Independence High School

2022-2023 - Semester 2 (5/1/23)

Principal's Update

Today, the Spring Panorama Survey opens for all staff, students, and families. This survey helps assess conditions in our school, helping guide site decisions.

Parents & guardians, please take a moment to complete the survey through the following link Select Independence from the drop-down menu. Once you start the survey, you can select a preferred language from the drop-down menu.

Students will be asked to take the survey through their English classes. The student survey link is Students will enter their access code (student ID). You will then see a list of the survey(s) to take. Remember to hit the blue “Submit” button to enter their survey. If you do not hit this, your responses will not be saved.

This week also starts the two-week AP testing window for students in AP courses.

Our Summer School Application closes this Friday. Remember to sign up if you need to make up credits or want to accelerate in any of the offered courses.

What's happening this week

2023 IndepenDance Concert - FINAL SHOWS!

The annual IndepenDance Concert continues! Tickets are $8-$10 and may be purchased from any performer in advance or for $12 at the Box Office. The final evening shows are on Friday, 5/5, and Saturday @ 7:30 pm. A Special Matinee Performance will occur on Wednesday, 5/3, @ 4:30 pm.

FREE Driver’s Education Sign-ups - Summer Session

Goodwill ASSETS and IHS have teamed up, once again, to provide a cost-free, four-day Driver’s Education Course here on campus. This is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of earning your driver’s education certificate! And all students who complete the course get a $100 voucher towards driving practice and training. Sign-up, HERE

Sixer Shoutouts

On Friday, Ms. Susan Hinchey was awarded the All-Star Staff Award by the ASB and Leadership Class. She is the advisor for the Greenhouse Club, Recycling Club, and IHS Beautification. She has led the effort in campus beautification throughout the year by hosting multiple IHS Beautification Saturdays. Ms. Hinchey and many students have been hard at work adding student-picked and planted plants to the campus. As civic-minded individuals, our students are learning about drought-tolerant plants able to thrive in contained spaces. Ms. Hinchey teaches Chemistry and AP Environmental Science. A huge Sixer Shoutout to Ms. Susan Hinchey for her leadership in campus beautification.

For a complete list of *ALL* Fall Semester Shoutout Winners, click HERE! Our Sixer Staff awarded 154 Sixer Shoutouts during the Fall semester! Congratulations to all!

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This year, English teachers Ms. Gretchen Larese and Mr. Graham Haworth worked directly with SVUDL (Silicon Valley Urban Debate League) and Assets to provide two days of speech and debate practice each week and the opportunity for students to compete in six tournaments.

Frank Shau and Chloe Truong, both sophomores, competed in the Philhistorian’s High School Public Forum online division last month. They won every one of their preliminary rounds! The pair ended up placing 4th in the overall tournament. We are so proud of you, Chloe and Frank! Please read the entire article about Chloe and Frank HERE!

Senior Nuha Khan was also featured in an article by the Silicon Valley Urban Debate League. “Aside from all the communication, public speaking, and research skills that I have learned within SVUDL, I think the skill of turning passion into vision and eventually into success is an experience composed of a variety of tools, such as teamwork and delegation, that I will take to college,” shared Nuha.

All students on our Speech and Debate have worked hard this year and it’s exciting to see our SIXERs learning about communication and how to leave the world a better place.

Athletics Updates

Congratulations to our Sixer Swim Team. Our girls’ team captured the BVAL Almaden Division Championship, and our boys’ team took home second place.

Week of 5/1/23

Monday, 5/1

Sixer Badminton Division Finals at Independence @ 4pm

Tuesday, 5/2

Sixer Softball vs Andrew Hill @ 4pm

Sixer Volleyball vs Evergreen Valley @ 5:30/7pm

Wednesday, 5/3

Sixer Badminton Division Finals @ Independence

Thursday, 5/4

Sixer Volleyball vs Leland @ 5:30/7pm is now a vendor of ESUHSD. Now there are (2) options for purchasing tickets to basketball and volleyball games; pay via cash at the Box Office or electronically via mobile app/phone at IHS & (Note: GoFan does charge a $1/ ticket fee for each transaction)

Visit Sixer Athletics for up-to-date information about athletics! Follow us on Instagram: @indyathletics

Counseling Corner

Summer School Application

We are now accepting sign-ups for summer school courses. We have a range of courses available both for recovery and acceleration in math. To apply for the summer school, click here. Contact our Summer School Coordinator, Ms. Huynh (, for any questions.

Scholarships for Seniors

We are now accepting applications for scholarships aimed for Independence graduating seniors. Students are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. See scholarship details below.

    • Michelle Vo Women in Leadership Scholarship

      • 1 recipient - $1000

      • Award to a female graduating senior who exhibits significant leadership in school, in the community and with civic involvement

      • Submit through Google Form

      • Deadline: April 28 at 4pm

    • Paul Kramer Scholarship

      • 1 recipient - $1000

      • Awarded to a graduating high school senior who combines excellence in athletics with excellence in the classroom and exhibits significant leadership

      • Submit through Google Form

      • Deadline: April 28 at 4pm

    • Christine Kramer-Le Scholarship

      • 1 recipient - $1000

      • Awarded to graduating high school senior who combines excellence in humanities and performing arts

      • Submit through Google Form

      • Deadline: April 28 at 4pm

    • Go For It Scholarship

      • Application needs to be submitted to Ms. Pham in person or via email ( by May 1, 2023.

      • All graduating seniors who will be going to higher education are eligible to apply

      • Award: $2000 (1 student)

      • Contact Ms. Pham ( if you have questions

    • 10,000 Degrees Scholarship | Flyer

      • Priority deadline has passed, but 10,000 Degrees is still accepting applications!

      • Award amount varies

      • No requirement

      • Contact Mr. Garcia ( if you have questions

Ms. Liang’s Caseload

Ms. Liang is currently out on leave. In her absence, please contact the following counselors based on student last name:

W-Z: Mr. Ly (

College Opportunities Summit 2023

Our community partner, 10,000 Degrees, is hosting a summer program for current juniors to learn more about college, majors, careers, and resources available. For more information and to apply, please see the attached flyer or contact for 10,000 Degrees fellow, Mr. Garcia at

Counselor Availability:

Ms. Pham (A-Cg) - 8am-3:30pm

Mr. Ly (Ch-Garc) - 8am-3:30pm

Mr. Hennessey (Gard-Le, I) - 8am-3:30pm

Ms. Fernandez (Le, J-M) - 8:30am-4pm

Ms. Huynh (N-Ph) - 8:15am-3:45pm

Ms. Marquez (Pi-Ta) - 8:30am-4pm

Ms. Liang (Tb-Z) - 8:15am-3:45pm

Mr. Garcia (10,000 Degrees Fellow) - 9am-4pm | Tuesday-Thursday

Ms. Cuenca (USF Intern) - 8am-3:30pm | Monday & Tuesday

Ms. Serrano (USF Intern) - 8am-3:30pm | Tuesday & Thursday

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Activities Update

Hey Seniors!

Did you know? There is a special Senior Newsletter! Check out the special link for ALL senior-specific information, such as: professional portraits, graduation, FAFSA, and Prom! Just scroll, locate, and CLICK on the Senior Button!

Wrap it Up Rally, Senior Awards, & Senior Panorama (Recap)

Independence High School has a longstanding tradition where we issue three awards to three outstanding and exceptional seniors. These awards are not academic achievement awards. Instead, these honors are bestowed upon senior students who embody the very spirit of a SIXER: SPIRITED, INNOVATIVE, EXTRAORDINARY, ENGAGED, and RESPECTFUL. Congratulations to:

  • Kevin Le, winner of the John D. Tuggle Humanitarian Award for outstanding and exceptional service to peers, staff, and the local community

  • Marielle Penoringan, winner of the Madeline McCoy Athletic Award in recognition of exceptional leadership and outstanding athletic and academic performance

  • (Ben) Kin Ho Tsang, winner of the Frank Fiscalini Athletic Award, in recognition of exceptional leadership and outstanding athletic and academic performance

Wrap it Up Dance (Friday, May 19th)

Tickets are now on sale! The final dance of the year is hosted by the Junior Class Office of 2024, and will be the final opportunity for our seniors, sophomores, and freshmen to enjoy an indoor/outdoor dance! Presales have begun - tickets are only $6! Hurry and buy now. They will go up to $10! Guest passes are also available.


We’re still taking yearbook orders for $70.Students and parents/guardians can order a yearbook at the school bank (A-06) or visit (enter code 6072) to purchase online (there is a processing fee for online purchases).

For further information, please review the Yearbook Frequently Asked Questions document.

Follow us! Social Media Handles:

Stay up to date on all student activities and events at IHS - follow your ASB-endorsed accounts:

And, be sure to also follow your class account for information specific to your year:

Safety and Attendance

***ATTENTION Seniors***

Dear Students and Parents:

The end of the 2022-23 school year is fast approaching with only five weeks of school left. As underclassmen prepare to move up another grade level and seniors prepare for graduation and life beyond high school, please remember your student responsibilities and the student behavioral expectations of the school. There are many extracurricular activities to close out the school year, such as the end-of-the-year dance, Wrap it Up rally, and Senior activities (including the graduation ceremony). This is a reminder that participation in extracurricular activities and senior activities (including graduation ceremony) is a privilege, and can be revoked if school rules are violated.

Examples of such violations which may cause a student to lose their privileges are:

  • Suspension for fighting, possession, or under the influence of illegal substances/paraphernalia, controlled substances, alcohol, tobacco, nicotine, and/or vapes.

  • Partaking in hazing, pranks, and/or vandalism of school property.

  • Cutting class or excessive, unverified absences, and/or chronic tardiness.

  • Academic honesty and plagiarism.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.


Ricardo A. Salgado

Associate Principal of Administrative Services

Independence High School

(408) 928-9520


As Spring has sprung and our students enjoy the change in weather, this is a friendly reminder to parents and students that we are a closed campus. Students should not be leaving the school grounds during school hours–particularly during break and lunch for safety reasons. The Public Library and Overfelt Gardens constitute as off campus as they are not on school grounds.

Additionally, students should not be hanging out in the parking lots during passing period, break and or lunch. Staff members will ask the students to go back to the main campus.

The C-05 office will continue to focus on attendance as we continue to strive towards our mission: Students Engaged in the Classroom. We would like to continue to remind SIXERs the importance of being on time, all day, every day and how there is a correlation between attendance and grades. We are happy to report that as a site we are making an improvement in the right direction. Let’s keep it up SIXERS!

Semester Average: 86.94%

April’s Average: 87.29%

Last Week’s Average: 85.22%

We will continue diligently working with students, and having parent conferences with students to address attendance and generate a plan to help support and motivate the students to be in class.

One way to recoup a FULL DAY absence is by attending Saturday School.

Saturday School

Our LAST Saturday School for the school year is scheduled for May 13, 2023.

Saturday School is a way students can recover a FULL day of absence. Saturday School does not excuse excessive tardies.

You may sign up by clicking the following link:

Short Term Independent Studies (STIS)

Please remember that if your student is absent for five days up to 14 days, they may apply for short-term independent studies through the C-05. Please have your student come by C-05 to speak with Ms. Vidal or Mr. Salgado regarding the process.

Student Parking Permits

This is a friendly reminder that if students are driving their car to school, they must fill out a student parking permit application.

The student parking permit application will be completed online. Once the form has been submitted, please bring your driver's license, current motor vehicle registration, and proof of auto insurance to C-05 to receive your parking permit.

The online application can be found here:

The IHS Attendance Office is located at N-01

Attendance Secretary

Naicila Vidal - 408.928.9521

Student last name A - L

Diana Castillo - 408.928.9552

Student last name M-Z

Thao Pham - 408.928.9542

Parent and Community Involvement Corner

Join us for our last Coffee with the Principal - Thursday, May 4, 2023, @ 10:00 am via Zoom.

  • Graduation

  • Honor Night

  • Summer School

  • Updates

Our next Family Engagement Workshop: Healthy Relationships: Helping Your Child Develop Healthy Relationships, Thursday, 5/4, 6 pm-7 pm

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Please mark your calendars for future Family Engagement Workshops:


Santa Clara Family Health Plan (SCFHP) Blanca Alvarado Community Resource Center is a convenient, welcoming, and safe space committed to advancing the health of SCFHP members and East San José residents. The Center collaborates with safety-net agencies to offer community-responsive and culturally competent health and wellness programs and helps connect residents to resources.

Our Independence Clothes Closet has a number of gently used clothing items. Please reach contact Ms. Maggie in N01 if you are in need of any items (ie…sweaters, jackets, socks, blankets)

As a reminder please refer to the academic calendar to support you in the planning of any holiday vacations. As a reminder, vacations are not excuse absences in session days. Please refer to the calendar below for next school year, 2023-2024

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For any questions or concerns please contact Ms. Maggie 408.928.9541.

Please ensure we have your email so you are able to receive Parent Meetings and school updates. Please complete the Parent Survey by using this link to get your feedback regarding Parent Workshops.

Metal Health and Wellness

The Mental Health and Wellness Center is located in Room D-05.

Office Closures: The office is closed on Wednesdays from 11:30 until 2:00 pm. If you need support from an adult, please go to C-05, N-1, or N-2 for assistance.

How do I submit a referral?

Students, parents, teachers, and community members may submit a referral for any student at Independence by visiting the link below and filling out a Care Team referral form. A social worker or intern will follow up with the student.

Care Team Referral form:

Calming Space: The Calming Space is designed as a space for students who are experiencing stress in class and need a short break to self-regulate. Before students visit the Calming Space, we ask that they check in with their teacher and request a pass. Students may spend 15-20 minutes in the Calming Space; if they need more time, a wellness center staff member will check in to discuss additional resources and support. We ask that students always check in with an adult when they arrive and before they leave the Calming Space, keep their phones away, and that they try at least one station in the space. Stop by to take a look!

Mental Health Awareness Week

Hey Sixers! Are you interested in learning new ways to better care for your mental health? Join us on the Senior Stage at Lunch the week of 5/15-5/18 to learn more!

To Be Honest Mental Health Photography Walks

In honor of Mental Health Month, To Be Honest is hosting a series of 5 photography walks throughout the East San Jose Area! Each session will be led by a professional photographer who will teach you the basics

of photography on a Canon EOS Rebel. We want you to capture your environment, explore a new park, and practice mindfulness through a new art form! This is a free activity open to all young adults ages 14 to 25; priority will be given to East San Jose Residents. The first session, held on 5/2 at 3:15, will be at Overfelt Gardens Park, located next to the IHS campus! Register Here:

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Daybreak Webinars: Daybreak has offered several online webinars to parents and guardians on a variety of topics. If you were unable to attend or just want to look back for a refresher you can follow the link to a spreadsheet with all past presentations: Classes Registration Reports - ESUHSD & Daybreak

Parent Education: The ASPIRE programs at El Camino and Hoag Hospitals are very excited to share, the Parenting CURVE Collaborative. Parents and the community have the opportunity to join mental health experts on Tuesday May 9th, 2023 from 6-8PM PST as we explore topics facing our youth and young adults in this complex world. Parents can explore strategies, receive resources, and ask questions during our live panel to strengthen their ability to respond to parenting obstacles. By working together as clinicians and parents and destigmatizing the conversation, we do our best as a community to stay ahead of the youth mental health curve. For additional information about the event and to register, please visit:

Wellness Center Instagram @indywellness76
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Reporting Line

Independence makes use of the SaySomething Anonymous Reporting System from Sandy Hook Promise. If you, or your student, have a tip to report, you can use the following link, and it will be routed to the appropriate individuals.

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