Independence HS


Principal's Update

SIXER community,

September is Attendance Awareness Month! Being on time in class daily prevents missing content and being able to engage in academic and social learning.

Today we are 15% through the school year and this week ends our first marking period. Grades will be finalized next week and mailed out. This marks 1/3 of the way through the semester.

Parents and Guardians, you can register with Canvas to monitor your student's grades. You will need an Observer code to link your account with your student. Your student can generate this, any of their teachers or other staff members. This allows more frequent and detailed monitoring of progress in classes.

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What's happening this week

Wednesday, 9/13: Coffee w/ the Principal / Cafesito | 9:00 am via Zoom

Thursday, 9/14: Fall Counseling Parent Night/AP Information Night | 5:30pm in the iCafe/N02
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Our students truly are amazing humans. In our school-wide lesson “We are Respectful, they shared how they show respect for self, others, and our community:

Respect for Self:

  • “I respect myself by dressing in clothes I feel most comfortable and safe in, rather than dressing like what’s considered cool or feminine. Dressing in a way that conveys my identity has helped me be a lot happier.” ~Eden Newton, Senior

  • “Love yourself by actually taking quality time to take care of your mind. Taking a break is okay sometime. Do not compare yourself to anyone because everyone is special ~Kim Dinh, Senior

Respect for Others:

  • “I show respect to others in class by respecting their personal boundaries like calling them by their preferred pronouns.” ~Justin Phan, Senior

  • “Diciendo buenos días o buenas tardes, permiso.” ~Reina Alvarado, Junior

Respect for Community:

  • “I show respect in our community by running the Beautification club at our school where we make the campus look better.” ~Ajay Singh, Senior

  • “In my own way, I show respect by being accepting and being open minded as best as I can around my community.” ~Jairo Jesse Madariaga, Freshman

  • “Poniendo en práctica los valores siempre.” ~Reina Alvarado, Junior

Our students do create a respectful community through action. Thank you to all of our students who participated in the school-wide lesson We Are Respectful. It is so important to hear directly from you!

Check out the School-Wide lessons on our Sixer Values HERE!

Sixer Shoutouts

Student Shoutout

Juncong Zhang, thank you for participating in the school-wide lesson We Are Respectful! You are right. Simple, polite greetings around campus are very respectful and can change the campus! ~Dr. LaMontagne, MTSS Implementation

Abdul Ahadi, fabulous job on the school-wide lesson "We Are Innovative." Thank you for taking care of our community by providing others with food when they need it. You are a hero! ~Dr. LaMontagne, MTSS Implementation

Counseling Corner

Contact Update for Financial Aid:

Per Assembly Bill 469, all seniors must complete the financial aid application. Our district supports this process by uploading student’s demographics and GPA to Webgrants as part of the financial aid process. This assists with the matching process for CalGrants when students submit their financial aid application. Any mismatch information may impact this process and may affect the amount student’s receive in grant money.

On Friday, September 8, seniors were given a copy of a district letter with the demographic information the district has for each senior. Please review this information with your student to ensure all information is correct and up-to-date. If any changes need to be made, students must submit changes by Friday, September 15 to the Counseling Office. Please note: If your address needs to be changed, you will not be required to move schools and there will be no negative consequences for changing your address.

Fall Counseling Parent Night/AP Information Night:

IHS Counseling will be hosting our first parent night of the school year on Thursday, September 14 starting at 5:30pm in the iCafe. We will be covering a wide range of information such as graduation requirements, updates in college requirements, how to support your student, AP testing information and much more. We hope to see you there!

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ESUHSD College Night:

East Side Union High School District will be hosting our annual college night on Monday, September 18 from 5-8pm here at Independence! We will have over 100 representatives from colleges and resources present to answer all your questions! There will also be informational presentations for parents and students to attend. We hope to see you there!

Classroom Counseling Lesson:

Last week, IHS Counseling completed our first lesson of the year to seniors through their Am. Government/Economics class. Students were given a timeline of senior year, tips on how to prepare for senior year and what to do when they start feeling overwhelmed.

This week’s lesson to freshman students, through their PE 1 class, will be focusing on the transition to high school, what it means to be a SIXER, and how to effectively communicate. Be sure to check in with your freshman to see what they learned!

College Workshops:

IHS Counseling and 10,000 Degrees will be hosting various workshops throughout the school year for students to learn more information about colleges and their programs, college application assistance, financial aid information and more. Be on the lookout for announcements and check the counseling website for dates.

Upcoming Dates:

Sept. 13-14: Freshman Counseling Lesson in PE 1

Sept. 14: 10,000 Degrees Workshop: PIQ Workspace (8:30-9:15am in the iCafe) | Click here to RSVP

Sept. 14: Fall Counseling Parent Night/AP Information Night (5:30pm in the iCafe)

Sept. 18: University of San Francisco Presentation

Sept. 18: Common App Workshop

Sept. 18: ESUHSD College Night (5-8pm in IHS Large Gym)

Sept. 20: San Jose State University Presentation

Sept. 20-21: Sophomore Counseling Lesson in PE 2

Sept. 22: Junior Counseling Lesson in US History

Counselor Caseload & Availability:

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The ASSETS program above is open to all students.

Athletics Updates

“We(coaches, players, parents/fans) are always respectful and display good sportsmanship throughout and after the game.”

  • Kevin Johson

Congratulations to our Varsity Football team on their first win of the season: 27-6 over Evergreen Valley.

Congratulations to our Water Polo teams for sweeping Gunderson last Friday night.

Congratulations to our Girls’ Golf team for their first 2 and 0 start in program history.

Best of luck to all our programs this week.

Go Sixers!

Week of 9/11/23

Sixer Football: 9/16/23 @ San Juan (Citrus Heights) V @ 5pm

Sixer Golf (girls): Coach Carson (

9/11/23 vs Silver Creek @ Spring Valley GC @ 4:15

9/13/23 vs Silver Creek @ Los Lagos GC @ 4:45

Sixer Volleyball (girls):Coach Kenny (

Sixer Cross Country (boys & girls): Coach Kevin (

9/13/23 @ Montgomery Hill Park - Start time: 4pm

Sixer Tennis (girls): Coach Scott (

9/12/23 @ Live Oak @ 4pm

9/14/23 @ Santa Teresa @ 4pm

Sixer Water Polo (boys & girls):

9/15/23 vs Prospect Girls @ 6pm | Boys @ 5pm

Coach Martinez (

Sixer Girls’ Flag Football: Coach Baker (

9/13/23 vs Notre Dame @ Watson Park 4:30pm

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

Activities Updates

2023-2024 Yearbook Promo!

Right now, yearbook reservations/orders are $65.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 $4.99 processing fee for online purchasing). For further information, please review the Yearbook Frequently Asked Questions document.

Seniors! Check out the special Senior Button in this Newsletter for all things relevant to you and graduation!

Follow us on Instagram:

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

And, your class account for important information specific to your grade level:

Safety & Attendance

We are a CLOSED Campus!

This is a friendly reminder to students and parents 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 are off limits.

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


Doordash is not allowed. We are a closed campus and we do not want strangers driving onto our campus and delivering food to minors. Students may not walk off campus to get a delivery either. This is a safety issue!

Parents, please do not send food deliveries to your student. ALL students may eat for free at break and lunch.

Dress and Attire

The expectations for clothing are clean, covered, and appropriate. This means no clothing that displays explicit or derogatory language, no drug or alcohol references, no sexually explicit images or nudity, and no gang references or symbols.

Any clothing or accessory item that the Administration deems a safety issue will be addressed with the student, and we will work with them to find a solution.

Attendance Matters!

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 that there is a correlation between attendance, grades, and graduation. Avoid the truancy process!

Students who are consistently tardy or absent will meet with Ms. Goltzer and/or one of our Parent Community Involvement Specialists or a Student Advisor. We may request a parent meeting as well.

Parents, if you need to report a student’s tardiness or absence, please do so as soon as possible. The Attendance Office is in the N1 building. If you would like to phone instead, use the following phone numbers based on your student’s last name:

Attendance Staff

Short Term Independent Studies

Naicila Vidal - 408.928.9521

Student last names A - L

Diana Castillo - 408.928.9552

Student last names M-Z

Thao Pham - 408.928.9542

Reporting Line - SaySomething

Students and Parents,

Our highest priority is safety. If you witness or experience something that makes you feel uncomfortable, unsafe, or that could potentially become a safety issue, please report it. You can do so anonymously. We have a link to the SAY SOMETHING app on our Independence website. Please give the Administration as much information as possible so that we may investigate the issue. You do not have to use your name. I am providing the link here as well. Let’s work together to keep our campus and community safe!

Saturday School

We will continue our Saturday School series this year. It is a great way to make up an absence and clear it from your record, and avoid truancy! Saturday School will be held from 8:45 a.m. to 12:45 pm. It is an opportunity to work on homework, makeup work or just work ahead! A teacher will be there to help you with your work. We will also have food available.

Bring your Chromebook, as there will be a limited amount for use.

Please join us for our next Saturday School on Saturday, September 30th.

Use the following link to sign up!

Parking Permits

Students who park on campus must have a parking permit. Please register your vehicle in C-05 and get your permit. Please display it in your vehicle when you park on campus. We ask that students park in the N1 parking lot (the large parking lot in front of the N1 Administration building).

Please drive safely in our parking lots. They are regularly monitored and any unsafe driving or driving at high speeds will not be tolerated. You may be cited and asked to park on the street in the future if you participate in these behaviors. We are a busy campus and you do not want to cause an accident or injure pedestrians.

You are not permitted to “hang out” in your vehicle during the school day.

Use the following link to register your vehicle. Pick up your permit in C-05.

Parent & Community Involvement Specialist (PCIS) Corner

Sixers!!! September is Attendance Awareness Month! Did you know that missing just two days per month can affect your grades?

Good attendance habits pay off! More school days attended increases a student’s academic success and improves their chances of earning a high school diploma.

Please encourage your students to attend all of their classes regularly and on time. As a reminder if your student will be absent or late to school please contact your attendance clerk.

Student Last Name A - L

Diana Castillo - 408-928-9552

Student Last Name M - Z

Thao Pham - 408.928.9542

Attendance Matters. On Time. All Day. Every Day.

September - Attendance Matters

District Message: Attendance Kick-off!

Although all students receive free brunch & lunch, we are asking for your support in completing the “alternate Income form.” Please use this link to apply online or have your student pick up a form in N1, N02 or A202.

For any questions or concerns please contact your Parent & Community Involvement Specialists (PCIS) Ms. Ha 408.928.9598 or Ms. Maggie 408.928.9541. We are located in what we are calling the "Sixer Community Center" located in A202. Please call us for an appointment or feel free to stop by and visit us.

Please ensure we have your email so you are able to receive Parent Meetings and school updates. We offer a variety of support services for our school community. Please complete the Parent Survey by using this link to get your feedback regarding Parent Workshops.

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

Make sure your child is present to learn and grow.

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***Save the Date*** ELAC Parent Meeting: September 20, 2023 @ 6:00pm

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Save the Date! College Night September 18. 2023


988 Crisis and Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Get Help - Behavioral Health Services - County of Santa Clara (; informational flyer for mental health teams (attached)

Black Youth & Suicide: A guide on suicide risk and mental health support for Black youth in Santa Clara County

LGBTQ Youth Space (ages 13-25):


Downtown Youth Wellness Center (ages 12-25) – flyer attached; Programs – Alum Rock Counseling Center (

Santa Clara County Office of Education - Department of Youth Health & Wellness

Headspace for Teens:

Crisis Text Line:

For any questions or concerns, please get in touch with Ms. Ha 408.928.9598 or Ms. Maggie 408.928.9541.

Mental Health & Wellness Corner

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

Services offered in D-05

The Mental Health and Wellness team includes social workers, interns, and community-based organizations (CBOs) that work together to provide mental health support to IHS students. The Wellness Center team offers referrals to community resources, group counseling, short-term individual counseling, crisis intervention, and education about mental health and wellness.

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 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!

Calming Space Hours:

Monday: 8:30-3:45 (all day)

Tuesday: 11:16-3:45 (beginning of break - end of 7th period)

Wednesday: 11:55 - 3:45 (beginning of lunch - end of 7th period)

Thursday: 10:58 -3:15 (beginning of break - end of 6th period)

Friday: 8:30-3:45 (all day)

To Be Honest Mental Health Art Contest

To Be Honest is hosting an art contest now through November 15th! Students can create either a 2D, 3D, 4D piece or Short Film that reflects the theme “A Love Letter to Myself.” Through this theme, we really want youth to reflect on all of their positive qualities and how their uniqueness contributes positively to their communities! All pieces are scored by a panel of 8 community members who are passionate about mental health and art. The Top 3 winners in each category will receive $300, $200 and $100 gift cards to either BLICK Art Materials (2D & 3D prize) or B&H Photo & Video (4D & Short Film prize) to help further their crafts.

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School Funding (Income Eligibility) Forms

All our students will receive free brunch and lunch this year, regardless of income status.

The School Funding Form (Income Eligibility Form) impacts the funding our school and district receive through the Local Control Funding Formula, LCFF. Help us meet 100% of our families by filling out this form.

Additional student benefits include AP Test discounts, College Application Waivers, Internet Discounts for home, and Grant opportunities for ESUHSD.

You can fill it out online.

Paper forms and instructions are available here -

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Where students find their Passion, Purpose, and Path.

School Vision

Independence High School is an intercultural community that provides students with rich opportunities for personal and academic growth while embracing diversity, belonging, and open access for all.
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