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. Wait, I'm a Unified Champion School now and I could be a Nation Banner school? Yes, that's right. Each school that starts the program is a Unified Champion school working in the areas of Whole School Engagement, Inclusive Youth Leadership, and Unified Sports.
A national banner school is one that is achieving higher levels of Unified programming in these areas.
Please review these standards for each level
If a school receives national banner status they are requested to reapply to keep up their status every 4 years.
The application cycle for the 2021 – 2022 school year will open in March 2022.
- March 1, 9AM ET - Applications open *for both NEW schools and schools that were recognized in 2018
- May 1, 9AM ET - Applications Close
- May - Initial application review
- June - National Certifying Body reviews applications.
- August- National Banner Schools announced
We are proud to share that we have 41 National Banner Schools! Please reach out to any member of the Special Olympics MA schools team if you think your school is ready to apply and we'll support you!