DSHS Honored by Special Olympics
October 14, 2019
Dripping Springs High School has been recognized by Special Olympics as a National Banner Unified Champions School, one of only five schools in the state of Texas to be so honored (Brady HS, Lewisville HS, Pflugerville Hendrickson HS, and Alamo Heights HS). On Friday, DSHS will be presented with the National Banner Unified Champions school distinction from Special Olympics CEO Tim Martin during a pep rally that starts at noon.
A Special Olympics Unified Champion School has an inclusive school climate that exhibits a sense of collaboration, engagement and respect for all. 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. Banner Unified Champion Schools are also able to demonstrate they are self-sustainable and have a plan in place to sustain these activities into the future.
DSHS launched a Unified Champions class in 2018-19 that has regular education and special education students together in a physical education environment that fosters inclusion and teaches all students important life skills. Students also compete together in Special Olympics events.
As part of the celebration of DSHS's inclusive school climate, the school is hosting Unified Week on Oct. 15-18. On Tuesday students will have "Camo Day" for PTSD awareness. Wednesday is Hawaiian Day, which encourages students to say aloha to a new friend to help build unity amongst students. Thursday is Twin Day to remind students that battle depression and anxiety that they're not alone. Friday is Tiger Pride, highlighting the school's motto: "Alone I matter, together we inspire." The week also will include daily activities during lunch, with the goal of building school inclusion and unity.