What's Working: Dohn High School's Pay-for-Learn Program

Dohn Community High School teaches at-risk students. But at the start of the year the program was in danger of failing. Only 60% of students were attending class.

"We have a few students that were on the verge of dropping out, and when we installed the incentive program, they stayed. So I'm happy right now," said Ramon Davenport, the Principal of Dohn Community High School.

His students are happy too. Now kids need only to show up and stay out of trouble and they get 10 bucks a week. Seniors get 25.

Davenport says that his primary goal is to get kids off the streets and in the classroom. Since he started the program only two months ago, attendance has gone up 20%.

"In the past you may have had a student who didn't see school as an opportunity for them. They may try to go out and make money elsewhere and end up getting in trouble, then they see wow, school is important," Davenport said.

But a pay-for-learn program has a cost.

"When they come through and they get their money, I reiterate to them, please say thank you," Davenport said.

But most students are thankful for the change. Dohn now boasts 40 seniors, its biggest senior class in school history. Junior Chris Benjamin is looking forward to his 15 dollar a week raise next year.

"It motivates me to come to school, that way I don't have to pay as much in college tuition," Benjamin said.

In February alone Dohn enrolled 30 new students, and there's no sign of slowing down.

"I'm going to keep this thing going as long as I can," Davenport said.

- Stephanie Woods