National School Recognition Program
The Path to National Banner Recognition:
There are several levels of distinction which schools participating in Special Olympics programming can earn. Over 500 schools in Massachusetts take part in some kind of Special Olympics programming which includes School Day Games or Unified Game Days, Unified track & field, Unified basketball, Unified bocce, or participation in the MASC Polar Plunge. Of these schools, over 170 have earned the title of Unified Champion School. This means their school provides all three of the following components: Unified Sports, Whole School Engagement and Youth Leadership. Schools must apply for Unified Champion School status with their state Special Olympics program.
Once a school has become a Unified Champion School they are eligible to apply for National Banner Recognition. 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 following are the national standards for each education level:
Schools which have already received the title of Unified Champion School can apply for National Banner status in the spring. Applications are due early June and schools are notified of a decision in late August/early September.
Massachusetts Schools which have earned National Banner Recognition:
- Algonquin Regional High School
- Auburn High School
- Carver Middle/High School
- Dartmouth High School
- Dighton Rehoboth High School
- Franklin High School
- Groton-Dunstable Regional High School
- Milford High School
- Palmer High School
- Westwood High School