Independence High School

2022-2023 Week 4 Updates

Principal's Update

SIXER Family,

The school year is underway, and classes are moving more into the curriculum. Canvas is our online grade book used this year to allow parents, counselors, and other staff to monitor student progress. Please create an account to help monitor your student's progress. This week started with several schedule changes for courses. This ensures we have a reasonable number of students in our classes. These changes involved opening and closing several English, Math, PE, Social Science, and Visual Arts, classes. While this is not ideal, the disruption is best done once instead of multiple times, creating additional disruptions for students' engagement in their classes.

Working with the City of San Jose Traffic safety department, we have been able to adjust the timing of the main traffic light during arrival and dismissal times. Please be mindful not to block traffic during these times.

Please mark your calendars for Back to School Night on the evening of Wednesday, September 7th. Meetings will start at 5 pm, with class visits starting at 6 pm. This is a great time to meet your student's teachers and learn more about our campus offerings.

East Side Spartan Promise

All East Side Students are eligible to receive guaranteed enrollment at SJSU if they meet the minimum requirements for admission. Please see the link below for more information on this outstanding opportunity for all of our students.

Athletics Updates

As we begin the 2022-23 school year, we invite you to #BeTheChange!

Sportsmanship is simple, treat others how you would want to be treated. Respect the game and everyone participating, including student-athletes, coaches, officials, and spectators. Education-based athletics is more than winning, it’s about academic development, equity, and character. Be Responsible, Be Respectful, #BeTheChange!

The California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) has produced a Sportsmanship PSA (audio and video) for everyone to share with their school communities. If possible, please use this valuable resource before every contest and wherever you might find it useful to spread the word and help #BeTheChange! View the video HERE.

Monday, 8/29/2022

Sixer Golf (girls) vs Lincoln @ Spring Valley GC @ 4:45pm

Tuesday, 8/30/2022

Sixer Volleyball (girls) vs Piedmont Hills JV - 5:30 | V - 7pm

Wednesday, 8/31/2022

Sixer Cross Country BVAL Scrimmage @ Montgomery Hill Park @ 4pm

Friday, 9/2//2022

Sixer Football @ Alvarez HS (Salinas) JV @ 4:30pm | V @ 7pm

Saturday, 9/3/2022

Sixer Volleyball (girls): Spikefest Tournament (TBA)

Visit the IHS Athletics Website for up-to-date information about athletics! Follow us on Instagram: @indyathletics.

Activities Updates

Freshman Class Office for 2022-2023!

Congratulations to the democratically elected group of Freshman Class Officers: President Melissa Nguyen, Vice President Dorthy Ho, Secretary Timothy Tran, and Treasurer Jenny Ly!

The ASB Welcome Back Spirit Week & Rally

On Monday, the ASB Leadership Team begins the annual tradition of spirit weeks and rallies. Students and staff are encouraged to dress for themed days and participate in lunchtime activities. The week culminates with a school-wide rally in the gymnasium.

DATE CHANGE: Welcome Back Dance, NOW Friday, 9/9 @ 7pm

The Welcome Back Dance is an outdoor event for all students, 9th-12th. Tickets must be purchased in advance - no door sales. Student tickets are $5. Guest passes can be purchased for $15. There will be an 80’s theme to the dance, complete with arcade games, occasional 80’s hits, and a Stranger Things-esque vibe!

Make-up Student Pictures. Monday, 9/12 - via English Classes.

ALL students must have their pictures taken for Student ID Cards, school transcript profiles, and the yearbook. If your student missed Picture Day, then please be sure they attend for make-ups.

Purchasing photos is optional. Parents, guardians, and students, who want to purchase photos, must complete the picture order form that was sent home with students (also attached). Bring the completed form, along with payment, back to school and deliver it directly to the photographer.

Please remember, these are legal ID's and paid for by the district, so there are rules:

- Students may not wear clothing that references drugs, alcohol, and/or sexual wording/images.

- No bared shoulders are permitted - shoulder straps must be clearly visible in the photo.

- Obstructions, such as hoods, masks, sunglasses, some styles of colored contacts, and wigs (unless due to medical conditions) are not permitted in the photo.

Students found in violation of the clothing rules will be permitted to borrow a school-provided tank top or t-shirt for the photo.

Parent & Community Involvement Corner

If you have not yet created or downloaded the CANVAS application please use this LINK for step-by-step instructions. CANVAS is our new online system where you can track your students' progress.

SAVE THE DATE: In PERSON Back to School Night, Wednesday, September 7, 2022, BTSN CLASS SCHEDULE

Reminder: Please have your student submit the forms to N01. Please use the links below to access the forms in your preferred language.





For Emergency Programs and housing needs, please refer to the information below.

For any questions or concerns, please contact me via email or phone 408.928.9541. Please ensure we have your email, so you can 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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Positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS) is an approach schools use to promote school safety and good behavior. Schools that effectively implement PBIS demonstrate:

  • Increased student connection to the school community.

  • Increased instructional time

  • Up to 50% reduction in office referral rates per year

  • Reduction in overall exclusionary discipline

  • More consistent attendance

  • Higher academic achievement

  • Improved overall school climate

School-wide lessons are lessons based on our SIXER values: Spirited, Innovative, eXtraordinary, Engaged, and Respectful.

School-wide lessons are an opportunity for us to come together and work toward seeing the strength and resilience in our students and families. By doing so, we build pride in our school and community. We work toward learning about our neighborhood's history through its people and their stories, so we can be authentically community responsive in our teaching practices.

View our first School-Wide lesson on what it means to be a “Spirited Sixer” HERE.

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

Sixer Shoutouts

Staff Shoutout

Ms. Ruiz takes great care in making sure our students are safe. She has taken an active role this year in making sure our students are aware of the services available from the Mental Health & Wellness center. While making sure the center is known and used by students, she also ensures that individual students are given the attention necessary to address their needs. Her leadership is evident, and she is a great resource for our staff and campus. ~Bjorn Berg, Principal

Student Shoutout

Karina came to the aid of another fellow student in need without even knowing the student. Her caring and thoughtfulness should be recognized and followed by other SIXERS!!! Thank you Karina!!!! ~Ms. Maggie Rodriguez, PCIS

Counseling Corner

IHS Counseling Corner Website:

Counseling Office located in N 02

1. AB 469 - ALL Senior Students must complete a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aide) or the CADAA (California Dream Act Application) and submit it on or before July 1st

2. After-School Workshops & in-class grade level presentations: Coming Soon starting in September!

3. Counselors are still working on schedule change requests & granting when possible. We will still be working on these requests for the next few weeks.

4. Balancing (necessary movement of classes) is happening now and may continue for the next two weeks.

5. Parents & Students: Next teacher office hours & extra help will take place on September 1st from 8:30 - 9:30 am.

6. Our Head Counselor, Ms. Pham, is on maternity leave (Congratulations, Ms. Pham!). 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 & Ms. Marquez

7. Together with counseling, Mr. Anthony Garcia is our 10,000 degrees specialist who assists, supports, and guides our students with financial aid, college, questions, and much, much more!

8. In-Office Counselor Hours:

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

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

Ms. Flor Fernandez: 9 am - 4:30 pm

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

Mrs. Lissenia Marquez: 8:15 am - 4 pm

Ms. Bonnie Liang: 8:15 am - 4 pm

Mr. Anthony Garcia: 9 am - 4 pm Tuesdays - Thursdays

Safety and Attendance

The C-05 Office this past week has done a great job presenting the “Sixer Expectations” presentation through the Math department in Math 1 and Math 2 classes. You may access the presentation that our Sixers have seen by clicking here.

Our first Saturday School of the school year will be on September 10th at the i-Cafe from 8:45 to 12:45 pm. Students who have one full day of unexcused/illness are free to attend. More information to come.

A friendly reminder, if you know that your student will be absent, please phone or e-mail your student’s Attendance Secretary to report the absence and request work from the teachers.

The IHS Attendance Office is located in N-01

Attendance Secretary

Naicila Vidal - 408.928.9521

Student last name A - L

Diana Castillo - 408.928.9521

Student last name M-Z

Thao Pham - 408.928.9542

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Mental Health & Wellness Corner

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

We are open from 8:30 am - 3:45 pm every school day.

Temporary Closures

8/11-9/12: M,Tu,Th,F: Closed 11:30-12:30 W: Closed 11:30-1:30

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:

This Week’s Updates: These past 2 weeks, we spent some time visiting English and Social Studies classes so we could share information about mental health and wellness to students. We would like to thank Ms. Banack, Mr. Chan, Ms. Gregori, Ms. Jo, Ms. Larese, Ms. White, and their students for welcoming us into their classes.

Wellness Center Groups: In the month of September, we will have some new Wellness Groups starting up again. We plan to have Art of Yoga, East Bay Art Therapy, City of San Jose Female Intervention Team, YWCA Teens Ending Abuse (TEA) Club, Ujima Life Skills and The City Peace Project. Please see a social worker in D05 for more information.

Wellness Wednesday: This past Wednesday, students helped create a brand new garden outside of the wellness center. Students helped us plant wildflower seeds and paint unique designs on a new planter box. Stop by D-05 to see some artwork! Next week, we will visit a different area of campus with a new activity. Listen to next week’s announcements for more details.

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 Expectations:

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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