Unified Sports Season Well Underway


By Michael Joyce and Justin Vorabouth

With a few games under their belts, the Unified Sports teams at Wayne Hills and Wayne Valley are in full swing.

The program is designed to allow special education and regular education students to unite on competitive teams including basketball and track. 

While the Unified Sports unified sports program has been going on for the past 10 years in other district, a $4,000 grant allowed Hills to participate this year. The grant will pay a coaching stipend, purchase jerseys, and other supplies to make the program run smoothly.

“The application was submitted through the collaborative efforts of student support services and the Wayne Hills and Wayne Valley Athletic Departments,” said  Jennifer Varano, the assistant director of student support services, as she addressed the BOE.¨

They will have 12 practices this season and three competitions, with an extension planned for next year. In school, they have 22 kids on the teams. More than half of the team is special education students. 

There are many other schools that are participating in these specialized sports. ¨In the Morris County Area (NJAC Conference) there are about 11 schools participating out of 51. In the Passaic/Bergen area, there are not as many,¨ said Jeff Dilollo, the athletic director of Wayne hills highschool.  ¨The rules of basketball games are the exact same as regular basketball, just with more leniency.¨

“The overall purpose of the program is for students that do not normally interact together to bond with each other,” Dilollo adds.