Desert Sands Unified operates on an annual budget of $343 million

Note from Mary Perry: With the beginning of a new calendar year, it seems like the appropriate time to remind citizens residing in the 750-mile radius served by Desert Sands Unified School District some of the important facts about our school district. The accompanying graphic can be found at by clicking here.

To inspire and nurture every student…one opportunity at a time. (Desert Sands Unified School District Mission Statement)

We will be the district of choice to successfully prepare every student for college, career, and life. (Desert Sands Vision Statement)

Relationships ⧫ Respect ⧫ Innovation ⧫ Inclusion ⧫ Teamwork ⧫ Kindness ⧫ Equity ⧫ Excellence ⧫ Service (Desert Sands Unified School District Core Values)

Desert Sands Unified School District at a Glance

Fast Facts about DSUSD

Desert 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. Students from other areas of the desert also take advantage of the quality education provided by our schools. Over 27,000 students attend 34 schools in the district including traditional high schools, alternative high schools, middle schools, elementary schools, and 16 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 2,800 employees.

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, aviation, bio-tech, business/insurance, clean energy, culinary arts, education, engineering, environmental sciences, health, information technology, landscape management, media, nutrition, and public health.

DSUSD operates on an annual budget of $343 million. Under the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), DSUSD works with the local community to develop an LCAP (Local Control Accountability Plan) that supports three 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. Based on community input at numerous meetings and via online surveys, the district has committed to both community accountability and oversight.

Over 7,000 students are English language learners (ELL) with Spanish as their home language. Over 41 languages are spoken in our students’ homes. District statistics indicate that approximately 69% of students qualify for free and reduced lunch programs.

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.

Information on the district is available by clicking here.

Image Sources

  • Fast Facts about DSUSD: DSUSD
  • Desert Sands Unified School District: DSUSD