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Upstate Schools Promote Inclusion Year Round

posted Oct 10, 2017, 11:51 AM by The School District of Oconee County, SC

Encouraging the development of real relationships between students with disabilities and students without disabilities is often difficult.  Students with disabilities can spend their entire school day in special education classes, limiting the time spent with students in the general population.

To address this issue, Walhalla High School, Seneca High School, and Pickens High School participate in Unified Champion Schools activities.  This is an initiative of Special Olympics to promote inclusion through organized competitions with other Unified Champion Schools.  Teams are made up of students with disabilities along with students without disabilities in order to foster meaningful relationships between the participants.

"Walhalla High School, Seneca High School, and Pickens High School are all very active with Unified Champion Schools," said Terry Buckallew, special education teacher at Walhalla High School.  

Recently, the schools held their first Unified Champion School activity for the 2017-18 school year.  Walhalla High School hosted a bowling tournament at Oconee Lanes that included Seneca High School and Pickens High School.  Walhalla High School placed first; Seneca placed second; and Pickens placed third.

"Even though we were competing against each other, I feel like we grew closer together as a community," said mentor Tyler Hogan.

Walhalla High School will sponsor a kickball tournament on November 17; Pickens High School will host a basketball tournament in January; and Seneca High School will host a soccer tournament in March.

For more information, please contact Terry Buckallew at