Forget the images of truant officers chasing no-good punk school-skippers out of soda jerks or stories of headline-chasing judges sentencing parents to community service because they can’t get their teens to show up to school. One Ohio high school is going the opposite route and using monetary rewards to lure its students into their seats every morning.
The Dohn Community High School in Cincinnati is rewarding students with solid attendance and a clean discipline record with anywhere from $10-25 in Visa gift cards, along with $5 deposits into savings accounts set up for those who choose not to skip.
“Our student population is 90 percent poverty,” a school administrator tells CBS Cleveland. “Money is important to them. We can’t teach them if they’re not here.”
One teenager loves the idea, telling CBS, “I’m very excited to get the money… It makes me want to come to school on time, not that I don’t. But some students don’t have the money and this will help them. It’s a good idea.”
It’s a last-ditch attempt by the school, which had been designated an “academic emergency” by the state and which only saw around 14% of its students graduate last year.
The program just began this week but the school says attendance is already up 15%.