July 18-22, 2022
Rancho Murietta, CA
The application deadline for the 2022 program has passed. Please see "Apply" section below for options.
The Leadership Intensive provides participants with the knowledge, skills, and professional networks that successful charter leaders need to navigate the year and responsibilities ahead. Drawing on CSDC’s knowledge of 30 years of charter operations, with a wholistic approach, this program is built and adapted through the collaborative contributions of veteran charter leaders from throughout the movement.
CSDC staff and expert guest presenters provide trainings on a wide range of essential charter topics, ranging from accountability, renewal, legal issues, special education, collective bargaining, personnel, authorizer relationships, governance, finance, facilities, and more.
This training program often serves as a summer leadership retreat for charter school leaders, administrative teams, and board members, allowing groups to reflect on their unique issues and opportunities, and apply the knowledge gained in the program immediately to their schools in the fall.
Here's why California charter school leaders have joined the Leadership Intensive every summer for nearly 20 years:
Leadership Intensive participants receive dozens of hours of instructor-led content in the most critical aspects of charter school leadership and management. Many sessions are taught directly by CSDC's expert staff including CSDC's Executive Director and Founder, Eric Premack. CSDC also invites experienced guest practictioners to ground training material in day-to-day practice.
Leadership Intensive participants will participate in numerous structured networking activities, including team assignments, collaborative tasks, and evening receptions. These networking opportunities promote relationships that often last well beyond the 5-day training, creating powerful connections for problem solving and statewide advocacy.
Leadership Intensive participants generally come to the event wealth of relevant of experience in the education sector—but the level of charter-specific experience can vary widely. We recognize this as a great advantage of the Intensive and divide the cohort into tracks as result: New Lead
Participants attending this 5-day summer training program will be exposed to a wide range of charter topics. The sample of sessions below highlights the breadth and depth that the Leadership Intensive has to offer participants.
Participants will review “high stakes” state and federal accountability systems. The session includes some hands-on activities with ways to use multiple data sources to identify and address achievement challenges with a manageable action plan. Participants will also discuss charter renewal strategies and identify key steps to ensure preparation at all stages of school operations.
What is leadership? How do school directors improve and grow as leaders? Using leadership assessment tools and personal reflection, participants will answer these questions, identifying their own strengths and weaknesses, as well as learn how they can improve their own leadership. Participants will be divided into groups to examine case studies and scenarios and discuss how they would go about resolving the difficult situations that school leaders often face.
These presentations describe how charter schools “fit” into both federal and state education laws. They also alert participants to the numerous legal land mines that have ensnared some charter schools and provide participants with practical guidelines for determining how to identify and prevent legal challenges, when to seek consultation, and when to call a lawyer.
After a brief overview of a typical charter school governing board’s origins and evolution, this presentation quickly moves into the finer points of successful charter school governance, including the major roles the governing board is expected to fulfill in its oversight capacity (e.g., delineating roles and responsibilities of school board members and staff, monitoring school fiscal performance, ensuring compliance with applicable laws and regulations, implementing and developing key documents, policies, and procedures, etc.).
Whether participants serve traditional, full-time independent study programs or work for schools looking to open an independent study “sidecar” (or blended instructional program), this presentation will provide participants with the fundamentals and major areas of compliance for independent study and nonclassroom-based programs.
LI offers a condensed set of presentations that highlight key points from CSDC’s comprehensive 60+ hour Charter Business Officer Training program, the Charter School Financial Leadership session helps participants assess their personal grasp of the complex financial management landscape and how to develop a financial leadership strategy that maximizes limited financial resources to support quality instruction. The session reviews key funding programs, budget development and oversight strategies, cash flow management, and how to establish and manage cost-effective back-office business functions.
Given the myriad challenges charter schools face in identifying satisfactory facilities, charters often find it difficult to find school sites that reflect their overall missions and instructional goals. This presentation will address these challenges, enabling participants to reach their schools’ facilities objectives. Topics include facilities funding programs, Prop 39, and more.
Administrators new to the California charter school context
This event provides leaders coming from out-of-state, private, and traditional public schools (or from other professional backgrounds) with the customized training they need to successfully transition to their roles as California public charter school leaders.
Teachers recently promoted to leadership roles
LI ensures that newly-promoted instructional staff have the proper training in school operations (e.g., human resources, legal, finance, etc.) to succeed in their new roles.
Staff of newly granted charter schools:
LI provides attendees from newly granted charter schools with the latest practical information on a variety of critical topics, as well as the opportunity to identify and address knowledge gaps—all before their schools go fully operational in the fall.
As a new charter leader, I feel much better prepared after attending the CSDC Leadership Intensive and knowing the organization is there to support our success.
Executive Director, BEST Academy Charter School, Julian, CA
I attended LI in 2012 just after being hired to lead a charter school and again in 2021 as I enter my 10th year as a charter school leader. Both LI experiences were extremely educational, informative, and strengthened by a support network that continues to benefit my work and my school.
Director, Novato Charter School, Novato, CA
I am not brand-new to the charter world, but as a new charter school leader, there is a big learning curve! After attending CSDC's LI, I was able to acquire a knowledge base that propelled me to the next level! I feel more prepared and confident to lead my school forward in our mission than ever before! Thank you CSDC!
Director of Operations, Santa Barbara Charter School, Santa Barbara, CA
CSDC leads that way in charter leadership training. Their expert team ensures that California charter school leaders are equipped with the necessary information needed to run high-quality schools! The Intensive was a fantastic learning experience and I would recommend it to any charter leader new or veteran!
CEO, Elite Academic Academy, Temecula, CA
What I like about CSDC is that their staff is authentic. There is no pretending and no glossing over difficult topics. Trainings are relevant, up to date, and address the real issues that are important and vital, and sometimes messy, for charter leaders to know. They address issues in the real world AND listen to their members to better serve them.
Assistant Principal, The O'Farrell Charter School, San Diego, CA
I came into the world of charter school leadership with many years of school leadership experience but no experience in charter schools. I wish that I had participated in the Leadership Intensive with CSDC the first year I worked at my charter school. I am leaving this week with a much deeper understanding of both the mechanics of charter leadership and the importance of the charter movement both historically and as we move forward.
Director, Bitney Prep High School, Grass Valley, CA
Leadership Intensive helped sharpen my understanding of compliance, financial, legal, and advocacy issues that impact me on a daily basis. I believe I am a better, more informed charter leader thanks to the knowledge and training I received at the Intensive. Thank you CSDC!
Executive Director, Francophone Charter School of Oakland, Oakland, CA
Organizations with an active CSDC Membership
per participant for the 5-day training
Organizations without an active CSDC
per participant for the 5-day training
Program fees include daily lunch, light breakfast, coffee/tea, and snacks. Fees also cover one group dinner event and a movie night. Participants are responsible for lodging (using CSDC group rate) and remaining dinners.
CSDC members receive a significant discount, but membership is not required of applicants. Most Leadership Intensive program participants become CSDC Members to take advantage of the ongoing operational support CSDC provides to members including detailed analyses of the latest high-stakes fiscal, political, legal, and regulatory developments and access to member-only webinars and resources.Learn more about Membership
The application deadline for the 2022 Leadership Intensive was on May 6, 2022. CSDC is currently accepting applicants to the program waitlist. Please contact CSDC for additional information.Contact CSDC