What Principals Are Saying

It is my pleasure to write a letter of reference for the Five Star Program.

Five Star has been an integral part of Discovery Middle School for over six years. The program has not only made a great impact on our students academically and emotionally, but also plays a vital role in our positive school climate.

It has been my observation that the Five Star staff has a wonderful rapport with Discovery Middle School students. They are highly engaged people who reach out to middle aged children on Thursday’s after school. They show passion, enthusiasm, energy, and purpose in their presentations and activities with our students. Their ability to connect with students, and talent in planning creative and interactive age appropriate activities has proven to be effective. They accomplish these tasks with great initiative, joy, and a deep sense of purpose, keeping up with the latest student cultural changes.

Five Star is excellent for all of our students, but especially our population of students who may struggle socially, emotionally, and academically. I’ve observed students on the fringe who attend Five Star that have borderline behavioral and academic issues turn school around for the better. They address topics such as bullying, leadership, character development, accountability, and relationships to name a few. They also have staff members that help tutor students who are at risk of failing one or more classes. This has certainly made a positive difference and impact on our students and school culture.

If you have any questions in regards to the Five Star program and its positive impact on Discovery Middle School, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Troy Kauffman
Assistant Principal
Discovery Middle School

To Whom It May Concern:

In his book All Kids Are Our Kids Peter Benson, president of the Search Institute in Minneapolis, “targets all who seek to bring about positive change for the sake of children and adolescents in our society. He prompts action in anyone who knows, sees, lives next to, works with or passes by children and adolescents.” His work with the Search Institute has shown that in order for children to succeed in life they need long-term relationships with many positive adult role models, caring schools, opportunities to serve, and a community of people and places that value youth.

At West Side Middle School we have provided our students with one more opportunity to help build the developmental assets that they need to be successful adults and community members. 5-STAR is an after school program that strives to connect students with positive adult role models who inspire students to achieve their goals. After several years of having the 5-STAR program in our building, we are convinced that 5-STAR is a program that we can’t live without and West Side Middle School. Students who participate in the program have shown a positive change in attitude, a desire to do better academically and a sense of respect for those around them. The success with out most at-risk students has been phenomenal!

There is strong research that shows the importance of kids being involved in activities beyond the school day. Athletic programs and music programs provide this opportunity for some of our students. 5 STAR has offered this same opportunity to a great number of kids who were not involved in after school activities. We know that it has made a significant difference for our students and you know that it is important to them when in the hallway the kids are saying to me, “I can’t wait for 5 STAR tonight!” I am so grateful that I can offer this opportunity for our students and will continue to find any way that I can support this program for my students.

I would be more than happy to answer any questions that you have concerning the program. Please feel free to call me and arrange a time to come and see the program in action. It is always the highlight of my week!

Kristie Stutsman
West Side Middle School

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