September 25, 2023

District 54 is proud to announce that Lakeview Elementary School was named a National Banner Unified Champion School by Special Olympics, one of only five schools chosen in Illinois this year.

Lakeview is now one of 17 nationally recognized schools in Illinois joining Mead, Addams, and Keller. It is also only the second elementary school in the state to earn this honor. District 54 is the only school district in Illinois to have more than one school with a Champion banner.

A unified championship school demonstrates a commitment to building an inclusive school through collaboration, engagement and respect for all members of the student body and staff. Schools must meet 10 standards of excellence based on three overarching components. Those components are 

  1. A Special Olympics Unified Sports program, where students with and without disabilities train and compete as teammates,
  2. Inclusive Youth Leadership groups and 
  3. Whole School education, awareness and engagement

Lakeview Club Unify sponsors – Caroline Vaporis, Jaclynn Beer and Jessica Cychosz – submitted an application highlighting the many ways Lakeview fosters belonging and inclusion. In addition to Club Unify, the school also participates in the Young Athletes Special Olympics competition, celebrates National Inclusive Schools Week and hosts an annual Respect Week.