Categorical programs are a major component of district and site services. Federal and state categorical programs were created by the legislators to serve the special needs of students that are not covered by the general fund regular education program. Each categorical program comes with its own program intent, rules, regulations and exemplary practices.
English learners (ELs) comprise about 23 percent of the total enrollment in Desert Sands Unified School District. Each of our 34 schools provides programs and services to English learners. A Master Plan for English Learners was adopted by the Board of Education in June, 2003, with revisions adopted in June, 2007, April, 2009, and is currently under review and revision. This document provides specific guidance to all district and school staff on how to identify and serve ELs. Please visit our EL Master Plan page for more information. Desert Sands receives state (EIA) and federal (Title III) funds to support the instructional needs of our English learners at all school sites. All sites either have an English Learner Advisory Committee (ELAC), or have voted to delegate the roles and responsibilities of ELAC to their School Site Council. Each school elects representatives to serve on the District English Learner Advisory Committee (DELAC), which meets regularly throughout the year.
Title I is the largest single program for federal aid for elementary and secondary education. The program has two missions from the U.S. Department of Education: Enforcing equity and Promoting excellence in education. Title I funds support programs for fifteen (15) elementary schools, five (5) middle schools, and two (2) high schools. All sites, regardless of receiving Title I funds or not, have elected a representative to serve on the District Advisory Committee (DAC) which meets regularly throughout the year. Federal Title II funds support district-wide professional development efforts to improve teaching and learning.