Desert Learning Academy

Desert Learning Academy Logo

Basic Information

Address: 2248 E. Ramon Road, Palm Springs, CA 92264
County: Riverside
District: Palm Springs USD
Phone Number: 760-778-0487
Fax Number: 760-778-8704
Principal: Dr. Todd Reed

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Desert Learning Academy
Desert Learning Academy
Desert Learning Academy
Desert Learning Academy

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Additional Information

School Type: Blended Leaning
Accreditation: WASC
District ID: 0629550
School ID: 050034
State District ID: 33 67173 0000000
State School ID: 33 67173 0133090
Grade Level: K-5, 6-8, 9-12
Founded: 2015
School Setting:

Desert Learning Academy is an online school that is part of the Palm Springs Unified School District. Established in 2015, this virtual school will provide alternative educational opportunities to Southeast Riverside County area students. As a Desert Learning Academy is a “tuition-free school of choice” for all students, parents, and guardians. We have students in grades K-12 from all local schools and surrounding counties (Riverside, San Diego, San Bernardino, and Imperial Counties) to meet their personalized learning needs.

Our personalized learning program requires students to grow a positive mind set around school and their learning. Parents and guardians become part of the learning process by providing a at home structure for their students. Students will also have “Highly Qualified Teachers” in all contents. Desert Learning Academy will have on site computer labs and resource personnel open during regular school hours.

School Schedule (Hours in Day): 8:30 to 3:30
School Days in Calendar Year: 180
School Holidays: Thanksgiving, Winter break, SPrings Break, Summer Break
School Colors: University Blue, Texas Orange, Royal Blue
School Mascot: Pilots

coachella valley

School Size: 300
Classroom Size: 25
Classroom Teachers: 13
Student/Teacher Ratio: 25:1
Support Services:

Special Education support, Reading Program

After School Programs: Yes
Summer School: Yes
PTA Organization: Yes
Computer Capabilities:

One-to-one Computer to student

School Clubs:

ASB, Robotics, Film

Lunch Availability: Yes
Parking Spaces/Availability:


Uniform Guidelines:


Mission Statement:

The Mission of the Desert Learning Academy is to provide a high quality personalized educational experience. All stakeholders are focused on preparing every student for their post K-12 choices by creating a community that works collaboratively, using the research-based technologies and instructional practices to insure growth in students emotional, physical, and social needs. ​

Philosophy/Belief Statement:

What our Students will build together....
Seven Survival Skills for Students

1. Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

Our students will be able to compete in the new global economy by problem solving their issue and barriers to leaning. Our students will be able to think critically to identify the issues presented and answer in deep responses.

2. Collaboration and Leadership

Our students will work together over distances to resolve problems, adapt to roles in teams, and produce valid relevant products.

3. Agility and Adaptability

Our student will be able to think, be flexible, change, and use a variety of tools to solve new problems.

4. Initiative and Entrepreneurialism

Our students will take chances fail, try again and be rewarded for all their efforts.

5. Effective Oral and Written Communication

Our students will be able to communicate with peers, teacher, and other community members. Our students will be able to effectively present academic content in a work related context.

6. Accessing and Analyzing Information

Our students will be able to manage and analyze relevant information data routinely.

7. Curiosity and Imagination

Our students will be able to "step out of the box" and create solutions, application, and process to move forward passions.
How our Students will get there....

​The following readiness factors should be considered prior to enrollment in an online course:

1. Academic Ability

Much of the content of an online course is conveyed through written material. It is therefore important that students have strong analytical reading skills (proficient or advanced ELA scores on the SBAC are recommended).

2. Computer Skills

Students should be comfortable working with a computer, navigating a website, and downloading/uploading documents. Strong typing skills are a must. Students must be comfortable accessing and reading information on a computer for long periods, and have some basic ability to troubleshoot technical issues that may be encountered.

3. Habits of Mind

Online course work requires strong organizational and time management skills. Students must be independent, self-directed learners who are capable of staying on task while working from home, managing assignment due dates, and asking for help when they need assistance. Students must access the course on a daily basis and check email regularly for communications from the teacher.

4. Parent Support

Parent/guardian support is important to the success of online students. Parents must be aware of the online requirements, monitor work habits and progress, and ensure appropriate technology access at all times. Students should have someone who can provide technical assistance as necessary as well.

5. Technology Access

Online students must have daily access to a computer with a high-speed internet connection and a processor capable of downloading/uploading streaming video and large multimedia files. The computer should be equipped with a word processor, web browser, speakers, and a USB headset with microphone.

Enrollment Characteristics: Learning through an online class requires different skills than learning in a face-to-face class. It's important to know what you're getting into and to understand the kind of commitment that's necessary for success in online learning.
School History:

The Desert Learning Academy is an online/ virtual school that is part of the Palm Springs Unified School District. Established in 2015, this is a virtual/ blended environment that provides many alternatives to traditional brick-and-mortar schools in the Coachella Valley and South East Riverside County area. Students can come from any of the local school districts or nearby counties. The school serves students in grade K-12. Virtual environments and independence of the students' education vary based on grade level and academic success, all students use online curriculum as their primary source. Our personalized learning program requires students to have or develop a positive mindset around learning. Teachers help to focus their mind set by mentoring and coaching students in academic areas of weakness, both educational and personally. The Desert Learning Academy (DLA) offers support to two other district programs including the Rebound program for 6th through 8th grade students that have been placed at Desert Learning Academy (DLA) by suspended expulsions process and also host home/hospital instruction. Thus personalized learning experiences are provided to each student based on their learning goals and academic needs. Parents need to be part of the learning process by creating at home structures to guide their student progress at expected levels.

Programs and Services:

Elementary School
The teacher monitors student progress daily through Acellus. Students contact the teacher for assistance and the teacher contacts the students and parents based on the alerts the teacher receives from Acellus. Students come at least one day for direct instruction and many students come for additional days to receive instruction and support from the teacher. The teacher communicates with the parents several times a week, informing them of their child's progress or where their child should be. The special education services student with IEPs up to four days a week. Teachers are monitor students’ progress daily through the Edgenuity group progress reporting system. These results drive teacher intervention system. All students come in for a minimum of one full day per week. Interventions are built in during lab times in the daily schedule. Students are also taught to take ownership of their own learning so that they readily ask for the help during these lab times. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday lab times are necessary for students on the higher tier levels. During this time their Foundations classes are monitored, tests are proctored and quizzes are remediated. Friday is also a crucial time for ensuring students master skills and standards. Tier 2-4 students are required to attend. During this time ELA and Math content specialists work with students individually, in small groups, and by grade level. The Special Education teacher is also there from 10:20-11:15 to service students with IEPs. For students who need advanced differentiation, extra credit art projects, writing assignments and multimedia projects are sometimes offered.
High School
The teachers evaluate student progress through the student progress reporting in Edgenuity. The report displays the student progress by class. Teachers use this to insure that student know their own progress and know how to assign the student time to be on campus for directed support in the resource lab. Students are assigned to the resource lab based on their current progression in a course, based on a time line of three (3) courses per quarter completion rate.
During the intake process student take a Math pre-assessment. This assessment allows for the teachers and counselor to put in place math supports. Students that are not at grade level in this assessment are given support courses to fill in the gaps and a means to intervention. Students in special education are provided the same level and intervention. The academies mission remains to have student prepared for life after high school, what ever that might hold.