No school this Friday, Feb. 12 and Monday, Feb. 15 - Presidents Day. 

Thursday, Feb. 11 - Second Quarter Renaissance Reward Day 2016 
2nd period - 6th grade
3rd period - 7th grade
4th period - 8th grade

Fun activities during 6th & 7th period.  
The office of Child Welfare and Attendance with Desert Sands Unified School District is taking transfer request for the 2016-2017 school year from January 4 - March 31, 2016. If you are a resident of Desert Sands Unified School District, you may visit our website and apply online. If you live outside the boundaries of Desert Sands Unified School District ,you will need to apply at your district of residence to attend/remain in Desert Sands Unified School District.

Effective January 4, 2016, buses will not longer stop at “Avenue 42 @ Jackson (Indio Muni Golf Course)”. This stop is being replaced by stops at “Avenue 42 @ Shadow Ranch Homes” and “Jackson @ Shadow Hills”.

Mr. C's Blog - Week 22 -Feb. 8-12

Welcome to the twenty-second week!!!

* There is no school this Friday, February 12th, in observance of Lincoln's birthday!

* There is no school on Monday, February 15th in observance of Presidents' Day!  Enjoy the four day weekend!!!

* Mrs. Maureen Thompson is our new interim principal.  Mrs. Thompson is well respected in our school district and has a lot of experience.  She will be a great addition to DRA.

* REMINDER….  Valentine's Day is Sunday, Feb. 14th.  This year we will NOT allow students to bring cards, bears, candy, stuffed animals, or other "gifts" to share and celebrate the holiday.  There will be no exceptions to this rule.  

* Our second quarter “Fun Day” and Renaissance Rally is on Thursday.

* Do you know what is in your child's back pack?!?  You should!!!  It is your right and responsibility to know what your child is bringing to and from school.

* Students are not allowed to bring cologne/perfume to school.  The glass bottles create a dangerous situation if the backpacks get dropped too hard on the ground.  In addition, the sprays are considered a dangerous object is used to spray at someone.

* As you know, the Date Festival kicks off this weekend.  This tends to create a lot of tension and drama at school because many students go to the Date Festival looking for trouble and then it spills over to school.  Please know who your child is going to the fair with and monitor what he/she is doing while there.  You would be amazed to see what gets posted on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and other social networks.

* Students are not allowed to bring treats and food items to share with friends unless it is approved and monitored by a teacher.  Students will have to leave items in the front office for a parent to pick up.

* Students who are caught using a cell phone and/or electronic device on school grounds without teacher permission will have the phone/device confiscated and checked into the office. Parents are required to pick up the phones/devices after the first offense.

* Students are required to wear their ID & school issued lanyard while on school grounds.  Students may receive a citation for not properly wearing the ID & lanyard.  Three citations will lead to detention.

* Time is running out to purchase a Yearbook!  Please see Mrs. Amidei if you are interested in purchasing our fantastic Yearbook!

* Our district utilizes an anonymous hotline for reporting bullying, cyber bullying, drug use/abuse, abuse, and more.  Please visit for more information.  Again, reporting is anonymous; which means you do not have to leave your name.  Please step up and help us help others.  I also encourage you to e-mail or see me if you are a victim or witness of bullying.

Have a great and rewarding week!!!

Visit Mr. C.'S Blog - Comments Welcome!



School Information

Office Hours:  8:20 - 3:40 - Monday - Friday

Dress Code:  School Uniform: Polo tops in school colors only. Bottoms any color, no gym shorts allowed. Students wear lanyard/ID at all times while at DRA or on school bus.

SCHOOL COLORS: Royal Blue, Gold, Orange

MASCOT: Diamondbacks  

Mrs. Thompson, Interim Principal

My name is Maureen Thompson and I am very pleased to serve as the interim Principal of Desert Ridge Academy. Mr. Borgen, former principal, has taken a new position within the school district. I will remain at Desert Ridge Academy as the district moves through the process of selecting a new principal.

I am new to Desert Ridge Academy but not new to Desert Sands Unified School District. I was an educator in Desert Sands for 30 plus years prior to my retirement. I served the district as a teacher, principal of three elementary schools and one middle school, and director of Certificated Personnel. 

I am looking forward to working with staff, students and parents to maintain the success of the excellent school community of Desert Ridge Academy.

Mrs. Thompson 

Eye on Desert Ridge with Mrs. Wood - Assistant Principal

Desert Ridge Academy

Spotlight on DRA Garden!

Desert Sands schools dish farm-to-table lessons
By Mary Perry, Special to The Desert Sun
At Desert Ridge Academy in Indio, middle school students have added art and environmental design to their academic day. The science class is taught by 20-year teaching veteran, Alex Londos, who has a degree in landscape architecture from UC Berkeley. 

Combined with his teaching degrees and certification, Londos has created a unique world for his students to learn about science, math, nutrition, language arts, and art.

On the day that I visited the classroom, worms were a part of the curriculum. Londos explained the difference between the work of the nightcrawlers and the red worms used for composting. He noted their scientific names and explained how they worked before we took the nightcrawlers out to the extensive on-site gardens. Using a hula hoe, students created trenches in the rows of vegetables and distributed the nightcrawlers who would begin the work of fertilization. Although harvest time recently ended, there are still plants in the gardens looking for the nutrients that will be provided by the nightcrawlers. Londos explained that the crawly critters ingest organic waste and then leave behind their own waste, called castings, which are a compost material that then fertilizes the garden.

Students bragged about the produce that this year’s garden yielded and were quick to point out that a new crop of strawberries will soon be ready for picking. They explained the weird-looking green plastic objects covering the plants and their purpose in protecting the strawberries while providing a tour of the greenhouse where the strawberry plants are bigger than their in-ground neighbors. Students also found a small pumpkin, an eggplant, and radishes still growing in their garden. A side trip to the small orchard also brought with it the color and the smell of the growing tangerines.

While the food grown in the Desert Ridge Academy garden provides many lessons, Londos also incorporates art, specifically ceramics, into the mix. The sign post noting what veggies are in the garden is a stand-alone sculpture. The pressings of leaves into what could be a beautiful holiday gift for use as a candy dish clearly provide a visual understanding of the veins within the plant and the science behind it.

It’s science in a whole new way.

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