Desert Choice Schools has been the saving grace for my son. I can’t lie, when I first heard about this school it made me nervous. The rumors told to my child from his previous school were used as a threat to make him submissive to their requests. It was made out to be this big bad system meant for kids who couldn’t behave. The portrayal had me saying “NEVER” before I even spoke to them. To my amazement, none of it was true. This program has been everything I never knew my son needed. They understand the individual needs of each child and that’s exactly what we needed. I knew my son had it in him to do his very best but he always seemed to be set up for failure. They have a system in place to teach students each action has a consequence whether positive or negative– allowing the child to decide for themselves which choice to make and allows them to understand that the result is because of the choice they made. I could go on and on about them, but truthfully I can’t say enough good things about them. My only regret is not starting him in this program earlier than I did. Thank you Desert Choice for giving my son the opportunity to do better!
I am the mother of 9-year old wonderful girl whom has experienced behavioral challenges that enabled her to continue learning in a normal school setting and despite the unique accommodations her home school attempted to provide her it was just not enough. My daughter has struggled with her behavior since Kindergarten. She was very oppositional and defied any type of authority including that of her parents. The idea of anyone telling her “no” or redirecting was a trigger for her which would send her into a defiant and aggressive fit which included throwing tables, chairs, papers, pencils, and basically anything and everything she could grab her hands on. Although, eventually she was moved into a self-contained classroom there were many times where her inability to control her anger was the cause of having to remove the other students from the classroom for their own safety. At home, I attempted to maintain structure and consistency although at times, it was not easy when you require the help and consistency of those that also care for your child. Providing consequences at home would often lead to my daughter destroying her room, which included throwing her TV, pulling down all her clothes from her hangers in her closet, ripping and breaking anything just to express her anger. I knew that we needed help and it would take more people to help make the changes that my daughter needed, but I did not know how or what was going to help. Towards the end of her second grade year, we, her IEP team, gathered for a meeting to discuss what was working and what was not working. By this time, due to the severity of her aggressive and defiant behaviors she had already came into contact twice with local law enforcement at her school. I remember the officer stating that at the age of 8 years old a parent could press charges against another child who has assaulted their child. I drove home that day inconsolable and thinking that there was no way that I would be able to send my daughter back to school again because it was not “If” it was “When” she would again come into contact with law enforcement. Going back to the IEP meeting, I sat there with her team and a new member had been invited to this meeting. This new member was Mr. Gilbert Perez of Desert Choice Schools. Mr. Perez presented his school and their program. He described their methods for conditioning behavior and I have to admit at first I was resistant and hesitant, perhaps because I was a scared parent imagining what my daughter’s behavior and self-inflicted consequences would be brought on by this new way of helping her improve her behavior. He explained that she would have the ability to level up with good behavior and could drop down with bad behavior. I expressed aloud that it was much like a prison system, just to give you an idea of my level of thinking about this newly presented program. As I internally worked through my own resistance, I realized that what the program offered was in similar ways to the structure I implemented at home. It was no easy choice and with a knot in my throat, I made the decision to begin the transfer process for my daughter to begin attending Desert Choice. I was emotional that day because I knew my daughter would NOT be happy, but I knew it was what she needed. Desert Choice teachers specifically Mrs. Garcia and Ms. Moreno have played an outstanding role in the rehabilitation of my daughter’s negative behaviors. The consistency in their daily rules and expectations have helped my daughter learn positive communication and choices. My daughter has grown in so many positive ways that I have nothing, but complete satisfaction with the results of her attending the program at Desert Choice. She has learned self-control and the ability to think about her actions and consequences. She has learned patience. She has learned to focus on her own behavior and has greatly decreased any influenced behavior from others. She is no longer defiant and aggressive to the severity that she was initially and is within age appropriate behaviors. She has become a positive role model to her peers. She is a happy, funny, and amazing little lady. I am so proud of her growth. Her behaviors no longer get in the way of her academic progress, which was an issue the first few years of her learning experience. Desert Choice, their teachers, the program, and my daughter’s stupendous change have superseded my own expectations. If I were to give any advice to a parent or caregiver who is struggling with their child’s behavior as I was, I would say that the key is the consistency of the structure, expectations, and consequences both in the school and in the home. We cannot expect to see changes in the home if we are not willing to change our own home structure to ensure that the our child(ren) are being presented with a consistent environment that aids their growth, whether it be their physical, emotional, mental, and/or academic growth. It is important that you know where we started so, that the ending can serve a purpose. I have no doubt that my daughter will succeed as she moves on to her home school where it all began, but should she need some continued assistance I know that the staff at Desert Choice is committed to ensuring she continues on the path of success and for that I am forever grateful.
Desert Choice Has been a great alternative option for my son and his education. Staff has always been very helpful, communicative and has always shown a sincere wanting to have my son grow educationally and emotionally. I am very grateful to all who have been positive and have encouraged my son to reach his potential to feel he can be a student in a regular classroom environment. I will highly recommend this school.
I can’t express enough how thankful I am for DCS and what it has done for my son. We started with DCS when it first came to Yuma – 3 years ago. It has been a continuous learning process, but one that I am very glad my son was able to be a part of. DCS has given my son the ability and tools needed to be successful in a general education setting.
The staff at DCS-Yuma are exceptional! To be able to work with and teach students with various learning/behavioral needs is a task within itself. The staff has done an amazing job and has been a huge part of our student’s success. I know they would say that it is all him and his choices, but I feel that it is also their caring, understanding and unwavering guidance that has assisted him in making positive choices!
Thank you from all so much for everything you have done (and continue to do) for our son and all the students at DCS! You all are a very important part in these children’s lives and futures. It is because of you and the DCS program that they are able to learn, grow and establish the tools needed to be successful. Thank you again!
It all started that my son had a desire to die or to hurt himself and you helped him get through all those problems he felt, and his fears passed. Now I see him happier and with more strength to live, he is now the one who gives me strength to move forward with others and my take care of my children much more and I keep fighting to be well. We went to therapy him and I and I want you to continue helping the other students as you took care of my son and God Bless all of Desert Choice staff. Thank You.
Greatly appreciate this quality alternative school especially with opportunities for dual enrollment and flexibility like allowing community college class enrollment. Thank you Beach Cities Learning and the excellent Palos Verdes team for offering this wonderful space for our youth!
The program is amazing. It was very beneficial to my son.
It’s been awesome working with Mrs. Parks and Mr. Banker, my daughter gained confidence and improved academically with the help of the teachers. They took their time to understand her individual needs and worked with her patiently. Again thank you very much. Please share that with the teachers as well. I greatly appreciated them.