Unified Champion Schools

Our goal is to make Minnesota’s schools more inclusive.

Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools is a movement aimed at empowering a generation of student leaders to change their school culture to be more inclusive. With sports as the foundation, the three-component model offers activities that equip students with tools and training to create teams, classrooms and entire schools of acceptance. Unified Champion Schools are schools where students with disabilities feel welcome and are meaningfully included in all school activities, opportunities and functions.

This is accomplished by implementing three components of Unified Champion Schools: Inclusive Student LeadershipUnified Sports, and Whole School Engagement. All three areas are crucial to shift the culture of a school towards inclusion. Once the three components are active, a school is considered a Unified Champion School.

In the News

This is South View Middle School
September 7, 2022 – South View Middle School is a Special Olympics Unified Champion School in Edina, Minnesota. When Unified programs first arrived at South View, first-year teacher Jenni Schaefer was initially overwhelmed. But her students quickly embraced inclusion and began to drive the programming.

Duluth East hosts Unified Sports Special Olympics day
May 24, 2022 – “I love this so much. When I was in school, inclusion wasn’t happening. Like people were separated, I wasn’t with a lot of my peers, so to be able to provide students with opportunities to be together and to have fun and to really build school cultures of inclusion, it’s the best job ever,” said Shannon Murray, Unified Schools Coordinator for Northern Minnesota.

Unified Sports Track and Field Day
May 24, 2022 – Students from Cook County, Cloquet, Proctor, and Duluth East met up today for a day full of fun activities. It’s all part of a special program that matches Special Olympic student athletes and athletes without disabilities. Duluth East High school plans to continue hosting this event in the future, with the ultimate goal of becoming an official Unified Champion School.

Where we are

Interested in learning more?

Join the nearly 10,000 schools nation-wide who are making our world more inclusive.

For current Unified Champion Schools: