Desert Sands's About DSUSD


Desert Sands Unified School DistrictDesert Sands Unified School District primarily serves five communities in the central Coachella Valley of California: Bermuda Dunes, Indian Wells, Indio, La Quinta, and Palm Desert. Children from parts of Bermuda Dunes and Rancho Mirage also take advantage of the quality education provided by our schools. 26,000 students attend 34 schools in the district including traditional high schools, alternative high schools, middle schools, elementary schools, and preschools, including a federally funded Head Start program. Two elementary schools currently offer full dual immersion in English/Spanish to kindergarteners and first graders. Grades will be added each year and the additional schools will be offered in the future. DSUSD is one of the larger employers in the valley with over 4,000 full-time and part-time employees and volunteers.

Students are provided with challenging educational choices. Desert Sands Unified School District offers the highest level of opportunity for excellence in the preparation for entry to college as well as a number of career technical education programs (CTE). Academically rigorous programs such as advanced placement (AP), International Baccalaureate Program (IB), and Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) are offered in both secondary and elementary grades. Career pathways and academies focused on specific student interests include: animal science, automotive, bio-tech, business/insurance, clean energy, computer science, culinary arts, education, emergency management, engineering, environmental sciences and energy, film/audio/broadcasting, health, information technology and networking, land management, media, military sciences, nutrition, performing arts, public service, and the trades.

DSUSD operates on an annual budget of $522 million. Under the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), DSUSD works with the local community to develop an LCAP (Local Control Accountability Plan) that supports four specific goals. The goals are: 1) all students will demonstrate growth as measured by state and federal assessments; 2) all students will graduate and be prepared to make a successful transition to further education and/or career opportunities; 3) all students will develop and consistently demonstrate responsible, respectful, and ethical behavior in a safe, clean, and orderly learning environment; 4) students with disabilities will access and participate in their educational journey resulting in graduates that are prepared to make a successful transition to college, career, and life. Based on community input at numerous meetings and via online surveys, the district has committed to both community accountability and oversight.

Over 21% of our students are English language learners (ELL) with Spanish as their home language. Forty-six languages are spoken in our students’ homes. Thanks to current government funding, all DSUSD students are able to enjoy free breakfast and lunch at all of our schools.

DSUSD is proud to provide students with a high level of technology-interface and each student is provided a Chromebook or tablet as part of the award winning Connect One-to-World initiative. In addition, connectivity to the internet is provided to students who do not have home access through the district’s own LTE network. True to the district’s core value of equity, this program has been of utmost importance during our current time of distance learning and was recognized in the House of Representatives by Congressman Raul Ruiz, MD.

The district maintains its own fleet of busses and vehicles to better serve the student population. An on-site, well-trained security team works closely with local law enforcement to ensure the safety of students and staff. A highly skilled and trained nutrition services department prepares meals on-site for delivery to schools and participates in the development of staff wellness programs. The graphic services department maintains a fully-operational print shop along with talented graphic artists to meet the needs of the district and the local community.

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