January 2, 2022
Future Ready Wildcats
De Soto High School staff and students endeavor to model the following core values:
INTEGRITY, INQUIRY, COMMUNICATION, PERSEVERANCE, and REFLECTION.
Wildcats and Families,
We hope everyone is having a safe, healthy, and enjoyable Winter Break. We look forward to seeing our students back for the start of the second semester with a Green Day on Wednesday, January 5th. The building opens at 7:30 AM, with students reporting directly to their G1 class at 7:50 AM.
Congratulations to Mathys Moore for being was selected to the Kansas Music Educators Association All-State Choir. Mathys will perform as one of the best in Kansas at the KMEA annual convention in February.
Thank you to the DHS Student Council. After the basketball game on Thursday, December 16th, the student council hosted a badminton tournament for our students. Thanks to Lori Hughes, Shemika Henegan, and Abby Huggins for supervising, and Brady Huggins, Abby Campbell, and the rest of the Student Council for organizing the event.
During the months of January, February, and March students will complete the process of course selection for the 2022-2023 school year. Directions and information will be shared via Canvas. Students and parents will review the course guide and select courses through Skyward - with students then meeting individually with their school counselor to discuss how their course selection fits into their Individual Plans of Study (IPS).
Just a reminder to join us on January 10th, 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM for a candid discussion about teen substance use and what you can do as a parent to help prevent addiction in your family. Experts from the prevention film, DON’T WAIT, by Addiction is Real, will be on hand via a Zoom discussion to answer any questions you may have and to facilitate a productive discussion about what every parent can do to help keep their child safe from the dangers of substance use and addiction. Additionally, we will host a Q & A session for students with members of the FBI/DEA during seminar on January 14th.
The Cat Booster Club continues to look for adults willing to assist with important activities (scholarships, teacher grants, concessions, and teacher appreciation week). If interested, please contact Julie Zitlow at: email@example.com.
This is an exciting time for our seniors and parents. One of our goals is to help our Seniors prepare and plan for what comes after graduation. Our Seniors are challenged with the goal of a strong finish to their high school experience. Students have what will become a very short spring semester left before graduation on May 21, 2022. Information about graduation can be found HERE.
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.
Kansas Teacher of the Year
The De Soto School District has been an important and strong participant in the Kansas Teacher of the Year Program for many years. The district has had fifteen state finalists and twelve semi-finalists represented in the program since 2000.
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 January 14, 2022.
2022-2023 Course Selection Information
Current 9th-11th grade students will be starting the course selection process for the 2022-2023 school year during seminar on Monday, December 6th. Students will be watching a course selection presentation provided by our counseling team. The purpose of the presentation is to give students updated information to help them make course choices for the following year and help students understand where they can find the information they need to help them make decisions. We will be sure that parents have access to the course selection presentation in the coming week so parents can talk with their students about planning for the next school year.
Also, just a reminder about college visits: Students who are going on a college visit need to do the following:
· Parent contacts the attendance line to notify the office
· Student picks up a college visit form in Student Services to take with them on their visit.
· Student returns the college visit form to the attendance secretary in the office. The form needs to be signed by one of the college representatives from the visit.
All of these steps help to ensure that the absence is excused.
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
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:
DHS Student Services Scholarship Page (updates frequently)
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
Updates from our Missouri Colleges and Universities!
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
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.
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
Residential Carpentry 2: Dog House Project
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.