La Quinta High School Named Champion School for Unified P.E. Program

LQ P.E. Teachers and admin

La Quinta High School was recently named a Unified Champion School by the Special Olympics Southern California for its unified physical education program that brings general education and special education students together for physical education activities.

The Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools Program promotes social inclusion through intentionally planned and implemented activities affecting systems-wide change.  The program equips students to foster climates of acceptance in sports, in the classroom and throughout the school.

The unified physical education program was launched by La Quinta P.E. Teacher Jason Rodewald and Brittany Schmitt, an Adapted P.E. Teacher at La Quinta High School committed to breaking down barriers and creating a sense of belonging for all students.

“Our program gives special education students the opportunity to play on a team, to have cheerleaders and fans, and enjoy the social-emotional benefits of sports,” said Schmitt.  “At the same time, it helps general education students demonstrate patience, compassion and empathy and improve their teamwork and communication skills.”   

“We are extremely proud of this recognition because it is a reflection of our values as a school district and it’s truly enriching for all La Quinta High School students,” said Board of Education President Bob Harden. 

This award was a culmination of a campaign aimed at accepting and celebrating students’ differences. The school’s ASB led the charge with a Spread the Word - Inclusion campaign.  They asked everyone to pledge to include, and to commit to an act of inclusion in their school, workplace, or community.