TOLEDO (WTOL) - A local school has little time to show they have a plan for improvement.
The Maritime Academy of Toledo received an "F" in the most recent Ohio School Report Card and now runs the risk of being closed.
That would leave 54 staff members without jobs, and more than 300 students out of a school they love.
“All of these kids don’t go on to college. You know, we’ve got to get them jobs right out of high school to get out of the situations they’re in -- to make their lives better, and we’re doing that with our career tech programs, the military and what we do in life skills to make them better and prepared to work in the City of Toledo. I wish that there was something on your report card that talked about that,” said Tom Shafer, superintendent at The Maritime Academy of Toledo.
Low test scores and what school leaders say are inaccurately reported graduation rates - leaders say the reported rate is far below how many students actually received diplomas - are cause for the failing grade.
The Educational Service Center of Central Ohio is a sponsor of the school and received a letter from the Ohio Department of Education for a School Improvement Plan to be submitted by the Maritime Academy by December 21.
The letter states that the academy has received an F on Performance Index.
But Superintendent Shafer, who is also a naval veteran, tells students, parents and the community that he is going to do everything he can to make sure the school is not shut down.
“Our School Improvement Plan is done, and now we have to prepare for testing and hopefully someone listens to me about the graduation rate. It’s going to take some courage from somebody to say, ‘yeah, this is wrong, and maybe we should take a look at it again.’ So I’m going to find that person, hopefully, if I can, and see what I can do," Shafer said.
The school serves grades five through 12.
School testing is in March and April, and the school is confident that hard work will pay off and scores will go up this year.