Creative Schools Certifications provide principals, teachers and parents with a comprehensive overview of the arts offerings in their school and a roadmap for expanding quality and access.

The Creative Schools Certification, or CSC, identifies the level of arts instruction in every CPS school using a five-point scoring rubric. The CSC score appears on each school’s progress report, along with other indicators of academic performance. Certifications help school personnel develop plans and partnerships to address gaps in arts equity, sustain the arts in their school and develop innovative arts education models that can be replicated in the District.


  • What factors into the CSC score?

    The CSC takes into account key indicators of schools’ progress and needs:

    • CPS arts teacher staffing (the recommended arts instructor-to-student staffing ratio is 1:350)
    • Average weekly minutes of arts instruction offered at CPS elementary schools (the recommended minimum is 120 minutes)
    • Percentage of CPS students with access to arts instruction (this metric is tied closely to staffing and minutes of instruction)
    • Program discipline and depth (high schools only): this refers to the number of arts disciplines offered and depth of instruction, such as opportunities for sequential learning

    In addition, the Certification rating considers the types of support for the arts that are present in each school, including whether schools provide: a dedicated arts budget, arts-specific professional development, use of arts integration strategies, community arts partnerships, and parent and community engagement.

  • How is this information collected?

    Ingenuity collects data through the annual Creative Schools Survey, which we distribute to every school in the District. After thorough analysis, Ingenuity designates Creative Schools Certification ratings to every CPS school that participates in the survey.

Mapping Arts Equity

Ingenuity makes Creative School Certifications publicly available through artlook and our annual State of the Arts report, providing the sector with insights and resources to drive arts education access.

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