New student registration is underway in Desert Sands Unified School District, serving the communities of Indian Wells, Indio, Palm Desert, and La Quinta. The district is now enrolling all students attending a DSUSD school including transitional kindergarten, kindergarten, the dual immersion program, and students new to the district.

Kindergarten registration opens on May 4 and is available for children who will be five years old on or before September 1, 2020. (Note that DSUSD offers a dual immersion program of English/Spanish at two elementary schools. Ronald Reagan in Palm Desert and Andrew Jackson in Indio. Information on registering for this program is available at the email address listed at the bottom of this communique.) Transitional kindergarten registration also opens on May 4 for children who will have their 5th birthday between September 2 and December 2 of that school year. Both transitional kindergarten and kindergarten  in Desert Sands Unified School District are full day programs.

Registration centers have been established at select school sites listed at the end of this article. These registration centers will be open Mondays and Wednesdays from 8:00 am to 10:00 am and will not be held at all DSUSD schools. The centers serve all schools and pickup of a registration packet does not need to take place at the school that your child will attend. Registration packs are for transitional kindergarten, kindergarten, the dual immersion program, and any student attending a DSUSD school for the first time. Contained in the registration packet are forms needed to enroll your students. The following documents will need to accompany completed forms. (Edit made to this paragraph, sentence 10, deletion of the words transfer student.)

The following documents are required for a complete registration:

1.         Proof of residency – one of the following is required:

  • Current utility bill (gas or electric) with physical address – post office box is not acceptable
  • Lease or rental agreement on letterhead, listing name of the parent/guardian
  • Escrow papers listing the name of the parent/guardian; closing date must be within four (4) weeks of the start of the school term
  • Affidavit of residency from the person with whom the guardian and student are residing, and a current utility bill (gas or electric) of that resident, and a copy of both parties’ driver licenses.

2.         Proof of birthdate – one of the following is required:

  • Birth Certificate
  • Hospital Certificate
  • Notarized Affidavit
  • Baptismal Record/Church Certificate
  • Physician’s Certificate
  • Other: Adoption Papers, Court Decree, Passport

Note: For admission to kindergarten, child will have had their 5th birthday on or before September 1 of that school year. Transitional kindergarten child will have their 5th birthday between September 2 and December 2 of that school year.

3.         Immunization record – one of the following is required. See below for a full list of required immunizations.

  •  Stamped immunization booklet with dates and physician signature for all required immunizations
  •  Copy of a school immunization card.

4.         Proof of guardianship if student does not live with parents – one of the following is required:

  • Legal Guardianship – court ordered (foster care, etc.)
  • Affidavit of parental responsibility (signature must be witnessed)

Definition: Any person with whom the minor is residing and with whom the parent/guardian is in agreement and who is willing to complete the form.

  • Caregiver’s authorization affidavit (signature must be witnessed by school district official)

Definition:  a “qualified relative” of the minor child and with whom the minor child resides and the parents are not accessible to give consent. (F.C. Div 11, Sect. 6550).

“Qualified relative,” means a spouse, parent, stepparent, brother, sister, stepbrother, half-brother, uncle, aunt, niece, nephew, first cousin, or any person denoted by the prefix, “grand” or “great,” or the spouse of any of the persons specified in this definition, even after the marriage has been terminated by death or dissolution.

5.         Transcripts (high school only)

6.         Withdrawal Grades (if applicable)

7.         Approved transfer (if student lives outside the school boundaries)

Immunization requirements for all students Grades TK/K-6

  • DTP – five (5) doses (four (4) doses allowable if one is given on or after the 4th birthday. Three (3) doses if one was given on or after the 7th birthday
  • Polio – Four (4) doses at any age (Three (3) doses are allowable if one was given on or after the 4th birthday)
  • Hepatitis B – Three (3) doses (Not required for 7th grade entry)
  • MMR – Two (2) doses both given on or after the 1st birthday
  •  Varicella – Two (2) doses


  • Requirements listed above for TK/K-6
  • Tdap – One (1) dose given on or after the 7th birthday


  • Physical examination – (form PM 171A) – completed within six (6) months of the date the child is entering kindergarten/transitional kindergarte, or within 18 months of entering grade 1.  Note: if the child has a preschool exam under Medi-Cal or CHDP, he/she may not be eligible for another exam for one or two years.  If a physical exam is not available or possible, parents must sign the enclosed waiver (form PM 171B).
  • Dental Exam – oral health assessment completed by a licensed dental professional for children entering public school for the first time at kindergarten/transitional kindergarten or first (1st) grade. The exam may be completed 12 months prior to school entry or by May 31 of the school year during which the child is enrolled. If a dental exam is not available or possible, parents must sign the enclosed waiver.

Beginning May 4, registration packets may be picked-up and delivered to any of the following school sites on Mondays and Wednesdays, from 8:00 am to 10:00 am during meal distribution. Note that not all DSUSD schools or meal distribution sites will have registration packets, only the schools listed below. Parents/guardians may pick-up registration packets at any of the following sites, regardless of school of attendance. To enroll students at George Washington Charter Elementary School or Palm Desert Charter Middle School, parents/guardians must contact the school directly.  All other questions regarding new student registration may be emailed to

Benjamin Franklin Elementary School, La Quinta

Colonel Mitchell Paige Middle School, La Quinta

Indio High School, Indio

Palm Desert Charter Middle School, Palm Desert

Andrew Jackson Elementary School, Indio

Martin Van Buren Elementary School, Indio

The completed registration packets will be forwarded to the school geographically assigned to your student. To find out the name of the school that your student is assigned to attend please visit For information on middle schools and high schools, please contact the school directly. Phone numbers are available at Adams Early Childhood Education Center is also accepting applications and can be reached at 760-777-4260.

Desert Sands Unified School District serves seven communities in the central Coachella Valley: Bermuda Dunes, Coachella, Indian Wells, Indio, La Quinta, Palm Desert, and Rancho Mirage. Over 28,000 students in 34 schools are provided with challenging educational choices. DSUSD offers the highest level of opportunity for excellence in the preparation for entry to college as well as a number of career technical education programs (CTE). Academically rigorous programs such as AP (advanced placement), IB (International Baccalaureate Program), and AVID (advancement via individual determination) are offered in both secondary and elementary grades. Information on the district is available by clicking here. 


Image Sources

  • Children: Image by Alicja from Pixabay