2022-2023 Week 13 (11/7) Updates

Principal's Update

Happy Monday,

Last Friday ended the second marking period, and we are just under 34% through the school year.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Panorama Survey. Last week the results came in, and we are reviewing the results to see our progress and growth areas. Many of our numbers have returned to or exceeded pre-covid levels. However, one area trailing for our students is the sense of belonging.

We pride ourselves on helping our students find their Passion, Purpose, and Path (which can include utilizing the Spartan East Side Promise). Independence was founded on bringing unique opportunities to our students through the economics of scale that allows us to offer programs other schools can't. As a result, we have more Academies and Performing Arts options than other schools in our district. Our Academies include AVID, Finance, STEAM, Teaching, Construction, and Transportation. All are open to our students to choose from as they complete the graduation requirements. We also offer a wide range of world language options, visual and performing arts programs, computer science courses, and many other electives throughout our subject areas.

Outside our academics, we boast involvement opportunities through both athletics and activities. As a member school of the Blossom Valley Athletic League, we have sports teams within all three seasons. The fall season is wrapping up now, as the winter season starts. Interested students can contact Mr. Yenchik, Athletic Director, for more information. In the realm of activities, we offer a wide range of student clubs, from community service to cultural clubs and other student interest clubs. There are also regular class competitions and spirit days. please contact Mr. Logan, Activities Director., for questions about activities involvement.

This is just a reminder that there is no school for Veteran's Day this Friday.

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Sixer Shoutouts

IHS Speech and Debate Team Shoutout

On October 15th, at Latino Preparatory Academy, the IHS Speech and Debate Team competed in their very tournament of the school year! Congratulations to Ojas Gandhi and Parvati Madhusoonhanan for placing 5th and 10th in the Asynch Speech Division. Congratulations to Bao Dang and Thierry Dao for placing 4th in the Synch Speech Division. Congratulations to Miguel Ruiz for placing 7th in the Novice Policy Speakers Awards. Lastly, congratulations to Nuha Khan and Chloe Troung for winning 1st and 2nd place in Novice Policy Speakers Awards and 1st place in Novice Policy overall. Let's go Sixers! Keep up the good work!

Athletics Updates


First Chance Spring Physicals: Wednesday, 11/9/2022 in M34 3:30-4:30

Sixer Study Hall Monday/Wednesday (3:45-4:45) in the school library. All are welcome. Contact Coach Carson w/questions

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

Counseling Corner

IHS Counseling Corner Website:

Counseling Office located in N 02

* Applications for FAFSA ( & CADAA ( open October NOW !

* AB 469 - ALL Senior Students must complete a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aide) or the CADAA (California Dream Act Application) and submit on or before March 2nd - Please attend any Cash 4 College Workshops online or for in person assistance on the applications!

* Parents & Students: After School Workshops & in class grade level presentations: Coming Up …

* 11/7 - UC PIQ Workshop in N 02 I-cafe @ 2:45 pm

* 11/8 – SJSU/Cal State Apply Workshop via Zoom 5:30-6:30 pm – Staff will go over the application step-by-step, as well as have a live Q&A. Dates, times, and registration links can be found at

* 11/9 – 9th Grade Presentations: PE 1 Classes

* 11/9 - 1st & 7th period - Cash 4 College Prep - Financial Aid & College Application help!

* 11/10 – 9th Grade Presentations: PE 1 Classes

* 11/16 – 10th Grade Presentations: PE 2 Classes

* 11/17 – 10th Grade Presentations: PE 2 Classes

* 11/16 - In partnership with John Muir Health, Junior Achievement of Northern California is pleased to offer our November Career Speaker Series. Our guest speaker from John Muir Health will share details about their current role, their educational journey, and their unique path to career success, followed by a live Q&A with participating JA students. Attached you will find the flyer, which includes the URL and QR code, where your students can sign up (takes 2-3 minutes). Once they register, they will receive a confirmation email with the Zoom link and details.

Pediatric Oncology Medicine with Dr. Karen Chao, MD

Date: Wednesday November 16, 2022

Time: 4:00pm-5:00pm


* 11/16 – SJSU/Cal State Apply Workshop via Zoom 5:30-6:30 pm – Staff will go over the application step-by-step, as well as have a live Q&A. Dates, times, and registration links can be found at

* 11/17 SJSU Financial Aid Workshop: 5:00-6:00 pm via Zoom

The SJSU Financial Aid and Scholarship Office is hosting a webinar as well as various support services. More information and registration can be found at

*11/18 – University of the Pacific Presentation in C Commons 9:26 am – 11:16 am

*11/18 - SJSU/Cal State Apply Workshop via Zoom 11:30-12:30 pm – Staff will go over the application step-by-step, as well as have a live Q&A. Dates, times, and registration links can be found at

*11/22 - SJSU/Cal State Apply Workshop via Zoom 5:30-6:30 pm – Staff will go over the application step-by-step, as well as have a live Q&A. Dates, times, and registration links can be found at

* 11/28 – SJSU/Cal State Apply Workshop via Zoom 5:30-6:30 pm – Staff will go over the application step-by-step, as well as have a live Q&A. Dates, times, and registration links can be found at

* As the second grading period just ended and as the last 6 weeks of the semester are about to begin, we want to provide some resources to support our students, especially as they are working on their PIQs and applications for scholarships and studying for their classes.

College and career readiness flyer

General posters in English and Spanish

Postcards in English and Spanish

* Upcoming teacher office hours & extra help will take place on December 1st from 8:30 - 9:30 am.

* Our Head Counselor Mrs. Pham is out on maternity leave. 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 & Mrs. Marquez

* 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!

* 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 (10,000 deg.)

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

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

Activities Updates

Yearbooks are going fast! Buy Now!

Yearbooks are priced according to a sliding scale, so purchasing earlier guarantees a better price. Right now, the yearbook is at its lowest cost, $65! Act now, the price will increase to $75 on December 1st.

Students and parents/guardians can order a yearbook at the school bank (A-06), or visit (enter code 6072) to purchase online. In addition, the YOC offers packages for purchasing advertisement pages to honor graduating seniors and promote local businesses.

For further information, please review the Yearbook Frequesntly Asked Questions document.

Annual Talent Show Tryouts! (12/1 - 12/2)

Calling all performers (comedians, singers, dancers, musicians, extreme sports enthusiasts, etc… Tryout for the ASB’s Annual Talent Show in December. Qualifiers will perform in the Theatre to a guaranteed, sold out crowd on Friday, 1/13. Proceeds benefit the IHS Tech. Theatre Program.

Performing Arts - WinterFest Musical Concerts (12/6 - 12/7)

Safety and Attendance

As the second Marking Period comes to a close overall attendance is an area that, as a site, we are working on since our goal is to maintain a 95% attendance record, and we are currently averaging below 90%.

The C-05 team has been diligently working with students and having parent conferences with students to address attendance and generate a plan to help support and motivate the students to be in class.

We would like to continue to remind SIXERs of the importance of being on time, all day, every day, is how there is a correlation between attendance and grades.

One way to recoup a FULL DAY absence is by attending Saturday School.

Saturday School

Our next Saturday School is scheduled for Dec. 3rd. Saturday School is a way for students can recover a FULL day of absence. This is to clarify that it will not excuse tardies.

You may sign up by clicking the following link:

ARC Meeting

Our next ARC meeting is Wednesday, Nov. 9th, at 6 PM in the iCafe. Notifications via email and Remind have been sent out.

Student Parking Permits

This is a friendly reminder that if students are driving their car to school, they must fill out a student parking permit application.

The student parking permit application will be completed online. Once the form has been submitted, please bring your driver's license, current motor vehicle registration, and proof of auto insurance to C-05 to receive your parking permit.

The online application can be found here:

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

Senior Student Corner

Graduation Gear

Coming November 14th, all seniors will meet in assembly with Herff Jones, our graduation vendor. There they will learn about purchasing graduation cap & gown kits, formal invitations, 2023 apparel, and commemorative jewelry and accessories. Students will be provided with ordering forms and the option to purchase these items, onsite, for a much cheaper rate than online.

Later that week, parents/guardians and students can purchase onsite (and waive all shipping fees) at the N02 Building on Thursday (11/17) and Friday (11/18), from 8am - 5pm.

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. Contact the studio via phone to make your sitting reservation, now: (408) 354-8660. Online Reservations may be made starting in November @

Senior Prom

The Senior Prom will be held at the Cocoanut Grove in Santa Cruz, CA on Saturday, April 8th, 2023. Tickets sales will begin in January. Early pricing will be approximately $75 and will include chartered bus transportation to the venue. The prom will include finger food/ dessert buffets, dj and dancing, a variety of photo booths, and 2-hours of private access to the Boarrwalk’s Arcade and Laser Tag. Although bus transportation is preferred, if desired, families may arrange for chartered transportation or drop-off. Students will not enter the event until 7pm, and will have enough time to dine at a variety of nearby restaurants in Santa Cruz (at the Wharf or in Downtown). More info to come in January.

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Our Sixer Values in Action

We Are Innovative- Our Sixer Values in Action

Innovative solutions that truly make a positive impact start with a community-minded concern. One of the community concerns students voiced in a school-wide lesson was the need for campus beautification. Students in our IHS Beautification program, led by Ms. Susan Hinchey, have been hard at work adding student picked and planted plants to the campus. As civic minded individuals, they are learning about drought tolerant plants able to thrive in contained spaces.

The next IHS Beautification Community Day is this coming Saturday 11/12/22. We will be focusing on giving the front of the school the "Disneyland effect", a term used by our new gardener. (Trimming bushes and trees, mulching the area in front of N01 and sweeping the parking lot in front of NO1). If we have time we will plan out future landscaping and make signs for the planters. We will work from 8:30 am to 11:30 am with a 10 am breakfast break. If you wish to attend the Saturday event please fill in this short form:

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View our School-Wide lesson We Are Innovative 2022-2023 HERE.

A multi-tiered system of supports (MTSS) is a proactive and preventative framework that integrates data and instruction to maximize student achievement and support students social, emotional, and behavior needs from a strengths-based perspective.

Student voice is an important part of the narrative data we collect to inform decisions made around school improvement and high quality instruction. One way we collect student voice is through school-wide lessons carried out in 4th period classes, PE 1 and 2, US History, English 3, and Government/Economics classes.

Parent & Community Involvement Corner

Thank you to all who attended our Coffee w/ the Principal last week. Please use THIS LINK to access the presentation.

Marking Period 2 ended on Friday, November 4, please keep an eye out for your students’ progress report coming in the mail. Please see the attached resources. If you have not received any communication via mail, please ensure we have your current mailing address.

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$1 admission to The Tech Interactive

The Tech Interactive offers reduced pricing ($1 per person) on general admission tickets for low-income families for up to six people as part of the Museums for All program.

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Med Assist Program: The MedAssist program helps eligible patients receive reimbursements for their EpiPens, Asthma Inhalers, and Insulin prescriptions. This county program soft-launched in October 2021, and was designed to help the "missing middle" - those who may not qualify for low-income subsidy programs, but pay out of pocket for their medications.

Here is the video link for the program with tutorial info to apply.
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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.
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Metal Health and Wellness

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.

Office Closures: Wednesday, 10/19/22, we will be closed from 8:30 am until the start of 7th period (2:13 pm) for our monthly social work meeting, Wellness Wednesday, and Care Team meeting. If you need support from an adult, please go to C-05, N-1, or N-2 for assistance.

Calming Center Updates

We are very happy to announce that the calming space has been reopened and is welcoming students. Things might look a little different than before so come check it out to see the changes! Don’t worry it is still just as relaxing as before.

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:

Wellness Center Groups: All of our groups provided by our Community Based Agencies are now running! Our groups include Ujima’s Life Skills group, Art Therapy, New Hope for Youth, Art of Yoga, City Peace Project, City of San Jose Female Intervention Team, and YWCA Teens Ending Abuse (TEA) Club. Please see a social worker in D05 for more information.

Wellness Wednesday: We came with questions and you brought the answers! Students lined up last week to participate in our mental health trivia game. Every student who participated was given candy and a stress toy. Our stress toys were so popular that the entire box of 70+ squishies was empty by the end of lunch. Thank you to everyone who stopped by to participate! Make sure to keep an eye out for us next week!

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 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

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Reporting Line

Independence makes use of the SaySomething Anonymous Reporting System from Sandy Hook Promise. If you, or your student, have a tip to report, you can use the following link, and it will be routed to the appropriate individuals.

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