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CDS Information for Charter Schools

Information regarding applying for a County-District-School (CDS) code for a new charter school, converting an existing school to a charter school, or making changes to CDS information for charter schools.

General information for defining a charter school and information on how to start a charter school is located on the Charter School General Information Web page. For questions, please contact the Charter School staff by e-mail at charters@cde.ca.gov, or by phone at 916-322-6029.

Applying for a CDS Code for New Charter Schools

The following steps should be completed when applying for a County-District-School (CDS) code for a new charter school.

  1. Complete the process for applying for a charter number. Refer to the Charter Submission Package and Numbering Deadlines Web page for more details.
  2. Complete an Application for a County-District-School (CDS) Code (Form CDS-01) (DOC).
    1. Ensure that all fields on the application are completed, as they are all required fields.
    2. Ensure that the actual physical address of the school is completed on the application, as this is a required field. Please do not submit an application until an instructional site has been determined. “To be determined” is not an acceptable response in this field.
    3. Ensure that the application has been signed by the authorizing agency’s superintendent. The CDS Administration does not accept applications signed by the charter school director or charter management organization. An original, “wet” signature is required to be sent through postal mail:
      E-mailed, faxed, or copied applications will not be processed.
  3. Submit the completed Application for a County-District-School (CDS) code to the CDS office (see address below).
    1. Ensure that all necessary supporting documents, such as board minutes, are included with your submission.
  4. Submit the Charter School Reporting Status Change Form (DOC) to the CDS office with your CDS application, or you may fax this form to 916-327-0195.

Completed CDS applications are to be sent to:

CDS Administration
Educational Data Management Division
California Department of Education
1430 N Street, Suite 6308
Sacramento, CA 95814

Converting a Non-Charter School to a Charter School

When converting a non-charter school to a charter school, please review the list of criteria for assigning school codes to determine if a new CDS code will be issued. In most cases, conversion charter schools will retain their current school’s CDS code and will not need to apply for a new CDS code. Please contact CDS staff if you are unsure if you need to apply for a new CDS code, or to obtain a form for converting to a charter school.

The following steps should be completed when converting an existing non-charter school to a charter school.

  1. Complete the process for applying for a charter number. Refer to the Charter Submission Package and Numbering Deadlines Web page for more details.
  2. Contact CDS staff via e-mail at cdsadmin@cde.ca.gov to obtain the appropriate form for charter school conversions.
  3. Complete the CDS form provided by CDS staff for charter school conversions.
    1. Ensure that the School Information (boxes 1–3) and the Charter School information is complete. You may also fill in other fields on the form only if changes are being made to existing school information.
    2. Ensure that the form has been signed by the authorizing agency’s superintendent. The CDS Administration does not accept forms signed by the charter school director or the charter management organization. An original, “wet” signature is required to be sent through postal mail:
      E-mailed, faxed, or copied forms will not be processed.
  4. Submit the completed form to the CDS office (see address below).
    1. Ensure that all necessary supporting documents, such as board minutes, are included with your submission.
  5. Submit the Charter School Reporting Status Change Form (DOC) to the CDS office with your CDS form, or you may fax this form to 916-327-0195.

Completed CDS forms are to be sent to:

CDS Administration
Educational Data Management Division
California Department of Education
1430 N Street, Suite 6308
Sacramento, CA 95814

Converting a Charter School to a Non-Charter School

The following steps should be completed when a charter school is converting to a non-charter school.

  1. Contact CDS staff via e-mail at cdsadmin@cde.ca.gov to obtain the appropriate form for charter school conversions.
  2. Complete the CDS form provided by CDS staff for your school conversion.
    1. Ensure that the School Information (boxes 1–3) is completed. Please indicate your current charter number and a note that you are converting to a non-charter school. You may also fill in other fields on the form only if changes are being made to existing school information.
    2. Ensure that the form has been signed by the authorizing agency’s superintendent. The CDS Administration does not accept forms signed by the charter school director or charter management organization. An original, “wet” signature is required to be sent through postal mail:
      E-mailed, faxed, or copied forms will not be processed.
  3. Submit the completed Change Request for a County-District-School (CDS) code to the CDS office with a copy to the Charter School office (see addresses below).
    1. Ensure that all necessary supporting documents, such as board minutes, are included with your submission.

Completed CDS forms are to be sent to each of these offices (the original form goes to the CDS Administration, and a copy of the form goes to the Charter Schools Division):

CDS Administration
Educational Data Management Division
California Department of Education
1430 N Street, Suite 6308
Sacramento, CA 95814

Charter Schools Division
California Department of Education
1430 N Street, Suite 5401
Sacramento, CA 95814

Changing Charter Information in the California School Directory

Charter schools must work with their authorizing agency in order to correct information contained in the California School Directory, such as the school name, address, phone numbers, administrator/principal, and grade span, as well as to close a school. The District CDS Coordinator for your authorizing agency will submit a change request on the charter school’s behalf using the Online Public Update for Schools (OPUS)-CDS Web application.

Resources

To obtain copies of CDS forms and information about the OPUS-CDS application and resources, visit the Schools & Districts Web page, or contact CDS staff via e-mail at cdsadmin@cde.ca.gov.

Purpose and Process of the CDS Number

In order for charter schools to apply for and obtain certain types of funding, the CDS code is mandatory. The CDS office cannot assign a CDS code until after the State Board of Education has assigned a charter number. A charter school may be operational and serving students without a CDS code. A CDS code may be assigned to a charter school up to one year from the school’s first date of instruction. Please visit the Purpose and Process of the Charter Number Web page for more information.

Questions:   CDS Administration | cdsadmin@cde.ca.gov | 916-327-4014
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