As part of Chicago Public Schools’ Curriculum Equity Initiative, the Department of Arts Education will work with teachers across the district to build a universal curriculum named Skyline, capitalizing on the wealth of knowledge our arts teachers possess. This process began in August 2019, and will continue for a number of years. There are multiple opportunities for teachers and arts partners to contribute to this development process.

Arts Scopes and Sequences

In July 2021, the district released full Skyline materials in English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Science, Spanish, and French via the first phase of development. Alongside those resources, the Arts Scopes and Sequences were published as well.

This collection of unit overviews utilize the Illinois Arts Learning Standards, and identify the key learning at each grade level and high school course. There are 90 scopes and sequences across Dance, Music, Theatre, and Visual Arts. Teachers can utilize the scopes and sequences to align their current instruction to the Standards, gain inspiration for new learning experiences, and ensure authentic student assessment practices.

During the next phase of Skyline development, Visual Arts and Music courses from PreK through High School will be fully developed, in a similar fashion to the other content areas. This will include lesson and unit plans, student-facing materials, formative and summative assessments, and supplemental learning objects.

Skyline Development Process to date

Arts Teachers will be integral to this process, and can participate in the following ways:

Arts Teacher Focus Groups (occurred mid-November 2019)
90 min. discussion to inform the creation of the Scope and Sequence in each artistic discipline

Scope and Sequence Writing Teams (occurred February – July 2020)
Multi-month process for teachers to create the Scope and Sequence within writing teams, with support from content experts

— Curriculum Reviewers (application forthcoming)

Arts Partners will have opportunities to contribute to the curriculum development in the following ways:

Arts Partner Focus Group (occurred mid-November 2019)
90 min. discussion to inform the creation of the Scope and Sequence in each artistic discipline

Submissions of Digital Learning Objects for curriculum consideration (open now)
If your organization has audio recordings of music, digital images of artwork, theatre scripts, sheet music, or other similar primary source objects, please contact us now at

Additional opportunities may become available as the development progresses

Please contact the CPS Department of Arts Education at or (773) 553-2170.

The Chicago Guide for Teaching and Learning in the Arts is now an outdated resource, as it aligned to the old IL Fine Arts Standards.