Report: Up to 4 months of 'COVID slide' learning loss expected in K-5


September 2, 2020

Radic, Ivan. (2020). "Kind sitzt am Computer. Fernunterricht während der Coronavirus Pandemie" [Photograph]. Retrieved from Flickr.

Dive Brief:

• An analysis from Illuminate Education found coronavirus school closures will likely cause a "COVID slide" of two to four months of learning loss, but the gaps are expected to be less pronounced in students who frequently interacted with teachers than in those who did not.

• The research suggests students will have significant gaps in reading and math, with reading loss of about two months across the K-2 grades, but greatest for kindergartners. Oral reading fluency loss is expected to be most pronounced among 5th-graders.

• Math gaps are expected to be highest across all K-5 grades, with projections showing four months of learning loss. The report recommends educators plan a "multi-tiered system of supports" to address the anticipated learning gaps, with fall screenings as a critical component in determining each student's level of learning loss level, and more time spent on reading and math in early grades to bridge the gaps in those core subjects.


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