2018-19 Back to School Guide

-REGISTRATION-

Registration is required of all students. If you have not yet made it into the office to register for the 2018-19 school year, you will have to do so no later than Wednesday, August 8th.

Returning students may stop in on Wednesday, August 8th between the hours of 9:00 AM and 3:00 PM to complete registration. You should come prepared with two items of proof of residency (i.e. utility bills, drivers license, vehicle registration.) If you are unable to come in during those times, contact Mr. Baxter at (773) 534-9710 ext. 12195 or dbaxter@chiarts.org to schedule an appointment.

Freshmen students and transfers who have not completed the registration process must contact Ms. Marsh at (773) 534-9718 or lmarsh@chiarts.org to schedule an appointment.

Seniors must have their new vaccination records in no later than September! 

-FRESHMEN SUMMER INSTITUTE- 

New students will be attending our three-day Summer Institute from Wednesday, August 8th to Friday, August 10th. This is the perfect time for incoming scholar-artists to become familiar with their teachers, academic classes, and the ChiArts conservatory schedule. Activities include ChiArts themed ice-breakers, meet and greets with faculty, and attending conservatory classes to get ready for the fun-filled year.

Students are welcome to enter the building through Door 7 along Augusta Boulevard starting at 8:45 AM. Once each student has checked in, they will meet their advisor who will show them to their rooms and help each student understand their schedule. It is during this morning shift of 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM that students will be receiving their school planners, locker assignments, locks, and student email logins.

The students will be shown to the lunchroom at noon and provided school lunches. Students are welcome to pack a lunch if they would prefer.

From 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM students will head to conservatory — dancers should bring dance clothes/uniforms with them to school on these days. All students are encouraged to bring water bottles from home to remain hydrated throughout the school day as well! Students will be dismissed at 4:00.

-UNDERSTANDING THE BLOCK SCHEDULE-

New students and families who may be unfamiliar with a block schedule may want to review how our school days work.

An ordinary school day begins at 8:00 AM and consists of a student attending 3 academic courses and Study Hall or Advisory before going to lunch. After lunch, students attend conservatory classes until being dismissed for the day at 5:00 PM. Each school week consists of Odd Days and Even Days: on Odd Days, students will attend Class 1, 3, and 5; on Even Days, students will attend Class 2, 4, and 6.

In addition to their academic courses each morning, students will attend Study Hall or Advisory. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, students attend Study Hall; on Tuesdays and Thursdays, they would instead report to their Advisory. A visualization of a typical block schedule is included below.

 

-FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL, AUGUST 13-

Now that you understand the block schedule, toss it aside for a moment — the first day of school will be running on a slightly different schedule! Because returning students will still need to receive their schedules, everyone will first report to their Advisory. The entire schedule for the first day of school will run as follows:

8:00 AM – 9:10 AM: Advisory
9:15 AM – 10:25 AM: Block 1
10:30 AM – 11:40 AM: Block 3
11:45 AM – 12:55 PM: Block 5
1:00 PM – 1:55 PM: Lunch
2:00 PM – 5:00 PM: Conservatory

Lunches will continue to be provided for each student, and shuttles will be running for students who have signed up to take them. Ventra cards will be available for students in the main office for five dollars for any student interested in taking public transit; once activated, the cards are charged a discounted student fare.

-PURCHASING SCHOOL SUPPLIES- 

We’re encouraging families to hold off on purchasing all of their supplies until the second day of school so that they have a complete syllabus from each class. Each teacher will be providing a syllabus with the materials they’d like students to have on the first day of class, so keep your eyes peeled for these!

-ASK QUESTIONS-

If you have questions in the coming weeks, ask! Our school staff is here to help!

Principal Michael Wang
(773) 534-9710 ext. 12222
mwang@chiarts.org

Assistant Principal Abbey Cullen
(773) 534-9710 ext. 12198
acullen@chiarts.org

Main Office Staff
(773) 534-9710 and press 0
dbaxter@chiarts.orgacollier@chiarts.org

ChiArts Announces Abbey Cullen in New Assistant Principal Role

We are proud to announce expansion of our academic leadership team! Abbey Cullen, current Dean of Operations, will be leading academic responsibilities, curriculum development, and supporting Principal Michael Wang in a newly formed Assistant Principal role. In 2012, Ms. Cullen joined the ChiArts community as a World History teacher where she she fell in love with the mission of the school; diversifying the arts in Chicago while broadening the horizons of scholar-artists. In 2016, Ms. Cullen transferred to the ChiArts administration team as the Dean of Operations, where she’s played an active role in ensuring that the day-to-day needs of the ChiArts community are met. Throughout the past six years, ChiArts has grown because of Ms. Cullen’s leadership, passion, and commitment to accessibility in academic and arts education.

Ms. Cullen has developed a creative and flexible approach to finding solutions given ChiArts’ unique focus on educating the scholar-artist while also operating as a successful nonprofit. Now as the Assistant Principal, Ms. Cullen is thrilled to expand her work at ChiArts into curriculum development and working to advance the school’s vision. 

Prior to starting at ChiArts in 2012, Ms. Cullen was the World History teacher at Gordon Tech HS (now DePaul College Prep) while continuing post grad research at Loyola University. She later earned her Secondary Education Teaching License, and a Masters of Education, with a Principal License from DePaul University.

Tracy Letts Visits ChiArts

On February 27th, the ChiArts’ Creative Writing and Theatre conservatories spent the afternoon with acclaimed playwright, screenwriter, Steppenwolf ensemble member, and actor, Tracy Letts. With a Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award under his belt, Mr. Letts is also having a stand-out year on screen with roles in two 2018 Academy Award Best Picture nominees, Lady Bird and The Post. As Mr. Letts walked into the ChiArts Black Box Theatre, scholar-artists filled every seat, floor space, with little to no standing room available. Theatre Major and 2018 August Wilson Monologue winner, Nia Sarfo, welcomed Mr. Letts and conducted a memorable interview covering topics such as mastering nerves to the value of finding confidence as an artist. When asked for advice he’d give to young actors and writers, Mr. Letts reinforced the importance of creating your own opportunities; “Do it yourself. You shouldn’t ever feel like someone should give you permission to work.”

When you first meet Mr. Letts, his authenticity and curiosity captivates. Throughout the question and answer portion, scholar-artists seemed to appreciate his honest and humorous advice. In response to questions on winning the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Mr. Letts said “I think it changed people’s perception of me. I feel like people think I’m smarter than I am. But, I hope you all win one! It’s fun to have.” On a more serious note, Letts connected success with tenacity and patience. “Stick to it. Just keep doing it. Outlast them. It took me a long time to value what it means to be an artist in this city. To call yourself an artist is a very valuable thing.” After taking the time to personally interact with scholar-artists after the interview, Mr. Letts met with ChiArts’ improv troupe and joined in games that included conga lines, Shakespeare lines, and lots of laughter. After the improv games and to begin Mr. Lett’s tour of ChiArts, Nia Sarfo performed her winning monologue from the August Wilson Monologue Competition finals.

After the featured interview, Mr. Letts had an opportunity to engage with Theatre and Creative Writing classes. The tour ended with a visit to the Visual Arts Sophomore Show in ChiArts Gallery. With Creative Writer, Damayanti Wallace, and Nia Sarfo leading the tour, along with Executive & Artistic Director, José Ochoa, and ChiArts Board Members Jim and Kay Mabie, ChiArts was grateful for Mr. Letts’ time and support of arts education. When asked by scholar-artists on why he was interested in visiting ChiArts, Mr. Letts responded with “I look around at your faces and I see the future. That’s why I’m here.” 

ChiArts would like to sincerely thank the private donor who provided this incredible learning opportunity for our scholar-artists and faculty.

 

 

ChiArts Presents Les Misérables

We’re incredibly proud to present our largest production yet, Les Misérables. With over 50 cast and crew members, join us for this unforgettable story of redemption, duty, and love.

Production Run- January 18, 19, and 20 at 7:00 PM
Final matinee on Sunday, January 21 at 3:00 PM

Click here for tickets!

Have you seen the ChiArts Les Mis flash mob? Check out our amazing cast! 

Share Les Misérables with your friends and family on Facebook- #JoinOurRevolution #WeAreChiArts

We’re hosting a food drive-
The cast of Les Mis invites audience members to bring a non-perishable food item to drop in the lobby with NHS volunteers before they see the show! This is not required but highly encouraged. The themes of the show, which center around the working class, have inspired this food drive donation.

Two Scholar-Artists Announced As 2018 YoungArts Winners

On November 29, The National YoungArts Foundation recognized Freedom Martin (Theatre ‘19) and Pierson Talbott (Visual Arts ‘17) as 2018 YoungArts Winners. This in an incredible accomplishment as Freedom and Pierson were selected from one of “the most competitive pool of applications to date” and are among the 171 young artists in the nation that were named Finalists, the organization’s highest honor. They are following the footsteps of YoungArts alumni such as Viola Davis, Josh Groban, Tarell A. McCraney, Doug Aitken, and Kerry Washington.

The National YoungArts Foundation provides winners with a lifetime of educational, financial, and professional development opportunities. From mentorship programs with well renowned artists, to showcasing work at institutions such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, we’re thrilled for Freedom and Pierson to grow with this amazing network of artists. As Finalists, both scholar-artists have the opportunity to attend the 37th annual National YoungArts Week in Miami from January 7-14. We look forward to following their artistic journeys and cheering them on every step of the way! For more information regarding the National YoungArts Foundation, click here.

Vocal Department Collaborates With Ballet Chicago

The Vocal Department had a wonderfully busy November with ILMEA District 1 auditions, the Winter Large Ensemble concert, Winter Opera and Jazz Showcase, and a first-time collaboration with the Ballet Chicago Studio Company! On November 3, 4, and 16, Ballet Chicago presented DanceVision 2017, Choral Colors. Nine ChiArts Vocal Majors performed a wide variety of music for shows at Ballet Chicago’s Dowd Studio and the Chicago Cultural Center. 

This program was hosted by Artistic Director Daniel Duell and featured original choreography from rising Chicago artists curated by ChiArts Dance Instructor and Ballet Chicago’s Resident Choreographer, Ted Seymour. Led by Vocal Chair Natalie Chami, selections included classical, gospel, and jazz music, with scholar-artists performing in solos, duets, trios, and even quartets. We are so proud of the Vocal Majors and faculty members who participated in this innovative collaboration and we look forward to more “Live Dance with Live Music” performances with Ballet Chicago. Click here to watch an in-studio performance on Ballet Chicago’s Facebook!

*Featured Image from Ballet Chicago 

ChiArts Ranks as Level 1+ School

Each year, Chicago Public Schools releases a report presenting the rankings for every school based off of the School Quality Rating Policy (SQRP). For the third year in a row, ChiArts is listed in the top category with a Level 1+ rating! This rating system is based off of many “indicators of success,” including student academic growth, school culture and climate, and preparation for post-graduation success. As Principal Wang stated, “Thank you to our faculty, staff, and students for their efforts in helping us achieve this elite status.”

Creative Writing Presents “ChiArts Writes Volume 3”

The first ChiArts showcase of the year was presented by the Creative Writing Conservatory! On September 15, scholar-artists from all grade levels performed works published in “ChiArts Writes Volume 3” in the Black Box Theatre. The night began with a celebratory reception provided by the parents of ChiArts and led into a sold-out reading featuring over 30 Creative Writing majors.

This annual publication includes all different types of literary genres and themes, from short stories to personal essays, and works ranging from surreal comedy to mental illness. Huge congratulations to Tina Boyer Brown, Kenyatta Rogers, Chris Lin, and the scholar-artists featured in “ChiArts Writes Volume 3” for producing a stellar and diverse book of work. If you would like to preorder a copy, email Department Assistant, Kenyatta Rogers.

 

Applying with GoCPS: A Guide for Incoming Families

Future ChiArts scholar-artists and families, 

Congrats on starting the 2017-2018 school year! Here at ChiArts, we’re getting excited to meet you at our upcoming admissions events, such as Backstage Pass, Family Visit Nights, Shadow Days, and more.

If you’re a parent of an incoming CPS freshman, from October 10 to December 15, 2017, you will have the opportunity to apply to ChiArts using Chicago Public School’s new application platform at GoCPS. That’s just around the corner, so now is the time to start getting ready to make these important decisions! Here is a guide provided by Chicago Public Schools to help begin your application process. 

Activating Your Account

In order to apply using GoCPS, you will need to activate your account. This will allow you to:

  • Create a username and password
  • Create your primary parent/guardian profile
  • Create profiles for each high school applicant in your family
  • Link student data records for current CPS students to the profile
  • View the programs to which your student(s) are eligible to apply
  • Verify that student records are accurate
  • “Favorite” top programs you are considering for applications in October

To begin the account activation process, click here

CPS Students During 2017-18 School Year

In order to activate your account, you will need to use the Activation Code from a letter sent home with your student at the end of the school year. If you have misplaced or did not receive this code, please contact the Office of Access and Enrollment at 773-553-2060 from a telephone number listed on your student’s CPS student information file to have it reissued. The OAE call center is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Activation Codes will also be included with the Eligibility Letters that will be distributed to students at school in September 2017.

Application Advice

No matter who is activating the account, be sure to enter the name and address of the parent/guardian with whom the student resides. The address for this parent/guardian will be the address that is used for determining tiers, proximity boundaries, and attendance and overlay boundaries.

Web Browsers

GoCPS is optimized for view on Chrome and Safari web browsers. We recommend using one of these to access the site.

Need Help with GoCPS?

If you have any questions about the activation process, contact the Office of Access and Enrollment at 773-553-2060 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, or gocps@cps.edu.

Theatre Faculty and Scholar-Artists In Merit’s Into the Woods JR.

On August 19 and 20, the Merit School of Music was buzzing with Sondheim sounds! Seven of our scholar-artists and three ChiArts faculty members were a part of Merit’s wonderfully magical production of Into the Woods, JR. Directed by Theatre Conservatory’s A.J. Wester, alongside ChiArts’ Music and Theatre Conservatory’s Julian Chin as the Music Director and Cat Wilson on Lighting Design, the cast of 22 young artists brought the audience through the hilariously intertwined adventures of fairy tales.

Merit School of Music provides students from all over Chicago the opportunity to achieve their personal and musical potential by removing barriers to high-quality music education. Congrats to the following ChiArts faculty and scholar-artists on a successful run!

A.J. Wester, Stage Director

Julian Chin, Music Director

Cat Wilson, Lighting Design

Jordan Davis as Cinderella’s Mother

Miranda Dianovsky as Jack’s Mother

Michael Poulosophos as Wolf

Daniela Reyes as the Baker’s Wife

Aliah Robinson as Lucinda

Niani Soto as Cinderella’s Stepmother

Joanna Starr Poulos as Little Red Riding Hood

Photos courtesy of Merit School of Music.

Merit’s production of Into the Woods JR. was partially funded by Caerus Foundation, Inc., a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, and Shure Incorporated.

INTO THE WOODS JR was presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials were supplied by MTI.