Arts Program Planning

Arts Education Principal Guidance Documents: An overview of CPS arts policies and recommendations to help administrators build and sustain strong arts programs in their schools.

CIWP Arts Education Guidance Planning Tool: A guide to aid CPS schools in developing CIWP priorities and milestones in the arts, focusing on areas of greatest impact: instruction, professional learning, and school culture.

The Chicago Guide for Teaching & Learning in the Arts: A PreK-12 scope-and-sequence in dance, music, theatre, and visual arts, the Chicago Guide is of value to network chiefs and principals as they build rigorous, sequenced arts programs that provide students with high-quality arts learning, support student achievement in other core subjects, and make schools attractive to families.


REACH Evaluations for Arts Educators

Arts Addendum to the Framework for TeachingLists unique characteristics of theatre, dance, music, and visual arts teaching practice for the content area/setting, as well as examples of practice at the proficient and distinguished levels of performance. Arts teachers and administrators should use the Arts Addendum as a reference during REACH evaluations.

Arts Implementation Strategies for REACH: Information on how arts teachers should be approaching literacy priorities under the umbrella of REACH.


Arts Essentials

The Arts Essentials Grant Program provides $1,000 to all schools that have achieved Creative Schools Certification in Categories 1, 2, 3, and 4 and have a current CPS Arts Liaison. The following are guidance documents to aid in the spending of Arts Essentials funds.


Arts Liaisons

In every CPS school, an on-site Arts Liaison serves as an arts leader and champion who helps ensure successful implementation of key elements of the CPS Arts Education Plan. An Arts Liaison:

  • serves as the primary point of communication between their school, the CPS Department of Arts Education, Ingenuity, and community arts partners
  • works to ensure that students, educators, and administrators have access to high-quality arts opportunities and vital arts-related information across all disciplines (visual arts, music, theatre, dance, and media arts)
  • acts as an advocate by seeking actionable ways to expand and improve arts education and programming at their school and in the broader community

Arts Liaisons are nominated for the position by their school principals or directors. The Department strongly recommends that each Arts Liaison:

  1. Be a full-time or part-time arts teacher at their school, or another teacher who practices arts integration.
  2. Be able to attend after-school Arts Liaison Leadership Development sessions throughout the year.
  3. Be a strong leader with demonstrated ability to promote and plan arts programming at their school.

Administrators can (re)nominate their Liaison by clicking here. NOTE: Before nominating the Liaison, the administrator should review the role description and expectations with their nominee.