LONG BEACH, Calif. (September 3, 2019) – Special Olympics Southern California has announced that Fillmore High School and Trabuco Hills High School, both Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools, are receiving National Banner Recognition for their efforts to provide inclusive sports and activities for students with and without disabilities. Fillmore High School and Trabuco Hills High School are receiving this honor as a result of meeting national standards of excellence in the areas of inclusion, advocacy and respect.
Fillmore High School and Trabuco Hills High School will be amongst a select number of schools to receive this distinction. They will be presented with a banner to hang in their school and be included on a list of other schools around the country who have achieved this distinguished status. “WOW! I’m thrilled to see Trabuco Hills High School staff and unified athletes receive national recognition for their extraordinary efforts and devotion to our Unified Sports Program!” said Suzie Swartz, President of Saddleback Valley Unified School District.
More than 300 schools are currently participating in Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools programming in Southern California as part of more than 6,500 schools across the country engaged in the program. Special Olympics has a global goal of creating 10,000 Unified Champion Schools by 2020.
The Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools® model is supported by the U.S. Office of Special Education Programs at the U.S. Department of Education. This model has been proven, through research, to be an effective and replicable means to providing students with and without disabilities the opportunity to form positive social relationships and promote a socially inclusive school climate*. Key data points include:
– 84% of students regard participation in the program as a turning point in their lives.
– 72% of involved teachers believe participation in the program has increased the confidence of students with disabilities.
– 88% credit the program with reducing bullying and teasing in their 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.
The primary activities within these standards include: Special Olympics Unified Sports® (where students with and without disabilities train and compete as teammates), Inclusive Youth Leadership and Whole-School Engagement. National banner schools should also be able to demonstrate they are self-sustainable or have a plan in place to sustain these activities into the future.
*Evaluation conducted by the Center for Social Development and Education (CSDE) at the University of Massachusetts Boston
About Fillmore High School
Fillmore High School has been involved with SOSC since 2010. The mission and vision of Fillmore High School is to provide a high quality educational experience which will promote the intellectual, personal, social, and cultural growth of our students and instill in them a desire to achieve excellence.
– Address: 555 Central Ave Fillmore, CA 93015
– Phone: 805-524-6100
– Fax: 805-524-6121
– Website: https://fillmorehighschool.fillmoreusd.org/
About Trabuco Hills High School
Trabuco Hills High School has been involved with SOSC since 2016. The mission and vision of Trabuco Hills High School to provide its students with learning experiences that provide Academic Base, Self-Discipline and Social Skills necessary to become life-long learners and productive citizens in our ever-changing world.
– Address: 27501 Mustang Run, Mission Viejo, CA 92691
– Phone: 949-768-1934
– Fax: 949-588-0763
– Website: https://www.svusd.org/schools/high-schools/trabuco-hills
ABOUT SPECIAL OLYMPICS SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
Special Olympics Southern California enriches the lives of 38,900 athletes and their communities through sports, leadership programs, and athlete health. Our free, year-round programs lead to improved health, self-confidence, and independence among athletes with intellectual disabilities and acceptance and inclusion in the community. Special Olympics Southern California has earned a four-star ranking from Charity Navigator for exceeding industry standards. This ranking is the highest Charity Navigator offers to an organization and is given because Special Olympics has demonstrated strong financial health and a commitment to accountability and transparency. Learn more at http://www.sosc.org.