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Students will graduate prepared and motivated to succeed in their choice of career and higher education and to contribute to the common good. ×

District News

Two DHS Teachers Named County Teachers of Year

Two Palm Springs Unified teachers were surprised with a visit from Riverside County Supt. of Schools Dr. Judy White this morning to bring them the news that they have been selected as two of Riverside County's four Teachers of the Year.

Michelle Beyronneau, who teaches geometry at Desert Hot Springs High; and Dr. Brian McDaniel, director of bands at Painted Hills Middle School, are now vying for California Teacher of the Year honors.

Rancho Mirage Elementary's Rhonda Fort was a semi-finalist in the County Teacher of the Year competition. Beyronneau and McDaniel join Coachella Valley Unified's Edwin Detoya (Bobby Duke Middle School) and Jurupa Unified's Martha Rodriguez (Sunnyslope Elementary) as the County's 2018 Teachers of the Year.

McDaniel was raised in Desert Hot Springs, attended the public schools in the Palm Springs Unified School District, and is now in his second stint leading a music program in the district. Formerly the band director at Desert Hot Springs High School from 2006 to 2015, McDaniel has now sparked a new energy into the band and choir program at Painted Hills Middle School, named The Regiment. When he arrived in 2014, there were 75 students. Now, the tune is different with 250 students involved in the program—representing more than one-third of the entire student population and including every level of skill, socio-economic status, and background.

“The Regiment is a safety net to protect kids against the trials of middle school,” McDaniel said in his application. “I believe my greatest contribution is providing my students with hope.”

McDaniel earned a bachelor’s degree in music from California State University, Long Beach. He proceeded to receive a master’s degree in education from California State University, San Bernardino. In 2011, he completed his doctorate of educational leadership from the University of Redlands. He is a resident of Cathedral City.

It was the high school math teacher of Beyronneau’s mother that convinced her that she could actually go to college. Two generations later, her students are on the receiving end of her belief in their potential to succeed in school and in life. When applying for a teaching position within the district, 
Beyronneau researched the schools with the highest performing students, and promptly avoided them—focusing instead on positions where she could pour into students with the greatest socio-economic and academic needs.
“My greatest accomplishment in education is creating a safe space for my students—an eye in the center of their storm and helping them create a short or long term path to success.” Beyronneau shared in her application. “I love math, but I could be happy teaching anything. I don’t teach because of math. I teach because of students.”

Beyronneau graduated with a degree in mathematics from Creighton University in Nebraska. She earned a master’s degree in educational administration from the University of Redlands. She is also a resident of Cathedral City.

Three PSUSD Schools Named to State Honor Roll

Cielo Vista Charter, Rancho Mirage Elementary and Rio Vista Elementary Schools have been selected by Educational Results Partnership (ERP) and the Campaign for Business and Education Excellence (CBEE) as three of 1,866 public schools in California to receive the title of 2016 Honor Roll school.

The Honor Roll is part of a national effort to identify higher-performing schools and highlight successful practices that improve outcomes for students. Schools receiving this distinction from leaders in the California academic and business communities have demonstrated consistent high levels of student academic achievement, improvement in achievement levels over time and reduction in achievement gaps among student populations. PSUSD’s three schools received the “Star Schools” Award as schools with significant populations of socio-economically disadvantaged students that have shown a significant increase in grade-level proficiency over time. Scholar Schools are schools that are showing significant levels of academic achievement, but do not have a significant socio-economically disadvantaged student population.

 “We are proud to recognize those schools and school districts who are succeeding in putting their students on a path of productivity that not only leads to success in the classroom, but also prepares them to contribute to and benefit from a more productive economy,” said Greg Jones, ERP and CBEE Board Chairman. “Leadership from both education and the business community is critical to linking success from one system to the next, and ensuring that students have the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve a college degree and the financial security of a living wage job.”

 "The Honor Roll proves that many schools are doing well, even those with high numbers of historically disadvantaged students,” said Jim Lanich, ERP President and CEO.  “These schools are clearly doing something right and all schools, no matter what zip code they are in, can achieve this kind of success. School and school district leadership have a great opportunity to find out what’s working at these Honor Roll schools and replicate it.”

 A full list of the Honor Roll schools, districts, and the STEM awardees can be found at  http://edresults.org/HonorRoll/HonorRoll?State=CA

PSHS Receives National Music Merit Award

Support Music Merit Award Image

Palm Springs High School has been honored with the SupportMusic Merit Award from the NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education. Palm Springs High joins 92 schools across the country in receiving the prestigious award in 2017.

The SupportMusic Merit Award is awarded to individual schools that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students. Schools that have been recognized by the NAMM Foundation are often held up as models for other educators looking to boost their own music education programs. Palm Springs High Director of Bands Brian Ingelson received notification of the honor on Tuesday evening. This is the first time PSHS has won this award.

“I feel very proud that we have been recognized for our commitment to music education,” said Ingelson. “Teachers, volunteers, parents, the school, District and community are all important to helping students develop their skills for personal fulfillment, careers in the arts and/or careers that use the arts, which is just about every career!”

To qualify for the SupportMusic Merit Award, Palm Springs High answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program, and community music-making programs. Responses were verified with school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.

Research into music education continues to demonstrate educational/cognitive and social skill benefits for children who make music. A series of landmark studies by scientists and researchers at Northwestern University found a link between students in community music programs and life-long academic success, including higher high school graduation rates and college attendance. In another study from the University, it was discovered that the benefits of early exposure to music education improves how the brain processes and assimilates sounds, a trait that lasts well into adulthood. Beyond the Northwestern study, other reports indicate that learning to play music can boost academic and social skills, such as processing math and learning to cooperate in group settings.


2017-18 LCAP Draft for Review

LCAP surveys

An important feature of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) is the opportunity for parent and community members to provide input regarding PSUSD’s academic priorities and budget. PSUSD is currently in the process of soliciting input from its stakeholders regarding its 2017-18 District LCAP. Please use the comment boxes to provide us with your suggestions and/or thoughts.



2017-18 LCAP is available for review here.
To leave feedback and comments click here.



2017-2018 LCAP está disponible aquí​​​​.
Comparta sus comentarios y retroalimentación oprima aquí​.

New Accountability 'Dashboard' To Be Unveiled This Week

California has a new accountability system reported through the California School Dashboard (referred to as the "Dashboard" from this point forward). This new accountability system reports on multiple measures. The Dashboard replaces the former Academic Performance Index (API), which was based on testing results only, and Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). This  page provides an overview of: (1) the accountability system, (2) the state priorities used to measure school performance, and (3) information on how to read the Dashboard reports. The actual reports will be published on March 15. 

  • California School Dashboard Video  (Video; 5:25)
    This video provides an overview of California's new multiple measures accountability system. It describes the measures in the new Dashboard Report and how performance and improvement are used to determine the performance colors.

The purpose of California's new accountability system is to report on district and school performance based on the state priorities. The state priorities define a quality education more broadly than a single test score. The new system reflects a clear expectation that all districts and schools can and should improve. Also, the new system focuses on closing the performance differences among student groups (e.g., race/ethnicity, socioeconomically disadvantaged, English learners [ELs]) performance.

Districts are held accountable for all of the state priority areas, while schools and student groups are held accountable for five of the state priority areas. For accountability purposes, districts include county offices of education (COEs), school districts, and charter schools. Charter school data are not included in their authorizing district's Dashboard report.

California tiene un nuevo sistema de rendición de cuentas a través del cuadro de mando de las escuelas de California (California School Dashboard; en lo sucesivo denominado “Dashboard”). Este nuevo sistema de rendición de cuentas brinda informes sobre varias medidas. El Dashboard reemplaza al anterior Índice de Rendimiento Académico (Academic Performance Index, API), que estaba basado en los resultados de los exámenes solamente, y al Progreso Anual Adecuado (Adequate Yearly Progress, AYP). Esta página  brinda información general de: (1) el sistema de rendición de cuentas, (2) las prioridades estatales que se usan para medir el desempeño e (3) información sobre cómo leer los informes del Dashboard.Se puede acceder a los informes del Dashboard aquí (el 15 de marzo de 2017).

Propósito del nuevo sistema de rendición de cuentas

El propósito del nuevo sistema de rendición de cuentas de California es informar sobre el desempeño de los distritos y las escuelas basado en las prioridades estatales. Las prioridades estatales definen lo que es una educación de calidad de forma más amplia que la calificación de un solo examen. El nuevo sistema refleja la clara expectativa de que todos los distritos y las escuelas pueden y deben mejorar. Además, el nuevo sistema se centra en reducir las diferencias en el desempeño entre los grupos de estudiantes (por ejemplo, los grupos basados en raza/origen étnico, los de escasos recursos socioeconómicos y los estudiantes de inglés como segundo idioma [English Learners, EL]).

Los distritos son responsables de todas las áreas de prioridad, mientras que las escuelas y los grupos de estudiantes son responsables de cinco de las áreas de prioridad estatales. Para fines de la rendición de cuentas, los distritos incluyen a las oficinas de educación de los condados (County Offices of Education, COE), los distritos escolares y las escuelas charter. Los datos de las escuelas charter no se incluyen en el informe del Dashboard del distrito autorizador.


Kindergarten Enrollment Center Opens March 2

PSUSD's Centralized Enrollment Center opens March 2 at the Desert Hot Springs Health & Wellness Center. Please see attached flyers with information on dates, required documents and resources for 2017-18 kindergarten registration. To access enrollment forms:

Spanish: http://bit.ly/PSUSD_ENR_SPA

English: http://bit.ly/PSUSD_ENR_ENG

For more information, call (760) 416-6030 or e-mail enrollment@psusd.us.

Election Result Does Not Alter Our Commitment, Mission

Book with Apple Icon

As students and staff attend our schools following our national election results, we want to ensure all that the Palm Springs Unified School District administration and staff is committed to providing a safe learning environment for all students.   We understand that there may be feelings of fear and apprehension among some of our students and their families.  

All of us here at PSUSD will continue to appreciate one another and our commitment to our students’ success and well-being.  If families have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the District Parent Centers. Our staff is available to assist.

Our Parent Centers are located at 333 S. Farrell Drive, Palm Springs and 11625 West Drive, Desert Hot Springs. You may also contact our District Parent Coordinator Dr. Ingrid Lin at (760) 416-1374 or ilin@psusd.us.


Board Approved Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP)

LCAP Infographic Image

As part of the state's Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), which is a new way to fund schools, all districts are required to prepare a Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP), which describes how we intend to meet annual goals for pupils, with specific activities to address state and local priorities identified. Palm Springs Unified's Board of Education approved the 2016-17 LCAP on June 28, following written from input from community stakeholders (including parents, teachers, students, business representatives and residents).

To review the 2016-17 LCAP, please see the attachments in English and Spanish below.

If you have any questions or comments concerning the LCAP, please feel free to contact Dr. Denise Ellis, Director of State and Federal Programs at 760-416-6069 or by email dellis@psusd.us.



New Board of Education Member Takes Oath Dec. 13

Madonna Gerrell will become Palm Springs Unified School District's newest member of the Board of Education on Dec. 13.

Gerrell, a teacher in the Coachella Valley Unified School District and parent of two Cathedral City High graduates, won the Trustee Area 1 election Nov. 8, replacing Shari Stewart, who did not seek re-election. She will take the oath of office at the Dec. 13 Board of Education meeting at 6 p.m. at 980 E. Tahquitz Canyon Way, Palm Springs.

In other PSUSD election news, District voters passed Measure I, PSUSD's bond reauthorization measure, with 73.92 percent of the vote.

Jerry Argovitz Stadium Naming Held

A one-hour ceremony on the football field at Rancho Mirage High School was held on Dec. 9 for the formal naming of the football stadium after seasonal Rancho Mirage resident and semi-retired NFL “super agent” Jerry Argovitz.  Argovitz recently made a one-million-dollar donation to the Palm Springs Unified School District to establish an endowment-fund at RMHS in support of the newly named Jerry Argovitz Sports Institute, or JASI.

The Institute’s curriculum and activities, overseen by RMHS Principal Ken Wagner, will be designed for RMHS athletes and other District students specifically to introduce them to the wide variety of sports- and sports-related career options open to them separate and apart from playing professionally

Consisting of a series of carefully structured lectures, in-depth presentations, guest-visits, field trips, and workshops by Argovitz and colleagues from the world of professional sports, the curriculum is intended to expose sports-focused students to the multiple career pathways down which their interest in pro sports might take them – from management, journalism, and broadcasting to advertising, communications, coaching, sports medicine, and dozens of other arenas.

According to Dr. Argovitz, “A majority of high school athletes have a desire to go to college to focus on a career in athletics on the field -- but few recognize the opportunities for a career in sports that doesn’t involve wearing a helmet or throwing a football.  Our Institute at RMHS will introduce them to these options, keep them interested in academics and graduating, and build their commitment to character development, integrity, work ethics, moral values, and academic excellence.”  Argovitz stresses that “The reality is, most high school athletes’ dreams of a pro sports career are unrealistic.  Yet if we get them excited about the countless sports-related areas in which they absolutely can build a meaningful career, we’ll keep them in school.”

Ellen Goodman, Executive Director of The Foundation for the Palm Springs Unified School District, worked closely with Argovitz for six months to conceive, develop, and flesh-out the JASI agreement, which, as Goodman has said, “takes Jerry’s longtime interest in mentoring young athletes and would-be athletes, and makes it possible for him to reach dozens and dozens of district students with his wisdom and long experience in pro sports.  Our students will benefit enormously from his insights and guidance.”

Dr. Christine Anderson, Superintendent of Palm Springs Unified School District, will preside over Friday’s ceremony, and has commented, “As a founding owner of a major professional football franchise, Dr. Argovitz has a deep commitment and a genuine desire to help underserved and economically challenged District students especially, and as an agent has represented and mentor many young and talented athletes.  The depth of understanding that he will provide to our District’s students is enormous.”

Of the Argovitz endowment fund, PSUSD Board of Education President Karen Cornett said, “The donation is exactly what the Foundation for the Palm Springs Unified School District, under Ellen Goodman’s directorship, was set up to do:  secure generous private community funding for initiatives within PSUSD that would otherwise go unfunded or underfunded.  The agreement with Mr. Argovitz is an absolute win-win for us.”