Unified Schools – New

National statistics show that students with and without disabilities don’t interact with each other in or out of the classroom. The Unified Schools program breaks down barriers and constructs a framework that encourages inclusion and authentic relationships. As students graduate and bring their experiences to their communities, they help build a better society.

Who can become a Unified Champion School?

Any school can become a Unified Champion School! Public, private, charter, pre-k, elementary, middle school, high school, college or university, schools with or without special education programs—whatever the setting, if you’re interested in joining the Unified movement, we’ll work with you to make it happen.

What does my school have to do to become a Unified Champion School?

Unified Champion Schools implement the three components of Unified Schools into their setting and programming: Inclusive Student Leadership, Unified Sports and Whole School Engagement. All three of these crucial elements shift the culture of a school towards inclusion. Once they’re active, a school is considered a Unified Champion School. Special Olympics Minnesota’s state office will support your efforts and make the movement easy and accessible, no matter who or where you are.

Inclusive Student Leadership

Inclusive Student Leadership is an all-embracing leadership club for every student. They gather to create social opportunities and lead their schools in the advancement of inclusion.

Unified Sports

Unified Sports combines students with and without intellectual disabilities on teams and encourages them to participate in inclusive sports training and competition.

Whole School Engagement

Whole School Engagement includes bullying prevention and inclusive promotion initiatives that reach entire school populations through engaging, inspiring, and optimistic events.

Why become a Unified Champion School?

  • Live Unified
    Unified Schools aim to create authentic inclusion in schools that change how students interact with one another on a daily basis.
  • Spread respect
    Unified Schools aim to be an ally in targeting intolerance, hate speech and bullying.
  • Be positive
    Data shows that youth who were involved in a Unified School held more positive attitudes toward peers with intellectual disabilities.
  • Build a better world
    Unified Schools is the tipping point for school culture and climate as all young people collaborate with school and classroom leaders as architects of their community values and norms.
  • Increase self confidence
    Students with disabilities reported higher self confidence and self esteem after the Unified Schools movement was introduced to their school.
  • Build a better life!
    84% of students participating in the Unified Schools movement said it was a positive turning point in their lives.

Join the Inclusion Revolution

Are you ready to join the Inclusion Revolution and bring the Unified Movement to your school?


East Twin Cities Metro and Southern Minnesota

Laura Brunner
Unified Schools Associate
[email protected]

West Twin Cities Metro

Nick Cedergren
Senior Manager of School & Leadership Programs
[email protected]

Colleges and Universities

Devin Kaasa
Senior Manager, Sports & Education
[email protected]

Northern Minnesota

Shannon Murray
School Programs Associate
[email protected]