FAIRBORN, Ohio (WDTN) – Scores on a college admissions test hit their lowest point in more than 30 years. School districts in the Miami Valley are adjusting their curriculum to improve student performance.

Since the pandemic, Fairborn City Schools Director of Curriculum Dr. Sue Brackenhoff said the district is focusing on the needs of the whole child through social-emotional learning.

“We know that healthy mind, healthy body makes students ready to learn,” Brackenhoff said.

School districts in the Miami Valley, just like districts across the country, are noticing their students falling behind in some areas, impacting their readiness for what comes after high school.

“We have noticed that there are some gaps in student learning,” Beavercreek City Schools Assistant Superintendent Dr. Bobbie Fiori told 2 NEWS. “There are more students who need intervention and remediation of targeted skills.”

Nationally, the class of 2022’s average composite ACT score is 19.8 out of 36. This is the first time below 20 since 1991, according to ACT officials.

Ohio’s average composite ACT score is slightly lower, with an average of 19.4.

ACT officials said in a news release this is the fifth year of declines, and it’s shows a decline in preparedness for college-level coursework.

“These declines are not simply a byproduct of the pandemic. They are further evidence of longtime systemic failures that were exacerbated by the pandemic,” ACT CEO Janet Godwin said in the news release.

“They’ve had, you know, a long time with disrupted learning and in and out of school,” Brackenhoff said.

School districts in the Miami Valley are now trying to address that learning loss.

Fiori said Beavercreek City Schools provide students with ACT workshops, prep courses and include preparation in their coursework.

They’re also trying to address the learning gaps of the entire student body.

“Teacher teams are collaborating to analyze data to determine targeted areas of need and modify instruction accordingly,” Fiori said. “The data also determines which students need intervention and additional support to close the achievement gap.”

Fairborn City Schools received a grant to boost science and math skills and promote Advanced Placement (AP) courses. The district is also developing a partnership with Sinclair College to provide an associate’s degree opportunity to students.

“We can’t move fast enough to, you know, to support high school students,” Brakenhoff said. “They certainly need to be ready at graduation with the skills and tools that they need to be successful adults.”

Brakenhoff said while test scores are lower than they were pre-pandemic, Fairborn’s test scores have improved this spring over the spring of 2021.