Patino High wants to expand enrollment

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresno Unified's Patino High School wants to expand enrollment to prepare more students for the real world.

The one of a kind campus in Central Fresno is looking to expand by opening the door to more students interested in entrepreneurship.

Patino High is only three years old but the school's principal, Blair Sagardia, said now is the time to expand enrollment.

"As you can imagine we have to recruit at the beginning of ninth grade, which means that students have to jump from their traditional high school right into knowing that they like to come to our school, immediately which is a hard decision."

Patino is only a 10th through 12th school with its first graduating class this summer.

The school provides a unique opportunity for students over a three year period, developing entrepreneurship skills, business development with investors and running a business on site their senior year.

"So working in teams was huge, learning how to manage projects. So we are hoping to have a class called Project Management in which students learn all these essential skills," added Sagardia.

Patino High has 270 students with the capacity of just over 400. Sagardia pointed out opening the school to 9th-grade students would be more beneficial.

"I didn't really have a lot of skills that were required for a business student here with the curriculum. I feel like if they were a freshmen getting those skills early on that would be a really good advantage," said Patino High Senior Rudy Moreno.

He agreed the hands-on experience early on would only help better prepare students for the real world.

"My old school was Bullard. And we had nothing like this. I took a business class but it was nowhere near to the things that we do here. It was just learning to type and stuff like that," Moreno added.

Fresno District leaders approve of the expansion but the school board must also give approval.

That is expected to happen a Wednesday night's board meeting with 9th-grade enrollment starting in the fall.
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