October 14, 2020


I first want to say thank you for all of your hard work as we adapt to our new normal. This thank you is for students, teachers, and parents alike. I know many parts of this have been difficult, but I am amazed by the resiliency of our students, parents, and teachers. I am proud of the actions that people have taken to make the best of a difficult situation. The lessons we have learned and will continue to learn will follow us long after the pandemic is over.


I’m sending this message today because we have an issue that needs to be addressed. Our course passing rate was significantly lower this first 6-weeks than it was last year. This is not something that is unique to our school, district, or even state. We know that there are several issues with learning virtually/hybrid, but as a campus we wanted to really understand the root cause. After several meetings (over 50) with students, staff, and parents, we found that there are common themes that continue to arise. These include, but are not limited to student accountability, time management, and inconsistent Canvas courses.

The situation our students find themselves in is not unlike that of a college freshman. For the first time in their lives they are not forced to go to a classroom. They have the choice to attend or not, to login to a zoom or not. There is not a teacher standing over them making sure they complete an assignment in preparation for an exam. And like what happens for many incoming college freshmen, they are struggling.

After looking at the data and listening to students, teachers, and parents, we have developed COLT: Click link title below for details:


It is a collection of concrete strategies for students, teachers, and parents to help students be successful. Just like a college freshmen, our high school students need to learn strategies. But unlike those freshmen, our freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors have someone at home to help them as well. Please review the document, and see the strategies that you and your child can do to help be successful during this new normal. There are also hyperlinks throughout the document that will help you with the strategies. I have included a video HERE walking through the document. It’s a little on the long side, but I think has some very helpful information. I would consider watching with your child, so you know the expectations moving forward.

If I can convey one more thing with this message, it is that we are in this together. It’s going to take all of us doing things a little differently for this new situation. I have no doubt that as we work together, that every student at AHS can be successful. Please feel free to reach out to me at sdhalla@aisd.net with any questions, comments, or concerns. Thank you for your continued support of our school!!!

Kick ‘em Colts!!!

Shahveer Dhalla
THE Arlington High School