DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — Due to the pandemic in 2020, we saw Alabama schools taking different avenues concerning on-campus and virtual learning.

Now a year late, the Houston County School district is seeing a huge learning gap in the form of standardized test scores.

“We had a lot of students that when they went home, we were very limited with the instruction we could provide for those students,” Houston County Schools District Assessment and Accountability Supervisor, Cas Haddock said. “So there were a lot of gaps. There was a lot of lost instructional times. They were used to having a face-to-face teacher, where in my opinion, that were your students learn they’re best.”

This year was the first time Houston County Schools used a new test made by Alabama educators. This assessment is more compatible with the content taught within their schools.

Haddock says this can also contribute to lower standardized test scores. The scores showed a low deficiency in some areas, but a high proficiency in others, and they aren’t the only school seeing these results.

“Other school systems that I’ve spoke with are experiencing the same situation,” Haddock said. “Lower math scores as well as higher English language art scores.”

In response to the low test scores, Houston County Schools has received a $154,000 grant that will provide them with 55 professional development days that they hope will help bridge the gap.

“So hopefully in turn preparing those teachers for a little bit, giving them the support they need that will return with better or improved test scores in the Spring,” Haddock said.