What began as a way for Superintendent Scott Bailey to share a morning cup of coffee with community members, has turned into a new tradition within Desert Sands Unified School District.

Partnering with coffee shops across the district, Bailey sits down with a cup of coffee at 7 a.m. and begins chatting with students, family members, staff, and the general community. Members of local law enforcement and elected officials often attend, as well.

Bailey & Coffee — Ready to Pour a Second CupFor an hour he and his team engage in dialogue about school affairs and take note of items that require follow-up. At the very first Bailey & Coffee in September 2017 at SIP Coffee House in Indio, a student and her mother told the superintendent about an idea the middle school girl had to help kids in Mexico following a devastating earthquake. The conversation turned into action as Nelly and her mom collected backpacks and supplies. Her efforts were so impressive that the Mexican consulate flew the two of them to a distribution site near Mexico City so that Nelly could see firsthand how her work helped so many.

Next stop was Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf in La Quinta where adults stopping by the location for the very first time witnessed the morning ritual of many La Quinta High School students who enjoy their breakfast while holding Bible study, doing school work, and quietly begin their day sharing thoughts with their peers. Manager Edward Kabata noted that this is the daily behavior of students at his store.

On to Carl’s Jr. where owner Karl Karcher and marketing chief Kelly Karcher interacted with students and community members, reminding everyone that this is a neighborhood restaurant that welcomes the students who are daily customers. Located just minutes from the school, the Karchers, like Edward at Coffee Bean, praised the students who frequent the restaurant for their responsible behavior as consumers. Each Bailey & Coffee event grew in size and this one had the largest number of students who took advantage of the opportunity to interact with the superintendent and other senior staff members from the district.

DSUSD Board Member Michael Duran encouraged the planning team for Bailey & Coffee to hold a Saturday event for people not able to participate in the early morning weekday events. So it was off to Dunkin Donuts in Indio. At this event, younger children stopped by for that chocolate donut and a chance to talk to their principals’ boss. Another success.

The year ended at IW Coffee in Indian Wells. The morning of a school board meeting meant that a number of staff members and community supporters stopped by to discuss issues set for that night’s agenda. The coffee house was bursting at the seams and owner Merwyn Tyer noted later that the new customers became regulars adding another benefit to the Bailey & Coffee community program.

And we can’t forget bringing Bailey & Coffee to Amistad High School to partner with their already successful drive-through coffee days for parents called the Eagle Express. Superintendent Bailey joined Principal David Gustafson and his team as they handed coffee and pastries to parents and family members dropping their students off at the school. This will be the third year of Eagle Express and Bailey & Coffee will find the superintendent again handing out a cup and a thank you to the school’s supportive parents.

On to this year and a chance to refill that cup of coffee. Community members are welcome to again join Superintendent Scott Bailey and his team for conversation and coffee from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. at the following locations:

  • Tuesday, Sept. 4, IW Coffee, 74995 Hwy 111, Indian Wells

(A second IW Coffee will be scheduled later this year at its new location in the Desert Springs Marketplace at the corner of Country Club and Cook in Palm Desert.)

  • Friday, Nov. 16, Carl’s Jr., 81770 Hwy 111, Indio
  • Tuesday, Jan.  8, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, 9-024 Hwy 111 (at Adams), La Quinta
  • Monday, March 4, SIP Coffee House, 3100 Jefferson Street (at Fred Waring), Indio
  • Date to be announced, Dunkin Donuts, 42225 Jackson Street, Indio