National School Recognition Program

School Recognition Lead

A Special Olympics Unified Champion School demonstrating commitment to inclusion by meeting 10 standards of excellence receives national banner recognition.

A Special Olympics Unified Champion School has an inclusive school climate and exudes a sense of collaboration, engagement and respect for all members of the student body and staff. A Unified Champion School receiving national banner recognition is one that has demonstrated commitment to inclusion by meeting 10 national standards of excellence. These standards were developed by a national panel of leaders from Special Olympics and the education community.

Unified Champion Schools – Our Challenge to You

The primary activities within these standards include: Special Olympics Unified Sports® (where students with and without disabilities train and compete as teammates), Inclusive Youth Leadership and Whole-School Engagement. Banner Unified Champion Schools should also be able to demonstrate they are self-sustainable or have a plan in place to sustain these activities into the future.

*Note: the recognition program was pilot-tested in four states in 2016 and was open to high schools. This will be expanded to additional states in 2017-18.

Class of 2018 National Banner Unified Champion Schools

  • Alaska: Robert Service High School
  • Arizona: Cactus Shadows High School, Chino Valley High School, Canyon del Oro High School, Liberty High School, Washington High School, Horizon High School, Amphitheater High School, Desert View High School, Castle Dome Middle School, George Washington Carver Elementary School
  • Arkansas: Lincoln High School, Van Buren Freshman Academy
  • Colorado: Arrowhead Elementary, Grandview High School, Douglas County High School, Eaglecrest High School, Montrose High School, University of Northern Colorado
  • Connecticut: Bethel High School, Branford High School, Ledyard Middle School, Glastonbury High School, Hamden High School, North Branford High School, South Windsor High School, Stafford Middle School, Torrington Middle School, Westbrook High School, Wilton High School, Nonnewaug High School
  • Florida: Seabreeze High School, Stirling Elementary School, Homestead Senior High, Park Vista High School, Land O'Lakes High School, Lely High School, Longleaf Elementary School, Seven Springs Middle School, Plant City High School, Lawton Chiles High School, Leon High School, Tavares Middle School, Immokalee High School
  • Hawaii: Maui High School
  • Idaho: Mountain View High School
  • Illinois: Mead Jr. High, Homewood-Flossmoor High School, Percy Julian Middle School, Pontiac Township High School
  • Kansas: Bonner Springs High School & Clark Middle School, Robert E. Clark Middle School
  • Kentucky: East Carter High School, Calloway County High School
  • Maine: Fairview School, Fryeburg Academy, Leavitt Area High School
  • Massachusetts: Auburn High School, Carver Middle High School, Franklin High School, Groton Dunstable Regional High, Milford High School, Dighton Rehoboth Regional High School, Algonquin Regional High School, Palmer High School, Dartmouth High School, Westwood High School
  • Michigan: Ferris State University, Brighton High School, Loyola High School, Washington Woods School, Pleasant Ridge Elementary, Adrian College, Michigan State University, Central Michigan University
  • Mississippi: University of Mississippi
  • Nebraska: Millard South High School, Millard West High School, Papillion-LaVista
  • New Hampshire: Dover High School, Gilford High School, Alvirne High School
  • New Jersey: Woodrow Wilson Middle School-Clifton, Voorhees High School, Old Bridge High School, Monroe Township High School, Hamilton High West, Burnet Middle School, Union City High School, Rowan University
  • New Mexico: La Cueva High School, Picacho Middle School, Sierra Middle School
  • North Carolina: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Kennedy Middle School, Lebanon Road Elementary, Granite Falls Elementary, Sycamore Creek Elementary School, Wake Forest High School
  • Oklahoma: Jay High School, Skyview Elementary School
  • Oregon: George Middle School, Wilsonville High School
  • Pennsylvania: North Penn High School, Central Valley High School, Abraham Lincoln High School, George Washington High School
  • Rhode Island: Cranston West High School, Archie R. Cole Middle School, Burrillville High School, Lincoln High School, Bishop Hendriken High School
  • South Carolina: Harbison West Elementary School, Pleasant Hill Middle School, Red Bank Elementary School, Mauldin Middle School, Walhalla High School
  • Southern California: Warren High School
  • Texas: Brady High School, Alamo Heights High School
  • Vermont: Rutland High School
  • Virginia: Bush Hill Elementary School, Kenmore Middle School, Frost Middle School, Robinson Secondary School, Northside High School, Robert E. Lee High School
  • Washington: St. Madeleine Sophie School, White River High School, Liberty High School, Woodrow Wilson High School, Olympia High School

View the full list of nationally recognized Unified Champion Schools.

Banner Recognition Resources
Read the 10 standards that must be met at the elementary school level to earn national recognition
Read the 10 standards that must be met at the middle & high school level to earn national recognition
Read the 10 standards that must be met at the college level to earn national recognition
Learn the correct program language and examples of how to use them
Find resources for Unified Champion Schools for students, educators, and programs.
Do you think your school meets the 10 standards of excellence? Apply today and receive national recognition!
Unified Champion Schools Resources
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Find a collection of tools to assist students, teachers, and State Programs in promoting Unified Schools in their communities.
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