Site Index | CDE Offices | Staff Directory

The Arts

The Arts Standards reflect the innate creativity and rigorous cognition, required to produce a work of art, all students deserve to experience. The standards challenge the elitist perception sometimes associated with the arts, asking all students to stretch their thinking and participate in the creative process inherent in each arts discipline (Know/Comprehend, Create, Perform/Present, and Refine/Critique). 

Important Announcements 

Arts Education eUpdate - Back-To-School September 2015

Welcome to the 2015-2016 school year! The Back-to-School eUpdate includes many important updates.

Elementary Arts Integrated Units Available NOW! 

The Office of Standards and Instructional Support has released three new Colorado teacher-authored integrated elementary instructional units based on the Colorado Academic Standards.  The units integrate the arts with another content area providing instructional units that maintain the integrity of each discipline.  The units were developed by a collaborative group of elementary classroom and arts educators and community arts partners in response to requests from the field.

In the coming months, educators and arts specialists will be creating additional arts integrated units with the goal of having one integrated sample at each grade level kindergarten through grade 5 with the intention of expanding the work into the middle school grade levels

To watch the PLC Byte Recorded Overview of the Elementary Arts Integrated Units (11 minutes) click here:     

NEW!! 2014- A Comprehensive Survey of Arts Education in Colorado Schools

In May of 2015, the Colorado Creative Industries released the results of the latest state arts education study. A first of its kind study was conducted in 2008 and this updated study was completed in 2014 assessing the current level of arts education in Colorado public schools. With the baseline established in 2008, the 2014 study identified progress, trends, and areas of need. The study measured access to arts education across Colorado and revealed that Colorado public high schools offering arts education have higher scores on state tests in reading, writing and science – regardless of student ethnicity or socioeconomic status.

Educator Effectiveness Unit Releases Practical Ideas Guide for Evaluating Arts Educators

In response to requests by educators and evaluators, CDE initiated the development of a set of guides written by practitioners for practitioners. They are intended to provide informal advice to teachers and their evaluators to help them understand the evaluation process within their specific context. In addition, these guides include specific practices to “look-for” to guide their classroom observations and help ensure that all licensed teachers receive fair, valid and reliable evaluations.

Dance Endorsement Approved by State Board

 The State Board of Education unanimously approved the Dance Endorsement Rules for Colorado. To find out about the process and requirements to obtain this endorsement, visit the Educator Licensing site and/or click on this link to view the endorsement worksheet list. 

Instructional Unit Samples

Colorado teacher-authored instructional units are on our website. Hundreds of teachers from 116 school districts participated in workshops for the creation of Colorado Academic Standards-based curriculum overviews and instructional units. 

Fast Facts: Arts Education

If you are new to Colorado or are just interested in learning about the overarching headlines regarding arts education, this one page reference sheet is a good place to begin! Use the navigation links on the right side to read even more about the exciting world of arts education in Colorado!

Colorado Department of Education's Response to the National Core Arts Standards 

The final version of the National Core Arts Standards (NCCAS) was released on June 4, 2014. 

Arts e-Updates

The e-Updates are intended to be a monthly announcement sent directly to your inbox regarding arts education initiatives and opportunities.

Arts Education in Colorado: Guidebook and Resources

A comprehensive guide for high quality arts education programming to meet the demands of the Colorado Creative Economy is now available. 

Relevant Legislation

Arts Education for Workforce Development Act

This statute encourages all public schools to provide courses in performing and visual arts. Courses may include traditional arts classes, on-line study, internships, externships, mentor experiences, or independent study. Schools are encouraged to use innovative ways to deliver arts education, such as technology, software, and forming partnerships with other school districts, or community colleges. The statute also provides definitions for visual and performing arts in Colorado.


For website assistance in the arts, please contact Karol Gates.

Quick Links


Contact Us

Colorado Dept. of Education
201 East Colfax Ave.
Denver, CO 80203
Phone: 303-866-6600
Fax: 303-830-0793
Contact CDE

CDE Hours
Mon - Fri 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
See also: Licensing Hours

Educator Licensing