Public schools can — and often do — transcend the boundaries of bricks and mortar. Public schools are known to house the next generation of leaders. They possess some of the brightest minds in the nation. Never has that been more evident than at Indio High Schools where a multi-year modernization project has energized the student body and is attracting new students.

Work on Indio High School, one of the oldest schools in DSUSD, was planned as a multi-phase project of 300,000 square feet, including eight new buildings, new pool facilities, and new baseball and softball fields.

Phase I began in June 2011 with demolition of old buildings following the relocation of classrooms to portable structures on property lent to the district by the city of Indio.

Phase II of the Indio High School project began in January 2015 and was completed in December 2016. Phase 2 included a new library, food service building, arts building, career technical education building, and a general education classroom building.

Phase III began in July 2017 and will be completed in early 2018. This phase consists of the reconstruction of the baseball and softball fields. Phase III marks the final phase of the overall modernization project at this site.

“Having the “rebuilt” campus is a tremendous benefit to the students and community in Indio,” said Charles “Derrick” Lawson. Serving as the first and oldest high school in the district, we are proud to have a campus that reflects the commitment to education in our community.”

Lawson, who is serving his first year as principal, said the modern facility first and foremost,  communicates to the students and community that the Board of Education, the Superintendent and he still believe that a quality public education is the best way to 1) promote an informed citizenry and teach our civic and democratic values, 2) encourage students to pursue their dream for future success upon which the American dream is built, and 3) provide a vehicle for “changing your stars.”

The new campus is built to accommodate the changes in the educational paradigm and to embrace the dramatic impact of technological advance, Lawson said.

Student furniture supports collaborative work and project based experiences. The facilities are designed to support the use of current technologies with sufficient wireless access points  and the use of STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) materials. Labs are better equipped for hands-on science learning.

New Indio High School Campus Is Transformative

(Photo courtesy of Derrick Lawson)

“The workforce is needing students to now be prepared not just with the ‘old three R’s’ but with critical and creative thinking skills and communication skills,” Lawson said.

The new facilities are built to facilitate instruction that focuses on those foundations, he said.

“We are seeing a larger number of students seek out opportunities to experience our Career technical education pathway courses, internships within our Career and technical student organizations,  our various extracurricular clubs and teams,” Lawson said. “We have seen a dramatic increase in interest in our FFA program, our Skills USA program, and our Robotics and Engineering competition teams. Our enrollment has come back from the low 1,800’s  to 2,004 as students see the new campus and what it has to offer. That interest and excitement is also spilling over into our athletics and clubs.”

SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. SkillsUSA helps each student excel. We provide educational programs, events and competitions that support career and technical education (CTE) in the nation’s classrooms.