Academy for Urban School Leadership (AUSL): AUSL is a nonprofit teacher training and school management organization that currently operates 31 CPS schools. By training highly effective teachers, developing new curricula, implementing additional after-school programs, and renovating facilities, AUSL aims to transform educational outcomes in the District’s lowest-performing schools.

Arts: The study, instruction, practice, and/or performance in any of the following disciplines: dance, literary arts, media arts, music, theatre, and visual arts.

Arts Integration: An approach that incorporates the arts into other core curricula. Students engage in the creative process, which connects an art form to another subject area and meets learning objectives in both subject areas.

Arts Liaison: A school staff member nominated by the principal to serve as the school’s voluntary arts leader and champion. Arts Liaisons help coordinate and plan all school arts instruction and share information via artlook® on community arts partners, school budgets, arts staffing, planning, and resources.

Arts Partner Standards of Practice: The product of a two-year effort engaging more than 350 arts education stakeholders under the Quality Initiative, the Arts Partner Standards of Practice include tools and processes to help arts organizations improve arts program outcomes. The Standards also establish consensus values about how to define, assess, evaluate, and improve the quality of teaching artist instruction.

artlook®: The Ingenuity-created data platform collects and disseminates key information about arts education in CPS. artlook® provides transparent access to information about school needs, arts programming and instructors, community arts partnerships, budgeting for the arts, and the work of community arts partners.

Charter School: Public schools open to all Chicago children. Charters are approved by the Board of Education but operate independently from the Board and each other. Each charter school has a curriculum, schedule, calendar and admissions procedures that may differ from other public schools. There are charter schools operated by community organizations, universities, foundations, and teachers—all are held accountable for high student academic achievement by the Board of Education.

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) Arts Education Plan: A plan approved in fall 2012 that made arts a core subject and recommended, among other initiatives, that elementary schools provide 120 minutes of weekly arts instruction and that high schools offer credits in at least two arts disciplines.

Community Arts Partner: Any one of a broad spectrum of program providers ranging from an individual teaching artist working with a single school, to grassroots and large nonprofits working with up to 150 schools, to major cultural institutions such as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, which works with nearly 200 schools. Community arts partners might also include providers of arts education resources—mostly in-kind donations of materials and supplies, exhibition space, volunteers, and so on.

Common Core State Standards: New standards adopted by 46 states, including Illinois, that outline a higher bar for what students must know in order to succeed in college and careers.

Contract School: Public schools open to all CPS students. These schools are operated by private entities under contract with CPS to provide an additional education option for students. Each contract school has a curriculum, schedule, calendar, and admissions procedures that may differ from other public schools. Contract schools may be operated by community organizations, universities, foundations, and teachers. All contract schools are held accountable for high student achievement by the Board of Education.

Core subject: A body of knowledge that all students are expected to learn and is not an elective subject.

Creative Schools Certification (CSC): Identifies the level of arts instruction provided in each CPS school based on data regarding staffing, minutes of instruction, budget, culture, and partnerships.

Creative Schools Certification Categories:

  • Excelling (Category 1): Schools that meet the goals and priorities outlined in the CPS Arts Education Plan, including staffing and instruction, partnerships, community and culture, and budget and planning.
  • Strong (Category 2): Schools that nearly meet the goals and priorities outlined in the CPS Arts Education Plan, including staffing and instruction, partnerships, community and culture, and budget and planning.
  • Developing (Category 3): Schools that occasionally meet the goals and priorities outlined in the CPS Arts Education Plan, including staffing and instruction, partnerships, community and culture, and budget and planning.
  • Emerging (Category 4): Schools that rarely meet the goals and priorities outlined in the CPS Arts Education Plan, including staffing and instruction, partnerships, community and culture, and budget and planning.
  • Incomplete Data (Category 5): Schools in which data is incomplete to calculate the goals and priorities outlined in the CPS Arts Education Plan, including staffing and instruction, partnerships, community and culture, and budget and planning.

Creative Schools Fund: Provides grants directly to schools and supports their progress along the CSC continuum. The Fund does not accept applications for programs designed to replace credentialed arts instructors in the classroom.

Creative Schools Initiative: A partnership between Ingenuity and CPS to ensure every public school student receives a well-rounded education that includes the arts.

Credentialed Arts Instructor: An educator authorized by the state to teach visual arts, music, dance, or theatre. Currently, the State of Illinois issues certification for arts instructors with qualifications in visual arts and music. Credentialed theatre and dance instructors hold Illinois teaching certifications in a subject or grade level as well as a credential in their respective arts discipline.

Dance: A student’s dance education experience may include, but is not limited to, contemporary, creative movement, world dance, ballet, jazz, tap, modern, break dance, hip hop, ballroom, choreography, dance notation, dance history, musical theatre, improvisation, folk, ethnic, step, historica, and square dance.

District-Run School: A public school managed by the CPS central office. Among other commonalities, these schools share an academic calendar, discipline code, and budgeting procedure.

Field Trip: A classroom visit to a cultural institution, museum, or external community arts partner’s facilities for an arts-related educational experience or performance.

FTE (Full-Time Equivalent): A unit that indicates the workload of an employed person in a way that makes workloads comparable across various contexts. An FTE of 1.0 means that the person is equivalent to a full-time worker, while an FTE of 0.5 signals that the worker is only half-time or works full-time for half a year.

In-School Performance: An external arts organization comes into a school to provide a single-day performance, exhibit, lecture, demonstration, or event to a specific grade, class, or entire student body.

International Baccalaureate: A continuum of high-quality educational programs that encourage international mindedness and a positive attitude toward learning.

Local School Council: The body that has been established to carry out the Illinois legislature’s intent to make the individual, local school the essential unit for educational governance and improvement, and to place the primary responsibility for school governance and improvement in the hands of parents, community residents, school staff members, and principals.

Magnet Cluster Schools: More than 100 specialized neighborhood schools that focus their curricula on one of four subject areas: fine and performing arts, world language, International Baccalaureate, or technology. Fine and performing arts magnet cluster schools integrate the arts into all subject areas.

Music: A student’s music education experience may include, but is not limited to, general music, choir, band, orchestra, jazz ensemble, guitar, percussion ensemble, music theory, Advanced Placement (AP) music theory, technology composition, songwriting, piano lab/music keyboards, International Baccalaureate (IB) music, music history, marching band, drum line, multicultural and historical music, ethnic, opera, musical theatre, Mariachi, marimba, steel drums, and recording studio.

National Core Arts Standards: National standards for arts that are designed to align with Common Core State Standards.

Options Schools: Schools that offer additional supports and services for students who need a new pathway toward high school graduation. Some Options schools offer additional supports, such as child care, counseling, and alternative schedules for students who may work during the traditional school day.

Other Services: External community arts partner services not captured in traditional arts programming categories (e.g., parent and community programs and classes, planning services, and hosting exhibitions and competitions).

Out-of-School Time Program: Any programming in which CPS youth participate outside of the traditional school day.

Professional Development: Training for instructors and/or administrators that enables staff to learn more about developing arts-based lessons and best practices; often customized to serve specific classroom interests and goals.

Quality Initiative: A research initiative launched by Ingenuity in November 2015 to define, assess, and enhance quality arts instruction by arts partners across Chicago and beyond. Using a community-engaged research process, the Quality Initiative surfaced the Chicago arts education community’s core values around quality, and has translated these values into a Quality Framework and Toolkit that will be used to guide, enhance, improve, and deepen the quality of arts education practice.

Residency: An artistic program within a given school in which a teaching artist(s) implements an arts-learning curriculum over the course of several weeks or months, typically in conjunction with CPS classroom instructors.

Resources: An external provider supplies physical resources to supplement a school’s arts education programming (e.g., arts supplies or instruments). Does not include grants or granting agencies as partners.

Rubric: A performance-scoring scale that lists multiple criteria for performance and provides values for performance levels, such as numbers or a range of descriptors from excellent to poor.

Selective Enrollment: Chicago public elementary and high schools that require testing as part of the admissions process.

Sequential (in the context of arts education): Occurring year to year from grades K–12.

Service Leadership Academies: These unique four-year high schools prepare students for college and career success by providing leadership opportunities and co-curricular activities in a nurturing, safe, and healthy environment in which students can realize their full potential. Students at these schools wear uniforms and operate in a structured environment, but these schools are not intended to prepare students for the military.

STEM Program: A program that focuses on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Student-Based Budgeting: The practice of assigning dollars to schools based on a per-student formula. This is a shift from traditional budgeting, which assigns dollars to schools in the form of numbers of instructor positions on the basis of student enrollment. Under student-based budgeting, schools have more flexibility to determine how they spend their money and bear the direct cost of paying for instructors.

Supplemental General State Aid: Illinois state education funds targeted to support low-income students. In Chicago, schools budget these funds at their own discretion.

Theatre: A student’s theatre education experience may include, but is not limited to, acting, theatre, film acting and filmmaking, improvisation, mime, puppetry, performed poetry/spoken word, musical theatre, playwriting, technical theatre/stagecraft, theatre production, Shakespearean literature and performance, and International Baccalaureate (IB) theatre.

Title I Funds: Federal monies given to school districts to provide extra support for low-income children. Federal law requires districts to prioritize the funds for their highest-poverty schools. In Chicago, schools budget these funds at their own discretion.

Visual Arts: A student’s visual arts education experience may include, but is not limited to, drawing, painting, ceramic arts/pottery, sculpture, 2D design, 3D design, photography, printmaking, graphic arts, media arts (film, video, TV, animation, digital), textiles, jewelry, glass arts, Advanced Placement Studio (AP) courses, and International Baccalaureate (IB) visual arts.

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