Highlights and Video from the 2023 CSDC Conference

CSDC extends a huge “Thanks!” to the attendees, presenters, exhibitors, and sponsors who made the 2023 CSDC Conference a huge success!

Hosted by the Charter Schools Development Center (CSDC) – the statewide organization that has defined high-quality training for thirty years – CSDC’s conference is California charter school leaders’ one-stop shop for in-depth content, relationship building, and resources.

Building upon the momentum of last year’s conference in Sacramento, CSDC welcomed a record crowd in Anaheim this year.

Here are some highlights from this year’s not-to-be-missed event for California’s charter leaders.

Day 1 Arrival

On Wednesday, November 8, charter school leaders from across California began arriving onsite at the Anaheim Convention Center for the 3-day event.

The conference draws a high-proportion of executive directors, CFOs, COOs, board members, and principals, including many who previously attended one of CSDC’s numerous leadership trainings or who are annual CSDC Members, receiving CSDC’s consistent, ongoing support.

Summits & Workshops

After checking in, attendees made their way upstairs, where they joined one of 10 ticketed, long-form hands-on presentations.

Available at no additional cost with advance reservations, these extended sessions–which included five full-day Summits and five half-day Workshops–enabled attendees to delve deeply into critical aspects of charter school leadership and management.

CSDC’s team of charter school experts offered several full-day Summits, including a deep-dive on the LCAP, California School Dashboard, and charter renewal (led by CSDC’s Susanne Coie), as well as an in-depth training for charter school governing board members.


After the conclusion of Wednesday’s Summits and Workshops, the first of five blocks of breakout sessions, Breakouts 1, began in the afternoon.

CSDC received a record number of presentation proposals this year, enabling the programming team to put together the strongest schedule yet, with 11 strands of high-quality, curated content focusing on charter hot topics.

Featured strands included human resources, leadership, and equity, as well as legal, policy, advocacy, and school operations, and more!

CSDC extends its gratitude to all conference presenters and hopes these sessions left all participants feeling energized, validated, and inspired!

Interested in presenting next year? Be sure to join our email list and follow us on LinkedIn to receive the latest updates as they become available in Spring 2024.

Day 2 Opening Plenary

With California’s charter school leadership now gathered under one roof, the morning plenary was underway!

CSDC’s Governance and Policy Specialist, Caitlin O’Halloran Hellar, emceed the session, providing introductory remarks and welcoming California charter school leaders to Anaheim.

When not at the conference, you can catch Caitlin through CSDC’s Online Governance Academy or read the many helpful resources she’s published, including this extensive list of notifications charter schools are required to send to parents/guardians annually.

In Memoriam: Dr. Rex Fortune

During the plenary, CSDC paid tribute to a legendary figure whom we lost earlier this year, Dr. Rex Fortune.

Dr. Rex Fortune was a superintendent, an author, and a visionary. His aim was to improve educational outcomes for historically underserved students and, by any measure, his pioneering work over many decades was a resounding success.

Leadership Update Presentation, Part I

CSDC Founder and Executive Director, Eric Premack, then took to the stage to present the first part of his annual Leadership Update Presentation.

This critical, multi-part presentation provides an essential, comprehensive lens into the fiscal, legislative, and regulatory topics impacting California charter school leaders and their organizations.

Learn more about what the Leadership Update Presentation is, why it matters–and why hundreds of California charter schools count on it every year.

Exhibit Hall Opens

After the morning plenary concluded, the doors to the Exhibit Hall swung open, revealing over 100 booths staffed by the friendly teams of leading charter school support and vendor organizations.

The CSDC Conference is consistently praised by attendees and exhibitors alike for the meaningful interactions it provides. Check out this video to see why California charter school leaders turn to the CSDC Conference to find high-quality vendors.

And a special shout out to this year’s sponsors who helped make this event possible!

Interested in exhibitor or sponsoring at next year’s conference? Be sure to join our email list and follow us on LinkedIn to receive the latest updates as they become available in Spring 2024.

Learning Labs

Just after lunch, attendees jumped into Learning Labs located inside of the Exhibit Hall.

Learning Labs are quick, informative sessions, and are frequently taught by sector experts, including CSDC guest instructor and advisor, Joyce Montgomery, who will next present at CSDC’s 2024 CBO Training Program—registration is now open!

Day 2 Concludes

Thursday’s programming concluded with two more blocks of breakouts, Breakouts 3 and Breakouts 4.

As the sun set on the Anaheim Convention Center, attendees made their way to an evening cocktail reception and booth crawl in the Exhibit Hall.

Day 3 Begins

The third and final day began with a full breakfast in the Exhibit Hall and Breakouts 5, the final block of breakouts at this year’s conference.

Attendees then made their way into the ballroom for the concluding plenary session.

Veterans Day Tribute: AAE United States Space for JROTC

With the final day of the conference coinciding with the observance of Veterans Day, CSDC paid homage to the California charter school leaders who are also U.S. military veterans.

The tribute also featured the presentation of colors by the Lewis Center’s Academy for Academic Excellence’s Space For Junior ROTC program–an innovative, one-of-a-kind program reaching for the stars!

Leadership Update Presentation Concludes

Eric Premack returned to the stage to conclude his 2023 Leadership Update Presentation, imparting attendees with key take-away’s (and lots to discuss!) as they headed back to their schools.

Read Eric’s responses to the top 5 unanswered questions: CSDC used an interactive app to surface questions from the audience during Eric’s presentation. Eric was able to answer several questions during the presentation, however, attendees submitted more great questions than there was time allotted to answer. Read Eric’s responses here.

Things move quickly in Sacramento! Be sure to catch Eric early next year as he and his colleagues at CSDC offer extensive updates on state budget developments. To get a sense of how deeply CSDC tracks and researches these developments, check out last year’s webinar on the governor’s budget proposals.

More from #23CSDC

For more highlights, checkout #23CSDC, where conference attendees shared their most memorable moments from the event in Anaheim.

And Save the Date!

Join us next year for the 2024 CSDC Conference at the SAFE Credit Union Convention Center in downtown Sacramento!

Registration will open Spring 2024.

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