TISHOMINGO, Okla. (KTEN) — The Oklahoma Department of Education reports that student scores are looking up after a decline during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Both Tushka and Tishomingo public schools have seen an upward trend in student scores since returning to classroom learning.

End-of-year assessments from 2022 show improvements across the board since 2021, especially in language arts, with 8 percent more high schoolers achieving advanced scores.

Tishomingo Public Schools Superintendent Bobby Waitman attributes some of the improvements he's seen to having students return to a structured classroom environment.

"Distance learning is just that: It's distance learning," he said. "Those students didn't have that every-day support that's required in seeing students make substantial progress."

While Tishomingo schools saw test scores improve, Waitman said his teachers are still working to get students back to pre-pandemic levels with measures like increased staffing and tutorials.

Tishomingo Public Schools has seen its virtual student numbers drop from 138 to fewer than 10.