Wildcat Growl

January 16, 2022

Future Ready Wildcats

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


Principal's Message

Wildcats and Families,

The Arts Council of Johnson County (ACJC) announced five finalists nominated from the De Soto for the 2022 Shooting Stars Awards. The Shooting Stars Program promotes the positive impact arts education has on our students by honoring student achievement in the literary, performing, and visual arts, providing students with resources to help them achieve their creative career goals, awarding scholarships for college, and supporting teachers with honorariums.

The five finalists include Theatre Performance - Mathys Moore, Voice Classical - Alexsandra Bonilla, 2D Visual Art - Waverly Altis, Literature - Rachael Mallozzi, Winds & Percussion - Ryan Handley.

DHS had a great showing at the KMEA All-State Instrumental Auditions. Congratulations to the following students: KMEA 5-6 A All-State Band - Ryan Handley, Aidan Hamer, Kellan Flynn, KMEA All-State Jazz - Nic Weaver, and KMEA All-State Orchestra - Cole Bichelmeyer, and Jacob Dority.

Congratulations to Brooklynne Clark, Tyler Gillespie, Cael Province, and Nic Weaver for placing 4th at the KSHSAA 4-speaker debate tournament. Nice Job, Wildcats!

Congrats to J. Murrilo-Porras, Christian Nelson, and Anna D’Andrea for receiving Superior Ratings at the Kansas Thespian Conference. J. got a Superior in Solo Musical and Christian and Anna received a Superior in Duet Acting. Congratulations, Wildcats!

A reminder that in observance of the national holiday recognizing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we will not have school on Monday, January 17th. We will return to a Green Day on Tuesday, January 18th.

The district is still taking nominations for a teacher whom you consider to be an outstanding and effective educator and whom you or your child has had as a teacher. 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 will remain open until Monday at 4:00 PM.

Course selection for the 2022-2023 school year is in full swing. Students have received their course selection form, the course guide is posted on our website, and directions for selecting courses in Skyward are posted in Canvas. Students will schedule an appointment before March 1st with their counselor to review the Skyward selections. The deadline to make any changes is April 22nd.

For your planning, Spring Parent/Teacher Conferences will be held on Wednesday, February 16th, and Thursday, February 17th. Look for information about conferences in the coming weeks.

The Junior ACT will be held on Tuesday, March 1st during W1, W2, and W3. It will be important for all Juniors to be in attendance on this day.

Thank you,

Sam Ruff,


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Vaping Myths and Facts

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

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Best School Districts in Kansas 2022

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

Student Behavior: Bullying

This is a reminder that during Skyward enrollment, students sign an anti-bullying statement. We would like to remind parents of that and ask that you speak with your student about treating others the way they would want to be treated. A copy of our district and school policy on anti-bullying is in our Student Handbook, which is in the front of students’ agendas and also posted on our website here.

USD 232 is a place where the business of education can be conducted in a welcoming environment free of intimidation, violence, and fear. This setting provides an educational climate that fosters a spirit of acceptance and care of every child. It is a place where behavioral expectations are clearly communicated, consistently enforced, and fairly applied.

As a student at De Soto High School, I agree to:

Value student differences and treat others with respect. Not become involved in bullying incidents or be a bully.

Be aware of the school’s policies and support system with regard to bullying. Report honestly and immediately all incidents of bullying to a faculty member.

Be alert in places around the school where there is less adult supervision, such as bathrooms, corridors, and stairwells.

Support students who have been or are subjected to bullying.

Talk to teachers and parents about concerns and issues regarding bullying.

Work with other students and faculty, to help the school deal with bullying effectively.

Encourage teachers to discuss bullying issues in the classroom.

Provide a good role model for younger students and support them if bullying occurs.

Participate fully and contribute to assemblies dealing with bullying.

Text Alerts

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

Driver's Education Information

Interested in Driver’s Education? Classes will meet Tuesday’s and Thursday’s starting January 25th from 3:00-4:30. For more information and registration procedures click here.

KMEA All-State Instrumental Auditions

De Soto once again had a great showing this past Saturday at the KMEA All-State Instrumental Auditions. All 6 students were accepted into the following groups. Congratulations and we couldn't be more proud!!!

KMEA 5-6 A All State Band

Ryan Handley - 1st Chair Bari Sax

Aidan Hamer - 2nd Chair Trombone

Kellan Flynn - 4th Chair Tuba

KMEA All-State Jazz

Nic Weaver - 1st Chair Trumpet

KMEA All-State Orchestra

Cole Bichelmeyer - 5th Chair Trumpet

Jacob Dority - 2nd Chair Trombone

Technology Help Desk

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

Notes from the Nurse

We are seeing an increase in illnesses as expected this time of year. Flu season is predicted to be early and JCDHE has already seen some positive cases of influenza in Johnson County. Please see the following paragraph from the JCDHE website

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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 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 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 (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

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Wildcat Nation

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

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Winter Sports Spectator Guidelines

Click here for information and guidelines for spectators

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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.

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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.