Nearly 50% of Teachers Report Pre-K through First Grade Students have Suffered Large Learning Losses, ESGI Survey Finds

  • Early childhood educators concerned that the majority of young students may need up to a year to recoup learning losses
  • Educators see hybrid more of a risk than remote learning

ELKHART, Ind., Aug. 03, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Nearly 50% of early childhood educators believe that pre-K through first grade students have suffered large learning losses over the last 18 months which will present challenges when students return to classes in the fall, according to a recent survey conducted by ESGI. The teachers also reported that it may take until the end of the 2021/2022 school year to close the gap. Most concerning is that a quarter of the teachers surveyed expect that many students may need more than one academic year to catch up.

ESGI, a Riverside Insights solution for pre-K through 2nd grade teacher-led progress monitoring, conducted the survey online between April and May with 4500 early childhood educators.

“The results of this study should concern all teachers, administrators and education solution providers,” said Jim Bowler, CEO of ESGI. “We are encouraged by the results showing new skills that have been developed, which will enable teachers to better serve their diverse student bodies and help mitigate the impact of future social crises on educational systems."

While the majority of teachers reported that hybrid and remote learning environments were better than having no classes at all, the majority of respondents rated these models subpar. More than 60% of educators believe hybrid learning had a negative impact on students, 31% said it had a positive effect, and very few teachers said that it had no difference or a mixed impact.

Negative Impact of Remote Learning

Remote learning was identified by 54% of the teachers as having a negative impact on students. The top concern with remote learning was the mixed impact it had on students in the same class - issues of equity among students accounted for much of this. Technology access, bandwidth, parent support, and family at-home environments varied widely among students. According to one teacher: “In the same classroom, some students thrived while other students fell far behind.”

ELA, Math and SEL Most Impacted

Responses indicated that the subjects teachers are most concerned about are ELA (60%) and math (42%). SEL was third with 21%, as teachers said there is a growing urgency to address social and emotional issues caused by absence from school.

Positive Outcomes

Despite a sense of general concern, the survey revealed a few positive outcomes:

  • Teachers reported that communication skills with both colleagues and parents were refined during the pandemic.
  • Educators stated that the ability to teach remotely was the second most useful skill they developed. Many teachers had never heard of Zoom before the pandemic, but now feel that this tool could be helpful for students away for extended periods of time and as a way to connect with parents more frequently.
  • Teachers said they were increasingly comfortable with tools like Google Classroom, Boom Cards, Kahoot! and ESGI’s progress monitoring solution.

About ESGI

ESGI (Education Software for Guiding Instruction), a Riverside Insights solution, delivers teacher-led progress monitoring solutions for Pre-K through 2nd grade, ESL and SpEd. The online solution saves teachers over 400 hours a year assessing foundational skills in ELA, math and other subjects at school and at home. 

ESGI helps guide instruction with real-time feedback in easy-to-read reports and graphs, empowering teachers, administrators and parents. With more than 2,000 customizable assessments, progress monitoring is faster and easier than ever before.


About Riverside Insights

Riverside Insights, one of the nation’s leading developers of research-based assessments, is guided by a powerful mission: to provide insights that help elevate potential and enrich the lives of students, clinical patients, employees and organizations globally. For more information, visit

Rae Chavez