Independence HS


Principal's Update

SIXER community,

Congratulations to Samantha Sanchez, who signed her NLI to play soccer for the UCLA Bruins Women’s Soccer program next fall.

Thank you to everyone who attended our Coffee with the Principal meeting last week and to Ms. Ruiz who explained the services available in the Mental Health and Wellness Center.

Marking Period 2 progress reports should be mailed out this week. As a reminder, there is no school for the Thanksgiving Break next week.

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At the beginning of the year, our students reflected on the eXtraordinary learning that occurs inside and beyond the classroom. They honored their teachers, family members, counselors, the classrooms, lessons, and clubs:

  • “I think that my counselor Mr. Ly is a perfect example of being extraordinary. He is always understanding and always believes in his students. I’m so grateful to have him as a counselor.” ~Zeniya Enright, Junior

  • “During my junior year's English class, I was some of the most engaged I've ever been in discussions with my classmates, and had a great time talking beyond simpler questions, and delving into deeper thought about the literature we went over in class. It felt natural to add onto a topic and jump in whenever permitted, and I formed a close bond with my teacher.” ~Franklin Do, Senior

  • “I learned the value of working together with others when I joined IHS Beautification on a whim and I worked together with several other students to plant and make the campus more beautiful. It was rewarding to see our efforts not go to waste, and I really feel like I have helped the campus.” ~Jannissa Le, Senior

  • “One extraordinary experience in school would be the STEMPalooza project around Spring of 2023. Working with my classmates on a topic outside math and even including important information about certain basketball statistics was a fun experience that allowed me to help my group spread more creativity.” ~Seth Tambua, Senior

  • “I learned that persevering through the end even if you don’t quite like something goes a long way. It allowed me to have opportunities I wouldn’t be able to have now if I chose to quit early on.” ~Ryan Phan, Senior

  • “My brother who always does good in school and inspires me to do the same and one day reach my dreams of going to a UC or great college.” ~Darren Lam, Junior

  • “An eXtraordinary learning I have experienced in school is that communication and time management is very important.” ~Clark Magat, Senior

School-wide lessons are opportunities for our students to acknowledge our strengths, reflect on our learning, and build upon our values. Check out the School-Wide lessons on our Sixer Values HERE! We are eXtraordinary. We are Sixers.

Sixer Shoutouts

Student Shoutouts

“Great job with teamwork and responsibility! Alexander Rin was working on a collaborative project in class, and despite being sick and unable to attend school, he sent his part of the project to school with his brother so his group had his part of the project covered.” ~Ms. Gretchen Larese, English Teacher

Dmitri Duong and Gurtej Singh stayed after school with another student to help clean up the classroom after the students had been working on a project. Thank you for your help!” ~Ms. Gretchen Larese, English Teacher

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Counseling Corner

Study Skill Tip of the Week:

With just over a month until first semester finals, this is a good week for students to check in with their teachers regarding missing assignments and how to finish the semester strong. It will allow students to take advantage of the full week off for Thanksgiving.

College Applications:

As we are in the month of November, seniors planning to apply to four year colleges are hard at work on their applications. The UC and CSU application deadline is November 30 at 11:59pm. We encourage students to submit their application before November 30. Private colleges (via Common App) have various deadlines. Students need to check each school for specific deadlines. Please check the counseling website for application workshop dates.

Community College applications will open in Spring 2024. IHS Counseling will be scheduling application and orientation workshops with our community college partners. Dates will be announced as they are scheduled.

Upcoming Dates:

Nov. 9: 10,000 Degrees Workshop: PIQ Workspace | 8:30-9:15am | iCafe

Nov. 15-16: Sophomore Counseling Lesson in PE 2

Counselor Caseload Update:

IHS Counseling has made a shift in caseload. Please make note of who your student’s counselor is, as it may have changed.

Mr. Garcia: 10,000 Degrees Fellow | 9am-4pm | Tuesday-Thursday | 415.578.4380 |
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Athletics Updates

“Do you know what my favorite part of the game is? The opportunity to play.”

  • Singletary

Congratulations to our Sixer Cross Country team. The boys and girls each placed in the top 10 in CCS Finals. Brandon Yah and Kaylee Tran were the Sixers top performers in the championship.

Week of 11/13/23

Sixer Basketball (b): Coach Yenchik

11/16/23 vs Live Oak @ 7pm CCS Event (no passes) Visit to purchase tickets

Sixer Basketball (g): Coach Singh (

Sixer Soccer (b): Coach Mendez (

Sixer Soccer (g): Coach Kimball (

Wrestling: Coach Thompson (

Sixer Football: Coach Braun (

Sixer Golf (girls): Coach Carson (

Sixer Volleyball (girls): Coach Kenny (

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

11/6/23 CCS Championship @ Crystal Springs visit for tickets

Sixer Tennis (girls): Coach Scott (

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

Sixer Girls’ Flag Football: Coach Baker (

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

Activities Updates

Caps and Gowns

Seniors still wishing to purchase Caps and Gowns can visit or contact our Rep. Mike Rabago. Office number 925-736-0679

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:

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 Schools on 12/2 AND 12/16!

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

Please refer to this link for last weeks’ Coffee with the Principal:

11/8/23 Coffee Chat

***SAVE THE DATE*** December 15, 2023 : Celebrate the Holidays as a Community at our family friendly First Annual IHS WinterFest.

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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. For confirmation of Free & Reduced please contact Child Nutrition Services at

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.
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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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