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JICHS Unified Program Earns National Banner Unified Champion School Distinction

NUBCSCHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. — James Island Charter High School (JICHS) recently earned the distinguished title of "National Banner Unified Champion School" by the Special Olympics, showcasing their dedication to fostering inclusion through the fulfillment of 10 standards of excellence.


As the first “National Banner” highschool within Charleston County School District, JICHS stands as a model school of inclusivity. The school has distinguished itself as one of only three high schools across South Carolina to achieve this prestigious recognition. This accomplishment places JICHS among the just two percent of Unified Champion Schools nationwide.


The evidence submitted demonstrated adherence to rigorous standards of inclusive excellence which was assessed by a coalition of leaders from Special Olympics. These standards encompass a variety of schoolwide initiatives, including Unified Sports, Inclusive Youth Leadership, Whole-School Engagement, and Sustainability.


Barry Coats, President, and CEO of Special Olympics South Carolina, expressed his commendations in a letter addressed to JICHS, stating, “James Island Charter High School staff and students have cultivated a culture of genuine acceptance and inclusion throughout the entire school community. Your school's concerted efforts have laid the groundwork for advancing our collective mission of nurturing a 'Unified Generation' of young individuals who embrace diversity and champion real social progress.”


The official recognition ceremony took place on February 23, 2024, marking a significant milestone for JICHS. In this celebratory event, inclusive leaders from the school community commemorated their achievement and reaffirmed their commitment to fostering an environment of inclusion, unity and acceptance.