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Director of Fiscal Services Academy

2024 Registration is Now Open!

Class Schedule for 2024
(Friday 09:00 AM - 03:00 PM PST, Saturday 08:00 AM - 03:00 PM PST)
  • September 13th & 14th
  • October 11th & 12th
  • November 15th & 16th
  • December (TBA)

Class Schedule for 2025

  • January (TBA)
  • February (TBA)
  • March (TBA)
  • April (TBA)
Now more than ever, there is a great need in the business office for well-trained staff to support teaching and learning.  The validity and accuracy of the district’s financial reports and projections are dependent upon the skill of school business employees managing complex financial systems and data.  To succeed, these school business professionals must be well-trained and understand the theories, methodology, and nuisances of California school finance and accounting.
Comprehensive Curriculum
This program emphasizes specific and pragmatic skills that school fiscal leaders need to know to thrive as school business professionals. The content of this academy is presented in an in-line lecture format, relying upon class discussion, small group projects, and out-of-class assignments/practical applications. There all also some self-passed courses that will be assigned as part of the program.  All participants must take monthly assessments and pass a comprehensive final exam to qualify for the state of California-approved Director of Fiscal Services certificate.
Director of Fiscal Serviced Certificate Program has been created as a comprehensive program designed to produce new or improve the existing skills of experienced or aspiring directors of fiscal service, CBOs and to enhance the knowledge and skill set of other school business personnel. The class consists of a broad base of education and training that occurs both in the classroom setting and by practical application. The academy operates from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM (PST) on Fridays and from 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM (PST) on Saturdays. Following this structured timeframe, participants are then provided with self-paced courses, allowing them the flexibility to take these classes at their convenience. The academy allows for participants to expand their skill sets in a challenging yet encouraging environment. Specialized assignments and class projects are done individually and as part of small teams. Participants who successfully complete the course will be issued a TSS Director of Fiscal Services Certificate.
  1. Attendance and Participation - Participants are expected to attend and contribute to all sessions and must attend all classes in order to receive the TSS Director of Fiscal Services Certificate.   If an emergency arises, one session may be made-up by writing an academic paper on the missed classes’ subject matter pre-approved by the program’s director.
  2. Group Projects – There will be various in-class group projects that students will participate in. During these group projects students may be asked to act in various roles such as facilitator, scribe, group leader, etc.
  3. Presentation – Participants are required to present one 20-minute PowerPoint presentation on a topic related to school business.
  4. Readings - Various readings will be assigned during the academy.   Students will analyze readings and participate in group discussions or writing assignments to apply concepts to real-world situations.
  5. Practicum-Participants will select an appropriate practicum which will be due by the end of the course.  The practicum can be a variety of activities, including a needed District project or a specific interview with an experienced CBO, Director of Fiscal Service, School Accountant, etc.  The practicum topic/project must be agreed to by the coordinator.
  6. Assessments and Final Exam - Monthly assessments will be given to assess progress and students are required to pass a final exam before earning the Director of Fiscal Services Certificate.
  7. Other - Various but limited written or other assignments.
The Director of this program is TSS Executive Vice President Dr. Joseph Pandolfo, who brings over 30 years of education industry experience and moderates all sessions to ensure the continuity of the curriculum.  Presenters for the program are amongst the highest caliber professionals in the state and include current and retired CBOs, ACSA and CASBO members, superintendents, and other administrators.

Course Currilcum

    • Introduction to School Business 00:00:00
    • Group Discussion Write-Up, Defeat of Proposition 15 30 years, 5 months
    • SACS Analysis Report Activity 1 year
    • DFS Month 1 Assessment 1 year
    • Local Control Funding Formula Part 1 00:09:35
    • Local Control Funding Formula Part 2 00:10:26
    • Local Control Funding Formula Part 3 00:08:45
    • Local Control Funding Formula Part 4 00:09:54
    • Local Control Funding Formula Part 5 00:10:31
    • Local Control Funding Formula Part 6 00:11:36
    • Local Control Funding Formula Part 7 00:12:16
    • LCFF Calculator Assignment 1 year
    • Financial Accounting For Directors of Fiscal Service 00:00:00
    • Program Cost Accounting Assignment 1 year
    • Governmental Accounting for School Districts Quiz 00:15:00
    • Financial Management Software 00:00:00
    • Year End Close 00:00:00
    • Balance Sheet Accounts 00:00:00
    • Balance Sheet Exercise 1 year
    • Balance Sheet Quiz 1 year
    • DFS Budget Developing and Monitoring 00:00:00
    • DFS: Making Budgets Work 00:00:00
    • Budget Development and Monitoring Quiz 1 year
    • Internal Auditing and Controls 00:00:00
    • Internal Controls and Internal Auditing Quiz 1 year
    • The External Audit 00:00:00
    • External Audit Quiz 1 year
    • DFS: Pupil Attendance Accounting 00:00:00
    • Attendance Exercise 1 year
    • Attendance Quiz 1 year
    • DFS: Funded ADA Part I 00:00:00
    • Funded ADA Quiz #1 1 year
    • DFS: Funded ADA Part II 00:00:00
    • Funded ADA Quiz #2 1 year
    • DFS: Funded ADA Part III 00:00:00
    • Funded ADA Quiz #3 1 year
    • Disaster Strikes: J13-A to the Rescue 00:00:00
    • TK ADA Workshop Activity 00:00:00
    • J-13 Quiz 1 year
    • DFS: Managing District Technology 00:00:00
    • Special Education 00:00:00
    • DFS Spec Ed Quiz 1 year
    • Working with the Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment + Accountability Department PDF 00:00:00
    • Working with the CIAA Department Quiz 1 year
    • Management of Associated Student Body (ASB) Accounts 00:00:00
    • Associated Student Body Quiz 1 year
    • Management of Student Body Funds 00:00:00
    • Fiscal Relationship with COE 00:00:00
    • Debt Management 00:00:00
    • Debt Quiz 1 year
    • Categorical Management 00:00:00
    • Categorical Quiz 1 year
    • Child Nutrition For the Director of Fiscal Services 00:00:00
    • Nutrition Fiscal Academy Quiz 1 year
    • Business Writing 00:00:00
    • Essentials of Professional Writing 00:00:00
    • Essentials Of Writing Quiz. 1 year
    • Effective Public Speaking 00:00:00
    • Presentation Topic (PowerPoint) 1 year
    • Practicum/Project DFS 1 year
    • Charter School Powerpoint 00:00:00
    • Charter School Quiz 1 year
    • Transportation for DFS 00:00:00
    • Transportation Services DFS 00:00:00
    • Asset Management 00:00:00
    • Facilities For Fiscal Services 00:00:00
    • Developer Fees 00:00:00
    • M+O Quiz 1 year
    • Local Control Funding Formula Part 1 00:09:35
    • Human Resources For Business Leaders Powerpoint 00:00:00
    • HR Presentation Outline 00:00:00
    • Role and Function of the Personnel Office 00:00:00
    • Human Resource Handouts 00:00:00
    • FRISK Template 00:00:00
    • DCN HR Quiz 1 year
    • Overview of Insurance 00:00:00
    • Overview of Insurance and Self Insurance Programs 00:00:00
    • Overview of Insurance Quiz 1 year
    • Risk Management Workshop 00:00:00
    • Risk Management Quiz 1 year
    • DFS Leadership 00:00:00
    • Director of Fiscal Services Final Exam 01:45:00

Course Reviews


13 ratings
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  1. Lori Sutton - Payroll SupervisorDecember 28, 2021 at 6:55 am
    Very informative

    This was a very informative course. As a Payroll Supervisor, this information helps me with my current position as it explains how different processes work that affect my department. I had the opportunity to meet a lot of very intelligent people that had a lot to add to the class. Joe is a great instructor and elaborates on all topics that are being discussed. I think that this course would be great for anybody who wants to work in a School District Business Office.

  2. Director of Fiscal Services Academy Rocks!

    I was apprehensive about taking this class knowing that it would be a significant time commitment at a time when I was already very busy at work. Something most of us are facing right now! Regardless, I decided to move forward with the class because the knowledge I gained would benefit not only me but my district also, by making me a more well-rounded and knowledgeable employee. I’m glad I did!

    The class covered many different subjects that are so important in the business world and would benefit anyone in Fiscal services. One thing that made this virtual class so effective was the class participation. We all needed to keep our cameras on and actively participate in each class. There was a great mix of people from all over the state with various Fiscal positions and we were encouraged to discuss current events in our jobs and how the subject matter could impact us in our daily lives. Learning from others in the class with first-hand experience as well as from the subject matter guest speakers was a great way to see the whole picture on the different subjects.

    Taking this class has been a great experience, the knowledge I gained will make me much more effective in my current job and will benefit me in the future. I encourage anyone who wants to gain a well-rounded knowledge of the Fiscal Services office and the challenges we face to take this course.

    Mary Kitchen

  3. Great investment of your time and money!

    This course exceeded my expectations! I was a bit hesitant to sign up as I originally felt I might not have enough experience to contribute to the class. The class was made up of a mix of students ranging from CBOs, directors, supervisors, various fiscal and payroll staff. In addition to the wide range of positions, there were also people representing districts from all over California and different district sizes from small to large.

    Joe was an excellent instructor/class facilitator. The course was made up of live zoom presentations from Joe and also guest speakers (school business subject matter experts) – the best of the best! This presentation requires active participation – so cameras had to be on. Honestly, this made the class feel more personal and Joe did a great job at keeping us all engaged! This class did require “giving” up 8 Saturdays, but I honestly always looked forward to these classes!

    At the end of the course, I feel like I learned a lot and definitely have a better understanding of the various components of school business. I don’t think there was anyone in the class that didn’t gain from taking this course. We all benefited from the lessons and also from each other’s experiences.

  4. Excellent Course

    I have learned so much during my time at the TSS Director of Fiscal Services School Academy. I truly recommend this academy to anyone aspiring to become a Director of Fiscal Services, or interested in learning more about the ins and outs of Fiscal Services. I look forward to taking another course with TSS in the near future.

  5. Felicia Koha, CPAOctober 17, 2020 at 8:54 am
    Great Professional Development

    I really enjoyed the DFS class. I learned a great deal from my time there. I really enjoyed how collaborative the class was, and how we were able to have group discussions based on our specific situations in our jobs. Being able to tie the content of the class directly to my job allowed me to have a greater understanding of the information being presented.

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