Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

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; Revised 27-May-2016) 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, 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 County-District-School (CDS) Code (Form CDS-01) (DOC) 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 (charterdata@cde.ca.gov) and the CDS office (cdsadmin@cde.ca.gov). 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.

Resources

To obtain a copy of the CDS form 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 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 Purpose and Process of the Charter Number Web page for more information.

Questions:   CDS Administration | cdsadmin@cde.ca.gov | 916-327-4014
Last Reviewed: Thursday, June 30, 2016