Independence High School

2022-2023 Week 18 (12/12) Updates

Principal's Update

Our first semester is quickly coming to an end in just ten short days. Check with your teacher about how the first semester will end with a final, a presentation, or some other celebration of learning, and monitor your grades through Canvas.

As a reminder, this Friday, we are on a special schedule and next week we will also have a special schedule for Finals.

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Our new learning management system is set up to help you keep track of your child’s progress. Please view this video to see all the features parents/guardians can take advantage of on Canvas including:

1. When the course grade goes below a percentage you choose

2. When your student has a missing assignment

3. Course announcements

CANVAS LMS for Parents

Sixer Shoutouts

Student Shoutout

Samantha Varela has taken great strides to be a risk taker and be really engaged in our discussions. She had told me how scared she would get when called on, and she has started to really find her confidence and strength -- she's even raising her hand to offer her thoughts and opinions about the literature we are studying. I'm so very proud of her, and I hope to hear much more from her as she continues to ask great questions and bring more ideas to the table. Thank you, Samantha for being an amazing and engaged SIXER! ~Ms. Leslie Gregori, English Teacher

Staff Shoutout

Ms. Holcomb warmly welcomed our ELD 3 students to the IHS library! She pulled out a couple hundred books just for them to choose from based on interest and reading level, took down their own recommendations for future buys, and reminded them that this is a great space during lunch and break. As we left, one of our students asked, "Why didn't we do this sooner?" Thank you so much, Ms. Holcomb!! ~Mrs. Celena White, English/ELD Teacher

Athletics Updates


Sixer Study Hall Monday (3:45-4:45) in the school library. All are welcome. Contact Coach Carson w/questions

Week of 12/12

Tuesday, 12/13

Sixer Soccer (b) vs James Lick @ 6pm

Sixer Basketball (b) vs Live Oak JV @ 5:30 | V @ 7pm

Sixer Basketball (g) @ Evergreen Valley JV @ 5:30 | V @ 7pm

Thursday, 12/15

Sixer Varsity Basketball (b) vs The Kings Academy @ Fremont High School (Sunnyvale) @ 5pm

Friday, 12/9

Sixer Varsity Basketball (b) @ Fremont HS (Sunnyvale) - TBA

Sixer Soccer (g) @ James Lick @ 6pm

Saturday, 12/17

Sixer Basketball (b) @ Fremont HS (Sunnyvale) - TBA

Sixer Basketball (g) @ Harker Academy JV @ 11:30am | V @ 1pm

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

Senior Student Corner

Make Your Senior Portrait Reservation

Senior Portraits will be taken at Now and Forever Studios in Los Gatos. Act fast to secure a reservation and plan for travel to the event. Contact the studio via phone to make your sitting reservation now: (408) 354-8660. Or, visit to make an online reservation.

These are the formal pictures that are often sent to relatives and passed out to friends and staff during the graduating year. Senior portraits are optional and include a formal and a graduation photo - all attire will be provided by the photographer. There is no pressure to purchase photos, but there is a "sitting fee." If students sit for a photo, then the studio will provide IHS with a copy to publish in the yearbook.

Graduation Gear

If you missed the graduation gear event, students and their parents/ guardians can continue to order all their graduation needs from our vendor at Options include graduation kits (the only required items - gown, tassel, and cap), announcements, plaques, jewelry and 2023 apparel. Purchases will be delivered directly to the student at school, following the Semester Break. Remember, ordering early ensures the best price. Costs will increase almost 100% in the Spring. The Class of 2023 will graduate at the IHS Football Stadium on Wednesday, May 31, 2023, at 6 pm.

Senior Prom

The Senior Prom will be held at Cocoanut Grove in Santa Cruz, CA, on Saturday, April 8th, 2023. Ticket sales will begin in January. Early pricing will be approximately $75 and will include chartered bus transportation to the venue. The prom will include finger food/ dessert buffets, dj and dancing, a variety of photo booths, and 2-hours of private access to the Boarrwalk’s Arcade and Laser Tag. Although bus transportation is preferred, if desired, families may arrange for chartered transportation or drop-off. Students will not enter the event until 7 pm, and will have enough time to dine at a variety of nearby restaurants in Santa Cruz (at the Wharf or in Downtown). More info to come in January.

Yearbooks are going fast! Buy Now!

Yearbooks are priced according to a sliding scale, so purchasing earlier guarantees a better price. Right now, yearbook reservations/orders are $70.

Students and parents/guardians can order a yearbook at the school bank (A-06), or visit (enter code 6072) to purchase online. In addition, the YOC offers packages for purchasing advertisement pages to honor graduating seniors and promote local businesses.

For further information, please review the Yearbook Frequently Asked Questions document. Also, purchasing onsite in the school bank will save students a processing fee!

Counseling Corner

IHS Counseling Corner Website:

Counseling Office located in N 02

* Applications for FAFSA ( & CADAA ( open October NOW!

* AB 469 - ALL Senior Students must complete a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) or the CADAA (California Dream Act Application) and submit on or before March 2nd - Please attend any Cash 4 College Workshops online or for in person assistance on the applications!

* Parents & Students: After School Workshops & In Class Grade Level Presentations:

*12/14 – 10,000 degrees Financial Aid Workspace (7th period)

*12/21 – 12/23 = FINALS

*1/10 – SVCTE Presentation for 10th & 11th interested students 7th period 3 pm in C commons

*1/20 – Grade 12 Presentation for all seniors in Government/Economics classes

*1/23 – Grade 11 Scheduling Presentation for all juniors in US History classes

*1/24 – Grade 10 Scheduling Presentation for all sophomores in PE 2 classes

*1/26 – 9th, 10th, and 11th Grade Parent Scheduling Night Presentations via Zoom Time: 6-7 pm Zoom link coming!

*1/26 – 12th Grade Parent Financial Aid Night via Zoom Time: 6-7 pm Zoom link coming soon!

*1/27 – Grad 9 Scheduling Presentations in all PE 1 classes

* Resources to support your students, especially as they are working on their PIQs and applications for scholarships and studying for their classes.

College and career readiness flier

General posters in English and Spanish

Postcards in English and Spanish

* Upcoming teacher office hours & extra help will take place on February 2nd, March 3rd, March 30th, and May 11th from 8:30 - 9:30 am.

* Our Head Counselor Mrs. Pham is out on maternity leave. Based on the student's last name, students can reach out to the following counselors for assistance in N 02.

A's = Ms. Fernandez & Mr. Hennessey

B's = Ms. Huynh & Ms. Liang

C's = Mr. Ly & Mrs. Marquez

* Together with counseling, Mr. Anthony Garcia ( is our 10,000 Degrees Fellow who assists, supports, and guides our students with financial aid, college, questions, and much more!

* In Office Counselor Hours:

Mr. Thompson Ly: 8:45 am - 4:15 pm

Mr. Mark Hennessey: 8 am - 3:30 pm

Ms. Flor Fernandez: 8:30 am - 4:00 pm

Ms. Thuy Huynh: 8:15 am - 4 pm

Mrs. Lissenia Marquez: 8:30 am - 4 pm

Ms. Bonnie Liang: 8:15 am - 3:45 pm

Mr. Anthony Garcia: 9 am - 4 pm Tuesdays - Thursdays (10,000 deg.)

Ms. Dalia Cuenca: 8 am - 3:30 pm Mondays & Tuesdays (USF Intern)

Ms. Erin Serrano 8 - 3:30 pm Tuesdays & Thursdays (USF Intern)

Activities Updates

The Indy Holiday Giving Tree (All December)

ASB and the Inter-Campus Club Council are seeking donations for our community members who are in need this Holiday Season. Students, staff, and student organizations will be collecting gifts to place around the tree (located in the front window of N01). We invite all community members to contribute. Please send unwrapped gifts for children ages 2-18 years old (we will wrap them) to N01 (main office). We are also asking for $25 gift card donations for our families to use towards living essentials and food (Target, Safeway, Lucky, and Walmart are the most preferred).

Holiday Spirit Week (12/12 - 12/16)

All students are encouraged to show their spirit by dressing accordingly for our thematic days:

Monday, 12/12: Snowed-in

Tuesday, 12/13: Santa’s Workshop (Fr: Snowpeople, So: Elves, Jr: Reindeer, Sr: Santa)

Wednesday, 13th: Ugly Sweaters!

Thursday, 14th: Channel your Flannel

Friday, 15th: Xmas Tree Day

Yearbooks are going fast! Buy Now!

Yearbooks are priced according to a sliding scale, so purchasing earlier guarantees a better price. Right now, yearbook reservations/orders are $70.

Students and parents/guardians can order a yearbook at the school bank (A-06), or visit (enter code 6072) to purchase online. In addition, the YOC offers packages for purchasing advertisement pages to honor graduating seniors and promote local businesses.

For further information, please review the Yearbook Frequently Asked Questions document. Also, purchasing onsite in the school bank will save students a processing fee!

Safety and Attendance

As the end of the first semester is fast approaching, we are continuing to focus on our attendance. Our goal is to maintain a 95% attendance record, and we are currently averaging below 90%.

The C-05 team has been 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.

We would like to continue to remind SIXERs of the importance of being on time, all day, every day is that there is a correlation between attendance and grades.

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

Saturday School

Although our LAST Saturday School for the first semester was on Dec. 10th, we will continue once again at the beginning of the school year.

Saturday School is a way for students can recover a FULL day of absence. This is to clarify that it will not excuse tardies.

You may sign up by clicking the following link:

Short Term Independent Studies (STIS)

As the first semester is drawing to an end, please remember that if your student will be 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.


A friendly reminder to parents and students that we are a closed campus and 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 off-campus as they are not on school grounds.

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 in 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

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Our Sixer Values in Action

Don’t forget to stay engaged by asking your teachers about your finals!

And, check out how a few of our students are exemplifying our SIXER values. Maybe their learning can help you during these final few weeks before semester grades come out!

  • “Reaching out for help isn't being weak. I wished I had learned this earlier so I wouldn’t be scared asking for help. For the 1st week of school I was afraid of asking for help when I’m lost on an assignment but the more I realize it isn’t wrong to ask for help.” ~Erin Nicole Malvar (Rin), Freshman

  • “Throughout high school I've learned how to advocate for myself and my needs. For example, this year when I was falling behind in my AP Government class I took time out of lunch to meet with my teacher and discuss the homework that had been given. After thoroughly understanding it, I was able to get it fully completed over the weekend and even was able to get the due date moved back a few days in case I wasn't able to finish.” ~Sean Weber, Senior

  • “Something I’ve learned is that you could always make a big change for someone if you go towards them when they need help with something.” ~John Figueroa, Junior

  • I’ve seen multiple peers go to tutoring sessions to help those in need.” ~Jason Cheng, Senior

A multi-tiered system of supports (MTSS) is a proactive and preventative framework that integrates data and instruction to maximize student achievement and support students social, emotional, and behavior needs from a strengths-based perspective.

Student voice is an important part of the narrative data we collect to inform decisions made around school improvement and high quality instruction. One way we collect student voice is through school-wide lessons carried out in 4th period classes, PE 1 and 2, US History, English 3, and Government/Economics classes.

Parent and Community Involvement Corner

As the holidays approach 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. For further questions please contact your attendance clerk.

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The San Jose Public Library has a variety of Teen Programs. Please refer to the flyers below for their December programs.

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)

For any questions or concerns please contact me via email or phone 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.
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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:

Cramming with Cocoa: Come join us in the Calming Center for some holiday cheer while you prepare for finals! The calming center will be available for students to use for studying on Wednesday, the 14th, during 1st and 7th periods. Hot chocolate will be available to any student who uses the space for studying. We hope to see you there as we prepare for the last weeks of school!

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To Be Honest Mental Health Survey: To Be Honest is a local mental health education program for adolescents and young adults ages 14-25 in Santa Clara County. They want to learn more about what mental health resources and support you need! If you are interested in sharing more about the mental health resources would help you and your peers, please fill out a survey here: To learn more about To Be Honest, visit ToBeHonest.Today

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. We have an exercise station, an art station, a reading/writing corner, and a kinesthetic area. Stop by to take a look!

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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