Unified PE Welcomes All


Unified sports is a way for special education students to meet friends and stay active.

Milana Doné

The unified PE class was joined by other 4th block PE classes on Wednesday Feb. 19 for a game of 6-square volleyball.

Southwest has always had an adaptive PE class for special education students, but was changed to a unified class 2 years ago. 

Unified PE is another way for students from unified sports to get involved and stay active during the school day. The class is made up of athletes from Southwest’s Special Olympics teams along with partners to assist them.

“I joined because it’s fun,” freshman Josie Ulrich said. “I get to play with all the friends I’ve met.”

Athletes are determined by teacher recommendations and partners are chosen through an application process.

“I get to meet a lot of new people,” junior Skylar Piper said. “One thing I’ve taken away from the experience is you can have the worst days at school and you can still come to unified PE 4th block and leave with a smile on your face.”

On Monday, the unified PE class was observed by occupational and physical therapists within the district along with PE and special education teachers from surrounding districts in order to learn more about unified PE and ways to incorporate unified sports in their own schools. 

“Only 2 high schools in the district have unified PE,” special education teacher Lynn Strack said. “We talked to them about our unified program at Southwest so they can take that back to their schools.”

This Saturday, Feb. 22, the unified basketball team will be competing at Lincoln High at 10 and 11:30 am.