La Quinta High School enjoys a proud tradition of high academic rigor, athletic excellence, outstanding co-curricular opportunities, and meaningful community partnerships.
La Quinta High School opened in 1994 and is the largest of four traditional high schools and three alternative high schools within the Desert Sands Unified School District. At the beginning of the 2016-17 school year, 2,666 students were enrolled, including 8.6 percent in special education, 6.2 percent qualifying for English Language Learner support, 53.6 percent qualifying for free or reduced price lunch, and 0.30 percent foster youth.
The school’s demographics include 67 percent Hispanic, 24.2 percent Caucasian, 2.5 percent African American, 2.5 percent Asian, 1.60 percent Filipino, and 0.8 percent other. To better meet the needs of a diverse community such as La Quinta, the school offers multiple academic programs which focus on “Rigor, Relevance, and Learner Engagement.”
These areas are addressed through the lens of building positive relationships with students. These programs include an International Bachelorette (IB) program, Advanced Placement (AP), Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID), Culinary Arts Pathway, Medical Health Academy, Public Safety Academy, and an Information Technology Academy (ITA). A goal of La Quinta High School is to provide all students with the opportunity to learn in a safe and supportive learning environment where students can better prepare to be college and career ready. The school is a recognized California Distinguished School.
La Quinta High receives great support from the district office, booster clubs, PTO, School Site Council, community partners, the city of La Quinta, and dedicated families. In addition to the ongoing support, there are 113 certificated staff members and 76 classified staff members who bleed burgundy and navy blue.
LQHS finished up a strong year with many high notes. This year’s student body included a national merit scholar, a U.S. Naval Academy candidate, a U.S. Air Force Academy candidate, approximately 50 percent of the 581 graduating seniors enrolled in the fall to a college or university, and a nearly 100 percent graduation rate. There was just under $3 million dollars in scholarship money provided to students this year.
Athletically, seven seniors accepted college scholarships in their respective sport. La Quinta High won Desert Valley League titles in eight sports. The boys baseball team won a CIF-SS Division 4 Championship for the first time in school history.
With regard to co-curricular activities, there were amazing theatrical plays by the drama department, tremendously spirited ASB activities, beautiful musical performances by the band and choir, constant site and community based activities by the Medical Health Academy, Public Service Academies, Informational Technology Academy, and the Culinary Arts Academy.
The U.S. AFJROTC capped their year with a ride on a military C-17 and an impressive military-style ball. The various academic departments continue their tradition of excellence. The English department had a great night of Literature Live in Old Town La Quinta.
The art department put on a gallery walk of exemplary student work. The AVID program continued its mission to provide academic success and access to all students. By the end of next school year, over 60 percent of the staff will be AVID trained. The IB program had several hundred students complete IB courses and had eight of the top 11 seniors as full IB Diploma students. Everything described above is just a fraction of what makes La Quinta High a special place for all stakeholders.