The CPS Department of Arts Education sets the standards for an equitable and accessible arts education in all four art forms (dance, drama/theatre, music, and visual art) for all students across the district by consulting, training, and strategically planning with teachers, administrators, and schools.

Department of Arts Education Goals
  • All CPS students have regular access to high quality arts education (dance, drama/theatre, music, and visual art) during the school day.
  • All arts instruction is based on a high-quality, standards-based curriculum and assessments that align to the Common Core State Standards in English/Language Arts and Mathematics.
  • Student progress and teacher performance are measured in a consistent, meaningful way and the data is used to improve decision-making for arts programming.
Department Staff

Julia deBettencourt
Director of Arts Education
Drives the mission and vision of the CPS Department of Arts Education, directs the strategic implementation of the CPS Arts Education Plan and associated initiatives in service of increasing access, quality, and equity in arts education for all students and learners.

Rachel Claff
Arts Education Manager of Professional Learning
Designs and implements all professional development activities for arts teachers, Arts Liaisons, and administrators in arts leadership

Jeff Waraksa
Arts Education Manager of Student Achievement
Develops arts curricular materials and tools that drive achievement for all students in the visual and performing arts, and managing district-wide students programs including: Music Festivals, All-City Performing Arts, Advanced Arts @ Gallery 37

Melisa Rutkelis
Arts Education Specialist
Responsible for coordinating student programs and district-wide curriculum resources for teachers and administrators.

Peter Stover
ATLAS Program Coordinator, Arts Integration Specialist
Coordinates a professional learning program for lead arts teachers at the district’s Fine and Performing Arts Magnet Cluster Program and develops and implements PD that focuses on arts integration with SEL and Core Content learning disciplines for the district.