Independence High School

2022-2023 - Semester 2, Week 2 (1/16)

Principal's Update

As we start this second week of the Second Semester, our counseling team will be working on adjusting schedules for graduation requirements, balancing classes, and making those necessary adjustments so our classes are not too crowded. This week our safety team will make a second set of behavior presentations to our Math 1 and Math 2 classes, sharing first-semester data and reminding students of our expectations.

Sixer Shoutouts

Student Shoutout

Sebastian Castro is an intelligent, hardworking and respectful student who always does his best in all assignments and tests. He always stays positive and is helpful to his peers. ~Ms. Joanna Shea, Chemistry Teacher

Staff Shoutout

Ms. Cristina McClelland exudes the SIXER spirit! She supports both cheer and our athletics teams at games, documents special events, and promotes a positive culture by sharing those spirited memories with students and staff. As a teacher, she engages her students through innovative collaborative learning strategies. She provides students with multiple opportunities to both process material and practice 21st century skills! Thank you, Ms. McClelland for all you do! ~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!

Make Your Senior Portrait Reservation!

Senior Portraits will be taken at Now and Forever Studios in Los Gatos. Act fast to secure a reservation and plan for travel to the event. Contact the studio via phone to make your sitting reservation now: (408) 354-8660. Or, visit to make an online reservation.

These are the formal pictures that are often sent to relatives and passed out to friends and staff during the graduating year. Senior portraits are optional and include a formal and a graduation photo - the photographer will provide all attire. There is no pressure to purchase photos, but there is a "sitting fee." If students sit for a photo, the studio will provide IHS with a copy to publish in the yearbook.

Graduation Gear

If you missed November’s graduation gear event, then seniors can continue to order all their graduation needs from our vendor, Herff Jones, at Online purchases will be delivered directly to you at school following the Semester Break. Remember, ordering early ensures the best price. The only required element for graduation is the Graduation Kit, which contains a cap, gown, and tassel. IHS provides two color options. Traditionally, students identifying as female wear the white option, and students identifying as male wear blue. Regardless, students may select ANY color they desire. The Class of 2023 will graduate at the IHS Football Stadium on Wednesday, May 31, 2023, at 6 pm.

Senior Prom

The Senior Prom will be held at Cocoanut Grove in Santa Cruz, CA, on Saturday, April 8th, 2023. Ticket sales will begin in January. Early pricing will be approximately $75 and include chartered bus transportation to the venue. The prom will include finger food/ dessert buffets, DJ and dancing, a variety of photo booths, and 2-hours of private access to the Boarrwalk’s Arcade and Laser Tag. Although bus transportation is preferred, families may arrange for chartered transportation or drop-off if desired. Students will not enter the event until 7 pm and will have enough time to dine at various nearby restaurants in Santa Cruz (at the Wharf or Downtown). More info to come in January.

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Kudos to our fantastic IHS Cheer Squad and their advisor, Ms. McClelland! They have found an innovative and fun way to connect students and staff.

Check out some of our staff members dancing with our Sixer Cheer Squad to “Whoomp There It Is” in this VIDEO!

Building positive relationships between students and staff is an important factor in an effective learning community. By the end of the fall semester, 81% of our students in grades 9 and 10 reported that they could identify an adult on campus they could go to for help. This is a fantastic data point on just how connected our students feel to staff!

Our school is committed to consistently checking in on our students in a variety of ways. This particular data was collected during our grade-level targeted mini-lessons put on by the IHS Counseling Department. At every lesson, students are asked to fill out an exit survey, which gathers current data about student learning outcomes on social-emotional learning, post-high school readiness, and campus culture.

Athletics Updates


Spring Sport Athletes: Practice starts in 2 WEEKS!

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

Week of 1/16/2023

Monday, 1/16

Sixer Basketball (g) vs Sequoia @ 2:30pm (Varsity only)

Tuesday, 1/17

Sixer Basketball (g) vs Andrew Hill JV @ 5:30 | V @ 7pm

Wednesday, 1/18

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

Sixer Soccer (b) @ San Jose High @ 7pm

Thursday, 1/19

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

Sixer Soccer (g) vs Yerba Buena @ 6pm

Sixer Wrestling vs Mt. Pleasant @ 6:30pm

Friday, 1/20

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

Sixer Soccer (b) vs Gunderson @ 6pm 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

Counseling Updates

Scheduling 2023-24

Counseling will begin the process of scheduling courses for current students for the 2023-24 school year starting the week of January 23, 2023. We encourage students to begin thinking about what courses they want to take next year and have conversations with their parents/guardians. Visit the Scheduling Page of the Counseling Website for more information and resources.

Upcoming Counseling Parent Nights

Thursday, January 19th: Middle School Parent Night from 6-7pm | Zoom Link

Thursday, January 26th: Spring Counseling Parent Night from 6-7pm


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

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!

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 are 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 them for publication!

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

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

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

Schoolwide Dance #3: Sadie Hawkin’s - 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.

Safety and Attendance

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.


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.

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

We would like to welcome Susana Guardado to our team as an additional Parent Involvement Specialist for our site. Her addition to the team provides us with an additional resource for our parents, students, and school community.

Our first Family Engagement workshop topic of the year will be on Social Media & Technology Use on Thursday, January 19, 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm via Zoom.

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Please mark your calendars for future Family Engagement Workshops:


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 me via email or phone 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.

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

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. 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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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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