Particular Olympics Connecticut has introduced that Highland College, a Particular Olympics Unified Champion College, is receiving nationwide banner recognition for its efforts to offer inclusive sports activities and actions for college students with and with out disabilities.

Highland College is receiving this honor because of assembly nationwide requirements of excellence within the areas of inclusion, advocacy and respect. An award presentation will happen on the college later this month.

Highland College shall be amongst a choose variety of faculties to obtain this distinction. They are going to be offered with a banner to hold of their college and be included on an inventory of different faculties across the nation who’ve achieved this distinguished standing.

“I’m so pleased with our Unified Sports activities workforce and the whole Highland workers for the dedication to complete inclusion in our faculty neighborhood,” mentioned Highland Principal Scott Jeffrey. “Particular thanks to Lisa Rettenmeier and Alison Ranciato and the core workforce for his or her dedication and dedication to growing a program that brings our athletes and non-disabled college students collectively in an setting of inclusion.”

Particular Olympics Unified Champion Faculties is a method, for faculties pre-Okay by way of university-level, that deliberately promotes significant social inclusion by bringing collectively college students with and with out mental disabilities to create accepting college environments, using three interconnected parts: Particular Olympics Unified Sports activities, inclusive youth management, and complete college engagement.

Faculties presently collaborating in Particular Olympics Unified Champion Faculties programming are amongst greater than 7,500 faculties throughout the nation engaged in this system. Particular Olympics Unified Champion Faculties goals to develop to 10,000 faculties by the top of the 2023-2024 college yr.

The Particular Olympics Unified Champion Faculties mannequin is supported by the Workplace of Particular Schooling Applications on the U.S. Division of Schooling. This mannequin has been confirmed, by way of analysis, to be an efficient and replicable means to offering college students with and with out disabilities the chance to type constructive social relationships and promote a socially inclusive college local weather. Key information factors embody:

•94% of academics/college workers say the Particular Olympics Unified Champion Faculties program will increase alternatives for college students with and with out mental disabilities to work collectively.

•98% of concerned academics consider participation in this system has elevated the boldness of scholars with disabilities.

•92% credit score this system with lowering bullying, teasing, and offensive language.

A Particular Olympics Unified Champion College has an inclusive college local weather and exudes a way of collaboration, engagement, and respect for all members of the scholar physique and workers. A Unified Champion College receiving nationwide banner recognition is one which has demonstrated dedication to inclusion by assembly 10 nationwide requirements of excellence. These requirements have been developed by a nationwide panel of leaders from Particular Olympics and the training neighborhood.

The first actions inside these requirements embody: Particular Olympics Unified Sports activities  (the place college students with and with out disabilities practice and compete as teammates), inclusive youth management and whole-school engagement. Nationwide banner faculties also needs to have the ability to exhibit that they’re self-sustainable or have a plan in place to maintain these actions into the longer term.

“Highland College is dedicated to offering a constructive, protected, nurturing setting that evokes all kids to attain their particular person potential as life-long learners,” mentioned Jeffrey. “We attempt to create a neighborhood primarily based on mutual respect and wherein all college students turn into accountable residents. This dedication depends on a cooperative effort that’s centered on college students, supported by residence and neighborhood, and facilitated by academics and workers.”

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