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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!






4th, 5th, and 6th grade PAWS students will meet after school on 1/16/19.  We will remain on campus.

4th grade PAWS students will meet after school on 2/6/19 (South Franklin Circle - Permission slip required!!  You may access permission slip HERE) 



 "Buddy Bunch" is a student/counselor advisory group designed to build healthy student relationships and promote inclusion across our building.  Students in this group will help the school counselor organize school-wide events and activities, identify and assist students in need, help new students transition into our district, provide feedback about how our school functions, and help create solutions to student problems.  Thank you to EVERY student who applied to be a member of Buddy Bunch!  Though I increased the number of students from 5 to 7 per grade level, I wish I could take everyone!!

Congratulations to the 21 students who were chosen to participate in our first ever Buddy Bunch!!  I am so excited to see the trails these students will blaze in their quest to make CFIS a place where EVERY student feels welcomed, noticed, and included! 



This group will run on Mondays and Wednesdays from 3:30 - 4:30 and will require students to sign up, as space is limited.  If you are interested, please fill out this form:  Homework Helpers Sign Up Form 


People Always Willing To Serve (PAWS)

  The new PAWS schedule can be found HERE



 Guidance class will not be a part of the Encore rotation this year.  Instead, I will teach Guidance lessons to students during Social Studies classes.  This will allow me to meet with all students on at least a monthly basis and allow for more Tier 2 small group/individual counseling supports. 



After the Labor Day weekend, in Guidance, students will be given a "Student Needs Assessment" so I may gather information to inform the types of lessons that I will teach, the counseling groups students would benefit from, and address individual needs.  

 **Parents:  I would be so grateful if you would fill out this "Parent Version - Student Needs Assessment"   so I may gather this crucial information from your perspective.  Your feedback and input is so valuable!!  Thank you!! :)  **



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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