Hendrickson was announced as one of the most inclusive schools in the country by both ESPN and Special Olympics on Sept. 6, according to a Sept. 6 district news release. The campus was named a Special Olympics Unified Champion School and as one of the top five schools in the United States as a National Banner campus for its inclusion efforts, per the release.
“This is a great honor for the students of Hendrickson,” said Amy Wiesenhutter, PfISD Special Olympics coordinator, in the Feb. 19 news release. “The atmosphere created on this campus is a testament to the students who stood up and said, ‘Yes!’ Hawk Nation chose to include all students in every aspect at their school. Hendrickson is a special place where students love each other and support one another in everything.”
A Special Olympics Unified Champion School is defined as one that strives toward creating a more inclusive campus climate and that "exudes a sense of collaboration, engagement and respect for all members of the student body and staff," according to the release. To qualify for the recognition, campuses must meet 10 national standards of excellence that have been developed by Special Olympics leaders and education officials across the country, per the release.
There are more than 150 schools in Texas participating in Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools programming and more than 6,500 nationally, according to the release.