Providing an educational experience empowering students to maximize their potential

Chagrin Falls

Exempted Village Schools


Please click below to fill out request form! 
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!
8/25/17 -  8/29/17:  Go over class goals and expectations; Protocol for getting to/from Guidance class; Getting to know the students (activity)
9/5/17 - 9/7/17:  "Outside Safety": Riding/Biking/Walking to school, Strangers, and Bus Safety
9/13/17 - 9/15/17:  Kahoot: "Whooo is Your Counselor" This is a fun way to discuss the role of the school counselor at CFIS; Set up Guidance Classroom and GoGuardian; Discuss how to request counseling support via Google Form on website and in Classroom
9/25/17 - 9/27/17:  "Student Needs Assessments". These assessment are used to inform Guidance Class curriculum, to see where there are individual or group counseling needs (*parent permission requested for group counseling participation*), and to collect school-wide data on academic performance and the effectiveness of the CFIS School Counseling Program.
Copies of these assessments can be found here:
 10/1/17 - 10/31/17:  "10 Skills of Active Listening":  Listening skills are a crucial aspect in every relationship we have in life!  Being a good listener is the foundation to having better friendships and being the best students we can be!  Student learn that listening is not an easy task...it requires much effort.  The 10 skills we learn and practice are:  Eye Contact, Patience, No interruption, Encourage the speaker, Show interest, Postitive Body Language, Put away distractions, Be curious and Open-Minded, Empathy, Remember what was said.
 11/1/17 - 11/30/17:  "Emotional Intelligence":  Being able to balance our emotions and thoughts to make healthy decisions is quickly becoming recognized as one of the most important indicators of "success" in our careers and relationships!  We will be spending quite a bit of time in class discussing this important topic. 
12/1/17 - 12/22/17:   "Emotional Intelligence":  Two domains of Emotional Intelligence are "Being aware of, and understanding, our own emotions" and "Being aware of, and understanding, the emotions of others".  We have spent the last couple of classes learning about recognizing emotions in others and studying the parts of our brain that are responsible for our emotions and thoughts.  We are beginning to explore the next domain of EI..."Managing our own emotions" as we study the effects music has on our emotions and state of mind.  When we return from break, we will begin to explore different ways we can consciously change how we feel; thus, learning to regulate our emotional reactions.
1/8 - 1/12/18:  "Emotional Intelligence":
Music has an undeniable impact on most of us!  It has the ability to take us on emotional journeys and can be a powerful healer!  In fact, many people use music as a type of emotional therapy!  Neither our pleasant, nor unpleasant, emotions last forever...both may be changed quickly by thinking different thoughts or bringing in different information through our senses.  This week, we are going to use music to demonstrate how quickly and easily our emotions can be changed.  This is just one simple, and very effective, tool we can use when we want to change how we feel and better manage our emotions!  The list of songs we will use for this activity can be found HERE
1/13/18 - 1/31/18:  "Anger":
We are beginning to dig deeper into our "emotions" journey by exploring individual emotions.  We have learned that ALL emotions serve a purpose...they help us communicate our needs and they motivate us to behave in a way to help us meet those needs.  The more we understand the purpose of each emotion, the easier it is to manage them.
The first emotion we are exploring is Anger.  We have learned that anger tends to be a "secondary" emotion...meaning, we tend to express anger when we really feel a deeper emotion that is not as easy to express in our culture, such as sadness or loneliness.  We used a couple of video clips to try to decide if the character was in fact feeling pure anger (often used when exerting dominance over someone to get them to comply, when we feel we have been wronged/offended in some way, or when somone has crossed one of our boundaries or is not respecting our values) or if they were expressing anger but feeling another emotion.  The video clips can be seen   HEREWe also learned and practiced strategies to help us control our anger...even before it happens.  Those can be accessed   HERE
2/1/18 - 2/28/18:  "Door Ettiquette and Manners" 
We have taken a break from discussing emotions to address the concerns that we have received from community members, parents, staff, and students to discuss the proper way to go through a door!  In our current building, we have 5 outside doors through which our students pass multiple times per day and have noticed that students were not holding the doors for one another...or leaving one person to hold the doors for everyone, often without any "thank yous" in return.  We learned how to hold the doors for one another, take the door from the person in front of you (showing mutual respect by allowing them to get to where they need to go and saying "thank you").  We learned how important it is to look around and notice who is coming in or out with you, not only so the door doesn't close on someone, but for security reasons as well.  We learned that it is important to make sure all of the students are inside the building before allowing the door to close, and lock them out.  We have noticed a marked improvement...but still have some room for improvement :)  We will continue to practice!!
3/1/18 -   :  "Sadness"
The next emotion we are exploring is Sadness...one of our most powerful and useful emotions!! Unfortunately, this is also the emotion that most of us don't want to talk about or even think about!!  Sadness sure has gotten a bad rap in our culture!  We are learning that even this extremely unpleasant emotion serves a powerful, crucial purpose!  Sadness serves to connect us so we can "gather troops" to help us solve our problems!  We are wired to respond promptly to someone who is exhibiting signs of sadness with the hopes of helping them solve their problem and console them.  Sadness is like an "SOS" call...a distress signal that alerts those around us that we have used up our available resources and need help figuring something out.  
Unfortunately, in our culture, we tend to feel more comfortable expressing anger when we are sad.  So, instead of sending out an SOS to have people rally around us, when we show anger, we push those reinforcements away.  Thus, we don't get what we need.  
In class we rated how sad we felt at the beginning of class.  We watched a sad video clip, rated our sadness after the video.  We then connected with our peers for a couple of minutes and rated our sadness again.  We found out that just connecting with our peers for that short amount of time was enough to lower our feelings of sadness! Video clip can be accessed HERE


Wow!!  I can’t believe we are getting close to the end of our school year!  For the last two classes of the year, we will be talking about how to stay safe online and will complete our End of Year Needs Assessment.  The Needs Assessment, given at the beginning of the year and the end of the year, allows me to determine what the needs of our students are and guides the curriculum of my classes.  These assessments are also used as a measure of my effectiveness and shows me where I can improve! You may find a copy of the needs assessment questions below.

I have also been asked by a few parents if I could offer a Parent-answered Needs Assessment..

Here it is!  I appreciate you taking the time to fill it out and value your feedback!! :)





We need your help!!!  We are looking for parent/community volunteers for our annual Career Day!!  Interested in teaching CFIS students about your career?  

You may sign up here:



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 for students who would like a little extra support with getting homework done.  Group will meet Mondays after school (3:30 - 4:30) and will be supervised by Mrs Appell and Mrs Guggenheim who will be on hand to help students.  If you are interested, please fill out this form:
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, 2018 will be used to inform placement for the 2018-19 school year. 
Information of Interest to Students Entering Grades 7-8 in the 2018-19 School Year 
CFMS Course Overide Process Overview
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