Leadership Intensive

Program Dates

June 26-30, 2023


Hotel Winters; Winters, CA

Important Dates

Registration closed June 9. Please contact CSDC for availability.


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.

Why Attend?

Here's why California charter school leaders have joined the Leadership Intensive every summer for nearly 20 years:

Receive training from CSDC's experts and guest practitioners.

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.

Build networks with leaders from across the state.

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.

Prepare for succession and ensure continuity.

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.

Leadership Intensive News

Who Attends?

Leaders with education experience, but new to California charter schools.
This program 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 learn about a “placeholder” 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 35 miles away from Sacramento International Airport. Confirmed registrants will have access to CSDC's discounted room block at the Hotel Winters. 

Hotel Winters
12 Abbey Street
Winters, CA 95694

What Participants Say

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.

James May

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.

Nikki Lloyd

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!

Cristina Cullen

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!

Meghan Freeman

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.

Anne Matthews

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.

Jonathan Molnar

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!

Kennedy Hilario

Executive Director, Francophone Charter School of Oakland, Oakland, CA


CSDC Members

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

What's Included?

  • Over 30 hours of instructor-led trainings, including presentations by CSDC’s expert staff
  • Curriculum developed and refined by CSDC, including access to slide decks, resources, and handouts
  • Real-world scenarios and case studies from California charter schools
  • Relationship-building and networking activities with dozens of California charter school leaders
  • Evening reception and social activity
  • Lunch and light refreshments during breaks
  • Access to CSDC's discounted room block at the Hotel Winters (featuring complementary guest room wifi, free parking, no amenity fees, and great walkability to nearby restaurants for dinner)
  • Option of receiving 1-2 continuing education units (CEUs)


Registration for the 2023 Leadership closed on June 9, 2023. Please contact events@chartercenter.org to determine current availability.