Independence High School

2022-2023 - Semester 2, Week 14 (4/24/23)

Principal's Update

As April comes to a close, we are quickly approaching the end of the second semester. There remain 28 school days until the end of the year. Make sure you are communicating with your teachers about any recovery opportunities.

Thank you to our Juniors and Seniors for participating in testing last week. We will be following up with those who need to complete any sessions. The testing season will continue on 5/1/2023 as we start the 2-week AP testing window.

Our Summer School Application closes this Friday. Remember to sign up if you need to make up credits or want to accelerate in any of the offered courses.

What's happening this week

Friday, 4/28 - 2023 IndepenDance Concert - Opening Night!

The annual IndepenDance Concert debuts at 7:30 pm on Friday, April 28th, at the IHS Theatre. Tickets are $12 and may be purchased from any performer in advance or at the Box Office. Additional evening performances: Saturday, 4/29, Friday, 5/5, and Saturday, 5/6. A Special Matinee Performance will occur on Wednesday, 5/3, @ 4:30 pm.

Sixer Shoutouts

Student Shoutouts

“I observed Alvaro Cuellar Cerpas helping students who are new to learning English get adjusted to new technology in Ms. Gomez's class. Alvaro is a natural at helping students. He was making sure they are on task but also making sure they enjoy the learning experience. Alvaro can be a great educator if he decides to go this route in the future. If he sticks to his goal of becoming a police officer, he will be great at teaching new officers. Great job!” ~Mr. Thompson Ly, Counselor

“We are recognizing Vairon Yaron Chirinos for his continued efforts to engage in school and his academics! We are so proud of you, Vairon!” ~Dr. LaMontagne, MTSS Implementation

"Saturday, 4-22-23, our two Hydrogen RC Car Team competed in the state championship race at the Orange County Fairgrounds. We placed 9th and 11th out of 20 teams racing and 87 teams in California. Independence ranked as the sixth-best school in the state." ~Mr. Winterlin, STEAM teacher

“Congratulations to Yhoalibeth Flores, Grade 12, from my AP2D Studio Art and Design class, for winning a spot in the Downtown Doors Competition with her original artwork. Her Piece, "Amor Eterno", is a beautifully hand painted canvas. I am very proud of her hard work and original aesthetic that is evident throughout her body of work she is producing for the AP Exam Portfolio!” ~Ms. Fabricius, Art Teacher.

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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On Saturday, April 22, 2023, over 100 SIXERs joined together for Sixers Earth Day on campus. Together, students, staff, and community members beautified our campus by adding plants and other greenery, clearing areas for new plants, weeding common areas, and picking up litter to improve our campus community environment!

Under the leadership of Ms. Hinchey, Ms. Maggie, and student Kayla Tran many clubs collaborated to organize this event, including Student Governing Board, Student Equity Council, IHS Beautification, Recycling Club, Mural Club, Unicef, ARK, Greenhouse Club, and Key Club.

It was an exciting day to see so many Sixers engaged in beautifying our campus community. Sixers know that learning happens both in and out of the classroom and events like this help us connect with each other! We engage together to leave a positive impact on our environment and our school.

By working together, we can make a difference, and have a brighter future!

Check out ALL THE HIGHLIGHTS HERE! Thank you to students Tony Dang and Kasey Cheung for taking many of the photos used in the video.

Athletics Updates

Week of 4/24/23

Tuesday, 4/25

Sixer Softball @ Gunderson @ 4 pm

Sixer Volleyball @ Christopher @ 5:30/7 pm

Wednesday, 4/26

Sixer Badminton vs Evergreen 6 pm

Sixer Golf vs Sobrato @ Los Lagos

Sixer Track - Santa Teresa West Finals @ Lincoln

Thursday, 4/27

Sixer Softball @ James Lick @ 4 pm

Friday, 4/28

Sixer Badminton @ Silver Creek 6 pm

Sixer Swim - BVAL Finals @ Independence

Saturday, 4/29

Sixer Track - Santa Teresa West Finals @ Lincoln

Sixer Swim - BVAL Finals @ Independence

Counseling Corner

Summer School Application

We are now accepting sign-ups for summer school courses. We have a range of courses available both for recovery and acceleration in math. To apply for the summer school, click here. Contact our Summer School Coordinator, Ms. Huynh (, for any questions.

Scholarships for Seniors

We are now accepting applications for scholarships aimed for Independence graduating seniors. Students are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. See scholarship details below.

    • Michelle Vo Women in Leadership Scholarship

      • 1 recipient - $1000

      • Award to a female graduating senior who exhibits significant leadership in school, in the community and with civic involvement

      • Submit through Google Form

      • Deadline: April 28 at 4pm

    • Paul Kramer Scholarship

      • 1 recipient - $1000

      • Awarded to a graduating high school senior who combines excellence in athletics with excellence in the classroom and exhibits significant leadership

      • Submit through Google Form

      • Deadline: April 28 at 4pm

    • Christine Kramer-Le Scholarship

      • 1 recipient - $1000

      • Awarded to graduating high school senior who combines excellence in humanities and performing arts

      • Submit through Google Form

      • Deadline: April 28 at 4pm

    • Go For It Scholarship

      • Application needs to be submitted to Ms. Pham in person or via email ( by May 1, 2023.

      • All graduating seniors who will be going to higher education are eligible to apply

      • Award: $2000 (1 student)

      • Contact Ms. Pham ( if you have questions

    • 10,000 Degrees Scholarship | Flyer

      • Priority deadline has passed, but 10,000 Degrees is still accepting applications!

      • Award amount varies

      • No requirement

      • Contact Mr. Garcia ( if you have questions

Ms. Liang’s Caseload

Ms. Liang is currently out on leave. In her absence, please contact the following counselors based on student last name:

W-Z: Mr. Ly (

College Opportunities Summit 2023

Our community partner, 10,000 Degrees, is hosting a summer program for current juniors to learn more about college, majors, careers, and resources available. For more information and to apply, please see the attached flyer or contact for 10,000 Degrees fellow, Mr. Garcia at

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

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Activities Update

Hey Seniors!

Did you know? There is a special Senior Newsletter! Check out the special link for ALL senior-specific information, such as: professional portraits, graduation, FAFSA, and Prom! Just scroll, locate, and CLICK on the Senior Button!

Wrap it Up Rally, Senior Awards, & Senior Panorama (Friday, April 28th)

Wrap it Up Dance - sponsored by the Class of 2024 (Friday, May 19th)


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 (there is a processing fee).

2023 Cover Proof:

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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.

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:

Safety and Attendance


As Spring has sprung and our students enjoy the change in weather, this is a friendly reminder to parents and students 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 constitute as off campus as they are not on school grounds.

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

The C-05 office will continue to focus on attendance as we continue to strive toward our mission: Students Engaged in the Classroom. We would like to continue to remind SIXERs of 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%

February Average: 85.69%

Last Week’s Average: 85.08%

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.

Short Term Independent Studies (STIS)

Please remember that if your student is 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.

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 at 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

Our next Family Engagement Workshop: Healthy Relationships: Helping Your Child Develop Healthy Relationships Thursday, 5/4 6pm-7pm

Please mark your calendars for future Family Engagement Workshops:


Santa Clara Family Health Plan (SCFHP) Blanca Alvarado Community Resource Center is a convenient, welcoming, and safe space committed to advancing the health of SCFHP members and East San José residents. The Center collaborates with safety-net agencies to offer community-responsive and culturally competent health and wellness programs and helps connect residents to resources.

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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, blankets)

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 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 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:

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!

Daybreak Webinars: Daybreak has offered several online webinars to parents and guardians on a variety of topics. If you were unable to attend or just want to look back for a refresher, you could follow the link to a spreadsheet with all past presentations: Classes Registration Reports - ESUHSD & Daybreak

Parent Education: The ASPIRE programs at El Camino and Hoag Hospitals are very excited to share the Parenting CURVE Collaborative. Parents and the community have the opportunity to join mental health experts on Tuesday, May 9th, 2023, from 6-8 PM PST as we explore topics facing our youth and young adults in this complex world. Parents can explore strategies, receive resources, and ask questions during our live panel to strengthen their ability to respond to parenting obstacles. By working together as clinicians and parents and destigmatizing the conversation, we do our best as a community to stay ahead of the youth mental health curve. For additional information about the event and to register, please visit:

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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