« Back to compare
/ / School Profile
Public district
Edwards, CA
Students enrolled: 633

Contact this school

1575 Payne Avenue
Edwards, CA 93523

School website
(661) 258-4411
(661) 258-5029
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Desert Junior-Senior High School address.

December 21, 2013
I am an alumni of this school. I attended Desert High School in 1968. It was one of the best high schools in California. Academics, social activities and sports. I pulled out my 1968 Year Book and remembered how lucky I was. I am heartbroken about some of the previous comments about Desert H.S. We were some of the best & brightest! John Manley Class of "69"

- submitted by a community member

August 08, 2013
It seems like being a school on an Air Force base that also has NASA on it, the kids would have opportunities available to them that outside schools don't. I'm disappointed that this does not seem to be the case. Robotics, Lego, Rocket and similar clubs have been attempted but it seems like there's such a lack of student participation or drive, esp. in high school that they fizzle out. Branch finally has what appears to be a decent Robotics team and a budding garden. Great!! Maybe the high school can have similar opportunities. AP, IB, Honors classes, and ROP is slim pickings also and just this summer, at least 4 off-base schools had the opportunity to participate in a mini-test pilot training program which Desert was not. It does not seem like there's a whole lot this school has to offer. Not sure why that is. Academics is ok and there are some good, motivated teachers but a lot are retiring and it seems like we're in a period of a lot of new teachers still trying to get their routines down.

- submitted by a parent

March 25, 2013
It has been disheartening to watch the decline of this school and the district as a whole. My child's privacy has been violated in emails from teachers as well as other students in which a teacher announced in front of the class certain students' GPAs. The quality of education continues to decline as teachers are not held accountable for managing their classrooms. Most teachers are doing what they can with what they have, but the like norm it is the bad ones that leave the lasting impression, and sadly many of the good ones have chosen to leave. If the district, and each of its employees, could remember the reason why they have a job...THE STUDENTS....I believe the entire culture of the school would improve.

- submitted by a parent

January 09, 2013
Desert staff has violated privacy of their students. The current principal has harassed parents at their jobs and homes, threatened to call law enforcement if students did not admit to an action they may or may not have performed. My experience with the 2012-2013 principal was alarming. He has threatened to report me to the SARB board for absences that were excused by his signature on an independent study packet. He screamed at a student while "interrogating" him and grilling for answers. The quasy "Vice Principal" is just a school counselor with extra duties. The two have tendency to "team up" against students. Students have been ordered to report to the office during their lunch and nutritian breaks if they have been accused of theft and other, granted, serious infractions. School officials are also very condecending to their students and have little respect for their rights. ---Current student at DHS

- submitted by a community member

September 07, 2012
I'm a current 8th grader at Desert Jr/Sr High, and I have to say that this school is excellent in teaching education. I have a mixture of teachers I like and dislike. However, one of my biggest problems at this school is making new friends. I also hate how the teachers presume that you went to the elementary schools previously, which I haven't because I moved here this summer. It seems that everyone who has friends were either in the elementary school or came here in the 7th grade. When I graduate from 8th grade, I'm going to Highland High School in Palmdale since my parents recently bought a new house there. Hopefully there I can make new friends there.

- submitted by a community member

May 23, 2012
The school has really gone downhill in the past four years. Of course you have the students who excel in any environment and who contribute to the high test scores this school receives, but many of the students are out-of-control. Many of the students cheat on tests, do drugs, destroy school property and bully other students. Athletes and ROTC members who misbehave are not disciplined. Students who report bad behavior are labeled snitches and are ostracized. This is especially true for the athletes who misbehave. The expectation is for athletes to stick together no matter what kind of trouble their teammates get into. At a recent Academic Awards Ceremony, I listened to the Principal praise the athletic abilities of a particular young man when the focus of the ceremony was supposed to be on academics. It appeared that being a football player was more important than excelling academically. If you have the option, send your child to a different school.

- submitted by a parent

May 19, 2011
I have enjoyed my time as a student at Desert High School immensely. The school is just small enough that all students are called and remembered by name, by both the staff and their peers. Most of the teachers and staff are good people with good intentions, but every school is home to a few misfit teachers. As a graduate from this campus, I pray for improvements in the following things. The Arts programs, they are far too basic and do not teach much to the students at all. Offer more Language, give the students more choices than just "spanish" like Mandarin, or French. The sports programs / facilities, this school is home to the most unsafe bleachers known to man as well as an unlevel track. Then there is campus quality / cleanliness, clean up the trash that is constantly blowing round in the wind, and throw on a coat of fresh paint. The best thing about Desert is the rich social aspect. I'm going to miss the crowded football games and even the "lame" pep rallies. Go Scorpions!

- submitted by a community member

March 18, 2011
This school has helped me excel exponentially, since graduating in, 2009 I have enjoyed being accepted to Berkely, Harvard, and Georgia tech. the counciling staff was very hepLful in my endeviours

- submitted by a community member

October 11, 2010
To add to the comments below concerning Desert Jr. High School, the students doing the bullying are still in school and still continuing to bully others. Just because they are good athletes or their parents have said they've changed, does not mean they should be allowed to continue to attend school. After going to the superintendent and still getting no resolution to the situation, we removed our student from the school. It's very unfortunate that bullies are allowed to dictate who attends school and who doesn't. Once again, if you have a student attending the Jr. High, I would seriously consider not sending them to Desert Jr. High School.

- submitted by a parent

June 17, 2010
This school offers a great academic curriculum. The students are smart and should all be proud. The school environment is very safe. My child can walk to and from school, which is rare in our times. The teachers do truly care about their students. Kudos.

- submitted by a parent

May 21, 2010
I am proud to be a Desert Jr/Sr High School parent. This year's parent involvement was an amazing movement all year round throughout the whole school. Just a little over 100 senior students will be graduation this year and many of our graduates students were awarded with Scholarships over total $600,000 for a very small school. Thank you teachers, staffs and parents for your team work. Goooo Scorpion!

- submitted by a parent

May 17, 2010
Academically, Desert Junior/Senior High School school is mediocre at providing a basic high school education and below average at providing a college-prep education. Many students struggle with basic reading and writing due to the quality of the education offered here. Due to size and funding, course variety, extracurriculars, and AP classes are paltry. Like most schools, an exceptional child can thrive anywhere and go on to excell in post-secondary education. However, an average child will struggle to obtain an adequate college -prep education here. On the positive side, the biology department is exceptional academically. Furthermore, in an area where most of the public schools rank below average, this school does perform better than most of the surrounding low-performing schools.

- submitted by a parent
no rating
February 25, 2010
Desert provides my child with a safe school environment, high student achievement and courses that prepare her for college! The size of the school allows everyone to get involved. Teachers, administrators and staff are very helpful in making sure my student is successful. We have the best students in the country. Desert is a California Distinguished school. Keep up the good work Desert!

- submitted by a parent
no rating
April 15, 2009
My child switch high schools in her Junior year, this school is much better academicaly than her off base school. My child stated I feel like I'm finally getting an education.

- submitted by a parent

February 20, 2009
The administration leadership is lacking allowing teenage drama, bullying and drugs to affect students personally and academically. Lacking in extracurricular activities. Not the ideal HS experience I was hoping for my daughter.

- submitted by a parent

December 02, 2008
When kids want the opprotunity to learn here they have it. They teach to the level of the individual child. This is high school lets not forget so there will be the normal teenage angst but look at the schools in the area. This school has no security because it is not needed, there are no bars, we have lockers, and most of all everyone knows everyone here. The school excells in sports, academia, safety, and has an extremely low drop out rate...

- submitted by a parent

October 24, 2006
The level of academics is great at Desert High School. Great participation in the ROTC program and leadership opportunities are abundant. Other extracurricular activities lack support from staff and community. The whole high school concept is not recognized at Desert High School.

- submitted by a teacher

June 10, 2005
High quality academics with incredible access to advanced placement courses. Small school opportunities to participate in multiple sports, music, and other extracurricular activities. Teachers take active interest in encouraging students to excell and provide opportunities for outside research, scholarships, and awards. Amazing place for a school of this size!

- submitted by a parent

May 29, 2004
My child went through Muroc District schools, so I have experienced this district for quite a few years. There are great teachers here and a high level of academic challenge. My son said Desert High was harder than the local community college. He definitely got a good education! Unfortunately, like the rest of the district, behavior accountability for students (and their parents) is inconsistent/poor. This district ascribes to the 'parent is always right' doctrine, which has led to the decline of public schools in general and this whole district specifically. The district as a whole has extremely weak principals and a lack of quality and leadership at the top. If they can rectify the leadership problems, which have been prevalent for the past decade, this school, and the district as a whole, could become truly great.

- submitted by a parent

March 19, 2004
All of my children have graduated from Desert. The teachers and staff are exceptional, they truly care about their students. Unfortunately, in the last 3 years the leadership/administration at this school has declined. Currently there is a disappointing lack of adherence to the District as well as the school's discipline code. Hopefully, with the right principal and a strong Dean of Students, these problems can be resolved.

- submitted by a parent

August 25, 2003
# 1 school academically in Kern County and all of Antelope Valley. # 2 overall academically in state

- submitted by a community member

Profile Completeness


Want to improve this school’s profile? You can!

All schools on GreatSchools begin with BASIC completeness, which includes important information like contact details and test scores. It’s up to the school community to take the next steps. As a parent or community member, you can share what you know with other families by writing a review or answering a few questions about what the school offers. As a school leader, you can upload photos, describe school programs, and more with an Official school profile.

The completeness meter moves to INTERMEDIATE, then ADVANCED, and finally HONOR ROLL as you complete the following: 10 or more reviews, at least 1 photo, and 9 program questions parents find helpful.

Want to improve this school's profile?
for Parents
for Schools
Need help choosing a school? We can help »

Media Gallery

Media missing

Uh oh! No photos. This frame will look much better when you upload photos »

About this school

DHS is the #1 school in Kern County in regards to test scores

Nearby homes for sale


Last modified: October 28, 2014

Sign up for email updates

Connect with us

Translate this web page

About GreatSchools

Our mission is to help millions of parents get a great education for their kids. GreatSchools.org is an independent nonprofit and the leading national source of school information for families.

GreatSchools.org 1999 Harrison Street, Suite 1100, Oakland, CA 94612

©1998-2015 GreatSchools.org All Rights Reserved. GreatSchools is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization | Ad Choices

Desert Junior-Senior High School
1575 Payne Avenue, Edwards, CA  93523
(661) 258-4411
Last modified Desert Junior-Senior High School is a Public school that serves grades 7-12. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 7 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Desert Junior-Senior High School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 23 reviews. Top