As District of Choice. DSUSD Features Information on Two More Elementary Schools

Van Buren Pride

By Principal Melissa Pizano-Grunnet, Ed.D.

DSUSD Elementary Schools: Pathway to Future

Van Buren Elementary

Perseverance, respect, integrity, determination, and excellence (P.R.I.D.E ) is the framework that enables Martin Van Buren Elementary School to consistently provide a strong academic program. Located on the eastern border of the Indio city limits across the street from the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission and adjacent to the Fred Young Labor Camp, Van Buren Elementary understands that education is the pathway to a better future.

In preparing students for college and beyond, Van Buren’s instructional program includes participating in AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) as students engage in rigorous lessons in writing, inquiry, collaboration, organization, and reading (WICOR). College and university pennants are visible throughout campus and university cheers echo loudly during student assemblies. Annually, Career Day finds local business leaders, politicians, and first responders sharing their work experiences with students in kindergarten through fifth grade.

DSUSD Elementary Schools: Pathway to Future

Van Buren Post-it-Day 2019

Throughout the school year, students learn to become positive contributors to society as they participate in Veteran’s Day presentations by Indio’s American Legion Post 739, raise funds for The American Heart Association, and spread kindness through The Great Kindness Challenge and World Kindness Day.

Students also have daily opportunities to problem-solve and engage with technology. Students compete in districtwide events such as Math Field Day and Battle of the Books and participate in student government. Project based learning is evident as students construct their own marketing strategies to “sell” items to their peers and refine their research skills as they deliver oral presentations transformed into the historical figure of their choice.

Always with a vision toward the future, Van Buren is dedicated to providing a strong academic program and preparing its students for the future.


Proud Patriots

By Principal Allan Lehmann

DSUSD Elementary Schools: Pathway to Future

Washington Elementary

George Washington Charter Elementary School had its initial charter petition approved in 1994 by the Desert Sands Board of Education. There have been subsequent five year renewals of our charter, the most recent in 2016.  We are a school of choice and meet the needs of students who reside in all cities of the Coachella Valley.

WCS, a public charter school, takes pride in offering a balanced educational program to each of our 800 students. Parent involvement, solid blocks of instructional time, weekly collaboration, capped class size, a dedicated and forward thinking governing board, a team of amazing teachers and support staff, a supportive parent club foundation, and a relentless focus on literacy are just some of the ways in which we meet the social emotional and academic needs of our students.

DSUSD Elementary Schools: Pathway to Future

Washington College Spirit Day

The school was recognized as a California Distinguished School in 1998, 2004, and 2010. In 2016 we were named a California Gold Ribbon School. What is most powerful is when visitors come onto our campus and speak with one of our students, staff member, or parent. There is so much pride and passion in what we do.

We couple our focus on academics with ensuring that our students are caring and compassionate, have a good work ethic, have integrity, can speak publicly, and are ethical. As WCS Patriots matriculate to middle school, high school, college, and career I know they are prepared for what awaits them.

It’s an honor to be part of the WCS family.

For more information on Desert Sands Unified School District, Martin Van Buren, and George Washington Charter elementary schools, click here.

Image Sources

  • Van Buren Elementary: DSUSD
  • Van Buren Post-it-Day 2019: DSUSD
  • Washington Elementary: DSUSD
  • Washington College Spirit Day: DSUSD
  • Principal Lehman greeting his students: DSUSD