Patino School of Entrepreneurship now open in Fresno

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Fresno Unified kicked off the new school year on Monday with the opening of a new school. (KFSN)

Fresno Unified kicked off the new school year on Monday with the opening of a new school.

Before the first bell rang, construction crews put the finishing touches on the Patino School of Entrepreneurship. Buses came from across the district to drop off students. The school is kicking off its first year with a class of 10th graders.

"They said it would be very technology based and the fact there is only like 160 students, so I like that a lot too," student Tayllor Lawson said. He came from Fresno High School and was excited about the change and the challenges ahead.

Principal Brett Taylor was happy to welcome the new group to an environment based on technology and entrepreneurship. "We're really excited. We've been waiting for this for a long time, for over a year. So we've been building, working with teachers, planning curriculum and recruiting students, so today it all comes together," he said.

Students were amazed at the two-story school and its technology features. Throughout the school year, industry leaders -- like Bitwise Industries -- will help teach courses. "The greatest depth and breadth of entrepreneurship and technology education happening anywhere in the United States is now happening in Fresno, California," Bitwise Industries CEO Jake Soberal said.

Soberal says Bitwise instructors will teach coding, giving many an edge in the job and business market. Students say they're already thinking outside of the box. "I want to make my own restaurant called the Pilgrim's Cafe. I want to go into business for that," student Selena Pilgrim said.

Officials say by the end of high school, these students will learn real-world business skills and even create their own companies. "They're going to do it through allowing these kids to actually run their businesses out of this building, and that to us is the ultimate so we can have kids not just talk about being career ready when they graduate but actually having a career as they exit," FUSD Superintendent Michael Hanson said.

The Patino School of Entrepreneurship is the 107th school in Fresno Unified. District officials say they can't wait to see what these bright young students will create in the future.
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