Wildcat Growl

September 11, 2020

Future Ready Wildcats

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

INTEGRITY, INQUIRY, COMMUNICATION, PERSEVERANCE, and REFLECTION.

Principal's Message

Wildcats and Families,


We’ve had a great start to the 2020-2021 school year. We welcomed 228 freshmen students, the Class of 2024, to DHS during Wildcat Kick-off – our freshmen ½ day. Wildcat-Kick-off was followed by two 8 period days on Wednesday and Thursday, one for each cohort – so the teachers would have the opportunity to meet each of their students in the first week of school.


Thank you to all the upperclassmen students that served as freshmen mentors on Wildcat Kick-off. The student mentors attended summer training, planned, and worked to assist each freshman throughout the day. Thank you!


We are excited to welcome Mr. Will Mercer to DHS. Mr. Mercer will be teaching Communications, Debate, and Forensics.


I want to thank and congratulate staff members Crissy Johns and Jim Owens. Both have been named the August Staff Members of the Month! Mrs. Johns, a Counselor worked tirelessly developing the class schedule for all of our Optional Remote students and teachers. Mr. Owens, our Lead Custodian, made sure all of our teachers had the supplies they needed and rooms set up (including our expanded lunch areas) for the start of the year. We appreciate all they do for DHS.


We are planning a Virtual Parent Information Night. Teachers are recording important information in individual course videos that we will post to our website. Parents will then be able to review the information for each course their student attends. The site will go ‘live’ at 5:00 PM on Thursday, Sept 17th. We invite you to review the information and reach out to teachers if you have any questions.


Required Optional Remote student materials (textbooks, novels, art supplies, etc…) can still be picked up from DHS by calling the Main Office to schedule a pick-up time during office hours (913-667-6250).


The ‘Academic Week at a Glance’ document for the week of Sept 14 (found here) can be reviewed on our website. This document provides detailed information for Hybrid and Optional Remote students about the schedule for each day of the week.


Thanks, and have a great week.


Sam Ruff

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Thank You Freshmen Mentors!!

DHS Mentors gathered last week to attend training for the Freshman Kick-Off Day. The Mentors are an important support during our first ½ day when we welcome Freshmen into the building and provide them with an overview of what’s ahead for the first weeks of class. It was great seeing our students work through the challenges of the day and build up their DHS community.

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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.

Wildcat Nation News

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

Needing a Locker?

We found that most students do not use their assigned hallway lockers throughout the year. As a result, we will not automatically assign a locker to every student. Instead, students interested in having a hallway locker assigned to them will need to request a locker by contacting our registrar, Amy Carver (ACarver@usd232.org).

Dropping off fees or forms?

DHS has placed shelves just inside the front doors for parents and students that need to bring in forms or would like to pay fees during office hours. 7:30-3:45 Monday-Friday

September is National Suicide Awareness Month

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Helping professions across the nation use this time to increase community awareness and promote education around mental health and emotional regulation. As we reflect on how the COVID Pandemic has contributed to youth mental health we are seeing the numbers of individuals experiencing symptoms of Depression and Anxiety increased significantly. These symptoms often lead to social isolation and decreased communication with friends and family. As we work our way back into the school year and the stressors of new routines, academics, social pressures and so much more add up, it is critical time to keep the line of communication open. Here are a few warning signs to look for in individuals at risk for thoughts of suicide;

  • A start to or increase in alcohol and drug use
  • Aggressive behavior – could be verbal and/or physical
  • Withdrawal and isolation from friends, family and community
  • Significant swings in mood
  • Impulsive or reckless behavior
  • Change in their hygiene
  • Change in sleeping and eating habits

If you have concerns about your student you are welcome to connect with members of the DHS Student Services Team. Student Services is comprised of the three DHS Counselors, School Psychologist, Nurse and Social Worker. You can find email links to those individuals here; https://www.usd232.org/Page/4415

Johnson County Mental Health operates a 24/7 Crisis Line to support mental health needs. By calling 913-268-0156 you will be connected to a licensed mental health professional.

National Public Radio recently aired a short segment about youth mental health and suicide risk which summarized some of the concerns recently identified by the CDC. Here is a link that story;

https://www.npr.org/2020/09/10/911117577/the-pandemic-has-researchers-worried-about-teen-suicide

Learning Logs

What are Learning Logs?

1. Learning Logs document student daily learning activity time, and are completed by parents and/or students on a weekly basis.

  • "Daily learning activity time” includes all learning events, and is not specific to “online” or “screen time”.
  • A minimum of 360 minutes of learning activities must be documented per school day.

2. Learning Logs must be collected as part of district responsibility to the Kansas State Department of Education.

  • Collection of Learning Logs is required as part of the student-count process.


Who must complete Learning Logs?

  • All students in grades PreK-12 enrolled in the USD 232 Optional Learning platform, and
  • All students in grades PreK-12 enrolled in the USD 232 In-Person Hybrid platform who are on extended absence.


When will Learning Logs be collected?

1. Learning logs will be collected by schools the weeks of September 14th, 21st, and 28th.

  • If additional weeks are added, schools will send communication.

2. Learning Logs will NOT be collected the week of September 8th.


Where will Learning Logs be located?

  • Elementary- Teachers will provide them in SchoolWork.
  • Secondary- Teachers will provide them in Canvas.
  • The specific teacher, to whom your student is responsible for providing completed Learning Logs, will be communicated by that staff member.


Please watch for detailed information soon, which will help families understand logistics regarding this state-required documentation of student learning.

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RG Fiber internet service for De Soto families

Free or Reduced Cost Internet Program for De Soto Students & Families


The school district is pleased to share information about a new program to help students who do not have reliable, fast internet access at home. This program is for families who qualify for free or reduced meals at school.


Please click either the Spanish or English version below to find out more about this great offer for our DHS students and families.

Student Services

20-21 Schedule Change Requests

Beginning Monday, August 24th, the Schedule Change Request form will be available on the DHS Student Services website under Course Selection. Schedule requests will only be allowed if it meets the criteria below:

1. Errors made by the school in developing the schedule

2. The need for the school to balance class size

3. Medical reason with documentation

4. Placement for students into Reading Support, Special Services, or Directed Study Hall classes

5. Request to take courses to qualify for the Kansas Scholars/Board of Regents

6. Failure of a course required for graduation

7. Failure of a prerequisite, i.e., anything that would prevent a student from going on to a requisite course as published in the Course Guide

8. Request to add a course required for post-secondary admissions (with documentation from the college)

9. A student has failed with a teacher previously in a course, and he/she gets the same teacher for exactly the same course

10. Adding a required course in lieu of an elective class

11. Student enrollment in higher-level course

Students have until 3 pm on Tuesday, September 15th to turn their form into Student Services.

Hybrid & Optional Remote Schedule FAQ

Click here to find more answers to questions you may have

Free Virtual FAFSA help with JOCO LIbrary

Johnson County Library is offering a free virtual FAFSA program this fall. Please share this information with
students, parents and anyone else you think may be interested in attending:

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, college and career planner, walks line-by-line through the FAFSA form,
using it to explain the ins-and-outs of the college admissions and financial aid process.
Wednesday, Sept 23 6:30-8pm
Wednesday Oct 28 6:30-8pm

To register to attend this virtual program, please visit our calendar jocolibrary.org/events and check "Career and Finance" in the Event Type section.

Thank you!

Debbie Lowery
Information Specialist/Shawnee Library
13811 Johnson Drive, Shawnee KS, 66216
913.826.4600 (office) | 913.826-4671 (fax)

National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Helping professions across the nation use this time to increase community awareness and promote education around mental health and emotional regulation. As we reflect on how the COVID Pandemic has contributed to youth mental health we are seeing the numbers of individuals experiencing symptoms of Depression and Anxiety increased significantly. These symptoms often lead to social isolation and decreased communication with friends and family. As we work our way back into the school year and the stressors of new routines, academics, social pressures and so much more add up, it is critical time to keep the line of communication open. Here are a few warning signs to look for in individuals at risk for thoughts of suicide;

  • A start to or increase in alcohol and drug use
  • Aggressive behavior – could be verbal and/or physical
  • Withdrawal and isolation from friends, family and community
  • Significant swings in mood
  • Impulsive or reckless behavior
  • Change in their hygiene
  • Change in sleeping and eating habits

If you have concerns about your student you are welcome to connect with members of the DHS Student Services Team. Student Services is comprised of the three DHS Counselors, School Psychologist, Nurse and Social Worker. You can find email links to those individuals here; https://www.usd232.org/Page/4415

Johnson County Mental Health operates a 24/7 Crisis Line to support mental health needs. By calling 913-268-0156 you will be connected to a licensed mental health professional.

National Public Radio recently aired a short segment about youth mental health and suicide risk which summarized some of the concerns recently identified by the CDC. Here is a link that story;

https://www.npr.org/2020/09/10/911117577/the-pandemic-has-researchers-worried-about-teen-suicide
Wildcat Boosters Closet

Click here for the latest DHS Booster Wildcat Spirit Gear

Notes from the Nurse:

Immunizations: Please email any copies of updated immunizations to me at the following email address: mfarverlightcap@usd232.org

Remember that all incoming Juniors need at least one of the Meningococcal vaccines AFTER their 16th birthday.

Medications be administered at school: If your child takes a regularly scheduled medication or an “as needed or emergency medication to be administered by the nurse at school, I must have a current signed doctor’s order. The medication must be in a prescription bottle clearly labeled with the student’s name and the medication. This can be brought the first day of class for the student. I am unable to administer medications with just the labeled prescription bottle. It MUST be accompanied by the signed doctor’s order. Please email me with any questions regarding medication administration.

Health conditions: To provide better care for your child at school, if your child has one of the following health conditions: diabetes, severe allergies or anaphylaxis, a seizure disorder or asthma. Please remember to complete the questionnaires on USD 232 website under Departments >Health Services> Important Information and Documents> Health Conditions.

Please contact me at mfarverlightcap@usd232.org with any questions.

Have a safe and healthy rest of summer!

Anne Lightcap BSN, RN

Driver's Education Classes being offered

Click here to enroll in Driver's Education

Technology Help Desk

Please remember that the fastest way to start getting a solution to any technical issues is to contact our help desk. This is also available to all students.


Technology Help Desk

Get help with district technology

Students and Parents: You can reach our Help Desk by calling 816-382-4840.

Hours of Operation
Monday - Friday, 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

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.

https://www.usd232.org/Page/7956

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