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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Thomas Jefferson Middle School has been a well known landmark in the city of Indio since 1948. Once known as the Jefferson Jaharas, we are now proud to be the home of the Jaguars! For Jefferson students, staff, and community, it’s all about RIGOR, RELEVANCE and RELATIONSHIPS.

Thomas Jefferson Middle School, Jaguar Nation

Thomas Jefferson Middle School

Thomas Jefferson Middle School has been recognized as an AVID Site of Distinction  (Advancement Via Individual Determination) . With 100% of our teachers AVID trained, our school-wide initiative is to promote a college and career ready focus as students move towards their educational goals. Our students are tested yearly for the PSAT to bring awareness to the expectations for SAT/ACT exams that many colleges and universities require. Additionally, our AVID team provides a summer  program for our students highlighting science, math and AVID strategies and skills to support academic rigor.

Our  Thomas Jefferson Middle School Band Program offers beginning, intermediate, and advanced band. We are proud to have over one hundred students involved in this program.  The Thomas Jefferson Middle School Concert Band has been given top ratings for the Southern California State Band and Orchestra Association since 2010. Just last year, the concert band earned a gold medal at the Forum Music Festival. The Band program is an active participant in the community as well; from performing alongside the Indio High School band, to participating at the DSUSD Camfest and annual Masonic Celebration for Educational Excellence.

Our award winning CTE (Career Technical Education) pathway known as FAME (Film, Animation, Media Arts, and Entertainment) Academy gives students an opportunity to learn foundational skills in digital storytelling and media arts with a focus on film, audio, broadcasting, animation, and graphic design. Students explore creative expression through a wide variety of projects, collaborative groups and community/industry partnerships..

Thomas Jefferson Middle School, Jaguar Nation

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) at Jefferson Middle School

We are proud to continue our commitment to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) focus with an amazing robotics, coding, and state of the art digital technology program; along with a strong science program. This year we celebrate the success of over 30 student science fair winners who competed at the district and county level.

In order to develop a culture of community and connectedness, Thomas Jefferson Middle School’s Associated Student Body (ASB) Renaissance program is a student centered leadership group that implements student activities and events. The focus is on connection and compassion with activities such as “Hello Week”, friendship dances, and “Reach Out” lunches.

Thomas Jefferson Middle School, Jaguar Nation

Jefferson Middle School STEM in action.

There are also celebrations of academic growth  and achievement such as Honor Roll and Student of the Month, as well as opportunities for families to participate through Family Fun Science Nights, Battle Bots, College & Career Day, and various  musical performances. Additionally, Jefferson Jaguars are supported with an abundant network of community resources such as Parent Institute for Quality Education (PIQE), Ophelia (mentoring), Anti Bullying Institute (HERO) and Strengthen Families.

As we look forward to the future, our vision is to continue developing a culture of care and compassion in the young men and women we serve, as they leave their impressions on the community of Thomas Jefferson Middle School where what we do matters!

Image Sources

  • Thomas Jefferson Middle School: DSUSD
  • TEM in action: DSUSD
  • FAME Academy: DSUSD