CPS Department of Arts Education encourages and supports strategic partnerships and collaborations between schools and community based organizations in order to supplement and enhance quality arts education opportunities, both in and out of school time. Based on questions we have received and the most frequent circumstances under which CBOs seek advice, here are some guidelines toward building relationships with Chicago Public Schools:

  1. Do you have a CPS Vendor Number?
    If you do not, you must get a School Principal or CPS Director to contact the Department of Procurement to propose you as a vendor. For more basic information on doing business with CPS go to the CPS Department of Procurement.
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  2. How do you choose partner schools or find out more information about the arts programming (via CPS teachers or other CBOs) within a school building, searching by school name, network, neighborhood, postal code, enrollment size, grades served, arts teacher types, and/or governance structure?
    You can check out the ArtLook Map to find information on schools. You can also contact the Arts Liaison at the school with school specific questions. For a list of Arts Liaisons please visit the Arts Liaison page.
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  3. Are you familiar with and are you incorporating the Chicago Guide for Teaching and Learning in the Arts into your educational programming?
    The Chicago Guide for Teaching and Learning in the Arts serves as a road map to connect curriculum, instruction and assessment in dance, music, drama/theatre, and visual art from pre-kindergarten to senior year of high school.
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  4. Do you have a clear written policy for partnership criteria as well as roles and responsibilities for your organization personnel (teaching artists as well as administration), school administration, school arts teachers, and classroom teachers as applicable?
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  5. Can your organization clearly articulate and identify how they work with schools? Do you provide professional development, in-school or out of school programs, integrative work, or direct arts instruction?
    Additional information on building quality arts partnerships can be found by downloading the PDF of Arts Alliance Illinois’ Committing to Quality in Education: Arts at the Core: A Guidebook and Planning Tool.
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  6. Do you have clear assessment practices in place to articulate the success and impact of your programming in schools?
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  7. Are you familiar with and checking in with CPS’ Request For Proposal (RFP) process?
    Go to CPS Department of Procurement for information.
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  8. Have you registered on the Arts and Education Exchange?
    Go to Arts and Education Exchange for information and to register.
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  9. Does your arts curriculum support and align to Common Core State Standards in Literacy and Math?
    Learn more at Common Core State Standards. Also keep an eye on the National Core Arts Standards currently being written. For more information, visit the NCCAS wiki site. The standards are currently scheduled for release in Winter 2014.
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  10. Has your organization developed a clear communications/marketing/recruiting strategy for schools, students, and teachers?
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  11. Do you have fliers and/or educational program materials you’d like to send out to CPS schools?
    GSR Mailing Directions
    ● CBO sends to DAE at cpsarts@cps.edu a digital copy of the items to be mailed.
    ● If denied, DAE will work with the CBO to tweak/adjust items to be mailed or provide resources and support to increase organizational capacity.
    ● If approved, DAE will provides directions to the CBO regarding labeling and drop off instructions.
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  12. Are you familiar with and grounding all teacher professional development in the CPS Framework for Teaching?
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  13. Are you interested in providing Lane Credit Courses for CPS teachers? Lane Credit Courses are available to CPS teachers for completion of specific university and non-university courses at a lower cost.  The Office of Professional Learning’s Lane Credit Committee oversees all lane credit activities to ensure that content is rigorous and aligned to appropriate standards.  An application to provide lane credit is required.
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  14. Are you interested in participating in the new Partner RFP process?
    Contact our department at cpsarts@cps.edu to get involved in the feedback sessions taking place in October and November 2013.
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  15. Have you answered “YES” to all of these tips and still have questions on working with CPS schools? Contact the Department of Arts Education at cpsarts@cps.edu