Each school year, Spring Woods High School (SWHS) continues their commitment to creating a school community where every individual is accepted, regardless of ability.
This year, their efforts were recognized.
SWHS was recently named a Special Olympics National Banner Unified Champion School® for demonstrating commitment to inclusion by meeting 10 standards of excellence, which include Unified Sports, Inclusive Leadership and Whole-School Engagement. The school also demonstrated that efforts are being made to sustain those activities.
“I am so proud to announce that SWHS was chosen as a National Banner Unified Champion School,” said Jennifer Collier, SWHS principal. “This is a huge accomplishment, as currently there are only 13 in the state and 683 in the nation!”
Through the Unified Programs, Life Skills students can participate in sports and activities, including Unified football, Unified golf, Unified basketball, Unified track, Unified soccer, Unified volleyball, Unified Tigerettes, Unified cheerleading and Unified art. Currently, there are 35 SWHS students participating in the activities.
In 2019, SWHS hosted the first-ever Unified football game and in 2021 several of their Unified track athletes participated in regional competitions.
The entire student body is also highly involved in the Unified events. Teams and individual sports actively participate as partners during their season. SWHS encourages community members to also become involved as a mentor, partner, organizer or a fan.
To ensure that the 10 standards are being actively met, schools must reapply for banner status every four years.
Collier is excited to continue including Life Skills students in activities across SWHS.
“This is a huge accomplishment for SWHS because it truly embraces our motto: All Means All,” concluded Collier. “When we think about embracing the strengths and gifts of Every Child, there is no place that spotlights this more than our Unified Programs.”
To celebrate, SWHS will be hosting a formal ceremony later this year to hang the banner and a pep rally to show the importance of always being inclusive.
Learn more about Unified Sports.
View the full album of photos.