Months of virtual learning in the spring combined with the summer break and pandemic-related disruptions in the fall is leading to something educators are calling the "COVID Slide."

What You Need To Know

  • Assessment was conducted on 60,000 students nationwide

  • More than 66% of students entered the year below grade level

  • A drop in math was noticed more than in reading

  • BELOW: Tips for parents

Varsity Tutors conducted assessments on 60,000 students nationwide.

It found that for many critical skills across most grade levels, between 66-75% of students entered the year below grade level.

"We're seeing it across all grade levels," said Brian Galvin, Chief Academic Officer. "Students started the year behind and it's been an uphill battle to catch up."

Galvin said they evaluated students on reading, science and math.

He said the biggest losses were seen in math.

"If we address those now we can avoid the risk of it snowballing," he said. "First they struggle with division, then with algebra and then they get the idea they're not a 'math person,' when it really was just — we were trying to build too much on a shaky foundation."

With reading the slide isn't as pronounced. Galvin said students managed to read books over the summer which helped prevent the atrophy of foundational reading skills.

He said there are steps parents can take to stop the "COVID Slide."

They are:

  • Focus on Fundamental skills
  • Diagnose where you child is behind
  • Get extra help if needed

"The good news about the COVID Slide is it can be localized to 2020," Galvin said.

Galvin doesn't expect it to be an ongoing problem but depending on what happens with the pandemic he also said it may be too soon to tell.