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!
SEPTEMBER CLASSES: We will be using these first couple weeks of class to get to know each other better!   Students will be participating in a Student Needs Assessment that will allow me to gauge the needs of our students.  Results from the Needs Assessment will inform the topics we discuss in Guidance class, allow me to see what types of small groups may be beneficial for our students, and assess the effectiveness of the CFIS School Counseling program. Parents...I need your input!! Please fill out the parent version of the Student Needs Assessment found HERE

OCTOBER CLASSES:  We spent this month working on one of the statements of the Student Needs Assessment that students completed last month.  The statement,  "I feel like other students listen to me", received relatively low marks; therefore, working on this is going to be our goal this year.  We have focused on little steps we can take to help our fellow classmates feel heard, noticed, valued, and listened to!  

Our focus this month has been using listening skills and communication skills to form connections.  We started the month by focusing on saying "Hello" to other students (and staff) while also using appropriate non-verbal communication (eye contact, hand gestures, facial expressions, etc).  We also learned how to properly go through doors in a way that doesn't cause others to feel invisible!  We discussed how to acknowledge someone who is holding the door for us and not make them hold the door for the whole group.  We also discussed how we can make sure we notice the person behind us by making eye contact with them and holding the door for them.  Ask your child to show you this important skill when you are out in public! :)

Using listening and communication skills, we are learning how important it is to take another's perspective to better understand each other.  We are discussing how easy it is to draw conclusions about our fellow classmates based on our observations or what others say...but it is so important to be curious about each other and seek more information before we draw conclusions.  We discussed how important it is to get to know each other's story...and the only way to know someone's story is to ask them about themselves!  When we know more, we understand more.  When we understand, we are more patient, kind, and tolerant of one another.

October Presentations and Activities:
Verbal vs Nonverbal Communication  :  Following this presentation, we played a game of "Charades" to illustrate what 'nonverbal' communication feels/looks like.  We discussed how easy it is to misinterpret what is being said to us with how we communicate nowadays (mostly 'verbal'...such as texts, chats, emails, etc).  We lose most of the meaning of our message when we just use verbal communication!  We need nonverbals to make sure we are sending the right message.  How do we do that with electronic communications?

Verbal vs Nonverbal Instructions (Demonstration)  :  This was used to illustrate the difference between Verbal and Nonverbal communication...especially as they relate to the percentage of the message we get with each!  Students were asked to take 2 pieces of paper and follow the instructions.  First, the instructions were given 'verbally' (written and spoken).  They were asked to try really hard to NOT look at each other for direction.  Most students found this to be VERY difficult and frustrating!  Most students did not make what the instructions were for (a Fortune Teller).  I then gave the instructions 'non verbally' by simply showing the students how to make the fortune teller.  Most students found this much easier to follow!   Again, we discussed the importance of nonverbal communication in sending a message, sharing information, and expressing ourselves.

We spent November discussing "perspective taking" and understanding others' point of view, discrimination and prejudice, and kindness.  We discussed how it is important to seek to understand one another before being quick to judge!  We used "The Karate Kid" movie (with a little modification in their stories ;)  ) to talk about how important it is to look at situations from multiple angles and we watched Dr Seuss's  "The Sneetches" to help us guide our conversation about "prejudice" and "discrimination".  For our final class in November, students were asked to think about various aspects of "kindness" and why it is sometimes difficult to show it.

November Presentations: 

We are beginning our in-depth look at "bullying", by discussing the answers to the following questions:  What is it?  Is ALL "mean" behavior bullying? Why is labeling someone a "bully" misleading and incorrect? (Why is it better to look at bullying as a behavior...not a person?)  What are the different roles that someone may play in a bullying situation?  How do we find (and use!) our power?  How do we support those who don't use their power (or use it to engage in bullying behavior)?  How do we become "Bucket Carriers"?

December Presentation:

January Presentation:

In Guidance this month, we reflected upon the death of Dr Martin Luther King Jr that occurred 53 years ago and discussed the topic of "discrimination".  We watched an edited video, "The Eye of the Storm", about Jane Elliott...a teacher from Riceville, Iowa, who taught her 3rd grade students about the harm of discrimination by separating them by eye color.  Though the racist and hurtful comments were edited out of this video, we were able to see how "normal" discrimination against people of color was to the third grade students in her class (in the late 1960s and early 1970's).  We discussed our own reactions to the video, we realized that our discomfort was a sign that we have made some progress as a society...that it is no longer "ok" or "normal" to discriminate against others.  We recognized that, though progress is being made, we still have a lot of work to do!  We also discussed how we, as individuals, can make the changes we want to see in our world.
Some students wanted to see the follow up documentary, "A Class Divided", in which Mrs Elliott reconnects with her students as adults and reflects upon their experience.  Though certainly unethical by our educational standards today, the lesson she taught in her classroom had a profound impact on her students!  I encouraged students to watch the documentary with their parents, as it is unedited and some of the language used is hurtful and offensive.  I hope this lesson will spark some deep conversations at home!

March Presentation:




Parents....this week in Guidance class, students will be filling out the end of year Student Needs Assessment.  The information gathered on this form will assist the Chagrin Falls School Counselor (Mrs. Appell) with meeting your child's needs!  I have linked the parent version of this form below. I would greatly appreciate it if you would take the time to fill this out too, as your perspective is a crucial aspect of the counseling program!  ALL INFORMATION COLLECTED IS CONFIDENTIAL and will only be viewed by Mrs Appell.

Also...gifted testing will begin the second week of May.  Any students who have been referred for gifted testing and any 4th grade student who has to make up any part of the CogAT assessment will do so within this gifted testing window.


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


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
View text-based website