Forest Park High School is a Special Olympics Unified Champion School

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Provided by Prince William County Schools (PWCS)

Forest Park High School (FPHS) has been declared an official Special Olympics Unified Champion School by Special Olympics International. The school has earned recognition as the number one Unified Sports Program in Virginia by ESPN.

In a letter from Special Olympics International, the organization said that Forest Park “has shown impressive determination and is helping us move towards our collective goal of creating a truly ‘Unified Generation’ of young people who embrace differences and lead social change.” The letter goes on to thank and congratulate FPHS students for redefining the future by creating a community that is more inclusive.

Principal Richard Martinez said about the recognition, “Our students are the winners of the program as we see how much they enjoy interacting with each other in the events.”

To be recognized as a Special Olympics Unified Champion School, a school must demonstrate commitment to inclusion by meeting 10 national standards of excellence developed by a panel of leaders from the Special Olympics and the education community.

FPHS Health and Physical Education Department Chair and Unified Sports Coach Kelly McCann said, “This amazing program provides the opportunity for all to compete in a variety of sports. It allows peers to play together. It allows special and general education students to problem-solve and cooperatively work together to play the game, run the track, or jump the long jump.”

McCann also said that as part of the program, they are developing a curriculum to start Unified Physical Education classes.

FPHS is the first school in Prince William County Public Schools to receive the national banner and is one of nine Virginia schools to earn recognition this year.


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