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National School Recognition Program

Two students on a field one is holding a banner that reads: Special Olympics National Unified Champion School

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.

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.

The expectation of this recognition is that the 10 standards are continuously being met, year after year. To ensure this sustainability, schools reapply for banner status every 4 years.

The National Recognition Program application cycle is currently closed. The next cycle will open in Spring 2023.

During the application review process, school applications will be reviewed in two stages: first by state Program staff and then by a national Certifying Body of key educational leaders. Learn more about the Certifying Body members.

Unified Champion Schools – Our Challenge to You
Learn how Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools challenges all students across the United States to make their school inclusive.

Class of 2022 National Banner Unified Champion Schools

*Denotes a school with 4-year renewal recognition

  • ALASKA: North Pole High School, Service High School*
  • ARIZONA: Amphitheater High School*, Cactus Shadows High School*, Canyon del Oro High School*, Chino Valley High School*, Copper King Elementary School, Cortez High School, Desert Sonora Elementary School, George Washington Carver Elementary School*, Glendale High School, Independence High School, Ironwood High School, Poston Butte High School, Valley Vista High School
  • COLORADO: Arrowhead Elementary School*, Eaglecrest High School*, Grandview High School*, Trail Ridge Middle School
  • CONNECTICUT: Haddam Killingworth Middle School, J. Milton Jeffrey Elementary School, Lyme-Old Lyme High School, Nonnewaug High School*, South Windsor High School*, Stafford Middle School*, Watertown High School, Wilton High School*
  • DELAWARE: Cooke Elementary School
  • FLORIDA: Bennett Elementary School, Cypress Creek High School, Eagles Landing Middle School, Fort Myers High School, Hollywood Park Elementary School, Homestead Senior High School*, Lawton Chiles High School*, Lely High School*, Mariner High School, Narcoossee Middle School, Spruce Creek High School, Starkey Ranch K-8, University of Florida
  • IDAHO: Canyon Ridge High School, Mountain View High School*
  • ILLINOIS: Hellen Keller Junior High School, Homewood Flossmoor High School*, Oscar DePriest School, Pleasant Plains Middle School, Pontiac Township High School*
  • INDIANA: Vincennes Lincoln High School
  • IOWA: Goodrell Middle School, Harlan Community Elementary School, Spencer High School
  • KANSAS: Bonner Springs High School*, Iola High School
  • KENTUCKY: East Carter High School*
  • LOUISIANA: Ponchatoula High School
  • MAINE: Biddeford Middle School, Brunswick High School, Leavitt Area High School*
  • MARYLAND: Annapolis High School, Kent Island High School, North County High School
  • MASSACHUSETTS: Algonquin Regional High School*, Auburn High School*, Carver Middle High School*, Dartmouth High School*, Fairhaven High School, Franklin High School*, Groton-Dunstable Regional High School*, Joseph Case Junior High School, Malden High School, Milford High School*, North Reading High School, Salem High School,
  • MICHIGAN: Haslett High School, Loyola High School Detroit*
  • MISSOURI: Ste. Genevieve High School
  • MONTANA: Capital High School, Carroll College, Early Learning Family Center
  • NEBRASKA: Hillside Elementary School, Lemay Elementary School, Lincoln Southwest High School, Loveland Elementary School, Oakdale Elementary School, Paddock Road Elementary School, Papillion-LaVista High School*, Prairie Lane Elementary School, Rockbrook Elementary School, Shelby Rising City Elementary School, Shelby Rising City Middle-High School, Southeast High School, Sunset Hills Elementary School, Swanson Elementary School, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Westbrook Elementary School, Westgate Elementary School,  Westside High School, Westside Middle School
  • NEW HAMPSHIRE: Dover High School*
  • NEW JERSEY: Alan B. Shephard Jr. Elementary School, Carl H. Kumpf Middle School, Frank J. Smith School, Mainland Regional High School, Mastery Charter Cramer Hill Elementary School, Monroe Township High School*, Old Bridge High School*, Ridgewood High School, Union City High School*, Voorhees High School*, Walter M. Schirra Elementary School, Washington Park School, Woodlynne School District
  • NEW MEXICO: Rio Rancho Elementary School
  • NEW YORK: Corning-Painted Post High School, Shenendehowa High School
  • NORTH CAROLINA: Granite Falls Elementary School*, Hendersonville Elementary School, Kennedy Middle School*, Sycamore Creek Elementary School*, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill*, Wake Forest High School*
  • NORTH DAKOTA: University of North Dakota
  • NORTHERN CALIFORNIA: Pittsburg High School*
  • OKLAHOMA: Owasso Seventh Grade Center
  • OREGON: Milwaukie High School
  • PENNSYLVANIA: Central Valley School District*, Daniel Boone Area School District, General McLane High School, North Penn High School*, Wallenpaupack Area High School
  • RHODE ISLAND: East Greenwich High School, South Kingstown High School
  • SOUTH CAROLINA: Crayton Middle School, Inman Intermediate School, Red Bank Elementary School*, Walhalla Elementary School
  • SOUTH DAKOTA: Roosevelt High School
  • SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: Alta Murrieta Elementary School, Charparral High School, Ocean View High School, Temecula Valley High School, Trabuco Mesa Elementary School, University of California-Los Angeles, Vista Murrieta High School, Warm Springs Middle School, Warren High School*
  • TENNESSEE: Harpeth High School, West Ridge High School
  • TEXAS: Liberty Middle School, Port Neches Groves High School, Spring Woods High School, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
  • UTAH: Mountain Crest High School, Westlake High School
  • VERMONT: Brattleboro Union High School
  • VIRGINIA: ECPI University Roanoke Virginia Campus, Goochland High School, Kenmore Middle School*, Kettle Run High School, Liberty High School, Northside High School*, Oak Grove Bellemeade Elementary School, Salem High School, Virginia Tech
  • WASHINGTON: Skyview 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
Inclusion is on the playing field; in your school; starts with you. #UNIFIEDGENERATION
Find a collection of tools to assist students, teachers, and State Programs in promoting Unified Schools in their communities.
Promoting student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness.