Fresno unified students with special needs will return to newly renovated classrooms

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- It's a big week for Rata High School! Teachers are unpacking, organizing and getting everything ready for their students.

"We've been housed at McLane for 18 months and it is time to come back home to our newly renovated school and we are super excited," said Sarah Ogilvie, a teacher at the school.

The high school serves just over 50 students with special needs.

And thanks to voters back in 2016, they were able to get the funding to make $5.4 million in changes to help their students.

"It's nice that they were put on the forefront. I think that individuals with special needs are often shoved to the back. It's nice a spotlight was shined on them and they were seen as valuable," Ogilvie said.

"Some of the upgrades included widening the doors so kids can easily get through, adding in more bathrooms as well as nurse stations," she said.

Ogilvie said prior to restroom upgrades, teachers were changing students out in the classrooms. She said it was not enough privacy, which is what the students deserve.

Additional equipment such as bikes were also purchases for students to enjoy.

"It's time that these kids had a school that was designed for them and their special needs and it's just incredible to walk in and see the equipment," she said.

They plan on hosting a big welcome back party with all the students in their huge multipurpose room.

Something they weren't able to do at their time at McLane.

"It's going to be great because we are all going to be together in one building, for our site its good for us to be all together so we can get to things quickly," Ogilvie said.

While they were crammed into small classrooms for over a year, they stayed patient.

"We knew it would be worth it. But being here, seeing it, experiencing it, interacting with it it totally worth the wait," she said.
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