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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 CalEdFacts web page. For questions, please contact the Charter School staff by email at, 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 the Application for a CDS Code.

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, schools converting to charter schools will retain their current school's CDS code and will not receive a new CDS code. Regardless of whether a new CDS code is issued, all schools converting to a charter school need to complete and submit an Application for a CDS Code and provide local board meeting minutes showing proof of the approval of the conversion. The completed application, signed by the authorizing district superintendent, provides the CDS office with documentation of the change, and also provides the district with the opportunity to make any additional updates that may occur as a result of the school transitioning to a charter school.

Converting a Charter School to a Non-Charter School

When converting a charter school to a non-charter school, please notify the CDE Charter office ( and the CDS office ( In most cases, conversion schools will retain their current school's CDS code and will not receive a new CDS code.

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.


To obtain a copy of the CDS form and information about the OPUS-CDS application and resources, visit the County-District-School Administration web page, or contact CDS staff via email at

Purpose and Process of Assigning a CDS Code to Charter Schools

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 Charter School Numbers web page for more information.

Questions:   CDS Administration | | 916-327-4014
Last Reviewed: Friday, January 27, 2023