Incentive Program Has a Bumpy Start

By Chloe Kreis, Current Staff

For a program called 5-Star, students at the West Bend High Schools would rate it much lower.

East teachers Katie Hintz and Greg Mielke, members of the WBHS Compass team, helped introduce the 5-Star program to students at the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year. The program rewards students for various activities such as grades, attendance and participation at school events. Unfortunately, the app hasn’t been well received by students.

Glitches have been common since the app’s introduction, including students not being able to check in during the Nov. 19 resource period.

West junior Noah Doedens, a user of the 5-Star app, likes the idea but has found the app difficult to use.

“I think it is poorly set up due to the difficulty required to check in at an event,” Doedens said. “It has been unclear as to how we claim points for attending sporting events. I think the 5-Star program has not been well-received because students are frustrated that they are attending these sporting events and musical productions, but are not being rewarded. I think the administration means good, but it’s just a hodge-podge program that is difficult for students to navigate and then reap the rewards they deserve.”

“We have to find out a way to get people to want to sign in.”
– Greg Mielke, East English teacher

Doedens also has ideas on how the app could be improved.

“I think they could improve 5-Star by making more of an effort to make students aware of how to check in at different school events as well as possibly expanding the events to cross country races or other events currently not included the 5-Star program,” Doedens said.

Both Hintz and Mielke say usage among students has been low. They understand why students have resisted the app so far.

“We would love to do more positive, immediate rewards, but right now we’re only able to give things that are donated to us or things that don’t cost anything,” Hintz said. “I’ve also heard a lot of comments that kids don’t want to take up their space on their phone for that app.”

Mielke thinks a lack of advertising has played a role.

“We have to find out a way to get people to want to sign in, we just have to get the advertisement out there that this is an option,” Mielke said.

Currently, the 5-Star program doesn’t have any new prizes or advertising around the WBHS campus.

(Top image: East senior Justin Scherzer uses his cell phone to display the 5-Star mobile app Tuesday. Photo by Samantha Dietel, Editor in Chief.)

The 5-Star app menu. Screenshot by Chloe Kreis, Current Staff.

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