Independence HS


Principal's Update

SIXER community,

As we enter our third week of the school year, assignments are being posted and this is a great time to make sure you know how to navigate Canvas and that your guardians are registered as Observers. This week, we are also starting our after-school programs through the ASSETs program. This program offers additional opportunities for students before and after school. A schedule for the program offerings will be sent out once it is finalized. Finally, mark your Calendars - Back To School Night is Tuesday, 8/29/2023.

What's happening this week

Senior Sunrise (Monday, 8/14 @ 5:30am)

Bring picnic blankets, games, sports equipment, and Bluetooth speakers to enjoy the start of the school year together!

Club Week! (Tuesday, 8/15 - Friday, 8/18)

During Club Week, we showcase all the different student clubs and afterschool programs that IHS has to offer. Each day will focus on a theme.

  • Tuesday, 8/15: Cultural, Performance, & Entertainment Clubs

  • Wednesday, 8/16: Service, Academic, & Humanitarian Clubs

  • Thursday, 8/17: Before & After School ASSETS Programs

  • Friday 8/18: Fall & WInter Sports; Performing Arts Programs

Sign-up to join a club at The Club Week Showcase, happening during lunch at Senior Stage.

Yearbook Promotional Sale!

For a very limited time, the yearbook will be at its lowest price of the year. Come to the A06 Bank to purchase and reserve your full, color copy for only $65! We accept cash, check, and card. Or, visit the (enter code: 6072) to reserve a copy online ($4.99 fee applies).

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We asked our students to identify a person, place, or event that exemplifies the Sixer Community. Here’s what they had to say:

  • Mr. Janan Ho is a good person, who also is very fluent and friendly with the students, forming great relationships with many and sharing experiences.” ~Alex Nguyen, Senior

  • Ms. Brandi Fabricius is really accepting and an incredible teacher you can rely on.” ~Dulce Estrada, Sophomore

  • Freshman Orientation shows how much the SIXER community cares about their incoming freshman and how much it matters to us that the freshman feel comfortable transitioning from middle to high school.” ~Brynn Isla Reynante, Sophomore

  • The IHS rallies are really important for spirit because it gets a lot of people excited about the rally’s and watching other people perform.” ~Alexander Sanchez, Sophomore

School-wide lessons are an opportunity for us to asset-map our community of learners. We work toward seeing the strength and resilience in our students and families, bringing forth our assets, and building pride in our school and community. We work toward learning about our neighborhood's history through people and their stories, so we can be authentically community responsive in our curriculum and pedagogy.

Thank you to all who participated in our school-wide lesson We Are Spirited!

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

Sixer Shoutouts

Student Shoutout

Joan Valencia, sophomore, immediately stepped up to help translate when he realized a fellow schoolmate did not speak English. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and helping new students at IHS! ~Ms. Emerald Harlan, English Teacher

Staff Shoutout

Ms. Dang, Mr. Nguyen, Ms. Warns, Ms. Westlake, and Ms. Williams jumped in to help pass out new student schedules and chromebooks the day before school started. Thank you for exemplifying what it means to come together as a community and help when and where needed! We appreciate you! ~Cristine LaMontagne, MTSS Implementation

Counseling Corner

Counselor Caseload Update:

IHS Counseling has made a shift in caseload. Please make note 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:

Athletics Updates

“Just Play, Have fun. Enjoy the game.” - Michael “Air” Jordan

Announcements: Final week to join a Fall team for the 2023/24 season. All athletes must be cleared via prior to practicing. Strongly suggest athletes attend a workout to introduce yourselves while they complete the registration process.

Sixer Football: Practices: M-F at 4:25 pm Contact Head Coach Braun ( or Coach Montesano ( for questions and further details:

8/18 Scrimmage @ Silver Creek HS JV - 5 pm V - 7 pm

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

Club Week! (Tuesday, 8/15 - Friday, 8/18)

During Club Week, we showcase all the different student clubs and afterschool programs that IHS has to offer. Each day will focus on a theme.

  • Tuesday, 8/15: Cultural, Performance, & Entertainment Clubs

  • Wednesday, 8/16: Service, Academic, & Humanitarian Clubs

  • Thursday, 8/17: Before & After School ASSETS Programs

  • Friday 8/18: Fall & WInter Sports; Performing Arts Programs

Sign-up to join a school organization at The Club Week Showcase, happening during lunch at Senior Stage.

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Schoolwide Elections (All Applications due Friday, 8/17)

Class of 2027 - Freshmen Class Office

Are you passionate about serving? Can you bring the integrity? The spirit? And the hype to be a leader and representative for your fellow classmates? Then run for ASB Government! The Class of 2027 has several positions to fill, including President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. Applications and further details are available on Instagram @ indyactivities and your class instagram account: @ihs_co2027. You can also find applications in the ASB School Bank (located in A06), or just ask your Honorary Eagle Mentor.

Class of 2026 - Special Election: Vice President

10th graders interested in running for Vice President, please visit our Instagram Account: ihsco2026 to find the application link. Applications are due on August 17th… Once more, applicants should visit our class instagram account: ihsco2026 to apply.

School Site Council (SSC)

The School Site Council (SSC) is a collective body of stakeholders (students, parents, teachers, and staff), whom the Principal reports and collaborates. Meetings are held once a month, where stakeholders review the principal's vision, preview school data, and report happenings on campus. While any student can observe a SSC meeting, only two, specially elected student representatives may serve as voters on the board.

If you are devoted to bettering IHS and the campus for all stakeholders, and if you are passionate about your opinion, then this is an excellent opportunity for you to run for election.

Qualifications (no application necessary):

- students from 9th-12th grade (especially 11th and 12th)

- can meet once a month (second Tuesday of the Month) at 5:30pm - 6:30pm

- Special election will be held online. Polls are open to ALL students.

- Candidates receiving the top two total vote tallies win voting positions on the council.

All interested parties must complete the following short survey HERE. The survey closes Friday, 8/17 @ 11:59 pm.

Welcome Back Dance: Midnight Summer (Friday, 8/25 @ 7pm)

Our senior class hosts the annual Welcome Back Dance. The dance takes place in the gym quad. Early sales are available to seniors at the Senior Sunrise. Starting Tuesday, ALL students can purchase a ticket at senior stage, during lunch, and at the school bank (after 6th period).

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Fall Play Ticket Launch and Cast List Announcement (10/20 - 10/28)

Announcing the Fall production of the comedic play: PUFFS! by Matt Cox. This play takes place at a certain British school of Magic, Wands, and Wizards… yeah - you know the one. Wayne, an orphan, goes on a fantastical journey when he joins the house of the Puffs. Along the way, he makes friends, learns some great stuff, and takes us through a crazy 7 years at a school where nothing is what it seems. Show information, cast list, and tickets can be purchased, HERE.

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

Dear Students and Parents,

Welcome back! I am thrilled to be part of the Sixer community. This is my first year as an Associate Principal at Independence. I am here to support all students and ensure they feel connected to our campus. Our staff is working hard to help students thrive and graduate high school ready for college and career. If there is anything I can do to specifically support you, especially in the areas of discipline, safety or attendance, don’t hesitate to contact me in the C-05 building. I am here to help!


Thomasina Goltzer

Associate Principal of Administrative Services


Important Reminders

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 breaks 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, breaks, 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 toward 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 Secretaries

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

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 8:45am to 12:45pm. 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 first Saturday School on Saturday, August 25th.

Use the following link to sign up for our first one!

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 use this link for the Parent Orientation information slide show.

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.

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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 (CBO’s) 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)

Wellness Wednesday

Students (and some staff) joined us for our first Wellness Wednesday! Wellness Wednesday is a lunchtime activity hosted by the Mental Health and Wellness Team on Wednesdays at lunch. This week, we held a Mental Health Trivia Game outside of D-05. Students who participated learned facts about mental health and got to take home a prize! We visit different parts of campus every week, so be sure to look for us!

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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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