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 community-based organizations 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.

2. How do you choose partner schools or find out more information about schools’ arts programming? 
You can check out the artlook Map to find detailed information on schools’ arts-related data and their existing arts partners. You can also contact Arts Liaisons at schools with specific questions. For a list of Arts Liaisons please visit the Arts Liaison page.

3. Are you familiar with and/or using the Chicago Guide for Teaching and Learning in the Arts?
The Chicago Guide for Teaching and Learning in the Arts serves as a roadmap to connect curriculum, instruction and assessment in dance, music, theatre, and visual art from pre-kindergarten to senior year of high school.

4. Do you have a clear written policy for partnership criteria as well as roles and responsibilities for your organization personnel (teaching artists and administration), school administration, school arts teachers, and classroom teachers as applicable?

5. Can your organization clearly articulate and identify how and why they work with schools? Do you provide professional learning, 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.

6. Do you have clear assessment practices in place to articulate the success and impact of your programming in schools?

7. Are you familiar with and/or using CPS’ Request For Proposal (RFP) process?
Go to CPS Department of Procurement for information.

8. Does your arts curriculum align to the new Illinois Arts Standards (which will take effect in school year 2018-19)?

9. Does your arts curriculum support and align to Common Core State Standards in Literacy and Math?

10. Has your organization developed a clear communications/marketing/recruiting strategy for schools, students, and teachers?

11. Are you familiar with and grounding all teacher professional learning in the CPS Framework for Teaching and/or the Arts Addendum to the Framework?

12. 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.

13. Have you answered “YES” to all of these and still have questions about working with CPS schools?
Contact the Department of Arts Education at cpsarts@cps.edu.