UMass Boston

Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools

Evaluation of Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools

Since 2008, the Center for Social Development and Education (CSDE) at the University of Massachusetts Boston has carried out an extensive evaluation of Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools, a school-based program funded by the U.S. Department of Education. Unified Champion Schools aims to activate youth to develop engaged school communities where all students are agents of change—fostering respect, dignity, and advocacy for their peers with disabilities.

The annual evaluation of Unified Champion Schools has focused on understanding the implementation of the program in the school and its impacts on those involved at the state level, school level, and student level. The evaluation component has been critical, as the results have helped guide its development course, including the creation of more clearly defined parameters and guidelines for State Special Olympics Programs as to what constitutes a Unified Champion School. Specifically, information gathered through the ongoing evaluation has provided the opportunity for Special Olympics to better characterize the parameters of Unified Champion Schools and more clearly define its three main school-based components: 1) Unified Sports; 2) Inclusive Youth Leadership; and 3) Whole School Engagement. This intensive, in-depth evaluation of Unified Champion Schools has also provided valuable information about building and maintaining collaborations between State Special Olympics Programs and schools, as well as further insight into the best practices and models of implementation. The annual evaluation is a critical part of investing in the future of Unified Champion Schools.

For more information about Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools, please read:

If you work for a State Special Olympics Program and would like to see reports specific to your Program, please email Jeff Ramdass, Project Director at CSDE.

Center for Social Development and Education

10th Floor, Healey Library,
100 Morrissey Blvd

Boston, MA 02125 USA