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. In some cases they have been edited and/or revised to provide current information. 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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Palm Desert High School has had another outstanding year of academic success and athletic accomplishments. But we are now faced with how to complete this current school year as we have implemented distance learning in the face of a national epidemic.

Our outstanding staff continues to develop the high level students, athletes, and citizens of PDHS who will continue to make contributions to our community.

Palm Desert High: Home of the AztecsThis year’s senior class includes top scholars including those completing the rigorous AP Capstone program. The PDHS AP Capstone program, offered through College Board, is one of only three hundred such programs in the entire country. It is one of the most prestigious and rigorous academic programs offered by a comprehensive high school. The program prepares our students to both meet content knowledge demands at a university level, and to learn the skills to be successful at the university level. Palm Desert High School students take one thousand AP exams each year while maintaining a pass rate of approximately 67%.

Palm Desert High School prides itself on high academic standards evident through AP Capstone, and through our various CTE (Career Technical Education) academies and pathways. PDHS offers a Health Academy focused on diagnostic services and health informatics. The Environmental Engineering Pathway features cutting-edge Project Lead The Way curriculum designed for students with an interest in technology. The Software and Systems Development Pathway prepares students for careers in computer science. The new Film Academy offers courses that fit into the CTE arts, media, and entertainment industry sector. PDHS is also an AVID school and continues to graduate approximately two hundred students a year who have at least one dual enrollment class completed to earn college credit.

Palm Desert High: Home of the Aztecs


Palm Desert High School also enjoys incredible community support in its quest for academic and extracurricular excellence. The PDHS Foundation supports the school by providing financial assistance for extensive academic enrichment opportunities for students and the PDHS Parent/Teacher organization is active and vital to the school’s success. The city of Palm Desert (mayor and city council) continues to be extremely generous in their support of PDHS students as well.

In short, Palm Desert High School offers a well-rounded high school experience with excellent academic and extracurricular activities. We like to say “there is something for everyone here at Palm Desert High” and preparing students for future success through rigorous learning experiences is a critical focus. Together our students, staff, and families will get through this pandemic and find new ways to learn and to celebrate our accomplishments.

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

Image Sources

  • Img_0137: DSUSD
  • Parade-5: DSUSD
  • Palm Desert High School: DSUSD