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.

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Colonel Mitchell Paige Middle School (CMPMS) is located on the corner of Fred Waring Drive and Washington Street in La Quinta.  Our students come to us from a variety of elementary schools in the Desert Sands Unified School District: James Monroe, Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford, and Carrillo Ranch.

In addition, many of our pupils attend CMPMS on transfers from schools in the local area.  Because students come from different elementary schools, they have an opportunity to meet and interact with a new peer group, others who did not necessarily attend their former K-5th grade school.

And, since middle school is a special time of exploration and self-discovery, this provides a unique backdrop for CMPMS’ culture.  It is a varied blend of students who contribute to our school’s diverse way of thinking and reflects a myriad of backgrounds.

Paige Middle School Taps Exploration, Discovery

Patriot Band performing at Desert Sands Unified School District.

Colonel Mitchell Paige Middle School has a proven record of demonstrating progress in English language acquisition with its English Language Learner (EL) students.  Although this population of students is only 7.2%, their rate of becoming bilingual and reclassified as English proficient is phenomenal (43.9% in 2018-19).  The school’s instructional coach works diligently with each of these students, monitors their progress, meets with them regularly, sets high expectations for them, and encourages them continually to become reclassified before they enter high school.  He counsels them on their potential and how bright the future is for them if they study and do well in school.  Also, the English Language Development (ELD) teacher and all CMPMS instructors work daily in their classes and lessons with differentiated and inclusive practices to meet their needs.  All of their strong efforts are evidenced by the high number of EL students who are reclassified yearly.

Paige Middle School Taps Exploration, Discovery

Parent graduates of PIQE program (Parent Institute for Quality Education) at Paige Middle School.

Colonel Mitchell Paige Middle School has a program and class that places a positive emphasis on kindness.  It is “Where Everybody Belongs” (WEB) and links eighth-grade students as mentors to sixth graders.  Their task is to be a buddy to their younger charge and show the sixth graders the proper protocols and ways of Paige.  It is an ongoing growth experience for the 8th grade mentor, as well as the 6th grade student.   The class follows a curriculum and the teacher provides interactive opportunities for the students throughout the year.  The goal is to ensure that all students feel they are cared for and connected to our school.

It is a given that high academics and good behavior are expectations at Colonel Mitchell Paige Middle School. Our PRIDE acronym (defined in “kid” terms) exemplifies how everyone feels at the site:

  • P  (Pride):  “Have the things you need, be organized, study, be responsible.”
  • R  (Respect):  “A polite and kind attitude towards peers and teachers.”
  • I   (Integrity):  “Be honest and trustworthy.”
  • D  (Determined):  “Believe in yourself and never give up.”
  • E  (Enthusiasm) :  “Push yourself and others to reach full potential.”

Students who experience difficulty are continually supported in a variety of ways, yet held accountable, for their behavior and what they say.  Personal responsibility is stressed and a cornerstone of evolving maturation and future success.  Students have a voice in improving the school and representatives from each Advisory Class meet monthly (General Assembly) with the principal to express their concerns, interact directly with administration, provide feedback, and give suggestions on how to improve the school.  Many creative and insightful ideas have come to light in these meetings, and subsequently, to fruition, via this forum.

These are only a few highlights of Colonel Mitchell Paige Middle School.  Continuous improvement to enhance learning for students drives our actions and decisions.   We openly welcome visitors, parents, and community members to our site and are proud to share what we do with the public every day as professionals.


Image Sources

  • Paige Middle School: DSUSD
  • Paige Middle School: DSUSD