Department of Arts Education WINTER NEWSLETTER 2018

Preceding images are from the Elementary Visual Arts Exhibition, 2018. Image in title: "Starry Night" (detail), Sophia Marin, 4th grade, Hitch School. Image above: "Exquisite Watercolor" (detail): Enrique Valencia, 4th grade, Carson School.

It’s (One of) The Most Wonderful (and Event-Filled) Time(s) of the Year

As we head into the winter season, and with the end of the calendar year fast approaching, The Department of Arts Education wants to make sure each of you know about the numerous upcoming opportunities, exhibitions, and events for students, teachers, and the community! Join us as we celebrate some of our latest student and teacher achievements:


We congratulate John Catomer at Hancock College Prep High School and Markeise Russell at Nicholas Senn High School for being selected to receive generous Mr. Holland's Opus Grant awards of new band instruments for their schools.

We heard from teachers from several schools whose students auditioned and were selected to perform at the Illinois Music Educators Association Regional Festival (ILMEA). Kate Johnston, HS Choir teacher from Walter Payton College Prep described what the process was like for her 14 students that were selected: “[The students] auditioned as individual singers in early October and won their spot by receiving a high score. They spent the day rehearsing with a guest conductor in preparation for the 4:00 pm concert where they joined 250+ singers from around the region."

Katie Colby, Choir Teacher at Jones College Prep HS, had six students selected to perform at ILMEA: Em Etchingham from senior chorus and Ria Slater, Nicole Leon, Alex Sales, Wilson Kenny, and Nathan Naiditch from Grades 9 & 10 chorus.

Nythia Martinez, Choir teacher at Northside College Prep HS, had seven students selected for ILMEA: Annabel Faircloth, Molly Furlong, Donovan Holt, Abigail Kelleher, Elisabeth McGovern, Molly McQuillan, and Samantha Ringor.

Congratulations to these students, their teachers, and their schools!

(Images from top: ILMEA Regional Choir Singers from Walter Payton College Prep; Senior Em Etchingham and Grades 9 & 10 Chorus, both from Jones College Prep)

Hats off to Joel Ewing, HS Theatre teacher, and the cast of BRAINSTORM. The Senn Arts Theatre Department's production BRAINSTORM, in partnership with Raven Theatre's TAKE FLIGHT Residency, was recently selected to perform at the 2019 Illinois High School Theatre Festival. This marks Senn Arts’ 4th selection to the IHSTF.
The Whitney M Young Magnet High School Chamber Orchestra at Chamber Camp

This December, the Whitney M Young Magnet High School Chamber Orchestra will proudly represent Chicago Public Schools by being the first CPS orchestra ever to be invited to perform at the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago. Performance Date: Saturday December 22, 2018 | Performance Time: 8:30am | Location: Ballroom 183W, McCormick Place West, 2301 S Prairie Avenue, Chicago, IL 60616 | Midwest has waived the ticket/registration fee so anyone can attend the concert!

(Other CPS ensembles invited to play at Midwest: Morgan Park Band, 1964 and Curie High School Jazz Combo, 2007)

Advanced Arts Program (AAP) Winter Showcase

It's been a busy quarter for AAP students as they honed their skills in their dual credit courses (Studio Painting and Drawing, Creative Arts and Ceramic Studio, Jazz Ensemble, Vocal Performing Arts, Video Production, Photography, and Dance) and their honors courses (3D Modeling and Animation, and Culinary Arts) while preparing pieces for the Winter Showcase. We were so proud to see the strong performances and sophisticated visual work at the showcase. Congratulations AAP students and staff!

In November, AAP student Chloe Cabrales was honored at Chicago's Google Headquarters by the Hispanic Heritage Foundation for excelling in the community, and in her focus category, “Media and Entertainment.” Honorees competed with more than 13,000 applicants for 18 coveted awards in the Chicago region. Chloe has been a dedicated dancer at AAP for two years and is a role model for her talent, dedication, persistence, and kindness. Chloe received a bronze medal and scholarship funds to continue her education in college where she hopes to dual major in Dance and Psychology. Congratulations, Chloe!

Upcoming Department of Arts Education Public Events

Invite your students and their families!

All-City Performing Arts (ACPA) Regional Showcase

Come watch CPS students from across the district in ACPA ensembles—dance, theatre, concert band, symphonic band, jazz band, orchestra, new music, and modern band—perform in a regional showcase near you on December 15, 2018. Showcases at both locations begin at 1:00pm and are free of charge.

  • North Showcase: Schurz High School, 3601 N Milwaukee Ave
  • South Showcase: Jones College Prep, 700 S State St

All-City Senior Portfolio Exhibition

The All-City Senior Portfolio Exhibition is a partnership with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) that gives CPS high school seniors the opportunity to exhibit their artwork in the Loop and gain exposure among selected admissions representatives of various colleges and universities.

  • January 8, 2019, 4:30pm-7:30pm: Opening Reception at SAIC Neiman Center, 37 S. Wabash St
  • January 8–13, 2019 (Hours TBD): Exhibition at SAIC Neiman Center

Opportunities for Students

Mark Your Calendar!

  1. Registration for Music Festivals is NOW OPEN. Music Festivals allow students from across the city to experience performing prepared pieces and receiving constructive feedback from established music adjudicators. For all music festivals (except the Mariachi Festival; see below), the deadline to register is January 11, 2019.
  2. The Department of Arts Education aims to make the Mariachi Festival accessible to students and directors without mariachi programs, while providing an opportunity for established programs to receive feedback and get clinician time. Deadline to register is March 1, 2019. Festival Date is June 1, 2019. For all festival listings, information, handbooks and checklists, click the Student Programs button below.
  3. The Negaunee Music Institute at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) and the CPS Department of Arts Education announce an exciting collaboration between the CSO’s School and Family Concerts and the CPS All-City Visual Art (ACVA) exhibitions! The CSO School and Family Concerts on May 17 and 18, 2019 feature Pictures from an Exhibition, an orchestral masterwork by composer Modest Mussorgsky inspired by drawings and paintings by the 19th-century Russian artist Viktor Hartmann. CPS teachers are invited to submit student works created in response to one or more movements (sections) of the music. Up to 50 student works will be selected for an exhibition that will accompany these performances in the Rotunda at Symphony Center. The exhibition will run from Thursday, May 16 through Tuesday, May 21, 2019. *Check out the Teacher Opportunities section for information on a related teacher workshop (1.5 clock hours)!*
  4. The All-City Visual Art (ACVA) High School & Elementary Exhibitions will be held at Expo 72 in the loop in April and May. ACVA Programs provide a unique opportunity to showcase student achievement in visual and media arts and exhibit their work in highly-visible, public exhibition spaces in Chicago.
  • HIGH SCHOOL SUBMISSIONS OPEN: February 1, 2019 - March 1, 2019
  • ELEMENTARY SUBMISSIONS OPEN: February 27, 2019 - March 27, 2019

For more information, click the Student Programs button below.

Opportunities for Teachers

Mark Your Calendar!

Department of Arts Education Professional Learning

  1. Mastering the Standards #3: Aligning Assessment—This full-day of interactive learning sessions will feature arts teachers practical techniques and resources for aligning classroom assessments to the updated Illinois Arts Learning Standards. Friday, February 1, 2019 | 8:30am – 3:30pm | Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E Washington St, Chicago, IL | Course code: 41844 | Class code: 80054 | Clock hours offered: 5.0
  2. Demonstration Site Sessions #2: March 18–22, 2019—In these sessions, our Arts Instruction Specialists open their classrooms for their peers to observe and discuss high-quality, standards-aligned practice in music, theatre, dance, visual arts, and media arts. Substitute teachers for hosts and attendees will be paid for by the Department of Arts Education. | Registration for March Demonstration Sites will open in early March 2019 on a first-come, first-served basis (maximum 10 participants per site). Arts teachers will be sent an email inviting them to register. | Monday-Friday MARCH 18–22, 2019 (specific dates and times TBD) | Clock hours offered: 3.0
  3. Arts Education Conference—In support of the continued collaborative work between teachers and arts education partners, we are excited to once again partner with Ingenuity to present the 2019 Arts Education Conference: Cultivating Conditions for Growth. Grow your arts education knowledge, gain and share skills, and develop the vital relationships that allow our individual and shared work to flourish and thrive.| Friday, April 5, 2019 | 8:30AM-5:00PM | Benito Juarez Community Academy, 1450 W. Cermak Road | Clock hours offered: 9.0 |

Inform and inspire your colleagues and community about innovative arts education practices, policies, and programs! The deadline to propose a Conference session is January 18, 2019.

For more information, click the Professional Learning Button Below

External Arts Partner Professional Learning

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Pictures at an Exhibition Workshop—Visual Arts and Music Teachers: Please join the DAE and the CSO in a workshop specific to the collaborative exhibition hosted by the CSO. You will work with the CPS teachers who created lesson plans to support submissions to the collaborative visual art exhibition, learning more about the lesson plans to help you plan your own projects. You’ll also learn more about the CSO exhibition, the submission process, and the special perks offered to selected schools and students for their participation in the exhibition. All attendees will receive a private tour of the Symphony Center and learn about the history of the building and the CSO. Follow this link for more information and curriculum resources and the link below to register.

Where: Chicago Symphony Center | When: January 30, 2019 from 4:30pm-6:00pm | Clock hours: 1.5 | Register Here: http://bit.ly/CPSACVA


Ingenuity is CPS Department of Arts Education primary arts partner and they work with us as well as "city and Chicago Public Schools leadership, hundreds of cultural institutions and arts organizations, higher education leaders, Chicago’s philanthropic community, principals and certified teachers, as well as parents and students toward the goal of ensuring a quality arts education for every CPS student".

  1. Perform, Present, Produce: Educator As Artist Series—THEATRE Focus | Tuesday December 11, 4:30-6:30pm | Chicago Children's Theatre, 100 S. Racine
  2. Making Meaning: Cultivating Student Reflection in the Arts Classroom—Wednesday, December 19, 2018, 4:30PM-7:30PM | Chicago Children's Theatre, 100 S. Racine Avenue
  3. Who's In The Room?: Understanding the Community, School and Students—Thursday, January 10, 2019, 4:30PM-7:30PM | Charles A. Hayes Center, 4859 S. Wabash Avenue
  4. Firing the "Canon": Developing Culturally Relevant Programs—Thursday, January 24, 2019, 4:30PM-7:30PM | Chicago Literacy Alliance, 641 W. Lake Street, 2nd Floor

For more information and to register, click the Ingenuity Professional Learning button below.

Teachers, have you used our Standards Toolkit?

Developed by the Department of Arts Education, the Toolkit is a suite of tools and resources designed to support CPS teachers, administrators, and other stakeholders as they work to align their arts curriculum, instruction, and assessment to the updated Illinois Arts Learning Standards.

New Standards Alignment tool for arts curriculum!

We’ve created a new Curriculum Alignment tool that provides you with a big-picture view of how and where your unit plans align to the updated Illinois Arts Learning Standards. From drop-down menus, you can choose primary (assessed) and secondary performance standards that you are hitting in each of your units; the digital tool auto-tallies the standards that are hit across units and across the year.

After completing curriculum alignments, you can use our Alignment Self-Reflection to think about where your units best align to performance standards, and where there are areas for growth or adjustment.

You can find these tools in our Standards Toolkit at www.bit.ly/cpsartstoolkit, along with:

  • Standards overview documents including content and structure walkthroughs and a summary of best practices in standards-aligned arts education
  • Lesson and unit templates to design standards-aligned curriculum
  • Other diagnostic tools to help educators reflect on their instructional alignment to the standards

Inside Our Classrooms

8th graders in Sarah Peace's music class work one-on-one with their 3rd grade PALs and present on the proper way to hold a ukulele at Scammon Elementary.

Music teacher Sarah Peace's 8th graders taught their 3rd grade PALs how to play chords on the ukulele. Students spent time learning the instrument themselves and then writing lesson plans and practicing how to present. The 8th grade students broke into groups to teach an element of the ukulele and then worked one on one with their PALs.

It was incredible to see 8th grade students attentively working with their PALs. When the unit was initially introduced the 8th grade students were not that excited, but the day of they really stepped up to the task. A 3rd grade student afterwards hugged me and told me this was their favorite activity that we have ever done in music. I'm proud of all my students and am glad to facilitate activities that they love and will remember!
Page excerpt of the Arts and Activities magazine feature of Jeremie Lappe's 7th grade class' Day of the Dead project.

Jeremie Lappe's seventh grade students at Moos Elementary created Nichos (decorative shadow boxes) in honor of Day of the Dead. Their artwork was published in the October issue of Arts and Activities magazine! Check out the article here.

Teachers learn from teachers at our Lesson Labs

From top: Jonathan O'Sullivan leading "Green Screen 101" in his classroom, green screen animation stations, a participant working on his musical composition in "Music-Reading Skills Through Online Composition, Katie Colby in her classroom leading "Music-Reading Skills Through Online Composition", Katie Colby sharing additional resources, and participants working on their green screen projects.

This year kicked off with two exceptional Lesson Labs: Music-Reading Skills Through Online Composition, led by music teacher Katie Colby of Jones College Prep HS, and Green Screen 101, led by media arts teacher Jonathan O’Sullivan of Tonti Elementary. Participants in both Labs learned about exceptional digital tools for the arts classroom, networked with one another, and engaged in hands-on creation of artwork.

Join us for these upcoming Labs!:

  • January 24: Learning Centers in the Music Classroom (Mitchell Elementary)
  • March 13: Choreographing Through Film (Ravenswood Elementary)
  • March 19: Ensemble Teacher Toybox (Smyser Elementary)
  • April 9: Incorporating Dance History into Your Curriculum (Boone Elementary)
  • April 25: Teaching for Artistic Behavior: Choice-Based Learning in the Visual Arts (Inter-American Magnet)

Teachers, do you have a performing ensemble or student artwork(s) that you'd be interested in showcasing in a CPS public event or forum for SY18-19? The forums could include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Chief Education Office (CEO) meetings or events
  • CPS board meetings
  • Department of Arts Education (DAE) events
  • Ingenuity events

If you do, please click the button below to fill out the form. Thank you!

Request for Feedback!

Are you familiar with the Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness Act (PWR)? Enacted by Illinois in 2016, the PWR Act established a voluntary system for school districts to award College and Career Pathways Endorsements to high school graduates. The steering committee is collecting feedback through an online survey on the drafted competencies from professionals across Arts and Communications and Education sectors. Their goal is to collect a diverse set of voices including those of employers, human resource professionals, educators at all levels, professionals in the industry, and community based organizations working within the industry across Illinois. The survey will be open until January 18, 2019, and we encourage you to participate and share it among your colleagues and networks.

The Department of Arts Education wishes you all very Happy Holidays! Enjoy your winter break.


Created with images by DAE & AAP staff, CPS Arts Teachers, and congratulations banner image by Audrey Fretz - "Sparkling Frosted Cupcake". Holiday greeting card video created in code using littleBits Code Kit.

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