Schools & DistrictsInformation regarding county-district-school (CDS) administration. Includes tools to request CDS updates, information about district reorganizations, and resources for looking up and finding data on educational agencies.
County-District-School (CDS) Codes
The California Department of Education (CDE) is required to report Directory information annually to the U.S. Department of Education (ED) through the EDFacts Submission System (ESS). To meet this federal requirement, the CDE uses the County-District-School (CDS) code system. Additionally, the administration of CDS codes provides the CDE, as well as other state agencies and postsecondary institutions, with a basis for tracking schools and districts in California.
The 14-digit CDS code is the official, unique identification of a school within California. The first two digits identify the county, the next five digits identify the school district, and the last seven digits identify the school.
CDS codes are not assigned to programs. Evidence that the entity is a school rather than a program is provided by the governing board action approving formation of the school and board action establishing the school. Governing boards can act only by a majority vote at a public meeting (Education Code sections 1011, 1013, 1040, 35163, 35164; Government Code section 54950 and following [the Brown Act]).
CDS Guidelines and General Information
- OPUS-CDS Frequently Asked Questions
This web page contains answers to common questions related to the CDS administration and using the Online Public Update for Schools (OPUS)-CDS Web application to submit changes.
- Definition of a School
This web page cites the CDE's definition of a school for data management purposes.
- Guidance for Issuing School Codes
This web page lists the guidance used by CDE staff to determine if and when a school code shall be issued to a new or changing public school.
- CDS Information for Charter Schools
This web page contains information regarding making changes to, or starting new, charter schools.
- CDS Codes for Statewide Benefit Charter (SBC) Schools
This web page contains guidelines regarding obtaining CDS codes for Statewide Benefit Charter schools.
- Closing a School Best Practices Guide
This web page contains guidelines regarding making the decision to close a school.
- School Type Crosswalk
Crosswalk of the code set currently used to identify school type and the code sets that would replace the current school type identifier and yield in a more detailed method for identifying school type.
School and District Updates
Updates to school and district information may be requested by authorized local educational agency (LEA) personnel using the OPUS-CDS application, or the CDS forms posted below. Changes initiated by the public must be routed through the LEA CDS coordinator.
Online Public Update for Schools (OPUS - CDS)
The Online Public Update for Schools - County-District-School (OPUS-CDS) Web application is used by authorized LEA CDS coordinators to submit changes regarding a school or district including contact information, agency name, school type, grade span, status. etc.
- OPUS-CDS Web Application
This Web application is used by authorized LEA CDS coordinators to notify the CDE of updates to the California School Directory. A user name and password are required to access this application.
- OPUS-CDS Application and Resources
This web page provides access the OPUS-CDS Web application, as well as useful information for using this application.
for a County-District-School (CDS) Code (form CDS-01) (DOC; Revised 16-Nov-2017)
This form is used when opening a new school or district. Instructions on how to complete the form can be downloaded in the following link below:
- Completed forms should be sent to:
Education Data Management Division
California Department of Education
1430 N Street, Suite 6308
Sacramento, CA 95814
- Change Request for a County-District-School (CDS) Code
This form may be obtained by contacting CDS Administration. Please read below for further information.
This form is used to make changes (regarding a school) that cannot be made using the OPUS-CDS application*. Requests made using this form must be submitted by authorized district personnel.
*PLEASE NOTE: Changes related to things such as a school name, personnel name, e-mail address, etc., should be made using the OPUS-CDS Web application, and not via submitting a Change Request for a County-District-School (CDS) Code form.
For a list of school information that can and should be changed through the OPUS-CDS Web application, please refer to the Instructions for Submitting CDS Changes. FOR ALL OTHER CHANGES: Please request a Change Request for a County-District-School (CDS) Code form by contacting the CDS Administration via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 916-327-4014.
This web page contains a list of district reorganizations, name changes, and new or retired districts.
Resources for Obtaining Information About Schools and Districts
- California School Directory
The California School Directory is an online resource for obtaining contact and general information about California schools and districts.
- Public Schools and Districts Data Files
Contains downloadable files that include general information about California public schools and districts.
- Nationwide Search for Public Schools
This is an online database within the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) for locating public schools nationwide.
- Nationwide Search for Private Schools
This is an online database within the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) for locating private schools nationwide.
DataQuest is an online database for obtaining data regarding California schools and districts.