Unified Champion Schools
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!
High School
Unified Sports
Unified Strength and Conditioning
We are excited to share the following schools have signed up for the 6 week Unified Strength and Conditioning season.
Fairhaven HS
Joseph Case HS
Lynn English HS
Marlborough HS
Milford HS
Monomoy Reg. HS
Pembroke HS
Monson HS
Plymouth North HS
Plymouth South HS
Salem HS
Westborough HS
If you have questions regarding the season please contact kathy.lutz@specialolympicsma.org
Unified Track & Field Preseason planning
General Timeline of the season
  • Early February - Coaches meetings (meeting links will be forthcoming).
  • March 21 – Practices begin.
  • April 4 – Meets begin, 4 meet season with 2 home and 2 away.
  • May – Sectionals 5/9-5/19
  • May - States 5/25

If you have questions regarding the season please contact kathy.lutz@specialolympicsma.org
MASC Bocce is Back!
We’re back to in-person Bocce events and we couldn’t be any more excited! We heard so many schools loved playing bocce on a regular basis last year, so please continue to practice up until the big tournament. This year, Special Olympics MA will help support 2 in-person Bocce competitions:
MASC is ready to roll!
Sunday, March 6 – Minnechaug Reg.HS
Saturday, March 19 – Pembroke HS

Deadline to complete form is Friday, January 21 MASC School Registration
Youth Leadership
Youth Leadership Experience at USA Games
2 YAC members will be going to USA Games this next June as part of the Massachusetts delegation. The students will joining other youth leaders from every Special Olympics' state chapter to attend leadership workshops. We are thrilled that Zach DeLuca and Tyler McGough from Auburn HS will be representing Massachusetts.

Congratulations Zach and Ty!

Please contact kathy.lutz@specialolympicsma.org if you have questions.
“Stand Up and Speak Out”- the courage to make our communities inclusive for all
The 5th Annual MSAA/MIAA Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Summit is scheduled for January 21, 2022. This VIRTUAL event with the theme “Stand Up Speak Out”... is intended for students and school personnel from the MSAA and MIAA memberships.
Whole School Engagement
Plunge time!
If you haven’t heard, we have announced 9 in-person plunge locations in February and March.  Your school is welcome to attend any of these in-person locations OR like last year, you can create your own fun and unique way of ‘plunging’. We saw plungers get sprayed by fire hoses, jump into lakes, pour buckets of water over their heads, jump into the snow just to name a few! So make sure you record your plunge, whatever it is, and send us the videos/pictures by March 2 so that you can be a part of the MASC Plunge Video.

Sign up a 2022 Polar Plunge Team NOW by going to www.polarplungema.org 
Registration is easy – login with your information from last year or create a new account if you are a new plunger!  

Special SHOUT OUT to . . . Auburn and Silver Lake for leading the way in fundraising already!

We thank you!
ALL the money raised by MASC schools will go to help more schools across Massachusetts add Unified Sports and becoming Unified Champion Schools, creating a culture of acceptance and inclusion in their school communities!
Every dollar raised directly supports year-round sports training and competition for athletes with intellectual disabilities in Massachusetts.
Middle School
Middle Unified Basketball Planned for March

We are excited to welcome middle schools into the Unified Basketball program. What could be better than getting more students involved competing for their school on a team?
Timeline of the upcoming season
January – Coach meeting via webinar 
Season 
Week of March 1 – 2 practices
Week of March 7 – 2 practices
Week of March 14 – 1 practice and 1 game 
Week of March 21 - 1 practice and 1 game
Week of March 28 – Basketball Jamboree

If you have questions please contact kathy.lutz@specialolympicsma.org
Coach of the Year
MIAA announces Coach of the Year for Unified Track and Field
Congratulations, Nick Diantonio, Unified Track & Field Coach of the year at Natick High School. Nick has a long and impressive resume which includes coaching the Natick Unified T & F team since inception 5 years ago and had this to say about his time coaching unified sports:
"We concurrently emphasize such concepts as: the importance of true and valuable interpersonal relationships amongst teammates, healthy lifestyle choices, and, most importantly, working to build a genuinely inclusive school community. Simply stated, when an individual finishes with the Unified Track and Field season at Natick High School, if one can look in the mirror and affirm he or she has become a better person as a result of participation with our team, we have succeeded as coaches!”

Congratulations Coach D!
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