DIGICOM Narrative Symposium

On March 29th, 35 IMPACT students were able to participate in the first ever DIGICOM High School Narrative Film Symposium with students form 11 other high schools at the Camelot Theatre in Palm Springs. 

Students were treated to a screening of four indecent short films produced in collaboration with Project Involve. After each film, students were given the opportunity to participate in Q&A sessions with the writers and producers. 

Project Involve is a free, intensive, nine-month annual program that offers 30 up-and-coming film professionals from under-represented communities the opportunity to hone skills, form creative partnerships, utilize free or low-cost production resources and ultimately gain the industry access necessary to succeed as working artists.

DIGICOM is a program that involves training teachers and students across all areas of K-12 curriculum how to make videos in order to demonstrate literacy and communicate in the 21stCentury. 

DIGICOM empowers young people to share their learning experiences and to give voice to what they think and what they believe through the process of making videos.  By developing the skills of digital storytelling and enabling students to create original products, DIGICOM fosters critical thinking, creativity, communication, and collaboration, the cornerstone of the Department of Education’s Common Core State Standards.

IMPACT is excited to find news ways of partnering with DIGICOM in the future as the organization expands to serve the greater Coachella Valley.


Multi-Age Project Collaboration with Parker Jacobs!

Students from IHS IMPACT, Jefferson Middle School, and Palm Desert High School with Parker Jacobs and his wife Jennifer. 

On February 23rd and 24th IMPACT hosted designer, artist, writer, musician, and all around good guy Parker Jacobs, who lead a Film/Animation/Storytelling workshop with 50 students from IHS IMPACT, Thomas Jefferson Middle School, and Palm Desert High School. The two day workshop gave students a firsthand look into the Arts, Media, and Entertainment industry as Jacobs guided them through the development of an original project that combines live action and animation.

Jacobs may be best known for his role as Art Director for the hit Nick Jr. show Yo Gabba Gabba! (which ran 4 seasons and several national live show tours), but his lifelong career spans nearly every side of the Arts, Media, and Entertainment industry– through a variety of film/television studios, Paul Frank Industries, The Aquabats!, Vans, Goon Holler, and many many more. 

Jacobs began the workshop by giving students a brief history of a not-so-brief career, including the many ups and downs that come with the territory, and the challenges they may face when entering a creative field. Through it all, Jacobs made it clear that success comes not only from talent and hard work, but from pursuing passion and surrounding yourself with the best possible people.

The rest of day one was spent brainstorming and developing concepts for a multi-faceted short film project. By the end of the day, notebooks and whiteboards were overflowing with ideas. Day two saw those ideas get pared down into a streamlined concept as students defined roles and entered into the preproduction phase. With Jacobs' guidance, students were able to develop a concept that spans a variety of styles while still retaining meaning and a focus on purpose. 

And now, after two days of hard-thinking, all 50+ students and three teachers from three different DSUSD school sites will collaborate to create an ambitious short film project with elements of live action and animation! Stay tuned...

SkillsUSA Regionals (Skill Competitions)

On Saturday, January 28th 19 SkillsUSA students from IMPACT and The IHS Engineering/Robotics Pathway journeyed to San Bernardino Valley College for the first round of SkillsUSA Regional Competitions. Students demonstrated technical and professional skills in a variety of areas, interviewed with judges, and came away as champions.

The following students earned medals and/or the right to advance to the SkillsUSA State Conference in San Diego this April:

Engineering Technology and Design (Gold Medal, advancing to Sate Conference)
Raymond Sarmiento
Zenaida Flores

Engineering Technology and Design (Silver Medal, advancing to Sate Conference)
Jada Pina
Erika Perez

Broadcast News Production (Silver Medal, advancing to Sate Conference)
Juan Bailey
Kimberly Lopez
Leeanna Rivas
Lannette Villarino

Audio Radio Production (advancing to State Conference, no medals awarded)
Steven Martinez
Miranda Hernandez
Johnny Castro

The SkillsUSA Regional Leadership Competitions were held on Saturday, February 4th at Granite Hills High School in Apple Valley. 



Job Interview (Gold Medal, advancing to State Conference)
Miranda Hernandez

Pin Design (Silver Medal, advancing to State Conference)
Steven Martinez

Congratulations to everyone who competed, and thank you to SkillsUSA Region 6 Coordinators Ryan Ostlie and Brad Williams!

IMPACT at Youth Town Hall

Every year the Desert Town Hall Speaker Series brings world renown personalities to the Renaissance Esmeralda in Indian Wells. The 25th Speaker Series season kicked off on January 16th with Astronaut Scott Kelly, who returned to Earth last March after spending an entire year aboard the International Space Station. Of course, IMPACT students were on hand to capture the evening's happenings.

Before the main event, Desert Town Hall speakers participate in a Youth Town Hall forum with students from all 10 Coachella Valley high schools. Youth Town Hall gives students the opportunity to hear incredible stories and participate in questions and answer sessions with the featured speakers. 

IMPACT students will be on hand at each of this year's events to create short promotional documentaries featuring event overviews and firsthand accounts through student interviews. 

IMPACT cameras roll as Captain Scott Kelly addresses high school students at the first Youth Town Hall of 2017.

PSIFF Student Screening Day at Indio High School

Last October, Nikki Gordon from the Palm Springs Film Society arranged for filmmaker Jacob Chase to visit IMPACT as a guest speaker. 

Through collaboration with the IHS Drama Department, the Palm Springs Film Society was able to host the Desert Sands Students Screening Day for the Palm Springs International Film Festival at the Indio High School Performing Arts Center on January 10th. 

The event hosted 420 students and featured two films: A Man Called Ove, who's title character's personal philosophies unwittingly helped him to create an extremely unique life story, and My Life as a Zucchini, a stop motion animation that follows a young child through the loss of his family and the discovery of a new one. 

Claude Barras, director of My Life as a Zucchini was on hand after the film for a question and answer session with students in which he explained the unique methods used to create his film, and gave advice to aspiring filmmakers and students still searching for their passion. 

Claude Barras discusses his film, My Life as a Zucchini

The biggest result of the event was the overwhelmingly positive reaction from students in attendance. Students from a variety of programs at all DSUSD high schools were able to come together to engage with film as not only an art form, but a means of communication and expression. IHS looks forward to hosting Student Screening Day again in 2018!

IMPACT's New Lab & Studio!

Students film a scene coverage project on the first day in their new studio. 

As Indio High School begins to wrap up an 8 year construction project on a new state of the art campus, the IMPACT CTE pathway was finally able to move into a new permanent studio space over the Winter Break.

The new studio and lab space is specifically designed to meet the needs of an Arts, Media, and Entertainment pathway, with areas specifically designed for production, broadcast, audio, and post production work. IMPACT is also home to a brand new, full 45 station Mac lab, which is also the first Mac lab to be fully integrated with the DSUSD network– meaning that students now have full access to powerful creative tools used by industry professionals every day. 


Students produce the first live boradcast from the new KIHS studio. 

With all new equipment and a fantastic new environment, IHS students have everything they need to be successful in finding passion and creating excellence through the type of hands-on experience that Career Technical Education programs provide for college and career readiness. 

IMPACT at DSUSD 50th Anniversary

IMPACT juniors Jonathan Idelfonso and Alfredo Ruiz gather footage at the Coachella Valley History Museum. 

On November 17th and 20th, DSUSD hosted its 50th Anniversary Celebration at the Coachella Valley History Museum in Indio. The events featured food, displays, music, games and more. Students and teachers from all across Desert Sands pitched in to help make the event a huge success.

Senior Juan Bailey and sophomore Miranda Hernandez interview DSUSD Public Information Officer Mary Perry

IMPACT students Juan Bailey, Miranda Hernandez, Jonathan Idelfonso, and Alfredo Ruiz were on hand to capture the festivities and gain firsthand production experience in a real-world environment interacting with the community. Back on campus, the students spent hours cataloging and editing footage together into a short documentary that tells the story behind the event. DSUSD Public Information Officer Mary Perry met with the students beforehand to help prepare them and plan the production process.

Check out the finished mini documentary on the IMPACT Vimeo:

SkillsUSA at Indio High School!

After weeks of planning, preparation, and organization, IMPACT has officially launched a SkillsUSA chapter at Indio High School!

SkillsUSA is a national student leadership organization that seeks to build technical and leadership skills in a wide variety of vocational and leadership areas. Students in SkillsUSA have the opportunity to compete in contests at the Regional, State, and National Level. 

IHS IMPACT students will be competing in 5 Skill competitions and 5 Leadership competitions over the 2016-2017 season. IMPACT SkillsUSA has also joined forces with the IHS Engineering and Robotics CTE pathway to branch out into several STEM contest areas.

All SkillsUSA students will gain valuable leadership and professional development experience. Regional competitions will take place in January, with students who earn Gold, Silver, or Bronze medals earning the right to advance to the State Conference in April. Any students who earn a Gold medal in the State Conference will represent California at the National Conference in Louisville, Kentucky next June.

Be sure to check the IMPACT SkillsUSA page for contest prompts updates, and a calendar of events!

Institute of Media Production Arts and Creative Technology at Indio High School!

Indio High School kicks off the 2016-2017 school year with the implementation of a brand new career technical education pathway! The first of its kind in Desert Sands Unified School District, the Institute of Media Production Arts and Creative Technology centers on filmmaking along with screenwriting, web production, audio production, and graphic design. 

Students in grades 9-12 will be able to take A-G and CTE approved courses designed to engage learning and focus students on post-high school goals. All skills learned in IMPACT will assist students in any post-secondary education and/or career field. If we're lucky, it might even be...fun!

As the school year progresses, student work and accomplishment  will be posted on this site, which is intended to be an informational tool for students and the community. None of this would be possible without the incredible support of the Indio High School and Desert Sands administrative teams. 

Mission Statement
IMPACT's objective is to prepare students for college and careers through a rigorous and relevant arts, media, and entertainment career technical education curriculum with an emphasis on creativity, collaboration, and character. 

The Institute of Media Production Arts and Creative Technology (IMPACT) is a Career Technical Education pathway at Indio High School. The program develops student skills in the areas of filmmaking, graphic design, audio production, broadcast, animation, and leadership in preparation for postsecondary education and careers in the Arts, Media, and Entertainment industry sector. 

IMPACT students develop dynamic resumes and digital portfolios while gaining hands-on and real-world experience through a wide variety of projects, presentations, community/industry partnerships, and work-based learning opportunities.