CHA is pleased to offer support to our students through the services of our Social Worker, Upper School Counselor, Upper School Guidance Counselor, and Learning Resources Specialists. Please contact the appropriate school’s principal to be directed to the right source of help. We count it a privilege to walk alongside you!

Scroll down for current news and helpful resources.

Counselors’ Corner

Talking With Your Children About Violence
July 7, 2022 – It is with great sadness that we mourn the tragic shooting in nearby Highland Park during the Fourth of July parade. Please join us in prayer for the survivors and witnesses of this event, including those in the CHA family. Talking with our children about incidents like this are some of the most difficult conversations we have. CHA’s LS/MS social worker, Mrs. Jess Kurpiel, and US counselor, Dr. Ivy Li, are also here to support you as you navigate this topic, and offer the resources below to help. 
  1. Talking to your children about their worries and concerns is the first step to help them feel safe and begin to cope with the events occurring around them. Children and teenagers are better able to cope with upsetting news when they understand more about the event. They need information just as adults do. Begin by asking what they already understand about what happened. When we listen to children and come to understand their feelings and worries, we can better help them make sense of these experiences and how they affect us all.
  2. The amount of details that children will find useful will depend upon their age. The older the child is, the more details will likely be needed to answer their questions and address their concerns. Provide the basic information in simple and direct terms and then ask for questions. Take your cues from children in determining how much information to provide.
  3. While it is useful for children to know enough about what has happened to feel that they understand what has occurred, it isn’t helpful for children (or adults) to be exposed to graphic images or information or continuous or repetitive media coverage. Limit the amount of time spent watching the news. Constant exposure may actually heighten their anxiety and fears. In the immediate aftermath of a crisis event, it’s a good time to turn off TVs, computers, and phones to come together as a family for discussion and support.
  4. Make your home a place where your children find the solitude or comfort they need. Plan a night where everyone participates in a favorite family activity.
  5. Recognize the signs that children are affected by the news and seek help when your children experience, including increased thinking about death and safety; problems with sleeping, eating, anger, and attention; or school refusal.
Excerpted from:
Child Mind Institute – Signs of Trauma in Children
Additional Resources
Here are some local, reputable community mental health services available as of July 8, 2022:

Family Service of Lake County
777 Central Ave #17, Highland Park IL 847-432-4981
Provides walk-in therapy from 9 AM – 7 PM, Monday-Friday and appointments available on Saturday (free of charge)

Highwood Public Library and Community Center
https://highwoodlibrary.org/wp-content/uploads/HPLCC-Mental-Health-Services.pdf
Free Individual Therapy: Monday – Thursday, Appointments available from 3:00-7:00 PM, English and Spanish
Support Groups: Monday – Wednesday, Drop-In from 6:00-7:30 PM, English and Spanish

North Shore University Healthcare Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Deerfield Behavioral Health (49 S Waukegan Road Suite 200, Deerfield, IL 60015; 847-400-8431)
Offers support sessions free of charge for both children and adults Monday through Friday at 2 PM, from July 11-19; groups will offer open discussion, a space to process events, and address topics such as how to talk to children about violence

Articles about how to help kids, teens, and adults cope after traumatic events:
National Child Traumatic Stress Network
U of Colorado Boulder Center for Resilience + Well-being
– Talking to Children When Scary Things Happen
– Talking to Teens When Violence Happens

Counselors’ Corner

Talking With Your Children After a School Shooting
May 25, 2022 – It is with great sadness that we mourn the beautiful lives that were lost in the tragic school shooting in Texas this week. As parents, school shootings are one of the hardest conversations to have with our children. CHA’s LS/MS social worker, Mrs. Jess Kurpiel, and US counselor, Dr. Ivy Li, are also here to support you to navigate this topic.
Below are some suggestions and resources that you may find helpful.
  1. Talking to your children about their worries and concerns is the first step to help them feel safe and begin to cope with the events occurring around them. Children and teenagers are better able to cope with upsetting news when they understand more about the event. They need information just as adults do. Begin by asking what they already understand about what happened. When we listen to children and come to understand their feelings and worries, we can better help them make sense of these experiences and how they affect us all.
  2. The amount of details that children will find useful will depend upon their age. The older the child is, the more details will likely be needed to answer their questions and address their concerns. Provide the basic information in simple and direct terms and then ask for questions. Take your cues from children in determining how much information to provide.
  3. While it is useful for children to know enough about what has happened to feel that they understand what has occurred, it isn’t helpful for children (or adults) to be exposed to graphic images or information or continuous or repetitive media coverage. Limit the amount of time spent watching the news. Constant exposure may actually heighten their anxiety and fears. In the immediate aftermath of a crisis event, it’s a good time to turn off TVs, computers, and phones to come together as a family for discussion and support.
  4. Make your home a place where your children find the solitude or comfort they need. Plan a night where everyone participates in a favorite family activity.
  5. Recognize the signs that children are affected by the news and seek help when your children experience, including increased thinking about death and safety; problems with sleeping, eating, anger, and attention; or school refusal.
Excerpted from:
Child Mind Institute – Signs of Trauma in Children

Upcoming Events

  • PSAT for Grades 9, 10, 11; Wednesday, October 13 – Mark your calendars now; Mrs. Wickell will provide more details soon.
  • Christian College Fair, Thursday, October 14, 6:30-8:30 PM – This fall, CHA will once again host Blueprint’s Christian College Fair here on our campus. Christian colleges and universities throughout the US and Canada will be represented. Upper School students and parents are welcome to visit the booths, learn more about the school and programs, and ask questions. Save the date now and register for a free event barcode here.

Lower School Safety Unit

Once a month, Mrs. Kurpiel, CHA’s social worker, visits each Kindergarten through Grade 8 classroom to teach Social Emotional lesson topics.

For the 2021-22 school year, CHA has added a safety unit based on the Kids in the Know education program. Additional social emotional lessons include topics such as bullying prevention, conflict resolution, and acts of kindness.

If you have any questions about the safety topics covered in the Lower School classes, please email Mrs. Kurpiel.

Program Goal:

To teach personal safety strategies to increase the students’ level of safety and well-being.

KINDERGARTEN:

  • Our Bodies
  • Good Touch, Bad Touch
  • Using the Buddy System
  • What to Do if Lost

GRADE 1:

  • Boundaries
  • Types of Secrets
  • Using the Buddy System
  • Trusting Your Instincts

GRADE 2:

  • Identifying Safe Adults
  • Safety Awareness
  • Using the Buddy System
  • Boundaries
  • Types of Secrets

GRADE 3:

  • Boundaries
  • Using the Buddy System
  • Online Safety

GRADE 4:

  • Identifying Safe Adults
  • Identifying Common Lures
  • Home Alone Safety
  • Online Safety

GRADE 5:

  • Boundaries
  • Identifying Common Lures
  • Home Alone Safety
  • Online Safety

Middle School Safety Unit

For the 2021-22 school year, CHA has added a safety unit based on the Kids in the Know education program. Additional social emotional lessons include topics such as bullying prevention, conflict resolution, and acts of kindness.

If you have any questions about the safety topics covered in the Middle School classes, please email Mrs. Kurpiel.

Program Goal:

To teach personal safety strategies to increase the students’ level of safety and well-being.

GRADE 6:

  • Seven Root Safety Strategies
  • Healthy vs. Unhealthy Friendships
  • Boundaries
  • Online Safety
  • Babysitters’ Safety

GRADE 7:

  • Identifying Personal Boundaries
  • How to Set Personal Boundaries
  • Healthy vs. Unhealthy Friendships
  • Online Safety
  • Getting Help in Unhealthy Situations

GRADE 8:

  • Identifying Feelings and Thoughts
  • Identifying Healthy and Unhealthy Boundaries
  • Online Safety

Meet the Team!

Meet the Team!

Mr. Erik Campbell

Learning Resource Specialist (Grades 6-12)

Mr. Campbell is in his second year at CHA. He is a graduate of Western Illinois University with a Law Enforcement degree and also a graduate of National Louis University with a Master’s in Special Education and a Type 75 Administrative degree. He has endorsements in Learning, Behavioral, and Emotional Disabilities. Mr. Campbell is passionate about building relationships and rapport with students, parents, and co-workers. Mr. Campbell and his family attend Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Palatine where he is a communion assistant, reads scripture during service, and is a singer in the praise band. He also used to teach Sunday school to kindergarten children. (Ask him about his funny story!) In his free time, Mr. Campbell enjoys training for triathlon races by swimming, biking, and running.

Mrs. Leslie Cornwell

Learning Resource Specialist (K-5), ESL Teacher

Mrs. Cornwell is in her fourth year at CHA. She graduated from Wheaton College with a B.A. in Christian Education and Biblical Studies. She served as the Director of Children’s Ministries at The Orchard EFC in Arlington Heights for several years and continues to attend there now. She has always enjoyed working with children and teens in various ministries from Sunday School and Awana to Christian camps and VBS. Her ministry work continued in a volunteer role after she stepped down from being on the church staff to being at home with her two children and homeschooling them for a time. More recently, Mrs. Cornwell earned an M.A. in Intercultural Studies TESOL at Wheaton College Graduate School and worked as a consultant in the Writing Center during her time there. In her free time, she hikes, bikes, swims, plays ping pong and table games, likes to read, and loves to travel with her husband and adult children.

Mrs. Jess Kurpiel

Social Worker

This is Mrs. Kurpiel’s third year at CHA. She graduated from the University of Illinois at Springfield (UIS) with a B.A. in Social Work. She earned a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Social Work and a certificate in Evidenced-Based Mental Health Practice with Children from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). In 2016, she returned to UIC to earn a School Social Work endorsement. She has worked in social service, school, and ministry settings. In her free time, Mrs. Kurpiel enjoys running, rollerblading, going on walks with her dog (Buehrle), hiking, volunteering, and reading.

Dr. Ivy Li

Upper School Counselor

From kindergarteners to college students, Dr. Li has been counseling and teaching students of diverse backgrounds for the past ten years; four of them being at CHA. She is passionate about meeting students where they are at and helping them identify their interests and gifts. Dr. Li earned her Ph.D. from Penn State University in Counselor Education and Supervision and is experienced in providing career, mental health, and school counseling to students from K-12. Dr. Li attends North Shore Chinese Christian Church in Deerfield with her family.

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