The history of USD 232

Image of the Board of Education and Administrative Office building

  • How we came to be...

    Since almost every school in Kansas was in its own district, by the year 1896 the number of school districts had grown to 9,284. According to a 2001 Kansas State Department of Educaiton report on the history of education in Kansas, 18 different kinds and types of districts, each requiring a special set of policies and regulations, were still functioning as late as 1960.

    Thousands of these small common school districts had limited enrollment and financial resources and included grades K-8 only. High schools often operated under their own governing boards and encompassed several of the common school districts. Beginning with the Brown versus Topeka Board of Education decision in 1954, Kansas began integrating all public schools, adding racial diversity to the public school population.

    In 1962, there were more than 3,000 common school districts in Kansas. By order of the state, schools were to consolidate into a more manageable number and operate as K-12 school districts. As a result of state-mandated unification, school districts had to meet two of three criteria in order to beome a unified school district:

    • 200 square miles;
    • at least 400 students; and/or
    • $4 million in assessed valuation

    The De Soto City School District, as it was commonly known back then, could have stood on its own as a district. However, the six "one-room schoolhouse" districts of Monticello Township (the area from Mize Road to roughly I-435) had to merge with a school district. The De Soto City School District was the only school sytem willing to consolidate with the six one-room schoolhouse districts of Round Prairie, Virginia, Monticello, Holliday, Wilder and Meadowlane. The district, by state statute, became known as Unified School District No. 232, Johnson County, KS and was given its boundaries of nearly 100 square miles. Its first major construction project was Woodsonia Elementary, built to accommodate the increased student enrollment. Today there are approximately 293 school districts in Kansas.

    Enrollment Growth

    In 1970, USD 232 reported enrollment of 1,871 students. As of September 2017, the district serves nearly 7,400 students. The average increase in enrollment for the school district is 240 students per year since 1995. 



    Prior to Unification


    • School built on land where the District Service Center is located, former De Soto Grade School (8355 Peoria, De Soto, KS)


    • Rural High School District formed


    • Rural High School opens (The building still stands today at 32905 W. 84th St. in De Soto, Kansas, and now serves as City Hall for De Soto.)


    • Former Monticello Kindergarten building opened as K-8 Grade School


    • De Soto Grade School completed


    • Addition to Countryside Elementary



    • Unified School District No. 232, Johnson County, KS formed (De Soto City School District consolidates with Round Prairie, Virginia, Monticello, Holliday, Wilder and Meadow Lane common school districts)


    • Woodsonia Elementary School completed
    • De Soto Grade School addition


    • De Soto High School opens (8800 Penner Avenue, De Soto, KS)
    • Old high school becomes De Soto Jr. High


    • Land purchase at 71st & Hilltop


    • Woodsonia Elementary Addition
    • Countryside Elementary Addition


    • De Soto High School remodel (8800 Penner)


    • Vocational Education Students complete Education Center


    • De Soto High School remodel (8800 Penner)


    • Woodsonia Elementary Addition
    • Countryside Elementary remodel


    • Monticello Trails Middle School completed
    • De Soto High School becomes Lexington Trails Middle School
    • New De Soto High School building opens
    • De Soto Junior High School closes


    • Monticello Kindergarten Center closes
    • Clear Creek Elementary opens
    • Starside Elementary opens
    • Countryside Elementary School becomes Countryside Learning Center
    • De Soto High School Addition


    • Mill Valley High School opens
    • Mize Elementary opens


    • Administrative Offices open
    • District Service Center remodel
    • De Soto High School addition
    • Monticello Trail Middle School addition


    • Lexington Trails Middle School addition
    • Riverview Elementary opens
    • Woodsonia Elementary becomes Kindergarten Center


    • Land purchase at 83rd & Mize
    • Land purchase at 57th & Belmont


    • Mill Valley High School addition
    • Prairie Ridge Elementary opens
    • Woodsonia Kindergarten Center closes in May 2004


    • De Soto High School kitchen addition
    • Monticello Trails Middle School office addition
    • Ground breaking at 83rd & Mize Blvd. (Lenexa) for 3rd Middle School
    • Plans were underway for a 6th Elementary near 71st & Chouteau in Shawnee


    • Horizon Elementary opens at 7210 Chouteau in Shawnee
    • Mill Creek Middle School opens at 83rd & Mize Blvd.


    • Belmont Elementary opens at 5805 Belmont Drive in Shawnee
    • Mill Valley High School expansion (expanded to accommodate approximately 1,500 students)
    • Phase 1 of De Soto High School expansion (added 5 classrooms and 3 Flex classrooms)


    • Phase II Construction at De Soto High School completed


    • Phase III Construction at De Soto High School completed, increasing enrollment capacity to approximately 1,200 students.