Minneapolis Public Schools signs MOU with Special Olympics Minnesota

The MOU will bring inclusive programing to the district

A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between Special Olympics Minnesota (SOMN) and Minneapolis Public Schools. The agreement states the intention of implementing Unified Champion Schools, a program that unifies students with and without disabilities through sports, whole school activities and leadership programs. The goal of Unified Champion Schools is to create and sustain school cultures that promote inclusion, acceptance, and respect for all people.

There are over 200 schools in Minnesota implementing Unified Champion Schools programming; however, Minneapolis Public Schools is one of the first districts in the state to implement Unified programming district-wide. The MOU states: “Special Olympics Minnesota is confident that through the Unified Champion Schools Program best practices, national support, and continued conversations, we will be able to find ways the parties can partner together to further ensure that every child in Minneapolis Public Schools receives a high-quality education, regardless of race, zip code, or ability level.”

“This district-level commitment is a significant step in making Minneapolis more inclusive and shows a commitment to inclusion from the district and the community,” said Nick Cedergren, Unified Champion School Manager. “We’re so thankful for the district’s partnership.”

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Special Olympics Minnesota’s President and CEO Dave Dorn and Minneapolis Public Schools Superintendent Ed Graff in the fall of 2021 and entered on October 26, 2021.

About Unified Champion Schools
Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools® is a strategy for schools Pre-K through university that intentionally promotes meaningful social inclusion by bringing together young people with and without intellectual disabilities (ID) to lead in the creation of accepting school environments, utilizing three interconnected components: Special Olympics Unified Sports®, inclusive youth leadership, and whole-school engagement. Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools is generously supported by the Office of Special Education Programs at the U.S. Department of Education.

About Special Olympics Minnesota
Special Olympics Minnesota provides year-round sports training and competition in 17-Olympic type sports for thousands of children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Through Special Olympics’ athletic, health and school programs, people with intellectual disabilities transform themselves, their communities and the world.