History of Amistad

Amistad High School

Amistad High School was founded in the 1970's as the only continuation high school for Desert Sands Unified School District. The school was initially located at the former district office next to Jefferson Middle School on HWY 111 in Indio and operated as an evening only program. As the school grew in enrollment, it was relocated to a section of portable buildings on the campus of Indio High School where it remained until 1982. At that time, with enrollment continuing to increase, Amistad moved to a temporary site in a light industrial area on Golf Center Parkway, adjacent to our current location.

Because the demand for Amistad's program continued to increase, a decision was made to build a permanent facility for the school at the previous location. The move to that facility allowed Amistad to reorganize the curriculum and school structure to provide for more departmental instruction. Students began to move from classroom to classroom for the various subjects. Students still had the option of attending either morning or afternoon classes, one of the hallmarks of Amistad's program since the beginning.

Amistad's enrollment peaked in 2008 at 570 students including our morning and afternoon programs and independent study. With the opening of Summit High School, the district's second continuation high school, Amistad's enrollment declined. Our enrollment now stands at about 300 students.

In the fall of 2013, Amistad moved to a brand new 80,000 square foot facility on 20 acres, near the old campus--the new site was once home to Wilson Middle School. The new campus consists of full-size classrooms, a state-of-the-art automotive shop, an expanded library, a multi-purpose room, and a full-size gymnasium. A larger lunch area with additional lunch tables and shade structures provide a more comfortable setting for students. We are fortunate to be able to offer our students a quality education in a state-of-the-art facility.

Beginning in the 2018-2019 school year, Amistad transitioned to a new quarter system; this system allowed for students to earn--over the course of a school year--up to 140 credits.

During the 2019-20 school year, Amistad like many schools across the country closed their doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In spite of this, with the support of the district office, the Amistad staff continued to offer students instruction. As a result, Amistad's Class of 2020 reached 110 graduates. As the campus continues to grow, and the programs continue to evolve, Amistad staff and students look forward to making the upcoming school years even better than years before.

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