Indian Wells boasts the highly rated Gerald Ford Elementary School, which educates and nurtures some 750 students from distinct backgrounds. It is part of the Desert Sands Unified School District. The school attendance area draws from a range of families, from those living in apartments to those who reside in country club areas. Coverage area includes the cities of Indian Wells, Palm Desert and La Quinta. The Gerald Ford Elementary School is staffed with more than 30 teachers, a resource specialist, a counselor and several shared or part-time staff such as paraprofessionals, a physical education teacher/computer technician, a speech therapist, a psychologist and a nurse. An active Parents Club conducts numerous programs and activities throughout the school year and also publishes a newsletter.
The Desert Sands Unified School District is one of three districts in Coachella Valley. The other two are the Palm Springs Unified School District and the Coachella Unified School District. All three districts are expanding with new and remodeled schools to meet a growing population. In 2005, Palm Desert High School was named one of the 192 California Distinguished High Schools in the state.
The area also offers a number of private schools: the Marywood-Palm Valley, Christian School of the Desert, Palm Springs Christian School, St. Margaret’s Episcopal School, the Indio Christian Academy and Xavier College Prep.
There are also a number of local higher education institutions offering opportunities for bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business, education and other disciplines, as well as workforce skills in numerous disciplines: the new California State University, San Bernardino-Palm Desert campus; the University of California, Riverside’s Richard J. Heckmann International Center for Entrepreneurial Management campus; and the College of the Desert. Chapman University and University of Phoenix also offer campus-oriented and online courses in the Coachella Valley.
Residents can also utilize the Rancho Mirage Public Library, which offers services and resources focusing on the informational, educational and cultural needs of Indian Wells. A cooperative agreement with the City of Indian Wells allows residents to use the library and its services at no cost simply by obtaining a valid library card. The card also allows residents to utilize all libraries in the Coachella Valley, as well as libraries in the State Public Library System.