These districtwide sessions, focused on best instructional practices in arts education, allow CPS arts teachers to engage in interactive arts learning in their specific disciplines and grade bands, collaborate with peers to apply and reflect on demonstrated strategies, and acquire useful tools, techniques, and resources that can be immediately implemented in their classrooms.

SY20-21 Arts Intensives will be held on November 5, 2020 and February 6th, 2021. More information is forthcoming.

Meanwhile, you can download archived resources from all SY19-20 Intensives below.


Archived 2019-20 Arts Intensive Resources

Arts Intensive #1: Developing Students’ Artistic Identities

August 28 and 30, 2019 | Chicago Cultural Center | 8:30am–3:30pm

“I’m bad at art.” “Why do I have to dance?” “I can’t read music.” How do we nurture students who are reluctant to engage in the arts? How can we create learner-centered classroom environments where all our students feel like successful artists? At this session, participants:

  • explored potential barriers to student learning in the arts, and key strategies to overcome those barriers
  • engaged in collaborative creation of lessons and activities that help students (and teachers) develop positive disciplinary identities
  • acquired tools and techniques that would encourage students to see themselves as capable and competent thinkers, learners, and makers of art

Download all slides and handouts from Arts Intensive #1 here.


Arts Intensive #2: Designing Student-Centered Curriculum

November 8, 2019 | Chicago Cultural Center | 8:30am–12:30pm

How can we better integrate our students’ interests, ideas, and needs when we develop arts curriculum? When and where can we encourage them to take the wheel and drive their own learning (without sacrificing depth or discipline)? At this session, participants:

  • explored ways to activate and increase student voice and choice in their arts curriculum
  • understood the design-thinking process and how it can be used to engage and empower students
  • used a design thinking model to research and prototype tools and/or techniques that would help students develop into more independent, motivated learners, thinkers, and makers

Download all slides and handouts from Arts Intensive #2 here.


Arts Intensive #3: Creating Student-Driven Formative Assessments

January 31, 2020 | Chicago Cultural Center | 8:30am–3:30pm

What happens when students own the assessment process? How does this help them work and think like real artists? At this Intensive, participants explored powerful, student-driven formative assessment techniques—including co-creation of assessment criteria, peer feedback, and self-assessment—to amplify students’ voices and give them more ownership over (and confidence in) their artistic process.

Professor Heidi L. Andrade from the University at Albany-SUNY, an expert in formative assessment and self-regulated learning, led this full-day session along with NYC arts teachers Angela Fremont (visual arts) and Ron Sopyla (theatre).

Download all slides and handouts from Arts Intensive #3 here.