What does my Category mean?

The Creative Schools Certification (CSC) places the arts on CPS school progress report cards for the first time. Based upon school level arts data collected by Arts Liaisons last year, the CSC shows schools in one of five categories and creates a roadmap for schools to build robust arts education programs over time. The certification addresses Visual Art, Music, Dance, and Theatre in three major areas:

  • Staffing & Instruction
  • Partnerships, Community and Culture
  • Budget and Planning

The Graphic below represents the stair-step approach of the Creative School Certification. The goal of the Creative Schools Initiative is to assist schools in moving up the category steps by providing resources and funding opportunities. Schools that are in Category 5 (Incomplete Data) will receive support from Lead Arts Liaisons and the Arts Liaison Support Team (Lead AL and AL Support) and schools in Category 4 can participate in the Creative Compass Program.


The PDF links provide an overview of the process which determined the Categories for High School and Elementary Schools.

High School


For information on the Arts Essentials funding, download this PDF.

For further information on your school’s specific category, please contact your Arts Liaison. A full list of Liaisons is available here. Questions about the Creative Schools Initiative can be directed to creativeschools@cps.edu