Independence HS


Principal's Update

SIXER community,

September is Attendance Awareness Month! Being on time in class daily prevents missing content and being able to engage in academic and social learning.

Thank you to everyone who attended Back To School Night and our first home Football Game. We are two weeks from the end of the first marking period. This progress report marks 1/3 of the first semester and the grades that are entered on transcripts. Each course passed is 5 credits toward the 220 required for graduation. Remember that to earn A-G eligibility, you need to earn a C grade or higher in College Prep courses.

This Thursday morning, our collaboration is Office Hours. If you are in danger of falling below a C in one of your classes, please get in touch with your teacher to attend their office hours for extra support.

Parents and Guardians, you can register with Canvas to monitor your student's grades. You will need an Observer code to link your account with your student. Your student can generate this, any of their teachers or other staff members. This allows more frequent and detailed monitoring of progress in classes.

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Learning directly from students about what helps students stay ENGAGED in the classroom is important to our Sixer Community.

Here are some of the top classroom strategies that students identified as important or absolutely necessary for student engagement:

  • Step-By-Step Explanations= 81.7%

  • Teacher check-ins for understanding of material= 80.9%

  • Having individual time to process material = 76.1%

Students shared:

  • “What helps to keep me engaged is having feedback on my assignments so I know what to improve.” ~Aaron Buenaventura, Freshman

  • “Something that keeps me engaged is organization. Sometimes when things like projects or tests aren’t broken down into different sections, it gets overwhelming. Having different sections to focus on one at a time makes me feel more organized and in control.” ~Anonymous, Sophomore

  • I personally think that full-class debates and discussions, as well as detailed feedback on assignments, are both critical for engagement. ~Prajwal Agrawal, Sophomore

  • I think if a class wants to be engaged not only to other students but also teachers are maybe some topics not really but somewhat related to class like hobbies that involve language and writing like reading Manga, books etc.” ~Rexume Pantil, Senior

  • Clear instructions works for me in class, as well as the ability to discuss with my peers after the teacher is finished giving a lesson. ~Anonymous, Junior

  • Other engaging lessons are having more group work, projects in general, and presentations where students can interact with others. ~Kevin Le, Senior

Our students understand how quality instruction engages learning! Thank you to all of our students who participated in the school-wide lesson We Are Engaged. It is so important to hear directly from you!

Check out the School-Wide lessons on our Sixer Values HERE!

Sixer Shoutouts

Student Shoutout

Giselle Gutierrez had a great, positive attitude and was helpful in explaining to her group members during lab. She also showed her commitment to improving her grades by requesting her makeup work. Keep it up, G.G!!! ~Ms. Brundson, Science Teacher

Staff Shoutout

Mr. Jarrod Thompson has worked very hard to accommodate a student who has a hard time attending class due to anxiety. He is always willing to collaborate with me in an attempt to provide the best support possible for our student. Every time I have walked the student to class Mr. Thompson has been very welcoming and works hard to meet the student's needs. ~Mr. Tim Gale, Social Worker

Counseling Corner

Back to School Night Resources:

It was so great meeting so many of you during Back to School Night. If you didn’t get a chance to visit the Counseling table to grab our resource handout or be present in our presentation, they are linked below.

Counseling BTSN Presentation | G.9-10 | G.11 | G.12 | Financial Aid

Classroom Lessons:

As part of our counseling program, IHS Counselors give lessons to students throughout the school year in one of their classes. Lessons are to help students with graduation, college preparedness, career exploration, time management, stress management, and more. Our first lesson of the year will be this Friday, Sept. 8, to seniors during their American Government/Economics class. Be sure to check in with your senior about what they learned! All lessons and materials will be posted on each grade level page of the counseling website.

College Workshops:

IHS Counseling and 10,000 Degrees will be hosting various workshops throughout the school year for students to learn more information about colleges and their programs, college application assistance, financial aid information, and more. Be on the lookout for announcements, and check the counseling website for dates.

Fall Counseling Parent Night/AP Information Night:

IHS Counseling will be hosting our first parent night of the school year on Thursday, September 14, starting at 5:30 p.m. in the iCafe. We will be covering a wide range of information such as graduation requirements, updates in college requirements, how to support your student, AP testing information, and much more. We hope to see you there!

Upcoming Dates:

Sept. 7: 10,000 Degrees Workshop: Building A College List (8:30-9:15 am in the iCafe) | Click here to RSVP

Sept. 8: Senior Counseling Lesson in Am. Government/Economics

Sept. 13-14: Freshman Counseling Lesson in PE 1

Sept. 14: Fall Counseling Parent Night/AP Information Night (5:30 pm in the iCafe)

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.

Ms. Marquez’s Caseload

Ms. Marquez is currently out on leave. Please contact the following counselor based on last name:

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The ASSETS program above is open to all students.

Athletics Updates

Week of 9/5/23

Sixer Football: Coach Braun (

Sixer Golf (girls): Coach Carson (

Sixer Volleyball (girls): Coach Kenny (

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

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

Schoolwide Elections (Tuesday, 9/5)

The following schoolwide elections will occur via electronic voting platform on Tuesday, 9/5. Polls will be open until the end of 9/5. Votes can be cast through the following link - The Username is your district email and Password is your birthday.

  • Class of 2027 - Freshmen Class Office

  • Class of 2026 - Special Election: Vice President

  • School Site Council (SSC)

Make-up Picture Day (Thursday, 09/07)

ALL 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grade students, who have not taken their photos, should plan to attend. Your photo will provide you with a 2023-2024 Student ID Card (which also serves as a primary source of legal identification). In addition, we need to update your profile/ transcript record photo and your yearbook photo. For those interested in purchasing photos please use the following Picture Order Form (pdf) and bring it with payment to the event. Hard copies of order forms can be found in the A06 Bank.

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 two Saturday Schools on Saturday, September 9th, and Saturday, September 30th.

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

September is Attendance Awareness Month. Please encourage your students to attend all of their classes regularly and on time.

As a reminder if your student will be absent or late to school please contact your attendance clerk.

Student Last Name A - L

Diana Castillo - 408-928-9552

Student Last Name M - Z

Thao Pham - 408.928.9542

Attendance Matters. On Time. All Day. Every Day.

WeAreSixers Attendance Message

District Message: Attendance Kick-off!

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 or have your student pick up a form in N1, N02 or A202.

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.

Make sure your child is present to learn and grow

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Save the Date! College Night September 18. 2023


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)

Self Care Club Hosts a DIY Slime Event

On Tuesday, Self Care Club invited students to an event outside of D-05! Students were able to make DIY slime. Kinetic activities, such as slime, can help students self-regulate their emotions by giving them an activity where they can focus on physical sensations. Be on the lookout for more Self-Care Club activities in the future!

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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School Funding (Income Eligibility) Forms

All our students will receive free brunch and lunch this year, regardless of income status.

The School Funding Form (Income Eligibility Form) impacts the funding our school and district receive through the Local Control Funding Formula, LCFF. Help us meet 100% of our families by filling out this form.

Additional student benefits include AP Test discounts, College Application Waivers, Internet Discounts for home, and Grant opportunities for ESUHSD.

You can fill it out online.

Paper forms and instructions are available here -

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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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