CPS Department of Arts Education encourages and supports strategic partnerships and collaborations in the arts between schools, community based organizations, and teaching artists built upon quality indicators to enhance student learning at all levels and celebrate and honor student voice, culture, and traditions, both in and out of school time.

Capacity Building–are you ready to work with schools?

1) Do you have a CPS Vendor Number?

The Department of Procurement manages vendor applications, and is not currently accepting unsolicited vendor applications. The Department of Procurement will only review applications that are sponsored by a School Principal, or CPS department director who state the intent to use the services of the potential vendor. For more information, visit the CPS Department of Procurement. While a CPS Vendor Number is helpful to doing any type of business in the district that requires payment, it is also possible to be paid directly by a school through their discretionary funds.

2) What do you have to offer?

Chicago’s arts and cultural resources bring unique learning opportunities to all Chicago Public School students. Arts partners and teaching artists play a vital role in the education of Chicago’s young people and augment the tireless work of CPS teachers. So, what do you do best? What makes what you do special and unique? If you are a presenting organization, how is your educational programming an extension of what’s presented on stage? Are you really skilled at providing teacher PD? Get as clear and specific as you can – it makes it much easier for teachers and principals to understand your offerings and how you might be able to help increase student learning.

3) What’s the best way of articulating and identifying how you work with schools?

Decide what the best way of implementing your programming will be: an ongoing residency, a week-long workshop, integrative work, in-school or out of school programs, or one-off performance/experience. All have value and all have challenges to implementation. Additional information on building quality arts partnerships can be found in Arts Alliance Illinois’ Committing to Quality in Education: Arts at the Core: A Guidebook and Planning Tool.

Once you have drafted clear language to describe what you do, create and maintain a profile on our Artlook Map so that schools can find you!

4) Find your perfect match!

Identify schools that are seeking what you have to offer, and that fit your needs by going to our Artlook Map. Enter your search criteria, view school profile information, download spreadsheets, arts liaison contact info and more.

5) Is your educational programming supportive of the Chicago Guide for Teaching and Learning in the Arts?

The Chicago Guide for Teaching and Learning in the Arts is the District’s curricular scope and sequence that maps the four state-recognized art forms (visual art, music, dance, and theatre) through four strands: Art Making, Arts Literacy, Interpretation and Evaluation, and Making Connections.

6) Does your arts curriculum support and align to Common Core State Standards in Literacy and/or Math?

Alignment to Common Core State Standards in order to support high school graduation, college entry, college graduation, and career readiness is critical.

7) How do you plan to evaluate success?

Do you have clear assessment practices in place to articulate the success and impact of your programming in schools? Can you communicate the student and/or teacher learning outcomes of your work with school personnel? Here are some resources:

Partnerships for Learning: A Guide to Evaluating Arts Education Projects (Arts Council England) by Felicity Woolf
This guide helps organizations and individuals evaluate arts education projects.

The Evaluation Center “Evaluation Checklists
This site provides evaluation specialists and users with refereed checklists for designing, budgeting, contracting, staffing, managing, and assessing evaluations of programs, personnel, students, and other evaluations; collecting, analyzing, and reporting evaluation information; and determining merit, worth, and significance.

The Qualities of Quality: Understanding Excellence in Arts Education

CAPE’s Arts Assessment Toolbox
CAPE, through the support of the Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust and the Lloyd A. Fry Foundation offered free assessment consultations to arts organizations throughout the city. They also collected case studies from various arts providers to share on this website, alongside articles and tools to help education programmers develop assessment tools that are aligned with the organizations’ mission and program outcomes.

Have you answered all of these tips and still have questions on working with CPS schools? Contact the Department of Arts Education.

Chicago Guide for Teaching and Learning in the Arts

The Chicago Guide provides the scope and sequence for arts teachers throughout the district. This important document is the foundation for much of the arts teaching that takes place in the classroom. Teaching Artists can use the Guide to provide an overview of what key concepts and standards students should be learning at specific grade levels.

Columbia College Chicago: Teaching Artist Development Studio

The Teaching Artist Development (TAD) Studio provides professional development opportunities to the many Teaching Artists working in Chicago Public Schools classroom. Addressing key factors such as curriculum, partnership, and classroom management it is an opportunity for teaching artists to reflect and improve upon their practice. Click to learn more about TAD.