Over the course of the summer months of 2018, this column featured the seven high schools of Desert Sands Unified School District. Each school was introduced to the community. Comments received about the series were very popular. This summer we return to the format with the introduction of our seven traditional middle schools as well as our K-12 independent study school. They will appear in no specific order. This week’s column features Indio Middle School.

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Indio Middle School is proud of its work developing a culture of connectedness for our students, staff, family and community. As a National School to Watch we take pride in the rigorous and engaging courses we offer our students and are excited about the addition of more course offerings for the 2019-2020 school year.

This year, Indio Middle School focused on initiatives to support the social and emotional development of our students. Events such as our first Go Offline Day (character development around kindness, connectedness, and compassion), celebrations of academic growth and achievement, and even experiences in which students were celebrated for displaying their positive behaviors connected to our core ROAR (Respect, Ownership, Acting Safely, and Responsibility) values sought to increase connectedness for our students.

Indio Middle School Where Tigers Roar

Board Member Gary Tomak donating blood.

Our outstanding medical pathway students continue to hold quarterly blood drives with great community participation. Our partnership with Kaiser Permanente affords our students amazing opportunities. They participate in hospital tours, learn from practicing physicians, and even discuss their future options in the medical field. This experience is exceptional and the only program of its kind in the valley.

Indio Middle School Where Tigers RoarOur Multi-Tiered System of Support team has worked with our staff to develop not only our ROAR values, but also the positive incentives for students displaying these values throughout the school year. This team has worked hard to assess and analyze the needs of our students and the structures and systems need to be in place to ensure that students are able to be successful in their classes. This team will continue their work around reinforcement of positive behaviors and also dig into needed strategies and tools for students who need additional behavioral and social emotional support outside of the classroom.

As the new principal at Indio Middle School, I have had a particular focus on understanding the context and needs of our school and its stakeholders and developing a vision and strategic plan to ensure achievement for all students. Indio Middle School Leadership and Multi-Tiered System of Support team, as well as additional newly formed voluntary committees (such as the Whole Child Committee and Master Schedule Committee) have been actively involved in informing and forming the vision for the next few years. We are excited to reveal our new vision at the start of the 2019-2020 school year that will focus on high expectations and equity for all students.

Indio Middle School Where Tigers Roar

Indio Middle School Office Outside

As our vision is revealed, we will be also revisioning our physical school and classroom environment. Starting this summer, Indio Middle School will undergo a 12-18 month modernization that will provide for innovative learning spaces, flexible furniture and advanced technology. We are excited to see how curriculum and use of the physical learning space engage and inspire our students and challenge their creativity and critical thinking skills.

Connectedness, high expectations, and equity for ALL students makes Indio Middle School a school to watch!



Image Sources

  • Board Member Gary Tomak: DSUSD
  • Indio Middle School band: DSUSD
  • Indio Middle School Office Outside: DSUSD
  • Indio Middle School students: DSUSD