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Unified Champion Middle Schools

Criteria For Success

In order for your school to be an official Unified Champion School, you must demonstrate the following 3 components listed in the tabs below. Once your school has these components in place, you can apply to become a Unified Champion School by filling out the UCS Application Form

Please complete the application and submit to Eric Archambault who will then be able to work with you on next steps for getting your school started!

Unified Sports
  • Special Olympics Unified Sports is a component of the Unified Champion Schools program that engages students with and without intellectual disabilities on the same sports team. Unified Sports provides valuable social inclusion opportunities for all teammates to build friendships on and off the playing field. Through modeling genuine inclusion for the entire school community, all teammates are challenged to improve their sports skills and fitness. In the process, young adolescents with and without intellectual disabilities increase their positive attitudes and perceptions toward their peers and establish friendships.
  • Options to Implement at Your School:
  • For other great examples of what unified sports looks like at the Middle School level, please check out the Middle Level Playbook.
Youth Leadership
  • Students with and without intellectual disabilities will be given the opportunity to work together as leaders to advocate for inclusion and promote unified activities within the school and throughout the community.
  • Options to Implement at Your School:
    • Best Buddies (or a like program)
    • National Honors Society
    • Inclusive Student Council
    • Youth Activation Council – A committee of students who bridge together their schools with Special Olympics and Unified Champion Schools to create an inclusive atmosphere made up of students who act as agents of change within their communities and beyond. Learn more about the National Youth Activation Council
  • For other great examples of what inclusive Youth Leadership looks like at the Middle School level, please check out the Inclusive Youth Leadership Guidelines and Middle Level Playbook.
Whole School Engagement
  • Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools provide opportunities for all students to learn about and practice social inclusion through sustained engagement, whether during an assembly, as part of a sports experience, or through planned activities that reach the interdisciplinary team or whole school. Through whole school engagement opportunities integrated with inclusive youth leadership and inclusive sports components, the school becomes a powerful community that represents new ways of thinking and acting.
  • Options to Implement at Your School:
    • Spread the Word to End the Word Campaign
    • Unified Pep Rallies and Unified Sports Days
    • Plays and Film Clips
    • Assemblies
    • Fans in the Stands
  • For other great examples of what Whole School Engagement looks like at the Middle School level, please check out the Middle Level Playbook.