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CFIS School Counseling Mission:
Working collaboratively with parents, teachers, administrators, and the community, the Chagrin Falls Intermediate School Counseling Department is committed to advocating for, and meeting, the academic, social, and career needs of every student. We continually strive to deliver a comprehensive school counseling program that identifies barriers to student growth, provides interventions based on the unique needs of each individual, encourages self-actualization, and instills, within every student, a passion for lifelong learning.
We believe every student:
1. can achieve success and reach their goals
2. needs to feel valued in order to maximize their potential
3. should be treated with dignity and respect
4. should recognize the importance mistake-making in the learning process and celebrate their trials and errors along their life’s journey
5.  is an individual and has the right to actively participate in his/her educational experience in a way that celebrates their diversity and individuality
6.  may learn differently from peers and that each student should have access to resources that will maximize his/her learning potential
7.  should have access to a licensed school counselor with, at minimum, a Master’s-level education who will serve as an advocate for each student while supporting the school’s mission towards academic achievement
8.  is more than the sum of his/her academic scores and thrives in an environment that addresses the needs of the “whole person”
9.  should have access to a comprehensive school counseling program that addresses the academic, social /emotional, and career needs of each student in a developmentally appropriate manner


Ever wonder what we talk about in Guidance Class?  
Check out the lessons topics below!
SEPTEMBER:  "START WITH HELLO"Leading up to our September 23rd "Start with Hello" event, we spent our Guidance time learning about the SWH philosophy and strategies we can use to identify and help students who feel socially isolated.  (We used THIS PRESENTATION  to guide our conversation.)  CFIS joined over 12,000 schools across the nation in this initiative! 
OCTOBER:  "OUR DIFFERENCES":   October is National Bullying Prevention month!  On October 21st, we had the honor of hosting Cleveland Playhouse's production of "Kicked", a play aimed at bringing awareness to the effects of bullying.  In Guidance, we are continuing to bring awareness to bullying and unkind behaviors by exploring how our differences come into play.  Often, we use our differences as the reason to be unkind to others...or even sometimes the reason why we feel bad about ourselves.  We are having conversations about how our brains are wired to notice differences and be curious about them.  The tricky part is that we are often taught to not talk about differences we notice, so we are not always very good about respectfully getting the information we are seeking.  Our brains are also wired to to make a judgement about others' differences...but that can mislead us into believing that we should fear, avoid, or mistreat someone whom we percieve as "different" from us.    We also talk about how our brains are wired to prefer to be around people with whom we have similarities; however, the tricky part is that we have to work a little harder to find similarities!  Finding these doesn't come as naturally and as easily as noticing our differences!  We discussed how we can actively seek to find our similarities and make connections ("Start with Hello" strategies are one way!!) and that the more we seek to understand others, the more accepting we are of them!!  We need to ask "curious" questions in a way that is respectful, not judgemental.  We used this presentation to guide our discussion:  OUR DIFFERENCES
NOVEMBER: Making Decisions :  We will be talking about decision making in Guidance this month.  This particular lesson will be a review to our 5th and 6th graders, but the message is one that is worth repeating!!  We will talk about how our response to situations often determines the outcome.  We discuss how we have the power to reach our goals and it starts with making choices that will get us closer to those goals.  In class, we learn how to play the game of Chess to illustrate how our choices not only affect us, they affect others...and we need to try to predict how our choices will impact our outcomes.  Students really seem to enjoy the game once they get the hang of it!! 
DECEMBER:  Making Decisions:  We continued our conversation about S+R=O (Situation + Response = Outcome) and learning about the game of Chess.  We reflected upon how our decisions affect our outcome...and how our decisions place those around us into their own situation to which THEY will respond. We learned that, though not perfect, we are pretty good at predicting outcomes!
JANUARY:  Small Groups / Group problem solving activity: In our January Guidance classes, we discussed the 5 counseling small groups that are being offered.  Counseling small groups teach students skills and provide support so that students may work through difficult situations in a healthy way.  After we discussed these, we did a group problem-solving activity.  Students were invited to write a problem that they were having (anonymously) on a slip of paper.  Students were made aware that the problem they wrote down would be read aloud so their peers could offer suggestions of what has helped them when they have encountered a similar problem.  As with every activity in Guidance, student participation was voluntary and only those who were comfortable sharing, did so.  Before problems were read aloud, we discussed how important it was to be respectful with our responses.  Students came up with some great ideas to help one another combat feelings of loneliness, anxiety, anger, and coping with situations that are beyond our control, such as familial relationships and difficulties.  





Hello Parents and Students,

It has only been a little while since our mandated time away from school began, and I am already missing my 372 kiddos!  I want you all to know that I will remain available to all of our students and families as we navigate this difficult time together. Our district and building-level administrators, teachers, and staff have worked tirelessly to ensure that our transition to virtual learning will be a huge success and I am super excited to see it in action!  
Though students are not expected to meet any work requirements for Guidance Class, I would like for all students to make sure they are signed up for their grade level’s Guidance Classroom. I will continue to remain in contact with students via Classroom and this will be one of the easiest ways for students to contact me if they have any counseling needs. Students who have not yet joined the Guidance Classroom will be sent an email with a link to join.
I will have Office Hours every school day and can be easily reached with any questions or concerns via email or Classroom. I will be able to meet with students and parents via Google Hangouts or Google Phone, and am hopeful that I can even continue to have "lunch bunch" groups! 

As always, please do not hesitate to reach out if you need anything at all!   

I look forward to "seeing" our students online starting tomorrow!  


Grief Group  

Anger Group 

Anxiety Group 

Divorce Group 

Celebrate U! (Differences) 



Mrs. Karen Appell, M.Ed; LPSC 
77 E. Washington St
Chagrin Falls, OH  44022
(440) 247-5500  ext: 4221
Information about Ohio's Crisis Text Line can be found HERE 
(Availble to all students) 
Personal/Social Services
Crisis Intervention
Individual Counseling
Group Counseling
Classroom Guidance
Community resources
Social skills
Academic Services
Study skills
Testing skills
Test anxiety
Gifted Testing
504 Coordination
Career Services 
Career exploration
Interests /skills development
Soft Skills needed for College and Career success


 "Homework Helpers"
Homework Helpers is an after-school group for students who would like a little extra support with getting schoolwork done.  Group will meet on Mondays and Wednesdays from 3:30 - 4:30.  This group will be supervised by Mrs Appell and Mrs Guggenheim who are availble to help students with homework, organization, and studying.  If you are interested, please contact Mrs Appell ( or Mrs Guggenheim (
Homework Helpers will begin after the Labor Day break! 
Gifted testing occurs 4 times per year during the following windows:
August 15th - September 15th
November 15th - December 15th
February 15th - March 15th
May 15th - June 15th 
**Depending on the number of referrals per window, testing may occur on assigned Saturdays to limit the amount of interruptions to academic instruction** 
Referrals should be filled out and returned to Karen Appell no later than the day prior to the first day of the testing window.  Testing that occurs up until June 15th, 2020 will be used to inform placement for the 2020-21 school year. 
Information of Interest to Students Entering Grades 7-8 in the 2020-21 School Year 
CFMS Course Overide Process Overview
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