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California Department of Education
News Release
California Department of Education
News Release
Release: #23-61
August 22, 2023
Contact: Communications
Phone: 916-319-0818

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Visits Coachella Valley and Provides Support to Students, Families, Community Members Affected by Tropical Storm

Thermal, CA—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond visited Desert Mirage High School in Thermal, California, today, joining district leaders, school staff, and Red Cross officials to be briefed on the devastating effects of the recent storm in Southern California. Thurmond toured the storm damage and handed out gift cards for emergency relief to district staff while accompanied by Coachella Valley Unified Superintendent Dr. Luis Valentino and Assistant Superintendent Dr. Frances Esparza.

High wind and heavy rain triggered by Tropical Storm Hilary resulted in serious flooding and damage to Coachella Valley and the surrounding region. The natural disaster, which led Governor Gavin Newsom to issue a state of emergency for much of Southern California, left numerous homes and communities devastated by causing widespread displacement and distress among residents.

“We are here to provide assistance and resources to help Coachella Valley Unified students, educators, and individuals in this community navigate through this natural disaster—these tragedies are becoming all too common as our climate changes,” Thurmond said. “As part of our efforts we have partnered with an organization to allow individuals across the state to support aid efforts with their financial donations. My team is helping raise awareness of this new effort that will support school communities impacted by disasters as they occur throughout the state. Your donations will combine with others to purchase supplies and other resources to help districts like Coachella Valley USD when these catastrophic incidents occur.”

Donations for Coachella Valley USD and other future disaster victims can be made on the Disaster Relief Fund web page External link opens in new window or tab.. As a nonprofit, is joining with the California Department of Education (CDE) in collecting financial donations to build up a reserve and then direct funds and resources to areas that need it the most. “We are committed to helping students and families regain a sense of normalcy as they rebuild their lives and communities,” Thurmond said.

The CDE has a variety of resources for disaster preparation and recovery for school districts. More information on these resources can be found on the CDE School Disaster and Emergency Management web page.


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Tony Thurmond — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100

Last Reviewed: Thursday, August 24, 2023
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