Independence HS


Principal's Update

SIXER community,

We have completed 20% of our school year, and the first marking period grades should arrive in the mail this week. For more timely updates on grades, please check canvas regularly.

Thank you to everyone who has already filled out the Panorama Survey. Parents, if you have not done so yet, please follow the link below.

Our 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

Parent Panorama Survey

The Fall Panorama Survey is now open for Parents. To fill this anonymous survey out, please follow this link - Select Independence and your preferred language.

Students and staff will be receiving this survey separately.

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Hear from Sixers about how they innovatively responded to academic challenges they have faced. Remember, our challenges don’t define us. Sixers are defined by how we positively respond to challenges.

  • “One challenge I faced during my Sophomore year was balancing my extracurricular/sports along with my school work. My solution to this problem was improving my time management. I made sure to take care of my work in a more timely manner rather than let it stack up and overwhelm me.” ~Ashraf Mohammed, Junior

  • A school challenge I faced was being stressed out with constant work and assignments which were far over due. I feel like it was also on me because I procrastinated quite a lot and just couldn't stay focused or motivated. My solution to the challenge I faced was simply just taking everything step by step and trying my best to stay on top of my assignments and not procrastinate, because it'll only get worse from there. Overall even just reminding myself the feeling of accomplishment once the assignment is done will be. ~Anonymous, Freshman

  • Last year I had a math class that I was struggling with and usually I don’t have any trouble in math class. The problem was I wasn’t taking enough time to ask questions and was hanging out with friends. I saw that my grade had dropped and I learned to not be so afraid to miss out on something and ask questions. I learned that friends will always be there. I ended up passing classes with an A. I solved this problem by putting more focus on my school work and asking more questions. I took the time to actually stay and understand all concepts. ~ Anonymous, Junior

  • “The problem is being productive. I think it's happening because I'm not managing my time wisely in school. I think what's causing this problem is that it's very hard for me to focus without complete silence. My solution to this is to tell my friends to not bother me so I don't get sidetracked. My next solution is also to bring headphones so I don't hear any sound so I can concentrate better.” ~Anonymous, Freshman

Although many of our students opted to remain anonymous when submitting responses to our school-wide lesson, their thoughtful advice can still help us navigate academic life. Our students are our community assets and our school-wide lessons work to highlight our strengths as a community,

Thank you to all who participated in our school-wide lesson “We Are Innovative.”

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

Sixer Shoutouts

Student Shoutout

Magaly Lopez Soto is an extraordinary young lady. She is strong and resilient and no matter what she is always respectful and a pleasure to have in class. She exhibits positiveness and goodwill every day, and she strives to do her absolute best every day, no matter the circumstance. ~ Sra. Alvarez, World Languages Teacher

Vairon Yaren Chirinos is a delight in class. He is very respectful and inquisitive. He always makes sure he fully understands the task at hand before he completes it. He greets me every day with a smile and is very thankful. Vairon always does his absolute best in every assignment, and he does it with pleasure. ¡Es un gusto tenerlo en clase! ~ Sra. Alvarez, World Languages Teacher

Counseling Corner

IHS College & Financial Aid Night

IHS Counseling, along with 10,000 Degrees, will be hosting a College Information Night followed by Financial Aid Overview Presentation on Thursday, October 12 at 5:30 pm in the iCafe. Come join us to learn more about college requirements, different college systems, the financial aid process and more.

Classroom Counseling Lesson:

As the month of September comes to a close, IHS Counseling has concluded our first classroom lesson for all grade levels. Be sure to check in with your student and discuss with them about what they learned. All lessons are posted on each respective grade level page of the counseling website.

Upcoming Dates:

Sept. 28: 10,000 Degrees Workshop: CSU Application Overview (8:30-9:15 am in the iCafe) | Click here to RSVP

Counselor Caseload & Availability:

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Athletics Updates

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

  • Kevin Johson

Sixer Boys’ Basketball meeting on Thursday, 9/28 at 3:30 in M-34. All boys interested in playing this year should attend.

Week of 9/25/23

Sixer Football: Coach Braun (

9/28/23 vs Willow Glen JV @ 4:30 pm | V @ 7pm

Sixer Golf (girls): Coach Carson (

9/26/23 vs Sobrato @ San Jose Municipal GC @ 4:15

9/28/23 vs Sobrato @ Los Lagos GC @ 4:15

Sixer Volleyball (girls): Coach Kenny (

9/26/23 @ Christopher JV @ 5:30 | V @ 7pm

9/28/23 @ Andrew Hill JV @ 5:30 | V @ 7pm

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

9/28/23 @ Montgomery Hill Park @ 4pm

Sixer Tennis (girls): Coach Scott (

9/26/23 vs Piedmont Hills @ 4pm

9/28/23 vs Live Oak @ 4pm

Sixer Water Polo (boys & girls): Coach Martinez (

9/26/23 vs Yerba Buena Girls @ 6pm | Boys @ 5pm

9/21/23 @ Christopher Girls @ 6pm | Boys @ 5pm

Sixer Girls’ Flag Football: Coach Baker (

9/25/23 vs Lincoln @7pm

9/27/23 vs Willow Glen @ 7pm

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

Activities Updates


Homecoming is the week we return from break. Our Homecoming Football game is Friday, 10/13/23 and our Dance is Saturday, 10/14/23.

Description: Looking for an easy way to get involved? Well, look no further because you can now be a part of our very own Homecoming dance committee! If you're interested in helping with set up, clean up, or coat check during the dance, you can sign up with the link provided! Signups close Friday, September 29th at 11:59 PM.

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:

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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 10/14. The 9/30 date has been canceled due to our vacation.

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!

The month of September is National School Attendance Awareness Month! We're honoring the month by having a number of events throughout the month here at school to share about why it’s important to make it to school on time every day. Please feel free to explore our attendance flier for more information

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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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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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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