Parent Support Organization

Families Creating a Stronger ChiArts

About the PSO

The Parent Support Organization (PSO) is a community of parents and guardians who work together to support the academic, artistic, social, and financial goals of ChiArts. The PSO seeks to strengthen the school by building ties among ChiArts faculty and staff, families, administration, and students, as well as by establishing a forum for increased communication.

In the spirit of inclusion, ALL parents and guardians of existing ChiArts students are automatic members of the PSO. Though participation is not mandatory, family members are encouraged to be an active part of PSO efforts.

The ChiArts Parent Support Organization (PSO) supports ChiArts by:

  • Hosting and supporting school functions for the purpose of promoting fellowship among families, students, and teachers;
  • Volunteering for a variety of school activities;
  • Planning and managing the execution of ChiArts’ Silent Auction;
  • Promoting brick sales through the Buy-a-Brick campaign; and
  • Serving as advocates for The Chicago High School for the Arts throughout the community.

PSO Meetings

PSO meetings are open to parents/guardians of currently enrolled students, parents/guardians of alumni students, community members, and staff. All meetings will take place from 6:30-8:30pm near or at ChiArts or at a south-side location. Locations will be announced closer to each meeting date.

The 2018-2019 PSO meeting calendar is as follows:

Tuesday, October 2, 2018 (Location TBD)
Thursday, January 17, 2019 (Location TBD)
Wednesday, March 20, 2019 (Location TBD)
Thursday, May 23, 2019 PSO BBQ (ChiArts Courtyard)

Minutes from 2017-2018 meetings may be found below:

October 4, 2017
January 10, 2018
March 20, 2018
May 9, 2018

PSO Socials

September 13th @ 5-6PM: Join the Parent Support Organization (PSO) for a casual meet-and-greet in the ChiArts Courtyard before a presentation by ChiArts administration, followed by classroom visits until 8pm. All are welcome! To register, please click here.

September 27th @ 5:30-7:30pm: Join ChiArts parents, Board of Directors, staff, faculty, and community members at our annual “Buy-a-Brick” party in the ChiArts Courtyard! This is a social to which all are welcome. Benches and bricks purchased during the 2017-2018 school-year will be unveiled, proceeds from which will directly fund the ChiArts Library.

October 14 @ 1-4PM: Join the Parent Support Organization (PSO) for a Back-to-School Party at Leona’s in Stony Island (9156 S Stony Island Ave, Chicago, IL 60617)! Freshman families are welcome for a freshman family mixer from 1-2pm, followed by a party for all families from 2-4pm. The party is sponsored by the ChiArts PSO and attendance is free. Hope you can join us!

Future PSO socials will be updated on this page throughout the year. All parent and guardians are invited!

Staying In Touch

All parents and guardians will receive a newsletter from the main office highlighting school-wide activities which include PSO updates. These updates will include meeting reminders, details regarding ChiArti Gras, volunteer requests, etc. Please be on the look-out for this important communication.

PSO Efforts

In February 2016, the PSO organized ChiArts’ first-ever Silent Auction, “ChiArti Gras.” The event welcomed over 100 guests and significantly increased the PSO’s fundraising efforts. All PSO members are encouraged to join the Silent Auction committee by attending meetings scheduled to begin in the Fall of 2018. Please click to learn more about the Silent Auction.

In addition to ChiArts’ Silent Auction, the PSO raises necessary funds for ChiArts’ arts conservatories through the “Buy-a-Brick” campaign. Purchased bricks are installed every fall and are a great tribute to students, arts partners, or teachers. Please click to learn more about this campaign or to buy a brick.

Welcome, New Families!

“As a new family, entering the “high school” phase in your student’s life can be overwhelming. New environment, new teachers, new formats – how does it all work? As the New Family Connection Chair, I am here to let you know that it is OK. Your zillions of questions and concerns are valid. You are not alone in maneuvering through this. We are here to assist you and to help make this a welcome experience. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions you may have.” – Julie Kee, New Family Connection Chair

Julie may be reached at

The 2018-2019 PSO Executive Committee

Michele Doyle (Caelan, Music, ’21)
Vice President and Volunteer Coordinator
Sarah Joiner (Andrin Johnson, Dance, Class of 2022)
Social Chair
Cynthia Echendu (Sophia, Visual Arts ’19)
Communications Chair
Lori Simi (Christopher, Theatre, ’22)
Janette Cortés-Duewel (Adela, VA, ’19)
New Family Connection Chair
Julie Kee (Kiden, Dance ’19)
Parent Representatives to the Board of Directors
Stephanie Cox-Batson (Noa, Dance, ’19)
Peter Doyle (Caelan, Music, ’21)

For any questions or comments regarding the ChiArts’ PSO, please contact Marlena Dzis, Manager, Annual Fund and Special Events, at or 773-534-0308.