Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

FAQs for Completing a Charter Submission Package

Tips for completing a charter number submission package.
  1. On the Application for Charter School Number, what does the ‘Term of the Charter’ refer to?

    This refers to the length of time the charter school is approved. Charters cannot be approved to operate more than five years per one term.

    Recommendations: It is recommended the charter term be in writing from the authorizer, or spelled out in the minutes and/or resolution showing approval of the charter school. It is also recommended to coincide the charter term with California’s fiscal year. For example, a charter school is approved on December 1, 2010 for a five year term, from July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2016.

  2. If the authorizing local educational agency’s (LEA’s) board minutes aren’t available by the due date, what can be sent to show the approval?

    In the interim, pursuant to California Education Code (EC) Section 47605(i) External link opens in new window or tab., the petitioner shall provide written notice of approval of the petition by the governing board of the school district. This could be in the form of a brief letter.

  3. Is the same CDS form used for both start-up and conversion charters?

    No, start-up charter schools are to use the Application for a County-District-School (CDS) Code (form CDS-01). Conversion schools need to contact CDS staff by e-mail at to obtain the appropriate form for converting a traditional school to a charter school or vice versa. Please reference CDS Information for more information on Charter Schools.

  4. What if the school doesn’t have a physical and/or mailing address yet?

    If the physical address is not yet procured, please use the mailing address. If neither a physical address nor mailing address is available, please use the mailing address of the authorizing LEA in the interim.

  5. On the Application for a CDS Code, does the ‘Opening Date’ refer to when the charter was approved?

    No, the opening date in box 6 (CDS-01) refers to the first day the charter school will begin serving students and claim attendance. It is also referred to as the “first date of instruction.” If unknown, please estimate using the following format: mm/dd/yy.

  6. On the Application for a CDS Code, does the ‘Grade Span’ only refer to the first school year?

    The grade span in box 8 (CDS-01) refers to the grades the charter school was approved to serve. For example, a charter school was approved by the authorizing LEA to serve a grade span of K-8. However, the school will begin with grades K-4 in the first year serving students. The grade span would be K-8.

  7. I don’t have a charter school number yet. What shall I put?

    Leave box 18 (CDS-01) blank. The CDS Administrator will fill in the charter number after it is assigned by the State Board of Education.

  8. Who is supposed to sign the Application for CDS Code form?

    The superintendent of the authorizing LEA is the only person who is to sign the form. CDS codes will not be assigned unless the original signed copy is submitted. For further clarification: If the charter was approved by a school district, the authorizing LEA’s (school district’s) superintendent will sign the Application for CDS code. If the charter was approved by a county office of education, the authorizing LEA’s (county office of education’s) superintendent will sign the Application for CDS code.

Questions: Charter Schools Division | | 916-322-6029 
Last Reviewed: Monday, May 8, 2017
Related Content
Recently Posted in Charter Schools
No items posted in the last 60 days.