PALMDALE – Hillview Middle School has been named a “Unified Champion School” by the Special Olympics organization. This honor was received due to the implementation of inclusion sports teams, disability awareness campaigns, and other inclusive opportunities on the campus.
“I am so proud of what our Hillview students have accomplished over the past two years with our inclusion programs,” said Jennifer Slater-Sanchez, Hillview Middle School Co-Principal. “The special education students have inspired the general education students, and vice-versa, and it’s our students’ enthusiasm that has resulted in this prestigious designation.”
According to their website, the Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools program is aimed at promoting social inclusion through intentionally planned and implemented activities affecting systems-wide change. Hillview is the first and only middle school in the Antelope Valley to receive the Unified Champion School designation.
The Hillview inclusion sports team program is now in its second year, with basketball in the spring and soccer in the fall. General education students volunteer their time as peer coaches, and then play three games per season alongside each other. The success of the inclusion sports team has led to other programs like Disability Awareness week and inclusion youth leadership programs.
“Our leadership has put together cutting-edge programs at Hillview Middle School through the inclusion programs,” said Westside Union School District Superintendent Regina Rossall. “The students truly deserve the credit for this designation, however, for all the hard work that they have put into providing a shining example for others.”
[Information via news release from Westside Union School District.]