2022-2023 Week 6 (9/12) Updates

Principal's Update

Thank you to everyone who came to Back To School Night last week and our first Coffee with the Principal meeting. It was great meeting and being able to answer questions for so many of our community members.

This Friday the end of the first marking period. Please make sure your student is checking with their teachers on the progress of their grades. This is an excellent time to look at the requirements for the Spartan East Side Promise and see if the current grade progress meets the criteria.

Several class presentations have been happening since the beginning of the school year. Our safety team presented to math classes about the SIXER behavioral expectations and how to report issues. Our Counseling team is starting grade-level presentations around success in high school, various requirements, and preparation for what is needed after high school. Over the past two weeks, we have also held safety sessions with SJPD around Sexual Harassment, Online Safety, and Cyberbullying.

East Side Spartan Promise

All East Side Students are eligible to receive guaranteed enrollment at SJSU if they meet the minimum requirements for admission. Please see the link below for more information on this outstanding opportunity for all of our students.

Athletics Updates


Sportsmanship is simple, treat others how you would want to be treated. Respect the game and everyone participating, including student-athletes, coaches, officials, and spectators. Education-based athletics is more than winning, it’s about academic development, equity, and character. Be Responsible, Be Respectful, #BeTheChange!

The California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) has produced a Sportsmanship PSA (both audio and video) for everyone to share with their school communities. If possible, please use this valuable resource before every contest and wherever you might find it useful to spread the word and help #BeTheChange! View the video HERE.

Value of High School Sports

10 Benefits for Teens

A Word to the Wise

Winter Sports (basketball, soccer, wrestling) will begin on 10/31/2022. All winter athletes are expected to be registered on Athletic Clearance by 10/24/2022. Visit our website to learn more.

Shout Out

Congratulations to our JV and Varsity Girls’ Volleyball teams. JV defeated Overfelt (2-0) and were led by Mikayla Manansala and Mickhaela Tamayo. Varsity also defeated Overfelt in straight sets (3-0) and were led by Marielle Penoringan and Chelsea Radoc.

Week of 9/12/2022

Tuesday, 9/13/2022

Sixer Tennis (g) vs Mt. Pleasant @ 4pm

Sixer Golf (g) vs Santa Teresa @ 4:15 (San Jose Municipal GC)

Sixer Volleyball (g) vs Gunderson JV @ 5:30 | V 7:00pm

Wednesday, 9/14/2022

Sixer Golf (g) vs Santa Teresa @ 4:15 (Santa Teresa GC)

Sixer Cross Country @ Montgomery Hill Park @ 4pm

Thursday, 9/15/2022

Sixer Tennis (g) @ San Jose High @ 4pm

Sixer Volleyball (g) @ Oak Grove JV @ 5:30 | V @ 7pm

Friday, 9/16/2022

Sixer Football vs Prospect JV @ 4:30pm | V @ 7pm

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

Big picture

Activities Updates

Date Change: Make-up Pictures. Tuesday, 9/13 - via English Classes.

ALL students must have their pictures taken for Student ID Cards, school transcript profiles, and the yearbook. If your student missed Picture Day, then please be sure they attend for make-ups.

Purchasing photos is optional. Parents, guardians, and students, who want to purchase photos, must complete the picture order form sent home with students (also attached). Bring the completed form and payment back to the school and deliver it directly to the photographer.

Please remember, these are legal ID's and paid for by the district, so there are rules:

- Students may not wear clothing that references drugs, alcohol, and/or sexual wording/images.

- No bared shoulders are permitted - shoulder straps must be clearly visible in the photo.

- Chests must be covered

- Obstructions, such as hoods, masks, sunglasses, some styles of colored contacts, and wigs (unless due to medical conditions) are not permitted in the photo.

Students found in violation of the clothing rules will be permitted to borrow a school-provided tank top or t-shirt for the photo.


Club week will work to showcase all the different student clubs and afterschool programs (ASSETS) that IHS has to offer. Each day will focus on a theme: service, cultural, academic and artistic, and social clubs. THIS is the week that students have to sign-up and join clubs! The Club Week Showcase happens at lunch! Students may sign-up on the spot to join a club…

  • Tuesday, 9/13: Cultural, Performance, & Entertainment Clubs

  • Wednesday, 9/14: Service, Academic, & Humanitarian Clubs

  • Thursday, 9/15: Before & After School ASSETS Programs

High School Takeover with 99.7 NOW, Friday, September 16th

One of the Bay Area’s top radio stations will DJ, LIVE from Senior Stage during lunch. After school, they’ll resume their show, broadcasting from the JV/ Varsity Football Game vs. Prospect High School. The station will be offering song requests, shoutouts, free giveaways, and FUN!

Seniors - Make Your Senior Portrait Reservation

Senior Portraits will be taken at Now and Forever Studios in Los Gatos. Act soon to secure a reservation and plan for travel to the event. Reservations are for November to February @

These are not the ID card/ transcript photos. These are the optional formal pictures that are often sent to relatives and passed out to friends and staff during the graduating year. Senior portraits include a formal and a graduation photo - all attire will be provided by the photographer. There is no pressure to purchase the photos, but there is a "sitting fee."Those who sit for a senior portrait, the studio will provide us with a copy to publish in the yearbook.

Yearbook SALES ARE ON!

Yearbook pricing is on a sliding scale, so purchasing earlier guarantees a cheaper price. Right now, the yearbook is at its lowest price, $65! And the price will increase soon!

Students can order a yearbook at the school bank (A-06) or visit (enter code 6072) to purchase it online.

Big picture


During the first six weeks of school, IHS implements school-wide lessons based on our SIXER values: Spirited, Innovative, eXtraordinary, Engaged, and Respectful.

School-wide lessons are an opportunity for us to come together and work toward seeing the strength and resilience in our students and families. By doing so, we build pride in our school and community. We work toward learning about our neighborhood's history through its people and their stories, so we can be authentically community responsive in our teaching practices.

This year, students Kayla Tran (12), Kylynne Manganti (11), and Katie Hion (10), along with a team of staff members, have written and filmed our school-wide lessons. These students have focused on community-responsive content and gathering student and staff voice for each lesson.

View our first School-Wide lesson on what it means to be a “Spirited Sixer” HERE.

View our second School-Wide lesson on what it means to be “Innovative” HERE.

View our third School-Wide lesson on what it means to be “eXtraordinary” HERE.

View our fourth School-Wide lesson on what it means to be “Engaged” HERE.

Parent & Community Involvement Corner

Grading Period 1 closes on Friday, September 16, 2022. This is a great opportunity to see how your student is doing academically, but to also check in on them to see how they are doing emotionally.

Students have access to online Tutoring via “Paper.” Please see the attachment for more information or visit the link

Big picture

Reminder: Please have your student submit the forms to N01. Please use the links below to access the forms in your preferred language.




Big picture
For any questions or concerns please contact me via email or phone 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.

Sixer Shoutouts

Student Shoutout

I am so proud of Serenity Ann DeGuzman for adapting to change. A few weeks ago, her schedule was balanced. Change is hard and the transition was difficult for her. After exploring those feelings, Serenity had a growth mindset for the new class and discovered a way of practicing self-care. I am also happy to hear she is feeling supported by her new teacher as well. ~Mr. Ly, School Counselor

Staff Shoutout

Ms. Ayeni-Watley has been a true team player. She has taken on her classes and has given 110% to her students. She has gone beyond and above and has shown that she cares for her students and her profession. She is truly an extraordinary person and we are very happy to have her in our department and look forward to having her for many years to come. ~Sra. Alvarez, World Languages Instructional Team Lead

Counseling Corner

IHS Counseling Corner Website:

Counseling Office located in N 02

1. Monday, September 19th - District College Night - here @ Independence High School Gym from 5 pm - 8 pm

2. AB 469 - ALL Senior Students must complete a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aide) or the CADAA (California Dream Act Application) and submit it on or before July 1st

3. After-School Workshops & in-class grade level presentations: Coming Soon starting in September! The first-in-class presentation dates are below...

9/9 - In class 12th Grade Presentations in Econ/Government classes

9/14 - 9/15 - 9th Grade Presentations in PE 1 classes

9/16 - 11th Grade Presentations in US History classes

9/21 - 9/22 - 10th Grade Presentations in PE 2 classes

4. Parents & Students: Upcoming teacher office hours & extra help will take place on October 6, November 3, & December 1st from 8:30 - 9:30 am.

5. Our Head Counselor, Ms. Pham, is out on maternity leave (Congratulations Ms. Pham!). Based on the student's last name, students can reach out to the following counselors for assistance in N 02.

A's = Ms. Fernandez & Mr. Hennessey

B's = Ms. Huynh & Ms. Liang

C's = Mr. Ly & Ms. Marquez

6. Together with counseling, Mr. Anthony Garcia is our 10,000 Degrees Fellow who assists, supports, and guides our students with financial aid, college, questions, and much much more!

7. In-Office Counselor Hours:

Mr. Thompson Ly: 8:45 am - 4:15 pm

Mr. Mark Hennessey: 8 am - 3:30 pm

Ms. Flor Fernandez: 9 am - 4:30 pm

Ms. Thuy Huynh: 8:15 am - 4 pm

Mrs. Lissenia Marquez: 8:30 am - 4 pm

Ms. Bonnie Liang: 8:15 am - 3:45 pm

Mr. Anthony Garcia: 9 am - 4 pm Tuesdays - Thursdays

Ms. Dalia Cuenca: 8 am - 3:30 pm Mondays & Tuesdays (USF Intern)

Ms. Erin Serrano 8 - 3:30 pm Tuesdays & Thursdays (USF Intern)

Safety and Attendance

It is the beginning of Attendance awareness month and we want to stress that attendance does matter. On time. All day. Every day.

Did you know…

  • 3 tardies = 1 unexcused absence

  • Late arrival interrupts student’s learning

  • Late arrival interrupts the learning of others

A friendly reminder, if you know that your student will be absent, please phone or e-mail your student’s Attendance Secretary to report the absence and request work from the teachers.

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

Saturday School is a way students can recover a full unexcused day of absence.

You may sign up by clicking the following link:

A friendly reminder to parents and students that we are a closed campus, and students should not be leaving the school grounds during school hours–particularly during break and lunch for safety reasons.

The public library off of Educational Parkway and Overfelt Gardens is considered off campus, and students should not be visiting these locations during school hours.

Big picture

Mental Health & Wellness Corner

The Mental Health and Wellness Center is located in Room D-05.

We are open from 8:30 am - 3:45 pm every school day.

Temporary Closures

8/11-9/12: M,Tu,Th,F: Closed 11:30-12:30 W: Closed 11:30-1:30

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:

This Week’s Updates: This week, our 2022-23 social work interns visited our campus and got to meet some of our staff. They will begin their time at IHS on Tuesday, September 6th and will be here 2-3 days a week to support our students. We are excited to have them here!

Wellness Center Groups: In the month of September, we will have some new Wellness Groups starting up again. We plan to have Art of Yoga, East Bay Art Therapy, City of San Jose Female Intervention Team, YWCA Teens Ending Abuse (TEA) Club, Ujima Life Skills, New Hope for Youth, and The City Peace Project. Please see a social worker in D05 for more information.

Wellness Wednesday: This past Wednesday, students joined in playing ladder ball and Jenga over in B villa. Mr. Berg joined us to say hello and take on some of the students. Our jenga tower even surpassed the students in height. Next week, we will visit a different area of campus with a new activity. Listen to next week’s announcements for more details.

To Be Honest Mental Health Survey: To Be Honest, is a local mental health education program for adolescents and young adults ages 14-25 in Santa Clara County. They want to learn more about what mental health resources and support you need! If you are interested in sharing more about the mental health resources that would help you and your peers, please fill out a survey here: To learn more about To Be Honest, visit ToBeHonest.Today

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. We have an exercise station, an art station, a reading/writing corner, and a kinesthetic area. Stop by to take a look!

Wellness Center Instagram @indywellness76

Big picture
Big picture