National Banner

Congratulations to our National Banner Schools in Illinois!

  • Keller Junior High School (Schaumburg, IL) – Class of 2022
  • Pleasant Plains High School (Pleasant Plains, IL) – Class of 2022
  • Pontiac Township High School (Pontiac, IL) – Class of 2018, 2022
  • Homewood Flossmoor High School (Flossmoor, IL)– Class of 2018, 2022
  • Limestone High School (Bartonville, IL) – Class of 2021
  • Edwardsville High School (Edwardsville, IL) – Class of 2020
  • MacArthur Middle School (Prospect Heights, IL) – Class of 2020
  • Irving Elementary School (Oak Park, IL) – Class of 2020
  • Addams Junior High (Schaumburg, IL) – Class of 2019
  • Metea Valley High School (Aurora, IL) – Class of 2019
  • Maine South High School (Park Ridge, IL) – Class of 2019
  • Parkside Elementary School (Normal, IL) – Class of 2019
  • Mead Junior High School (Elk Grove Village, IL) – Class of 2018
  • Percy Julian Middle School (Oak Park, IL) – Class of 2018

What is a National Banner Unified Champion School?

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. Banner Unified Champion Schools should also be able to demonstrate they are self-sustainable or have a plan in place to sustain these activities into the future.

The expectation of this recognition is that the 10 standards are continuously being met, year after year. To ensure this sustainability, schools reapply for banner status every 4 years.

How to apply to be a National Banner Unified Champion School?

The National Recognition application cycle is currently closed, and recognized schools for the 2022-2023 school year will be announced in Fall 2023. The application cycle for the 2023-2024 school year will open in April 2024.

During the application review process, school applications will be reviewed in two stages: first by state Program staff and then by a national Certifying Body of key educational leaders.

Visit here for more information!