Two Lee County high schools chosen as National Banner Unified Champion Schools
The School District of Lee County announced Cypress Lake High School and North Fort Myers High School have both been chosen as a 2018-2019 National Banner Unified Champion School through the Special Olympics. Only 24 schools in Florida and 173 in the United States achieved this status.
“Being named a National Banner Unified Champion School is an incredible honor and a tribute to the commitment our district has made around the work of inclusion,” says North Fort Myers Principal Debbie Diggs. “With only 24 National Banner schools in Florida and less than 200 in the entire nation, both North Fort Myers High School and Cypress Lake High School are leading the way to put sustainable systems in place for Special Olympics athletes and traditional athletes to train and compete together as teammates. I applaud Special Olympics, FHSAA, Lee County Parks & Recreation and The School District of Lee County for the financial and structural support necessary to make our Unified Sports teams possible.”
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. 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.
“When I watch a unified game, I see the power of relationships,” says Cypress Lake High School Principal Angela Roles. “The athletes connect in such a positive and powerful way. It makes everyone proud to be a Panther!”
Cypress Lake and North Fort Myers are celebrating their Unified Champion School status on Monday, November 4th with banner raising ceremonies.