Bloomfield to participate in Champions Together partnership

Monday, February 27, 2017

At Thursdays meeting of the Bloomfield School District, Jr./Sr. High School Principal David Dean announced his school’s intent to partner with Special Olympics Indiana in the “Champions Together” program.

Joining bannered school White River Valley, Bloomfield will be the second Greene County school to adopt the program.

“We are really excited to bring it to Bloomfield,” said Principal Dean.

“We have wanted to take part since the partnership came together, and now we have all the requirements a school needs.”

Champions Together is a partnership between the Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) and Special Olympics Indiana, and was announced at IHSAA headquarters in Dec. 2012.

IHSAA Commissioner Bobby Cox charged the Student Advisory Committee (SAC) to engage in “servant leadership,” and find ways to give back to their communities and schools.

An official partnership was formed, as the most appropriate fit for education-based athlete servant leadership.

During the program’s first full year, 26 schools were awarded the Champions Together banner for achieving all four of the required goals.

The four requirements are: the formation of an inclusive student leadership which will plan, organize and administer activities with students with disabilities, and not for them; an activity must be designed to attain Whole School Engagement, such as a schoolwide assembly or project; the organization of and participation in a Unified Sports activity, such as a IHSAA Unified Track and Field event or any event which includes students with intellectual disabilities; the school must be willing to fundraise, raising a minmum of $1500 for the Champions Together project.

Thirteen schools participated in the inaugural IHSAA Unified Track and Field state championships, and raised more than $75,000 for the support of Champions Together activities.

IHSAA Commissioner Bobby Cox commented, “The opportunity for the IHSAA to partner with Special Olympics of Indiana may prove to be one of the most profound decisions made by the Association in the ongoing development of student leaders in an education-based athletic setting. I am most pleased that our Student Advisory Committee has decided to engage with and support the activities of one of our state’s most important organizations.”

Mike Furnish, President and CEO of Special Olympics Indiana added, “By partnering with the IHSAA we’re optimistic that students with special needs will be more accepted in their schools and feel more motivated to get involved in sports through Special Olympics.”

Dean said the school has already completed some of the necessary requirements, and has six or seven special athletes, along with 16 volunteer athletes, ready to begin, as soon as Bloomfield can create a Unified Track event.

“We strongly beieve in inclusion, in Bloomfield Schools,” said Dean. “And we are very, very excited to be on board with this.”

“We have had guest speakers here twice, to fulfill the whole school engagement requirement, The student leadership is in place, we have begun fundraising and will host a unified sports activity as soon as we possibly can,” Dean added.

In other business, the board:

•Heard from Principal Dean that the newly-installed School Resource Officer program is doing well

•Recognized that each school is busily gearing up for ISTEP testing

•Accepted the resignation of Bill McIntosh as girls’ softball coach for the 2016-17 school year

•Accepted and approved the hiring of Mike Potter as girls’ varsity softball coach, and Danielle Richardson as assistant girls’ softball coach for the 2016-17 school year

•Accepted the resignation, due to family matters, of Mrs. Linda Mattox as substitute teacher in Mrs. Sheila Corn’s third grade classroom

•Approved the hiring of Mrs. Angie Keusch to complete the 2016-17 school year in Mrs. Sheila Corn’s classroom

The next meeting of the Bloomfield School District School Board will be March 23 at 7 p.m. in the jr. high conference room.

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