During this time of national health concerns and school shut down, Desert Sands Unified School District students and staff are focused on staying safe. The articles that will appear in this column over the next several weeks have been taken from the archives. For the next several weeks, we will reintroduce you to the seven high schools of Desert Sands Unified School District. They all provide an outstanding education and offer many extra-curricular activities. But each is unique, offering traditional and non-traditional means of providing students with a path to high school graduation, college preparation, and workplace success.

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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 2018-19 school year, 2635 students were enrolled, including 9.7% in special education, 4.8% qualifying for English Language Learner support, 55.1% qualifying for free or reduced price lunch, and 0.30% foster youth. The school’s demographics include 69.4% Hispanic, 21.5% Caucasian, 2.5% African American, 1.8% Asian, 1.6% Filipino, and 3.2% other.  La Quinta High School is dedicated to meeting the needs of this wonderfully diverse community. LQHS is one of two International Baccalaureate (IB) schools in the valley and the only IB Diploma school in DSUSD. Because we believe IB is the most rigorous high school education possible, the long term goal is to have every LQHS student take at least one IB course before they graduate.

In addition to the IB Program, LQHS also offers the following programs: Advanced Placement (AP), Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID), Culinary Arts Pathway, Medical Health Academy, Public Safety Academy, and an Information Technology Academy (ITA). The overarching priority for LQHS is to provide all students with the opportunity to learn in a safe and supportive learning environment where students can become better prepared for college as well as career ready.

The school is a recognized California Distinguished School. LQHS 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 110 certificated staff members and 76 classified staff members who bleed burgundy and navy blue.

La Quinta High School

La Quinta High School

LQHS has built a strong reputation throughout the years for both academics and extracurricular activities.  Throughout the years, Blackhawk students have compiled national merit scholarships, U.S. Naval Academy candidacies, and U.S. Air Force Academy candidacies. Yearly, approximately 50% of the nearly 600 graduating seniors enroll in the fall at a college or university. Over the past several graduating classes, LQHS has enjoyed a nearly 100% graduation rate. During the last two years, the graduating classes received a total of $6 million dollars in local and national scholarships.

Several senior student-athletes accepted college scholarships in their respective sports. LQHS regularly wins league titles in a variety of sports. The boys baseball team and girls water polo team are the two most recent CIF Champions. The school has earned 10 team CIF Championships and several individual CIF Championships.

La Quinta High School

Band concert

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 continues to serve and represent the school and community in events throughout the school year. The various academic departments continue their tradition of excellence. The English department hosts a great night of Literature Live in Old Town La Quinta.

The art department displays exemplary student work both on site as well as in the community. The AVID program continues to add to the number of first generation college students. Over 60% of the staff is AVID trained. The IB program had several hundred students complete IB courses. Everything described above is just a fraction of what makes La Quinta a special place for all stakeholders.

Information on student meal service and supplemental learning during school closures can be found by clicking here. 




Image Sources

  • La Quinta High School: dsusd
  • Band concert: DSUSD
  • Culinary arts: DSUSD