Independence High School

2022-2023 - Semester 2, Week 6 (2/13/23)

Principal's Update

This week ends our 4th marking period and next week there are no classes for Winter Break. Congratulations to our sports teams moving on to CCS Playoffs!

District-level meetings (LCAP Meetings) will start the week we return from Break. Please help represent Independence and let your voice be heard as we gather input to address our targeted growth areas. Additional information for students and parents about these meetings is below.

Two teams in the Economics of Small Business Ownership class have made it to the top ten finalists round of NFTE's World Series of Innovation Competition. The purpose of this global competition is for students to imagine solutions for epic challenges to humanity, ranging from environmental sustainability to mental health to financial literacy. Jasmine Aquinde & Minh Thi Huynh placed in the top ten of the mental health challenge for Senior Sunrise, their vision of launching a senior community center to incentivize healthy habits. Shirley Nguyen & Jarren Baladad placed in the top ten of the subscription economy challenge for Fashion Econ, their vision of a subscription marketplace for second-hand or thrifted clothing to promote a green and fashionable clothing economy. Please congratulate them and wish them luck with their pitches as they move on to the finalist round of the competition against teams from all over the world!

Additionally, the Silicon Valley Urban Debate League recently honored our team with the "Team Spirit of the Year" award. This award is given to the club that we believe has demonstrated the highest level of commitment and camaraderie within our league. Additionally, they awarded Ms. Larese the "New Coach of the Year" award. Finally, please help congratulate Chloe Truong and Nuha Khan for placing second as a team in their Public Forum division.

Our learning management system, Canvas, is set up to help you keep track of your child’s progress. Please view this video to see all the features parents/guardians can take advantage of on Canvas including:

1. When the course grade goes below a percentage you choose

2. When your student has a missing assignment

3. Course announcements

CANVAS LMS for Parents

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Sixer Shoutouts

Student Shoutouts

Philip Woodward observed a serious incident just off campus on Feb 8th and handled the situation in an ideal manner. He quickly returned to campus to report the situation in a quick, calm, and accurate manner. His rapid reporting allowed the campus to ensure student safety as quickly as possible. He also took charge of the students arriving to my seventh period class which allowed me to turn around students who were exiting campus in the vicinity of the incident. Truly an extraordinary response to a crisis. ~Mr. Alec Glassford, Science Teacher

Quinlan Nguyen has made a concerted effort to really improve his engagement and work ethic since the semester has begun. He is expressing his thoughts and showing that he is reading, preparing and engaging in our discussions and the work we are doing. I am so happy to see him put forth such a great effort, and that he is incredibly focused and participatory. Keep going, Quinlan. You are amazing! ~Ms. Leslie Gregori, English Teacher

For a complete list of *ALL* Fall Semester Shoutout Winners, click HERE! Our Sixer Staff awarded 154 Sixer Shoutouts during the Fall semester! Congratulations to all!

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On Friday, February 10, 2023, our Counseling Team hosted 8th grade Preview Night at the i-Cafe! Staff and students welcomed incoming families from our feeder middle schools to learn about academies, programs, and specialized classes. 8th graders and their families were able to speak to a counselor about course offerings and submit preferences for their courses.

Adults who attended also received free tickets to our Varsity Boys’ Basketball Senior Night game against Piedmont Hills!! All students attend games for free at IHS!

Building a network of support is important and happening within our Sixer community each and every day. That is the Sixer Spirit!

Check out more photos of 8th grade Preview Night and the Basketball game HERE!

Athletics Updates


Congratulations to Sixer Wrestling for their efforts at the BVAL tournament this past weekend. Nemilyn Espejo (Sr), Hektor Olvera (Sr), Gustavo Alducin (Sr), Jose Hernandez (Sr), Brandon Nandi (Jr), and Aaron Olvera (Fr) will represent Independence HS at the CCS Regional Playoffs on 2/11/23.

Congratulations to JV Wrestlers Ezequiel Martinez, Owen Rosslee, and Jorge Vasquez for placing in last weekend’s BVAL JV Tournament.

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

Week of 2/13/2023

Tuesday, 2/14

Sixer Soccer (g) vs Oak Grove @ 6pm

Friday, 2/17

Sixer Basketball (b) CCS Playoffs - TBD

Saturday, 2/18

Sixer Basketball (b) CCS Playoffs - TBD

Sixer Soccer (g) CCS Playoffs - TBD

All CCS Tickets on-line ONLY at is now a vendor of ESUHSD. Now there are (2) options for purchasing tickets to basketball and volleyball games; pay via cash at the Box Office or electronically via mobile app/phone at IHS & (Note: GoFan does charge a $1/ ticket fee for each transaction)

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

Counseling Corner


AB 469

All seniors must complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) or the CADAA (California Dream Act Application) by March 2nd. Counselors and Mr. Garcia are available to assist students in completing the application. IHS will also be hosting a Cash 4 College Workshop on Thursday, February 2nd from 3:30-6:30pm for any senior and family who needs assistance.

Counselor Availability:

Ms. Pham (A-Cg) - 8am-3:30pm

Mr. Ly (Ch-Garc) - 8am-3:30pm

Mr. Hennessey (Gard-Le, I) - 8am-3:30pm

Ms. Fernandez (Le, J-M) - 8:30am-4pm

Ms. Huynh (N-Ph) - 8:15am-3:45pm

Ms. Marquez (Pi-Ta) - 8:30am-4pm

Ms. Liang (Tb-Z) - 8:15am-3:45pm

Mr. Garcia (10,000 Degrees Fellow) - 9am-4pm | Tuesday-Thursday

Ms. Cuenca (USF Intern) - 8am-3:30pm | Monday & Tuesday

Ms. Serrano (USF Intern) - 8am-3:30pm | Tuesday & Thursday

Activities Updates

ASB Executive Cabinet Elections for 2023-2024

ASB oversees all clubs and schoolwide events each year, from Freshman Orientation in the Summer, all the way to the Senior Picnic at the end of the year. For the first time ever, every single one of our ASB Cabinet positions will be filled by uncontested candidates. So, while we won’t be having a schoolwide election, we still want you to meet your peer candidates.

  • Candidate Speeches: Monday, 2/13, @ Senior Stage, during lunch

  • Candidate Forum: Wednesday, 2/15 @ C-Commons, during lunch


Check out the special link for ALL senior-specific information, such as: professional portraits, graduation, FAFSA, and Prom! Just scroll down and click on the Senior button below!

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Yearbooks & Yearbook Ads!

Yearbooks are priced according to a sliding scale, so purchasing earlier guarantees a better price. Right now, yearbook reservations/orders are at $70.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 processing fee). Yearbooks will increase to $75 in February so buy now!

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Yearbook Ads are a great way to honor graduating seniors, memorialize social groups and clubs, and promote local businesses. One exciting way to celebrate you and your friends is to contribute to a photo collage of all your collective experiences! Select from a variety of packages, layout options, templates, colors, and fonts. Upload as many photos as you desire and submit for publication!

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


Check out the special link for all Senior-specific information, such as professional portraits, graduation, FAFSA, and Prom! Just scroll past Activities and click on the button below!

Annual Multicultural Assembly/Rally (March 3rd - during school)

A traditional, cultural rally highlighting and honoring the many different cultures at Independence High School.

Schoolwide Dance #3: Sadie Hawkins (Friday, March 3rd @ 6:30pm)

The “Sadies” Dance is a long running tradition at Independence. The dance is designed, organized, and hosted by the IHS Spirit Squad. ALL proceeds benefit the Spirit Squad, ensuring they can continue to provide training and supplement the cost of cheer uniforms. Tickets can be purchased from any Cheer Squad Member or the ASB Bank (A06), starting in mid-February.

Social Media Handles

Stay up to date on all student activities and events at IHS - follow your ASB-endorsed accounts:

And, be sure to also follow your class account for information specific to your year:

Talent Show Picture Link for Students & Parents

The photos are ready from last week's Talent Show. Please support our local, student photographer and your student by browsing the collection and making a purchase! Check them out HERE

Safety and Attendance

The C-05 office will continue to focus on attendance as we would like to continue to remind SIXERs the importance of being on time, all day, every day and how there is a correlation between attendance and grades. We are happy to report that as a site we are making an improvement in the right direction. Let’s keep it up SIXERS

Semester Average: 85.86%

January Average: 85.77%

Last Week’s Average: 86.25%

We will continue 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.

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

Saturday School

Our first Saturday School of the semester was a HUGE success where we had over forty students present. Our next Saturday School is scheduled for February 18, 2023.

Saturday School is a way for students can recover a FULL day of absence. Saturday School does not excuse excessive tardies. You may sign up by clicking the following link:


A friendly reminder to parents and students that we are a closed campus. Students should not leave the school grounds during school hours–particularly during breaks and lunch for safety reasons. The Public Library and Overfelt Gardens constitute as off campus as they are not on school grounds.

Additionally, this is a friendly reminder that students should not be hanging out in the parking lots during passing period, break and or lunch. Staff members will ask the students to go back to the main campus.

Short Term Independent Studies (STIS)

Please remember that if your student will be absent for 5 days up to 14 days, they may apply for short term independent studies through the C-05. Please have your student come by C-05 to speak with Ms. Vidal or Mr. Salgado regarding the process.

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

Parent and Community Involvement Corner

Attention Parents of English Language Learners (EL) We will be administering the ELPAC test to all of our English Language Learners (EL) starting on February 6 - February 16. This test will be used to reclassify our English Learners as proficient in English. Encourage your students to perform at their best.

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Parent Voice needed!!! You are all invited to attend the LCAP meeting. Your input is needed to best ensure how our District should best use the funding the state has allocated to East Side Union High School District.

Please plan on attending one of the following Zoom meetings:

Grading Period 4 ends Friday, February 17, 2023. Please check in and remind your student to speak with their teachers in regards to their grades and any support needed.

​​**Mark your calendars, March 1, 2023 @ 9am via Zoom Coffee with the Principal.

Please mark your calendars for future Family Engagement Workshops:


Parent Project: Vietnamese ONLY at this time

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County of Santa Clara - Weather Safety Resource

Our Independence Clothes Closet has a number of gently used clothing items. Please reach contact Ms. Maggie or Ms. Guardado in N01 if you are in need of any items (ie…sweaters, jackets, socks, blankets)

As a reminder please refer to the academic calendar to support you in the planning of any holiday vacations. As a reminder, vacations are not excuse absences in session days. For further questions please contact your attendance clerk.

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For any questions or concerns please contact either Ms. Guardado 408.928.9598 or Ms. Maggie 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
Help Support our Band Boosters send our students to the London New Year's Day Parade! Information is below.
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Metal Health and Wellness

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

Office Closures:The office is closed on Wednesdays from 11:30 until 2:00 pm. If you need support from an adult, please go to C-05, N-1, or N-2 for assistance.

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:

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

Mental Health and Wellness Survey: To gain a better understanding of our students’ knowledge of mental health services on campus we asked students to complete a survey. The survey is still open. Families are welcome to ask their children to complete it if they have not already.

English: Mental Health Survey

Spanish:Encuesta de Salud Mental y Bienestar

Vietnamese: Khảo sát sức khỏe tâm thần và sức khỏe

Wellness Wednesday: The name of the game is Jenga! Students from across campus came to pull blocks and see how high we could make the tower as a school. There was an extra challenge for players because the table was on a slope. Not everyone wanted to play so there were plenty of spectators looking on to see when it would topple. Come find us next week for another event on campus!

Educational Webinar for Parents: Daybreak, our community partner, is hosting educational webinars for parents on topics related to student mental health. All webinars are free to parents! The next upcoming webinar will focus on identifying changes in behavior. You can register by clicking here. The next upcoming training is Thursday, February 9th from 5-6pm

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. 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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