Independence High School

2022-2023 - Semester 2, Week 5 (2/6/23)

Principal's Update

This week we start the ELPAC test and our counseling team will be meeting with students to review their course selections for next year.

This National School Counseling Week. Many thanks to our dedicated team for their hard work supporting all our students.

With two weeks to the end of the 4th marking period (2/17/2023), we are over 60% through this school year. Our learning management system, Canvas, 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

Tammy Tran is a very respectful student. She is not only engaged in my class but is an eXtraordinarily helpful to classmates.She helps with giving out the workbooks, textbooks. She also helps the students who might have any math questions. She stays back in my class during lunch and is willing to help out whenever there is a need. I am so delighted to have her in my class. ~Ms. Shubhra Jain, Math Teacher

Staff Shoutout

Ms. Chau Quach is an eXtraordinary teacher, mentor, and academy coordinator. She is currently connecting students to mentors with experience in the students' field of interest. After visiting a virtual mentor session, it was clear how much the students benefit from this program! Students are able to work on goals, share challenges, and get advice from a real world mentor. We are lucky to have Ms. Quach teaching in and leading our Sixer community! ~Dr. Cristine LaMontagne, MTSS Implementation

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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Art Show at Independence

Last week, the B-Commons Art Gallery was full of thoughtful, introspective artwork. On Monday, the Art Department hosted an opening reception at lunch! Teachers were invited to take their classes and students could go on their own during break or lunch all week. Take a peek inside the Art show HERE!

Art can be a fantastic way to practice mindfulness or grow the creativity in all of us. Art can be a way of self-care- finding ways to express oneself when we can’t find the words. Hosting the art show, where students and staff can view various forms of expression helps grow understanding and respect in our community.

View our School-Wide lesson on what it means to be “Respectful” HERE.

Athletics Updates


Congratulations to Sixer Wrestling for their efforts at the BVAL tournament this past weekend. Nemilyn Espejo (Sr), Hektor Olvera (Sr), Gustavo Alducin (Sr), Jose Hernandez (Sr), Brandon Nandi (Jr), and Aaron Olvera (Fr) will represent Independence HS at the CCS Regional Playoffs on 2/11/23.

Congratulations to JV Wrestlers Ezequiel Martinez, Owen Rosslee, and Jorge Vasquez for placing in last weekend’s BVAL JV Tournament.

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

Week of 2/6/2023

Tuesday, 2/7

Sixer Basketball (g) vs Santa Teresa JV @ 5:30pm | 7pm

Wednesday, 2/8

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

Sixer Soccer (b) @ Santa Teresa @ 7pm

Thursday, 2/9

Sixer Varsity Basketball (g) vs PIedmont Hills JV @ 5:30 | V @ 7pm

Sixer Soccer (g) @ Yerba Buena @ 7pm

Friday, 2/10

Sixer Basketball (b) vs Piedmont Hills JV @ 5:30 | V @ 7pm

Sixer Soccer (b) @ Piedmont Hills @ 7pm

Saturday, 2/11

Sixer Wrestling: CCS Regional Tournament @ Watsonville HS

All Tickets on-line only at 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

Scheduling 2023-24

Counselors will begin one-on-one meetings with students this week to confirm their course selections for the 2023-24 school year. We will be meeting with juniors through their US History course (Monday or Tuesday) and sophomores through their PE 2 course (Wednesday or Thursday). We will be meeting with freshmen the following week. Visit the Scheduling Page of the Counseling Website for more information and resources.


AB 469

All seniors must complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) or the CADAA (California Dream Act Application) by March 2nd. Counselors and Mr. Garcia are available to assist students in completing the application. IHS will also be hosting a Cash 4 College Workshop on Thursday, February 2nd from 3:30-6:30pm for any senior and family who needs assistance.

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

Activities Updates

ASB Executive Cabinet Elections for 2023-2024

ASB oversees all clubs and schoolwide events each year, from Freshman Orientation in the Summer, all the way to the Senior Picnic at the end of the year. Applicants should be strong students with a service-oriented mindset, possessing the desire to collaborate, create, plan, organize and execute inclusive events for all IHS stakeholders. ASB Officers are democratically elected each February. Application & Guidelines, HERE

Yearbooks & Yearbook Ads!

Yearbooks are priced according to a sliding scale, so purchasing earlier guarantees a better price. Right now, yearbook reservations/orders are at $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). Yearbooks will increase to $75 in February so buy now!

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Yearbook Ads are a great way to honor graduating seniors, memorialize social groups and clubs, and promote local businesses. One exciting way to celebrate you and your friends is to contribute to a photo collage of all your collective experiences! Select from a variety of packages, layout options, templates, colors, and fonts. Upload as many photos as you desire and submit for publication!

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


Check out the special link for all Senior-specific information, such as professional portraits, graduation, FAFSA, and Prom! Just scroll past Activities and click on the button below!

Valentine’s Day Spirit Week (February 13th - 17th)

Stay tuned for a list of thematic dress-up days and lunchtime events

Annual Multicultural Assembly/Rally (March 3rd - during school)

A traditional, cultural rally highlighting and honoring the many different cultures at Independence High School.

Schoolwide Dance #3: Sadie Hawkins (Friday, March 3rd @ 6:30pm)

The “Sadies” Dance is a long running tradition at Independence. The dance is designed, organized, and hosted by the IHS Spirit Squad. ALL proceeds benefit the Spirit Squad, ensuring they can continue to provide training and supplement the cost of cheer uniforms. Tickets can be purchased from any Cheer Squad Member or the ASB Bank (A06), starting in mid-February.

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:

Talent Show Picture Link for Students & Parents

The photos are ready from last week's Talent Show. Please support our local, student photographer and your student by browsing the collection and making a purchase! Check them out HERE
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Safety and Attendance

The C-05 office will continue to focus on attendance as 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: 85.86%

January Average: 85.77%

Last Week’s Average: 86.25%

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 first Saturday School of the semester was a HUGE success where we had over forty students present. Our next Saturday School is scheduled for February 18, 2023.

Saturday School is a way for students can recover a FULL day of absence. Saturday School does not excuse excessive tardies. You may sign up by clicking the following link:


A friendly reminder to parents and students that we are a closed campus. Students should not leave the school grounds during school hours–particularly during breaks and lunch for safety reasons. The Public Library and Overfelt Gardens constitute as off campus as they are not on school grounds.

Additionally, this is a friendly reminder that 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.

Short Term Independent Studies (STIS)

Please remember that if your student will be absent for 5 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 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

Parent and Community Involvement Corner

Attention Parents of English Language Learners (EL) We will be administering the ELPAC test to all of our English Language Learners (EL) starting on February 6 - February 16. This test will be used to reclassify our English Learners as proficient in English. Encourage your students to perform at their best.

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Incoming Freshmen & New Families: You are all invited to our Independence Preview Day on February 10, 2023 at 5:30 pm. This is a great opportunity to learn about our programs, meet a counselor and to discuss class schedules.
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Family Engagement Workshops: Understanding Changes In Behavior In Your Child, Thursday, 2/9 5-6pm

It can be hard to understand what your child might be going through. Join this free webinar with Daybreak Health and ESUHSD to learn about youth mental health, including:

- Identifying developmentally typical and concerning childhood behaviors

- Understanding stressors and risk factors in youth

- Learning how to support your child through behavior changes

- Connecting to available resource

Use this LINK to register

Please mark your calendars for future Family Engagement Workshops:


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County of Santa Clara - Weather Safety Resource

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)

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. For further questions please contact your attendance clerk.

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For any questions or concerns please contact either Ms. Guardado 408.928.9598 or 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
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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:

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

Mental Health and Wellness Survey: To gain a better understanding of our students’ knowledge of mental health services on campus we asked students to complete a survey. The survey is still open. Families are welcome to ask their children to complete it if they have not already.

English: Mental Health Survey

Spanish:Encuesta de Salud Mental y Bienestar

Vietnamese: Khảo sát sức khỏe tâm thần và sức khỏe

Wellness Wednesday: The name of the game is Jenga! Students from across campus came to pull blocks and see how high we could make the tower as a school. There was an extra challenge for players because the table was on a slope. Not everyone wanted to play so there were plenty of spectators looking on to see when it would topple. Come find us next week for another event on campus!

Educational Webinar for Parents: Daybreak, our community partner, is hosting educational webinars for parents on topics related to student mental health. All webinars are free to parents! The next upcoming webinar will focus on identifying changes in behavior. You can register by clicking here. The next upcoming training is Thursday, February 9th from 5-6pm

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!

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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