"Academic sweat" is what Baldwin Road Junior High School principal Terrance Hubbard said it will take to lift his school from "effective" to "excellent" on the state report card.

"Academic sweat" is what Baldwin Road Junior High School principal Terrance Hubbard said it will take to lift his school from "effective" to "excellent" on the state report card.

The school was one of three in the Reynoldsburg district that did not earn an "excellent" rating or higher from the Ohio Department of Education for the 2009-10 report card. Baldwin Road Junior High did meet adequate yearly progress and did meet the value-added measure but did not meet three of six state indicators.

Those include seventh grade math, (73.4 percent); eighth grade math (70.9 percent) and eighth grade science (70.9 percent). The state requirement is that 75 percent of students must test at or above the proficient level.

The school district's overall rating on the 2009-10 report card was "effective," down from the "excellent" ranking last year. Superintendent Steve Dackin has said the unit of measure in his opinion should always at the individual school level and he is confident the district will bounce back to an overall excellent rating on the next report card.

"This year has been designated as a year of inspiration and perspiration," Hubbard said. "We're at Baldwin Road this year to bring about academic sweat, to bring out academic rigor that we are looking forward to and that our children well deserve."

According to a plan he presented to the Reynoldsburg Board of Education, Hubbard has four goals this year.

The first is to increase the number of students demonstrating proficiency on the Ohio Achievement Assessment test and reduce disparities based on race, socioeconomic status. Another goal is to close academic achievement gaps by improving performance in eighth-grade science and exceed AYP in math and reading for seventh and eighth grades.

"To reach these goals, we've gone through flexible grouping with small groups of kids working together," Hubbard said.

The third goal is to ensure a safe and secure environment by setting clear expectations for student behavior, consistent enforcement and support for the students' collective and individual responsibility.

Seventh grade principal Kasey Rathburn said to achieve this goal, administrators are working closely with safety and security specialists and teachers to ensure kids' safety, both inside and outside the school.

The fourth and final goal is to work on parent and community outreach by increasing PTO membership, outreach activities and public relations. This will involve frequent communication through a telephone needs assessment survey, weekly newsletters and a regularly updated web page, Rathburn said.

"We're very excited because the incoming group of seventh-graders are some of the strongest we've had so far," she said. "Their test scores show they're high readers and they've achieved their proficiencies in both reading and math at Hannah Ashton, so we're very optimistic teachers, myself and Dr. Hubbard. It's going to be a good year."

Hubbard said this year "is not about daydreams or wishful thinking.

"Rather, it's about rolling up your sleeves and about the idea of optimism, realism and making significant progress."

Dackin said although the junior high was rated "effective," the key component the value-added measure showed students achieved more than a year's growth in reading and mathematics.

"Good things are happening at Baldwin Road Junior High School in the area of teaching and learning," Dackin said. "We want to continue to hit that achievement standard and we're going to work hard to hit that, but there's growth.

"Sometimes the report card gives mixed kind of data, but to me, the growth data is extremely important," he said.