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 is John Glenn Middle School.

♦ ♦ ♦

John Glenn Middle School is an amazing place where culture, community, and strong academics clash in a synergy of educational excellence.

JGMS is an International Baccalaureate school where students are provided an opportunity to become connected to learning with a global perspective focused on service towards others. The students at Glenn work towards the development of a community project in their 8th grade year as the culmination of three years of hard work in a study skills class that helps foster an understanding of how they, as human beings, can make positive impacts on our world.

John Glenn Middle School Redhawks' Home

Botball competition

The school is also an AVID School Site of Distinction promoting a focus on college and career readiness as students move forward through their educational journey. JGMS supports the concept of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, math) with an amazing robotics and Botball program and the integration of science into other core subject areas.

John Glenn Middle School Redhawks' Home

Art show

The choir, orchestra, theatre, dance, and visual arts programs are well beyond the quality and standards of a middle school. Both French and Spanish are offered as three-year programs. The programs for special needs students include guest teachers in the arts and participation in the Pegasus equestrian program. The staff at Glenn always looks for leveraging opportunities to connect academics to real-life and construct knowledge so that it is both rigorous and relevant to student interests and the needs of our greater community.

To motivate students to do quality work and be extrinsically motivated, the school has “fun days” for students who are meeting academic and behavioral expectations.  The school also has a very successful response to intervention (RTI) program that modifies the instructional package for each student, based upon needs, changing every three weeks as progress reports are sent home.

JGMS has a modern state of the art facility that is well maintained and is in the midst of continual technological upgrade. The school has a 1:1 device-to-student ratio for technology and each student takes home a Chromebook with access to lessons and instruction in both the Google Classroom and the at-school conventional classroom.

John Glenn Middle School Redhawks' HomeJohn Glenn Middle School has been honored as a School To Watch school by the California Department of Education. We received our latest recertification in 2019, and are the first middle school in California to have received a fifth recertification.  Schools To Watch looks at the school through the lens of having quality educational programs with good academic outcomes. Becoming or being recertified requires an extensive application along with a site visit to verify that the school is doing the work that was claimed.

Located in Indio, the staff and students of John Glenn Middle School take great pride in their academic success, their strong arts and technology programs, and their role in preparing citizens of the world.


Image Sources

  • Botball competition: DSUSD
  • Art show: DSUSD
  • John Glenn Middle School: DSUSD
  • Little Mermaid: DSUSD