Independence High School

2022-2023 - Semester 2 (5/22/23)

Principal's Update

Last Wednesday, 5/17/23, was our Senior Honors Night, where we celebrated many of the accomplishments of our Seniors. We celebrated the scholarships and accomplishments of our Senior class, including our Twenty-Six Valedictorian Candidates. Many thanks to iDance for their performance of Catharsis, choreographed by Senior Vero Hong. Images from this event are in the Activities section below. Congratulations to all our Seniors!

This is the last week of our standard schedule for the school year. Next Monday is Memorial Day, and then we go into our Finals schedule.

On June 24th we are having a London Benefit Concert/Dance in our I.H.S. Gymnasium to help fund our Marking band as they go to the London New Year's Day parade. Eleven Bands from our local area are graciously donating their time and talent in hopes of raising a large sum of money for the Marching Band. In addition to the music, we will also have a silent auction at the event. All proceeds from this event will be applied directly to the trip's overall cost, thereby lowering every member’s individual trip cost.

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Parents & guardians, please take a moment to complete the survey through the following link First, select Independence from the drop-down menu. Once you start the survey, you can choose a preferred language from the drop-down menu.

What's happening this week

IHS Art Showcase (continues until 5/25)

Visit the B-Villa art building at lunch for a reception with free snacks and tons of art to look at. Come see photographs, drawings, paintings, digital paintings, ceramics and more in this show celebrating art students and all the hard work they have done in second semester. AP Art students have completed their portfolios, and their amazing work will be on display. Artwork will remain on display until the following Thursday, May 25th, and the building will be open at break and lunch during this time. Don't miss it!

Next Week:

Memorial Day Holiday (Mon, 5/29)

Senior Picnic & Pool Party / Finals Day 1 (Tues, 5/30)

Senior Graduation Practice/ Finals Day 2 / Graduation ( Wed, 5/31)

Senior Diploma Pick-up / Finals Day 3 (Thurs, 6/1)

Sixer Shoutouts

Staff Shoutout

Mr. Ken Ponticelli is the living heartbeat of the Performing Arts department- not only for the school, including our performing arts staff and students, but also as the subject area coordinator for the district. Ken is thoughtful, knowledgeable, caring, and on par with Superman as far as competence in his job. We are very fortunate to have Ken as a teacher and coworker.” ~Ms. Tammy Feinberg, Teacher

Student Shoutouts

Congratulations to Ms. Inglefinger’s AP Digital Studio Art students, who participated in the U.S. Representative Jimmy Panetta, California’s 19th Congressional District, 2023 Congressional Art Competition, An Artistic Discovery:

  • Diep Van Pham Nguyen- 3rd place with her work entitled “Visions of Iridescent Flames”. Her work will be framed and displayed at Congressman Jimmy Panera’s South San Jose Blossom Hill 19th Congressional District office location.

  • An Vu- Best In Show- Digital, for her Digital Painting entitled ‘A Mother’s Touch’.

  • Catharine Saechao- Honorary Mention for “Dangers of Polarization”

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, May 13, students participated in IHS’s Water Walk! The Water Walk serves as an educational event spreading awareness of the scarcity of water and the importance of teaching others about water conservation and drought.

Mr. Jordan Stone (Social Science Teacher, IHS Solar Suitcase Advisor) and two former IHS students, Amy Hua, and Kyle Mondina, traveled to Kenya in 2017 to deliver and deploy solar suitcases. In the village that they were living in, they had to carry HEAVY pails of water (33 pounds!) for MILES back and forth every day IN THE HEAT with the women in the village. This created a massive impression on Mr. Stone and the two students because here in the U.S., we can easily get fresh, usable water right out of the tap. And yet, in other countries around the world, people still struggle to get the essentials they need, especially water.

IHS Solar Suitcase wanted to bring this same experience back home by creating the Water Walk. We aim to give students and teachers alike an experience to walk in solidarity with almost 2.2 billion people around the world aiming for one necessity everyone needs to survive: WATER! All proceeds at the event go straight back into constructing and deploying Solar Suitcases to developing countries in need of energy.

Participants at this event walked a mile course around campus carrying buckets of water. Throughout the course, participants had to memorize facts about water conservation and drought. To complete the course and prove they have learned something, participants took a test on the water facts and had a chance at receiving prizes! After completing the course, participants enjoyed food, games, performances, and other activities at the Water Resource Fair!

All to share a crucial message: WATER IS LIFE!

Check out the fabulous WATER WALK 2023 VIDEO HERE!

Video by: Darrell Salinas, Senior

Athletics Updates

Congratulations to Cameron Chapman on his 6th place finish in the CCS Triple Jump Finals.

2023-24 Athletes registration for athletic clearance opens on Saturday, 6/3/2023. Please remember that all physicals for 23-24 athletes must take place on or after 6/3/2023.

Thank you to all athletes and coaches for a successful 2022-23 athletic campaign. Your hard work in the classroom, on the field, and in the community is appreciated. Our efforts between the lines are all made possible by the support and guidance of our parents, teachers, and administrators, so we’d also like to thank all of the adults that support our athletes’ endeavors. Have a great summer season and Go6ers! 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

Summer School Application

The summer school application has closed. Counselors are currently reviewing summer school sign ups to ensure students are placed in the correct courses they need. Notification will be sent out shortly. Contact our Summer School Coordinator, Ms. Huynh (, for any questions.

Scholarships for Seniors

We are now accepting applications for scholarships aimed for Independence graduating seniors. Students are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. See scholarship details below.

  • 10,000 Degrees Scholarship | Flyer
  • Priority deadline has passed, but 10,000 Degrees is still accepting applications! Award amount varies
  • No requirement
  • Contact Mr. Garcia ( if you have questions

College Opportunities Summit 2023

Our community partner, 10,000 Degrees, is hosting a summer program for current juniors to learn more about college, majors, careers, and resources available. For more information and to apply, please see the attached flyer or contact for 10,000 Degrees fellow, Mr. Garcia at

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 Update

Hey Seniors!

Did you know? There is a special Senior Newsletter! Check out the special link for ALL senior-specific information, such as: professional portraits, graduation, FAFSA, and Prom! Just scroll, locate, and CLICK on the Senior Button!

Senior Honor Night Photos - posted

Check out the excellent photos from our resident photographers. Senior Honor Night (5/17) celebrated the great academic accomplishments our seniors made throughout their four years of high school.

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Click HERE to check out the ceremony candid shots courtesy of Unwavering Camera Photography.

Click HERE to check out the individual backdrop photos as shot by our Photo Club and their Advisor, Mr. Bischofberger.

2023 - 2024 IHS Club Charter Applications (due June 1st)

Looking to start a club at IHS? Then, stop by the School Bank (A06) to pick up an application for the 2023-2024 School Year. All new applicants must submit, and all existing clubs must apply for renewal by the end-of-year deadline. Don’t delay!


We’re still taking yearbook orders for $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 for online purchases).

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

Follow us! 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:

Safety and Attendance

***ATTENTION Seniors***

Dear Students and Parents:

The end of the 2022-23 school year is fast approaching with only five weeks of school left. As underclassmen prepare to move up another grade level and seniors prepare for graduation and life beyond high school, please remember your student responsibilities and the student behavioral expectations of the school. There are many extracurricular activities to close out the school year, such as the end-of-the-year dance, Wrap it Up rally, and Senior activities (including the graduation ceremony). This is a reminder that participation in extracurricular activities and senior activities (including graduation ceremony) is a privilege, and can be revoked if school rules are violated.

Examples of such violations which may cause a student to lose their privileges are:

  • Suspension for fighting, possession, or under the influence of illegal substances/paraphernalia, controlled substances, alcohol, tobacco, nicotine, and/or vapes.

  • Partaking in hazing, pranks, and/or vandalism of school property.

  • Cutting class or excessive, unverified absences, and/or chronic tardiness.

  • Academic honesty and plagiarism.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.


Ricardo A. Salgado

Associate Principal of Administrative Services

Independence High School

(408) 928-9520


As Spring has sprung and our students enjoy the change in weather, this is a friendly reminder to parents and students that we are a closed campus. Students should not be leaving the school grounds during school hours–particularly during break and lunch for safety reasons. The Public Library and Overfelt Gardens constitute as off campus as they are not on school grounds.

Additionally, 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.

The C-05 office will continue to focus on attendance as we continue to strive towards 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 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: 86.94%

April’s Average: 87.29%

Last Week’s Average: 85.22%

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.

The IHS Attendance Office is located at 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

Join us for a Webinar regarding School Discipline: A comprehensive look into School Discipline Protocols & Guidelines, Tuesday, May 23 @ 6pm.

Congratulations to our Parent PIQE Graduates!

Congratulations to our IHS Bilingual Scholars!


Santa Clara Family Health Plan (SCFHP) Blanca Alvarado Community Resource Center is a convenient, welcoming, and safe space committed to advancing the health of SCFHP members and East San José residents. The Center collaborates with safety-net agencies to offer community-responsive and culturally competent health and wellness programs and helps connect residents to resources.

Bay area Community Health provides affordable full-service healthcare throughout Santa Clara County.

Our Independence Clothes Closet has a number of gently used clothing items. Please reach contact Ms. Maggie 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. Please refer to the calendar below for next school year, 2023-2024

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For any questions or concerns please contact 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 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.

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:

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!

Mental Health Awareness Week

Hey Sixers! Are you interested in learning new ways to better care for your mental health? Join us on the Senior Stage at Lunch the week of 5/15-5/18 to learn more!

To Be Honest Mental Health Photography Walks

In honor of Mental Health Month, To Be Honest is hosting a series of 5 photography walks throughout the East San Jose Area! Each session will be led by a professional photographer who will teach you the basics of photography on a Canon EOS Rebel. We want you to capture your environment, explore a new park, and practice mindfulness through a new art form! This is a free activity open to all young adults ages 14 to 25; priority will be given to East San Jose Residents. The first session, held on 5/2 at 3:15, will be at Overfelt Gardens Park, located next to the IHS campus! Register Here:

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Daybreak Webinars: Daybreak has offered several online webinars to parents and guardians on a variety of topics. If you were unable to attend or just want to look back for a refresher you can follow the link to a spreadsheet with all past presentations: Classes Registration Reports - ESUHSD & Daybreak

Parent Education: The ASPIRE programs at El Camino and Hoag Hospitals are very excited to share, the Parenting CURVE Collaborative. Parents and the community have the opportunity to join mental health experts on Tuesday May 9th, 2023 from 6-8PM PST as we explore topics facing our youth and young adults in this complex world. Parents can explore strategies, receive resources, and ask questions during our live panel to strengthen their ability to respond to parenting obstacles. By working together as clinicians and parents and destigmatizing the conversation, we do our best as a community to stay ahead of the youth mental health curve. For additional information about the event and to register, please visit:

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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