Palm Springs Unified School District

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Palm Springs
Unified School District
980 East Tahquitz Canyon Way, Palm Springs, CA 92262
Palm Springs, California
District information
SuperintendentSandra Lyon
Students and staff
Other information
William E. Diedrich, Ph.D., Administration Building

The Palm Springs Unified School District, or PSUSD, is one of three public education governing bodies in the Coachella Valley desert region of Southern California. PSUSD governs the western half of the valley; the Coachella Valley Unified School District and Desert Sands Unified School District oversee communities in the eastern half. Administrative offices are located in Palm Springs. The PSUSD was established in 1958 from the Palm Springs Public Schools, later included Palm Springs High School in the 1960s.


PSUSD employs more than 2000 administrators, certificated staff and classified staff. More than 23,000 students are enrolled in sixteen elementary schools, four middle schools, four high schools and a continuation high school. Preschools, Head Start programs and adult education are covered as well.

The district covers the following communities:

Unincorporated areas within the region are covered as well.



Cathedral City[edit]

  • Agua Caliente Elementary School, opened in 1930's, current site since 1960, renovated.
  • Cathedral City Elementary School (moved to new site in 2005).
  • Landau Elementary School – opened in 1991.
  • Rio Vista Elementary School – opened in 2006.
  • Sunny Sands Elementary School – opened in 1989.

Desert Hot Springs[edit]

  • Bella Vista Elementary School – opened in 2014. [1]
  • Bubbling Wells Elementary School – opened in 1990.
  • Cabot Yerxa Elementary School – opened in 2009.
  • Julius Corsini Elementary School – opened in 1983 (formerly Hacienda Elementary School 1950s–80, replaced older site).
  • Two Bunch Palms Elementary School – opened in 1997.

Palm Springs[edit]

  • Cahuilla Elementary School – oldest grade school in existence, opened in 1920's, renovated.
  • second Cahuilla in Finchy school campus (extended Advanced Studies).
  • Cielo Vista Elementary School – opened in the 1950s, renovated.
  • Katherine Finchy School (formerly Middle, now a Grade school since the 1980s, moved to new facility in 1998).
  • Vista Del Monte Elementary School – opened in 1983, replaced older site since the 1920s.

Rancho Mirage[edit]

  • Rancho Mirage Elementary School – city's oldest public school, opened in the 1940s, current site since 1967.

Thousand Palms[edit]

  • Della S. Lindley Elementary School – opened in 1987.


Cathedral City[edit]

  • James Workman Middle School – opened in 1995.
  • Nellie Coffman Middle School – facility opened in 1976/77 – renovated, formerly in Palm Springs (1930s to 1976).

Desert Hot Springs[edit]

  • Desert Springs Middle School – opened in 1989.
  • Painted Hills Middle School – opened Fall 2011[2]

Palm Springs[edit]

  • Raymond Cree Middle School – opened in the 1960s, replaced site built in 1930s.


Cathedral City[edit]

Had the second highest test scores of all Coachella Valley high schools in the 2000s and 2010–11.

Desert Hot Springs[edit]

Palm Springs[edit]

Originally K–12 grade school in the 1920s and had the College of the Desert campus from 1958 to 1964.

Rancho Mirage[edit]

Alternative Education[edit]

Cathedral City[edit]

  • Mt. San Jacinto High School – facility opened in 1986 replaced El Camino Continuation High School in Palm Springs.

Desert Hot Springs[edit]

  • Edward Wenzlaff Education Center (relocated from Desert Hot Springs Alternative Center 2015 and formerly Las Brisas Continuation) opened in 1992. (formerly Desert Hot Springs K-8 School 1940s–62, current site opened in 1963, renamed in 1996, was elementary school until 2014).[citation needed]

Palm Springs[edit]

Proposed (in Palm Desert/ Thousand Palms area)[edit]

  • Desert Cities – Palme Park School Complex (K–grade 8).[citation needed]

Historic schools[edit]

The PSUSD used to have 5 other public schools in Palm Springs and one other in Cathedral City.

Until the 1950s, the PSUSD had separate school campuses for African-American, Latino, Asian-American and American Indian students when school segregation was then legal, then came the mandated policy of racial integration affected local schools. They were the El Camino, Harry Oliver, Mount San Jacinto and Palm Valley schools in the Section 14 neighborhood, inside the Agua Caliente Indian Reservation.

Local celebrities and billionaires like Walter Annenberg and Frank Sinatra boosted public schools in the city and desert, whom also personally fought against racial and ethnic segregation of public schools. At the time, even American Jewish and American Catholic students would choose church-run and religious day schools over public ones, until the end of WWII when their parents were comfortable sending them to secular public schools. By the start of the 1960s, the PSUSD was integrated of all races and creeds.

The (later private) Palm Valley School in the 1920s on the city limits of Cathedral City, closed in the 1970s.

The Smoke Tree school which faced the Walt Disney ranch and the Bob Hope and Elvis Presley residences closedin the 1960s.

The Frances Stevens school now the Palm Springs Theatre.

The Harry Oliver school became the Palm Springs Community School run by Riverside County Department of Education.

The Ramon School now the St. Theresa's Catholic school.

The relocated El Camino Continuation High School, on Demuth Park (the park and school's original site was on west Ramon and south Palm Canyon Dr.) in the late 1970s, on the PSHS site in the early 1980s, then became the Esperanza High School for teenage mothers in 1986, then closed in the early 1990s.

And the Mount San Jacinto School, later a special-day studies school on Section 14, the land parcel on the Agua Caliente Indian reservation, also where El Camino was.


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  2. ^ Archived from the original on July 17, 2011. Retrieved February 27, 2010. Missing or empty |title= (help)
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External links[edit]

33°49′24″N 116°32′14″W / 33.82333°N 116.53722°W / 33.82333; -116.53722Coordinates: 33°49′24″N 116°32′14″W / 33.82333°N 116.53722°W / 33.82333; -116.53722