Independence High School

2022-2023 - Semester 2, Week 10 (3/20/23)

Principal's Update

We are halfway through the 5th marking period this week, and tomorrow marks 75% through the school year.

Please remember that we are on a special schedule Wednesday and Thursday for the Schoolday SAT for our Juniors. The schedule is available here - Thursday morning Collaboration is office hours for staff at 8:30 AM so check in with your teachers if you have work to make up or need additional support.

Congratulations to our MESA Bridge Competition winners! Independence had seven teams compete, and our teams that placed are below.

Strength-To-Weight Ratio Category

9/10 Grade: 1st Place: Victor Hsu & Hanming Zhao
11/12 Grade: 1st Place: Theresa Kodenkandeth, JennyLiu, and Jane Lee
2nd Place: Amy Okuma & Ethan Ho

Best Design Category
9/10 Grade: 2nd Place: Victor Hsu & Hanming Zhao
11/12 Grade: 1st Place: Hanley Huynh & Snow
3rd Place: Nicholas Bui, Brendan Lieu, and Andy Phung

After meeting with our Journalism class on Friday, I learned we might need a reminder of the differences between the Shelter-In-Place (safety concern in the area around or on campus requiring us to keep students inside) and a Run, Hide, Defend (active threat) safety protocol. Every fall, we hold a mandatory training on the protocols for our staff, followed by a drill. These protocols are part of our Comprehensive School Safety Plan, as the CA Department of Education requires.

Just a quick reminder that for students who are here early and need a warm place to go, we have the iCafe in N-02 open as a warm place to study.

What's happening this week

IHS Theatre Presents The Spring Musical: Cabaret! (3/23 - 3/25)

Cliff Bradshaw, an American author working on a novel in Berlin, encounters Sally Bowles at the seedy Kit Kat Klub where she sings. When she is fired by the club’s owner, also her jealous boyfriend, she moves in with Cliff and the two fall in love. As the Nazis begin taking control of the German government, the atmosphere of the Kit Kat Klub and the lives of Cliff and Sally begin to change dramatically.

The musical is in its final week! Thursday Matinee at 5pm, Friday and Saturday evening shows at 7pm. Tickets are $10 online/in advance and $12 at the door. Visit to purchase and reserve your tickets to the Cabaret!

Next week - Monday - Thursday, March 27-30th, Battle of the Classes Spirit Week

The annual battle for the most spirited IHS Class begins! Spirit, Games, Walk-on-Water, Rowdy-Ruff, Air-Band, and a huge Night Rally!

Sixer Shoutouts

Student Shoutout

“Johanna Montiel has not only been working very hard in class lately, but she has even been helping her classmates. Johanna has really turned things around from last semester, and her effort and focus is paying off.” ~Ms. Candice Cruz, English and ELD 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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Dr. Debbie Huynh’s Chemistry classes presented research projects on “Top Human Activities that Contribute to Climate Change.” Topics included food waste, the production and disposal of plastics, refrigerants, the burning of fossil fuels, and more.

Students needed to create a research question around their topic, collect data and background information, produce their findings, and create a call to action.

Being a Sixer means learning about Respect and how we can leave a place better than we found it. Our SIXERs are learning about the human impact on our environment and how each of us can create a more conscious lifestyle that can help reduce climate change. #WeAreRespectful #WeAreSixers

Athletics Updates 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

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

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 and CLICK on the Senior Button!

The Indy Insider (Edition #2, Issue 4)

Read the most recent edition of The Indy Insider, our student-run school newspaper!

Battle of the Classes (BOTC) Spirit Week (March 27th - 30th)

The annual battle for the most spirited IHS Class begins!

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- Spirit Week. A theme for each day. And, lunchtime competitions between classes.

- Walk-on-Water. Students will design and create a way to literally walk on water. Whoever gets the furthest across the pool, wins. This event takes place after school on Tuesday, from 4pm-5pm.

- Airband. The Airband showdown happens on Tuesday at lunch.

- Rowdy-Ruff. A co-ed and intense flag football tournament between classes. Football players are excluded from play but they coach the class team. Cheerleaders are excluded from cheering but they coach the class cheer team. This event takes place on Wednesday, from 4pm-6pm.

- BOTC Night Rally. The rally is one big finale showdown between classes – lots of crazy games with lots of points to earn. We’ll have food trucks onsite. Tickets are $2 for students to attend. All students should dress in their class colors. The rally is Thursday Evening at 6pm in the gym (Friday is a Holiday).

IHS Theatre Presents: The Spring Musical: Cabaret! (3/23 - 3/25)

Cliff Bradshaw, an American author working on a novel in Berlin, encounters Sally Bowles at the seedy Kit Kat Klub where she sings. When she is fired by the club’s owner, also her jealous boyfriend, she moves in with Cliff and the two fall in love. As the Nazis begin taking control of the German government, the atmosphere of the Kit Kat Klub and the lives of Cliff and Sally begin to change dramatically.

The musical is in its final week! Thursday Matinee at 5pm, Friday and Saturday evening shows at 7pm. Tickets are $10 online/in advance and $12 at the door. Visit to purchase and reserve your tickets to the Cabaret!

Yearbooks & Yearbook Ads!

Yearbook Sales are ending soon. 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


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, 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.

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 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: 85.84%

February Average: 85.69%

Last Week’s Average: 85.37%

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 next Saturday School is scheduled for this upcoming Saturday, March 25, 2023.

Saturday School is a way students can recover a FULL day of absence. Saturday School does not excuse excessive tardies.

You may sign up by clicking the following link:

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 Sophomore & Juniors** Is your child behind in credits?

We invite you to our Alternative Education Options Information Night on Tuesday, March 21, 2023 at 6pm in N-02. There will be presentations from two of our alternative education schools, Pegasus High School and Foothill High school, within the district. We encourage you to bring your student as these options will give your student the best opportunity at earning a high school diploma.

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Parents! Students! Community Members! We need your voice! Please join us for our LCAP meeting on Wednesday, March 22 at 5:30 pm, N02/ICafe.

Seniors & Parents of Senior Students, attend the meeting and you will be entered in a raffle for RESERVED SEATING for GRADUATION.

All other students, parents, and community members will also be entered into a raffle for some INDY swag! Snacks will be provided.

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Please mark your calendars for future Family Engagement Workshops:

**Save the Date** April 22, 2023: ‘Sixers Community Service Day” (Campus Beautification)


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 or Ms. Guardado 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 excused 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 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:

AP Night: Last week we were invited to partner with the counseling team for an informational night provided to parents about AP classes. We provided information about having a healthy balance in life to maintain our mental well-being. If you are curious and have more questions the full presentation is up on the counseling website!

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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