June 26-30, 2023
Registration for the 2023 program will open in Spring 2023.
A weeklong summer training empowering new leaders with the knowledge, networks, and confidence to run impactful charter schools.
Held each summer for over 20 years, CSDC’s Leadership Intensive has provided participants with the knowledge, networks, and confidence that successful charter school leaders need to navigate the year and responsibilities ahead.
Initially founded as a “boot camp” for leaders of newly operational charter schools, the Leadership Intensive has evolved alongside the California charter school movement. LI continues to support new school leaders and now also offers exciting opportunities for veteran school leaders to refresh their knowledge and mentor the next generation of California charter leadership.
During the weeklong program, CSDC staff and expert guest presenters provide trainings on a wide range of essential charter topics, ranging from accountability, renewal preparation, legal issues, special education, collective bargaining considerations, personnel strategies, authorizer relationships, governance, finance, facilities fundamentals, 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:
LI participants receive dozens of hours of instruction from charter school experts on 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 practitioners to ground training material in day-to-day practice.
LI participants engage 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.
Retiring? Hiring? Promoting? LI is the place to get trained up before opening your school’s doors open in the fall. It is especially valued for ensuring continuity during leadership changes. And numerous veteran charter school leaders have trusted it to ensure their legacies before their well-deserved retirements.
The Leadership Intensive instructional is currently developing the 2023 slate of sessions, with a major emphasis on those topics most urgent and relevant to school leaders as they look ahead to the 2023-24 school year. Below are sample sessions from previous Leadership Intensive programs:
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.
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.
Charter school authorizers (school districts and county offices of education) are responsible for approving a school’s charter and then monitoring the school until the charter expires. Authorizers are also the entities that may renew a school’s charter. Participants will learn and discuss questions, examine their existing relationships with their school’s authorizer, learn how to have and maintain useful contacts with an authorizer, and gain clarity on the expectations for facilities, operations and monitoring clear between their school and authorizer.
Preparing for charter renewal can be stressful. CSDC charter school experts provide an integrated way to understand the rules and prepare for this important process. In this session, participants will work with veteran leaders to discuss renewal tracks, verifiable data, verified data sources, Dashboard indicators, Dashboard Alternative Status Schools (DASS), and more. Participants will also learn how AB 1505 impacted the charter renewal process and understand on what grounds an authorizer may deny a charter renewal.
Leaders with education experience–but new to California charter schools.
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.
Charter schools that have hired or promoted.
If your school has recently hired or promoted, ensure your new leadership is well-trained to confidently begin their roles in the fall. Still in the hiring process? Contact CSDC to tell us more about the role and learn with a “placeholder” is an option for your school.
Experienced charter leaders opening a new chapter.
Experienced charter school leaders often attend alongside their junior colleagues, especially when pivoting to new roles where “refresher” training is required, or even when thoughtfully preparing for an upcoming retirement. .
CSDC is proud to host the 2023 Leadership Intensive at the Hotel Winters, located at the eastern gateway to Napa Valley wine country and about 25 miles away from Sacramento International Airport
12 Abbey Street
Winters, CA 95694
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
The application for the 2023 Leadership Intensive will open in Spring 2023. In the meanwhile, please join CSDC's mailing list to receive the latest updates on this and other CSDC trainings and events.JOIN MAILING LIST