Partner story

Corona-Norco Unified School District

“KickUp keeps teachers and our team informed of progress and compensation, and saves us a lot of time along the way.”
Kelley Gelzleichter

Director of Educational Services, Corona-Norco Unified School District

Executive Summary

A large Southern California school district needed a professional learning platform that could help its teachers seamlessly attend and receive credit as well as compensation for ongoing development. By adopting KickUp just before the COVID-19 pandemic, the district was able to keep professional learning on track while students and teachers were at home – and has continued to build upon that foundation since returning to campus.

About Corona-Norco

Outside of Los Angeles, the Corona-Norco Unified School District (CNUSD) is the largest in its county and the ninth largest in the state, with 53,000 students across 53 school sites. More than half of students are Hispanic or Latinx and close to 20% of students are English language learners, while about 30% are socioeconomically disadvantaged.

In addition to ongoing professional learning in curriculum and instruction, the district’s 2021-2026 strategic plan emphasizes additional development devoted to educational technology, student mental health, Multi-Tiered Systems of Support, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Each professional learning session focuses on supporting both social emotional learning and academic rigor and relevance.

The Challenges

After several decades in the CNUSD as a teacher, administrator, and director of special services, Kelley Gelzleichter stepped into the role of director of educational services in charge of professional learning in fall 2019. For years, the district had used a labor-intensive system that required a secretary to manually enter teacher attendance after each professional development session.

Recognizing the limitations of this system and the value of having robust professional learning data at their fingertips, district leaders wanted a system that would allow teachers to sign up for sessions directly, gather their feedback on what they learned, and seamlessly track their participation so that the professional learning team could easily track attendance and hours after completion. 

The Solution

The team chose KickUp as its new professional learning platform, and tested it with classified staff in winter 2019.

However, the real test of the new system came in spring 2020: as it did nearly everywhere else across the country, the COVID-19 pandemic forced schools to close and teachers to head home for the remainder of the school year. “With everything we had to do remotely, KickUp was a huge resource for me,” says Gelzleichter. “I was able to work with my team to devise professional learning opportunities, get everything uploaded, clone events to quickly create new ones, and have everyone confirm their own attendance.”

“KickUp allows us to track and maintain our professional learning hours,” explains Gelzleichter. “The old system didn’t allow us to cap the number of hours, but KickUp keeps teachers and our team informed of that progress and compensation, and saves us a lot of time along the way.”

Usage continued to build up over spring 2020 and during the 2020-21 school year, 2,772 participants engaged in 1,070 professional learning sessions all managed through KickUp.

Today, Gelzleichter’s team is well-versed in using KickUp to set up and track professional learning, including over 30 Teachers on Special Assignment who act as trainers or facilitators. “What I’ve noticed from my teachers who are trainers is that they love KickUp because it’s easy for them to get in and see what they need to do,” she says.

For example, during a recent in-service day for the district’s 650 elementary teachers, the facilitator simply needed to share an attendance code with participants in the Zoom chat, and the KickUp system quickly recorded their participation once they logged in and entered that code. Similarly, the district recently paid teachers to attend a free webinar on dyslexia and inclusion, so it held a quick after-hours Zoom in order to take attendance within KickUp and compensate teachers for their time. “From an organizational standpoint, it’s critical that we can run these sessions easily,” says Gelzleichter.

CNUSD teachers agree that the KickUp platform is easy to use. “Teachers – especially those of us who use it frequently – have no problem using KickUp,” says Kim Seheult, a former teacher and principal who is now coordinator of educational services. “We used to just show up and sign into sessions, but KickUp makes it so easy to find and register for sessions.”

Gelzleichter and her team log into KickUp regularly to review data on professional learning events, including attendance and feedback. They also pull data from the platform each year as they review their Local Control Accountability Plan and share information about what professional learning was offered and how it went.

KickUp has allowed the district to streamline its professional learning and make it easier for teachers to attend. “Pre-pandemic, professional learning was offered across many topics and had a mostly singular format. Teachers would sign up for topics of interest, request a substitute teacher for the day, and attend seminars at the district office. Sometimes these sessions would contain follow-up trainings, and sometimes they would stand alone,” notes the district’s 2022-2023 Local Accountability Plan. “The shifts in instructional models and student needs in the early stages of the pandemic required us to rethink our approach to professional learning. We streamlined our offerings to focus on a robust approach to utilizing instructional technology, we created virtual offerings that were both synchronous and asychronous in nature, and we chunked the work so that participants could learn, practice on their own, and return for follow-up learning.”

The Future

Moving forward, CNUSD is continuing to work with KickUp to track and manage its professional learning, with the platform’s value improving with each additional year of data and familiarity. “Because we’re so big, we try to do a lot of things at the same time,” says Seheult. “KickUp - helps us to be systematic with our professional development and with our data regardless of whether we’re in a remote, hybrid, or in-person environment.” 


  • More than 2,180 Corona-Norco employees participated in professional learning in the 2021-2022 and more than 150 professional learning staff used the platform to track and manage information.
  • During that school year, Corona-Norco awarded nearly 30,000 hours of professional learning credit to 2,200 educators across more than 600 events.