Independence HS


Principal's Update

SIXER community,

Thank you to all the students and staff who participated and performed in Spirit Week, our Welcome Back Rally, and the Dance on Friday.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, 8/29/23, starting at 6 p.m., is our Back To School Night. This is a great time to bring your family to meet your teachers, make important connections, and help strengthen the supportive community we want for all our students. We will also hold our School Site Council Election for parent representatives during Back To School Night.

Today marks 10% of the school year completed, and we are halfway to the end of the first marking period. Remember that all Independence students are eligible for the Spartan East Side Promise if they reach the minimum GPA and complete all the A-G requirements.

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What's happening this week

Back to School Night (Tuesday, 8/29 @ 6pm in the Gym)

Football vs. Milpitas High School - Thursday, 8/31 (JV 4:30, V 7 pm)

All IHS students with student ID Cards are permitted entrance to athletic games FREE OF CHARGE! Bring the noise, the spirit, and your friends! Come support our athletes, marching band, cheerleaders, and school!

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 (a $4.99 fee applies). For further information, please review the Yearbook Frequently Asked Questions document.

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Our students are constantly learning eXtraordinary lessons in and out of the classroom. Here are some of the most important lessons they wanted to share:

  • “Something extraordinary I've noticed within my family is the amount of single and hardworking parents that still go above and beyond to provide for their children.” ~Elena Palacios, Junior

  • “I’ve communicated a lot within my relations to figure out my emotional needs. By journaling and writing them down beforehand I learned to regulate my emotions and push my relationship in the right direction.” ~Chris Le, Senior

  • “An extraordinary learning experience I’ve had was during GAPP, in which I was able to travel to Germany with my classmates for a few weeks and during that time, I learned a lot about German culture and immersed myself with incredible experiences by meeting new great people.” ~Nathan Le, Senior

  • “Learning all the notes on a guitar fretboard! it made reading music so much easier :)” ~Johanna Santana, Senior

  • “In Math 3, I took for granted how well Mrs.Saraswathy did at teaching us the concepts needed for success. It wasn’t until I took pre-calculus in the summer when I figured out that she went above and beyond and taught us more than what we needed for the class. I’m truly grateful for that.” ~Michael Huynh, Junior

  • “I've learned that sometimes asking for help can be more useful than trying to sit and figure it out myself. It's not very productive for me to waste time when I don't have the answer so getting another perspective on it can allow me to see the answer more clearly or at the very least hear how someone else may approach the issue at hand.” ~Drew Gupta, Senior

  • “I’ve learned that our school is very diverse and that’s what makes it feel like a community. I’m interested in getting to know people and interacting with them more.” ~Kim Tran, Junior

School-wide lessons are an opportunity for us to acknowledge our strengths, our resilience, and all the learning taking place within our students.

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

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

Sixer Shoutouts

Student Shoutouts

Jolie Tran– Thank you for recognizing and helping your fellow classmates. You have taken the initiative on your own, know where we are in the curriculum, and being able to help others. I appreciate you. :) ~Ms. Gretchen Larese, English Teacher

Staff Shoutout

Mr. Na has been an anchor for new English teachers. Planning, hosting, and coordinating events and opportunities to connect and collaborate on his personal time, Mr. Na sets a great example for young teachers with the sacrifices he makes and the time that he dedicates to our campus community. ~Mr. Brandon Chan, English Teacher

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

5 Reasons Why Students Play Sports:

  1. Have Fun

  2. Friends

  3. Be on a team

  4. Fitness/Health

  5. Winning

5 Reasons Why Students Quit

  1. Not having fun

  2. Pressure to perform from parents & peers

  3. Overemphasis on winning

  4. The coach

  5. Playing time

Week of 8/28/23

Sixer Football vs Milpitas - JV @ 4:30pm | V @ 7:15pm

IHS Students: Free General Admission: $8

Seniors: $6 Children: $1

Purchase Tickets at GoFan

Sixer Golf (girls): Coach Carson (

Sixer Volleyball (girls): @ Overfelt - JV @ 5:30 | V @ 7pm

Coach Kenny (

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

Sixer Tennis (girls): Coach Scott (

Sixer Water Polo (boys & girls):

“Blue & White” Scrimmage - Girls @ 4:30 | Boys @ 5:30

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

Spirit Week Recap

Way to bring it, Sixers! Photos of last week’s Welcome Back Spirit Week and rally can be found (via Flickr) in the bio of ASB’s Instagram: indyactivities.

Additionally, professional photos, courtesy of our talented resident student photographer, Alex Le, can be found on their website, Unwavering Camera, and on Instagram. Alex also provides for-hire professional sessions for all occasions, including special occasions, athletics, and graduation.

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Schoolwide Elections (Thursday, 8/31)

The following schoolwide elections will occur via electronic voting platform on Thursday, 8/31. Polls will be open for 15 hours to vote. Ideally, students will vote during the time reserved for the 4th period announcements.

  • Class of 2027 - Freshmen Class Office

  • Class of 2026 - Special Election: Vice President

  • School Site Council (SSC)

  • Student Governing Board (SGB) - District Representative

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 2020-2021 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

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 next Saturday School on Saturday, September 9th.

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

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 (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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