Independence HS


Principal's Update

SIXER community,

As we enter our Fourth week of the school year, we have several important things to be aware of. We have several class balancing moves happening this week to alleviate class overages. Throughout our master schedule, we have several sections that are being closed and a few that will be opened.

Parents interested in serving on our School Site Council, we have our nominations this week and will have our election next week during Back to School Night. If you are interested in serving on our School Site Council, meetings are normally on the first Tuesday of the month at 5:30 pm over Zoom. If you are interested, please submit for attached form.

Last week our ASSETs tutoring programs started up again. Our current schedule of offerings is visible here.

Back To School Night is Tuesday, 8/29/2023. Class visits will start at 6 pm, and we will have opening sessions before for interested families.

What's happening this week

What’s Happening This Week:

Welcome Back Spirit Week (8/21 - 8/25)

Spirit weeks are an opportunity to show your school spirit, get silly, and have some fun. So join us for a week of fun, culminating with the Welcome Back Rally (during school hours).

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School Dance: Midnight Summer (Friday, 8/25, 7 pm-10 pm)

Grab your friends and come to the first dance of the year! Tickets are $10 and will be sold at Senior Stage (lunch) and the ASB Bank (A-06). The dance will take place outside so that we can enjoy the warm summer night! All proceeds benefit the Senior Class as they gear up for Prom.

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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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Sixers are truly thoughtful and innovative! Through our school-wide lesson “We Are Innovative”, three juniors tell us how they’ve become more self-aware, aware of our community, and how to make it a better place!

“My current issue within is my lack of both motivation and willingness to ask for help. I was told that failure was a huge thing and should be a rarity. This is why my issue stems as both for the lack of reaching out and the lack of motivation as if I try, then I will fail. These all have culminated into a mutated issue within my own mind. My solution to the situation is simply just attempting new things within my own pace and timing. Whenever trying something new it is almost 100% certain that you will fail over and over. Eventually that failure will become less and less important, while also building up the idea to ask for help. ~Luis Cervantes, Junior

“In my community we deal with an increasing amount of homeless people settling near our neighborhood. My friends and I try and help them so they can hopefully get back up on their feet. Most of them are genuinely nice and are struggling due to expensive housing, but there are a few of them who are a little scary. Regardless, our little group makes them sandwiches from time to time so they don’t have to worry about spending $10 for a little subway sandwich.” ~Riley Tejero, Junior

“A community or school challenge I faced was the trash along our campus in my freshman year of high school and the high amounts of littering students thought was acceptable. This was an issue that I decided should not be so prevalent along our campus. That year, our finance teacher allowed us to make a video to show awareness to our finance academy classes about littering. Me and a couple of students set out to interview our custodians, couple students regarding the problem, and narrate and show a video of the problem. For me, this increased awareness in our finance academy was a major step in the right direction in terms of everyone understanding the trash issue on campus. The next year, this issue wasn't so prevalent due to recycling and beautification clubs, but I carried the video's experience to clean up other areas around our community like joining the city for cleaning neighborhood parks and other areas with a concentration of trash. I also made sure my friends understood to put their lunch trash in the right place, so a little bit of awareness went a long way.” ~Ojas Gandhi, 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 Innovative!

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

Sixer Shoutouts

Student Shoutouts

Arles Moran joined my ELD 1 class in the spring of 2023, and he was not interested in school. His attitude has completely changed this semester. Every day, he strives to turn in his best work. He is focused on learning and helping other students understand the assignments. He has become a role model for my other ELD 1 students.” ~Mrs. Gomez, Teacher

Lesly Aguilar Perez– Nice start to the year! Very excited to see where the year takes you. "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Churchill #believe ~Coach Yenchik, Teacher

Staff Shoutouts

Miko Angeles- YOU ARE AWESOME!!! Thank you for always keeping our school looking good, but in especially the first of weeks of school when it was just you! I appreciate you! You are a great example of an extraordinary Sixer!!!!” ~Ms. Maggie Rodriguez, PCIS

Mr. Ryan Pryor has been spotted hand watering with a watering can, the recently landscaped area outside of his room that does not have a sprinkler system. He does this after school on his own time and without attracting attention, to keep these plants alive. The area looks very nice and the young flowers and plants are thriving do to his care. The area looks so much better than the empty plot of dirt that was there previously.” ~Mr. Jack Aiello, STEAM Academy Teacher and Coordinator

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

Schoolwide Elections (Thursday, 8/31)

Class office candidates have already had their informational meeting. SSC Candidates will be contacted via email for an informational meeting. And SGB Candidates are currently being sought out. The following schoolwide elections will occur via the 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)

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

**Save the Date*** Back to School Night, Tuesday, August 29, 2023. Stay tuned for more information.

Although all students receive free brunch & lunch, we request 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 get in touch with your Parent & Community Involvement Specialists (PCIS), Ms. Ha 408.928.9598 or Ms. Maggie 408.928.9541. We are located in what we call the "Sixer Community Center" 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 can 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 planning any holiday vacations. As a reminder, vacations are not excused 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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