AACA has two complementary programs of arts education- our PK-8 arts classes and our arts integrated academic courses. Our arts-integrated academic philosophy emphasizes teaching the whole child, while our trajectory of PK-8 arts classes offers students the opportunity to explore and build skills in several artistic subjects throughout their elementary and middle school experiences.

    Arts Integration is a way of teaching our preschool-eighth grade academic subjects through the arts. While each project varies, a collaboration between the arts team and classroom teachers is essential to ensuring that arts integrated projects meet objectives in both academic and artistic subjects.  Elements of arts integration may include field trips to Chicago’s cultural institutions, in-school performances by arts organizations, and integrated units taught in collaboration with artists-in-residence.

    Our PK-8 curriculum includes visual arts, drama, and music as core subjects, while middle school students can also explore band, media arts, and choir. This year we’ve shifted our arts classes to ensure greater continuity for our younger students, opportunities for better scaffolding the PK-8 trajectory through the arts, and more exposure for middle school students to all arts informed by their interests. All arts classes are graded using a custom rubric based on the National Core Arts Standards and the Studio Habits of Mind framework developed by Harvard Project Zero.