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OPUS-CDS Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to common questions related to County-District-School (CDS) administration and using the Online Public Update for Schools (OPUS) - CDS Web application to submit changes.

OPUS-CDS and Coordinator

  1. What is OPUS-CDS?

    The Online Public Update for Schools (OPUS) – County-District-School (CDS) application is a Web-based application that allows local educational agencies (LEAs) to view and/or change CDS information. This Web application replaces the process of LEAs submitting updates on paper forms. OPUS-CDS is also used to maintain LEA CDS coordinator information, as well as LEA IT coordinator information.

  2. Where can I get more information on OPUS-CDS?

    For more information about OPUS-CDS, go to the OPUS-CDS Application and Resources [] Web page.

  3. Who appoints the CDS Coordinator, and what are the coordinator's responsibilities?

    The CDS Coordinator is appointed by the Superintendent or his/her designee. The coordinator is responsible for ensuring that the LEA's office and school CDS information are accurate. The coordinator updates CDS data by submitting change requests through the OPUS-CDS Application [].

  4. How can I obtain my LEA's OPUS-CDS user name and password?

    The LEA’s user name and password are e-mailed to the CDS Coordinator and Superintendent each August. This information will only be given out to authorized County/District-level personnel.  Please contact the CDS Administrator for assistance at 916-327-4014 or e-mail

  5. Is it possible to change my LEA’s password or user name?

    No. Currently the CDS Administrator is not changing or providing additional user names or passwords to LEAs unless there has been a security breach and people not authorized to update the data have obtained the user name and password. In this case, please contact the CDS Administrator for assistance.

  6. May I share my password?

    Yes, you may share your password, with the understanding that you are granting "update" access to your COE or district and school-level data, for which you remain responsible.

  7. How can an LEA change the CDS Coordinator and contact information?

    Go to the OPUS-CDS Application [] Web page. Enter the user name and password and then select the “CDS Coordinator Update” option from the Main Menu. Click on the "Update" button to amend the contact, phone and address information as necessary. Click on the “Submit” button to save your changes.

CDS and New Schools

  1. Why do we need a CDS code?

    The County-District-School (CDS) code system is an administrative convenience designed to provide the California Department of Education (CDE), the Department of Finance, and post-secondary institutions with a method to track schools. The CDS code uniquely identifies a school, enables automated systems to make payments efficiently, and allows data to be accurately reported to the state.

  2. How do we get a CDS code?

    To request a CDS code for a new school, complete an Application for a County-District-School (CDS) Code (form CDS-01) (DOC; Revised 01-Sep-2015) and submit the application along with board minutes showing approval of the formation and establishment of the school and other documents that verify the operation of the school: For example, documents might include a proposed budget, acquisition/designation of facilities, and staff appointments. Please review the CDE’s Definition of a School [] to ensure that the proposed new school meets the requirements for receiving a CDS code.

  3. When do I need to submit my application for a CDS code?

    A new CDS code for a traditional school (non-charter) may be requested no more than nine months prior to a school's opening date; for a charter school, no more than twelve months prior to a school's opening date.

  4. We want to open an Educational Options School (e.g., Alternative School of Choice, Continuation School, Community Day, Independent Study, or Opportunity School). How do we get a CDS code?

    You may contact the Educational Options Office to discuss the requirements for opening an educational options school. For contact information and additional resources, please visit the Educational Options [] Web page. If the school meets the requirements, complete an Application for a County-District-School (CDS) Code (form CDS-01) (DOC; Revised 01-Sep-2015) and submit it along with the required information to the CDS office. Approval from the Educational Options Office is required before a new CDS code will be issued.

  5. How do we make changes to a new school that has not opened yet?

    If the district has submitted an Application for a County-District-School (CDS) Code (form CDS-01) (DOC; Revised 01-Sep-2015) and the CDE has already assigned a CDS code, the school information will be available for modification via the OPUS-CDS Application []. If a CDS code has not yet been assigned, e-mail your changes to with a note that the change is for a new school application previously sent.

  6. How do we change our school status from pending to open?

    The CDS Coordinator uses the OPUS-CDS Application [] to request the school status be changed from pending to active and, if necessary, modify the Open Date. The pending status can be changed no sooner than two weeks prior to the school’s open date, which should correspond to the first day of classroom instruction.

Data Review and Updates

  1. Who should review the district and school information on OPUS-CDS and how often is it reviewed?

    We ask that all CDS Coordinators log on to the OPUS-CDS Application [] to review and confirm accuracy of the County/District listings and associated schools in August of each year, and to review their data again in February to address any mid-year changes. CDS Coordinators, however, are encouraged to update their info as soon as they know of a change, at any time throughout the year.

    During the August review, if all of the County/District and school information is accurate and there are no change requests to submit, the CDS Coordinator will be asked to select the “Confirm No Changes Are Required” button.

  2. How do we add or remove a district superintendent, school principal, or other contact information?

    Log on to the OPUS-CDS Application [] Web page. Select the district or school record you want to update. To add a contact, select the “New” button and enter the required information.  To remove a contact, select the contact and check the “Replace” button. To edit an existing contact, select the contact and check the “Edit” button and change the information (e.g., e-mail address, title, phone, etc.).  After the update(s) are made, click on the “Submit Change Request” button to send the changes to the CDE. The change request will have a “Pending” status until it is reviewed and approved by CDE staff.

    Please note: The CDS Administrator requires that each LEA list an active or interim superintendent for the County/District and at least one active principal for each school. CDS also requires e-mail addresses for both superintendents and principals.

  3. How do I update County Office of Education (COE), district, or school information?

    Log on to the OPUS-CDS Application [] Web page. Select the district or school record you want to update. The left screen displays the site related fields. The grayed-out fields cannot be edited. Change the appropriate fields, and then select the “Submit Change Request” button. To add or change contact information, see the answer to number 15. The change request will have a “Pending” status until it is reviewed and approved by CDE staff.

  4. How do we change the type of school or grade span of a school?

    The CDS Coordinator uses the OPUS-CDS Application [] to request a grade span change. Include the reason for the grade span change in the “Note/Comment” field. CDS will closely evaluate the grade span request change, as it may necessitate a change in the school type (Elem, Middle, High) or a new CDS code. For more information on school types, see item number four on the School Code Assignment [] Web page.

  5. How do we notify the CDE of a school closure?

    The CDS Coordinator uses the OPUS-CDS Application [] to request a school closure. Enter the last day of instruction in the “Date Closed” field and include the reason for the closure in the “Note/Comment” field. Some school closures require approval from program office staff. In such cases, the CDS Administrator will not close a school until the change request is officially approved. In addition, closures can only be approved on or after the closure date.

  6. How do we change the name of our school?

    The CDS Coordinator uses the OPUS-CDS Application [] to request a school name change. Some school name changes require an additional approval by CDE program office staff. If an additional approval is required, the CDS Administrator will change the school name when that approval has been granted. All other name change requests will be reviewed and approved by the CDS Administrator.

  7. How do we change the name of our district?

    To change the name of a school district or COE, the LEA must comply with specific requirements of Education Code Section 35001 (i.e., signed petition, public notice, and governing board resolution). After these requirements are met, the CDS Coordinator uses the OPUS-CDS Application [] to request a district or County Office of Education (COE) name change and leaves a note of the requested change in the “Note/Comment” field.

  8. Why don’t the changes I just submitted show up in the California School Directory?

    Your change request will be in pending status until the CDS Administrator opens the request. While under review, the status will change to "in progress" and the school record will be locked to prevent additional changes. Once your update has been approved, your changes will be reflected in the California School Directory. Please do not send the same update using the paper CDS change request form or by sending an email to the CDS Administrator as this may result in processing problems and delays.

  9. How do charter schools (locally funded and independent) update their CDS information?

    Charter schools must contact their authorizing LEA's CDS Coordinator to submit updates through the OPUS-CDS Application []. Charter school personnel should periodically review their school's data through the online California School Directory [] Web page, which includes their CDS Coordinator contact information.

  10. Can the CDE help LEAs with difficult or time sensitive changes to CDS?

    The CDS Administration staff can assist LEA’s with urgent CDS change requests received by phone or e-mail. Please call 916-327-4014 or e-mail and specify in the subject line "Urgent CDS Change Request."

Questions:   CDS Administration | | 916-327-4014
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, October 20, 2015
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