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Rancho Mirage High School: Sneak Peek

By Samantha Cortese, News Reporter, samantha.cortese@cbslocal2.com
Published On: May 10 2013 02:53:40 PM CDT
Updated On: Sep 03 2013 11:53:43 AM CDT

Samantha Cortese has the story.

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. - -

"Welcome to Rattler Country!" shouts Superintendent Christine Anderson.

There isn't much shaking in rattler country -- just yet.

On September 3rd, nearly 800 freshmen and sophomore students will start their first day at Rancho Mirage High School.

The high school is the fourth in Palm Springs Unified School District.

Sporting maroon and silver -- city and district leaders got a sneak-peak at the classrooms and the curriculum.

Taking center stage, the advanced Performing Arts Program.

"Our theater, main stage, 600 seats. We have a black-box theater, drama room, choir room, band room," Principal Dr. Ken Wagner lists, "and then we have two dance rooms. One very large, perfect for doing showcases and preparing for showcases."

"There's everything you can possibly imagine," gloats Music Director and Fine Art Chair Andrew Eisenmann. "In addition to everything being a technologically advanced campus, we'll have everything wired in and I would possibly say we're rapidly approaching 22nd century stuff."

Soon the empty racks will be full of food cooked by students at RMHS.

It's the schools other unique career pathway -- Culinary Arts. Administrators say these kitchens are larger and more technologically advanced than some kitchens at restaurants here in the Coachella Valley.

"Culinary arts is an amazing program because kids prepare to become chefs right here in high school," says Wagner. "Our culinary kitchen rivals a lot of restaurants in the community, and the kids get to train right there in that facility."

Three years ago this month -- this same campus was a dirt lot.

Now three years later, the halls smell like fresh paint, the whiteboards are still white, and the carpet is without blemish.

By 2016, 1800 students will attend Rancho Mirage High.

"Palm Springs High School and Cathedral City High School are very large, which is why this school is coming on board," explains Wagner.

"Cathedral City High School is almost at 2800 students right now. So, big school, but ideally we can get our schools down to 2,000 students, and that's a great population to have for a high school."

In sports, Rattler athletic teams will play as free agents. After a season, Athletic Director and Vice President Chris Calderwood anticipates teams will join the De Anza League, which competes against mountain and high-desert teams. In the future, Calderwood hopes to join the Desert Valley League.

State-of-the-art facilities - check.

Career pathways programs - check.

New technology and safety features in every classroom - check.

One thing the school has yet to acquire?

A rival.

Rancho Mirage High School sits on 60 plus acres near the Da Vall Drive and Ramon Road intersection in the City of Rancho Mirage. For more information, visit RanchoMirageHighSchool.org.

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