 7-11th 2021, Virtually

ALA Girls State is a nation-wide, American Legion Auxiliary program, focusing on the promotion of Leadership, Americanism and good citizenship. Outstanding young women chosen to participate in the program will learn the duties and responsibilities of citizenship through hands-on participation as citizens of the state of Sunflower Girls State. The 2021 session is open to current High School Juniors and Seniors. Participants will have an opportunity to receive three college scholarships, and be selected to attend our national program, Girls Nation in July 2021. The Sunflower Girls State program receives support from citizens, civic groups, and other organizations interested in government and leadership. Speakers have included elected officials, state employees, and community volunteers. These speakers help to inspire the Sunflower Girls State Citizens to take a more active role in public service.

Girls who are interested in Leadership and Government are encouraged to attend. Since the program's inception, more than 20,000 girls have received this valuable citizenship training in Kansas.

Deadline for registration has been extended to May 31st , 2021.Participants may be sponsored by their local American Legion Auxiliary Unit or may pay their own registration. The fee to attend is $100. More information can be found in the attached poster or at​ www.ksgirlsstate.org .Delegates are asked to participate for about 4 hours per day.

American Legion of Kansas Boys State

Every year, the American Legion of Kansas offers an opportunity for students in Kansas. It is a week-long leadership opportunity where young men will:

  • Distinguish you in the competition for college admissions and scholarships
  • Expand leadership and problem-solving skills that will help you throughout life
  • Give you a huge head start in your senior government class
  • Introduce you to some of the smartest, most motivated high school students in Kansas
  • Establish lifelong friendships
  • Who – Male Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors in the top half of their class;

What – The American Legion Boys’ State of Kansas;

When – August 1st- August 7th

Where – Kansas State University in Manhattan;

Why – For Democracy to work, we must learn how to work together;

How – Apply at American Legion Boys' State of Kansas ... (ksbstate.org)

If you are interested in this program and need a sponsor to help pay for the cost, please contact Mrs. Johns at cjohns@usd232.org.

KCKCC What to Expect Wednesdays:

Join KCKCC on Wednesday nights at 6 P.M. on the KCKCC Admissions Facebook page for a Live interactive event, "What to Expect Wednesdays"! Join our Admission Coordinators as they dive into topics like the enrollment process, college terms and how to get involved. The Coordinators will answer questions from parents and students as they come in live! This is a great way for students and parents to get started on their transition into the collegiate experience!

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USD 232 Making a Difference Award

Anyone in USD 232 (staff, parents, students, etc.) can nominate any USD 232 employee. All teachers, support staff, custodians, administrators, secretaries, counselors, food service workers are eligible to receive this award. (Previous Making a Difference Winners ineligible). Monthly entries are encouraged as new nominations are reviewed on a monthly basis (i.e. we don’t look at nominations from previous months)

This award is given monthly throughout the school year to individuals who are truly “making a difference in the lives of young people” and was specifically created to celebrate and honor the exceptional teachers and staff in USD 232.

Thank you for taking the time to nominate your deriving candidate!

Making a Difference Nomination Form

Technology Help Desk

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

Face Mask Facts

Face masks are required to be properly worn by all individuals in K-12 schools by Kansas Executive Order 20-59.

Wearing a mask is an important tool to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. This evidence-based approach is supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, and the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment.

In compliance with the state order, USD 232 requires the wearing of masks at all times, with few exceptions. Exemption requests will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and require medical verification. Requests can be made by contacting our nurse at 913-667-6250 or mfarverlightcap@usd232.org.

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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.


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School Meals in Any Learning Environment

Click here for more information on Take-home Meal Kits

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Paraprofessional Substitutes needed!

USD 232 is in need of paraprofessional substitutes who are flexible and willing to substitute throughout the district on an as needed basis. Stay-at-home parents make great substitute paraprofessionals! The ideal candidate is caring, compassionate and dedicated to the students’ success by looking for ways to support the teacher and making a positive difference in the lives of our children. Becoming a para sub is a great way to support the district, our students and our teachers which is needed now more than ever.

To learn more about becoming a substitute paraprofessional for the district, please speak with your Principal or contact Human Resources at the USD 232 District Office. Ready to apply?

Click here > Paraprofessional Substitutes for USD 232