Wednesday, November 18, 2015

5-Star Students Tech Tip

Submitted by Jose from La Sierra High School in Riverside, CA.

In spirit of easing student involvement at La Sierra High School, I thought of shortening the link for students to access voting polls, surveys, and school web pages. This makes it easier for students to remember the URLs.

I set up the main domain, in this case, to go directly to our 5 Star Students school web pages. For voting, I set up what is called a sub domain, which allows you to choose a word or phrase to go before the domain ( Below I’ve included the instructions for, but I would be happy to assist anyone in need. You can contact me at

GoDaddy Instructions

How to permanently direct a domain to 5-Star Students school web page:
  1. Sign in at
  2. Click ‘Use My Domain’
  3. Click ‘Connect to an Existing Site’
  4. In the box provided for ‘Forward To Any Site’ insert the school web page provided by 5-Star
  5. Click ‘Next’
  6. Make sure all information is correct and click ‘Finish’. Give GoDaddy a couple of minutes to update servers to insure the domain points to the school web page without any issues.
  7. Click ‘Manage Connection’
  8. A pop up will be displayed. Find and click on ‘Edit’.
  9. Under ‘Redirect Type’ click ‘301 (Permanent)’
  10. Click ‘Edit’

How to set up a subdomain:
  1. Sign in at
  2. Click ‘Manage Connection’
  3. A pop up will be displayed. Make sure to be on the ‘Subdomain’ tab.
  4. Click ‘Add Subdomain Forwarding’
  5. Enter Subdomain word or phrase. Phrases should not have spaces.
  6. Enter URL the subdomain will redirect to. Include the correct ‘http://’ or ‘https://’.
  7. Click ‘Add’

Thanks Jose for the great tip and detailed instructions!

Camp 5-Star a big success

On October 26th we hosted our first Camp 5-Star. It was a one-day event held at Murrieta Valley High School in Murrieta, CA. The 120 attendees represented 14 high schools and middle schools from Southern California.

Our keynote speaker was Roger Martin, Senior Vice President and Chief IP Strategist at Qualcomm, Inc. He spoke with the students about the importance of open minded thinking when it comes to new ideas. He regaled the crowd with stories of his involvement with the invention of “airplane mode” and the “camera phone”. Students were left with the advice that to maximize student involvement, they will need to think out of the box and be open to new and different ideas.

In addition to the keynote, we held two breakout sessions. In the first session, 5-Star Students’ co-founder Brian Bourgeois facilitated “5-Star 101”.  He covered everything from the program basics, common questions and pitfalls, and a discussion of future enhancements.  Brian even demonstrated one exciting new concept, utilizing iBeacon technology with 5-Star Students.

In the other session, co-founder Greg Hroch talked about student inclusion.  He introduced several new activities and events that he’s observed during interactions with schools throughout the country.  Another focus was on the need to use out-of-the-box thinking to come up with new ideas and rewards for participation.  Students were encouraged to continuously evaluate student interests to seek out new and unique methods for getting people involved.

At our closing session, students and advisors were encouraged to share their best ideas with the group. Several student leaders stood up and provided the crowd with some unique concepts that work well at their school.

Our closing speaker was Don Skaggs, activities director at Great Oak High School. Don spoke about the critical importance of getting students involved and how he currently uses 5-Star Students as a tool to find those individuals that are not participating.

As a whole, the day was a huge success.  We hope to schedule more Camp 5-Star events in other regions this school year.  We are currently looking into events in both Northern California and the Chicago area. Please let us know if you are interested in hosting a Camp 5-Star event at your school!

Unique Activity Ideas

Gaming Tournaments

  • From Madden to Mario Cart. You have a lot of gamers on campus

Unique Speaker Series

  • Anime, WW2 Vets, Safari Slide Show, many are free

International Soccer Games

  • Imagine 1000 screaming fans in the gym or theater cheering on Arsenal


  • Made popular by the movie, students love throwing things at each other

Fashion Shows

  • Anything from Mr Mascot, Disney Princess, Nightmare before Christmas

Film Festivals

  • Let’s see that blockbuster film from Italy or Greece, or maybe a series of animated shorts

Schools Got Talent

  • Quick lunch time where students get to show off anything from singing to juggling to double dutch to calf roping

Dance Lessons

  • My theory is that there isn’t a human being on the planet that doesn’t wish they were a better dancer

Crazy Decathlon

  • Teams of 10 compete in 10 different events. Anything from running, eating a lemon, jumping rope, and any other crazy thing you can come up with

Cooking Classes

  • Teach the students how to make something delicious

Garbage Art Show

  • Artwork must be made completely out of things that have been thrown out

Car Show

  • Those that love and work on cars really love their cars

Side Walk Chalk Gallery

  • You have some amazing artist out there, let them show off

Cook Offs

  • This is an oldie but goody. From chili to pies


  • Amazing how popular this Pseudo Sport has become at the college level

Mini Plays

  • Who doesn’t want to see a five part play or sitcom acted out over 5 days 10 minutes at a time?

Friday, November 13, 2015

Track the Miles

We are excited to announce a new tool for schools to manage their run/walk program. We collaborated with the amazing 100 Mile Club organization to create a simple, yet powerful system at an affordable cost. If you have schools in your area that struggle to keep track of lap or miles progress for their students, please tell them about Track the Miles!

Student Perspective

Hannah McDowell is senior at Great Oak High School in Temecula, California.

"At Great Oak, involvement is extremely important at our school and we want to take it to the next level by using 5-Star Students.  This program allows us to use a point system to get the students more motivated to be highly involved. This year, we will scan at a larger variety of events to get students to various activities and not just the well-known sports such as football, basketball, etc. At Great Oak, we are going to utilize the program to it’s fullest potential and strive to become a Diamond School."

Thanks Hannah and good luck in your senior year!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Diamond School

We want to recognize schools utilizing the 5-Star Students program to increase involvement on their campuses. By striving to meet the Diamond School criteria, a school will become more organized and aware of student participation throughout the year. Becoming a 5-Star Students Diamond School is an accomplishment that deserves recognition and will take your school to next the level of spirit and involvement in activities! To find out more about Diamond School criteria and the qualification process, read this overview.