CSI: Clovis Support & Intervention

CSI Updates During Temporary Suspension of On-Site Learning

During this time of temporary suspension of on-site instruction, we will be providing updates on both our in process and future CSI groups. Please continue to utilize our Wellness Resources and take a look at the information below.
Message to students:  We know that many of you were somewhere in the process of an 8 week support group, and have not been able to finish yet.  We want to encourage you to use some of the skills and concepts that we learn in our groups.  For instance, we all read the Serenity Poem each week that says, “Grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference”   Certainly it feels like there is a lot we don’t have control over during this COVID 19 situation, but let’s take a look at those things we DO have control over (our attitude and actions, helping others, staying healthy and active, being an engaged learner, etc) and take some steps to change the things that we CAN! 

We also work on listening skills, communication skills and caring skills in our groups.  And not being judgmental. Lets use this time to listen well to our friends, family and people we care about to ask how they are doing, what they need from us and how we can get to know and understand them better.

Last of all, your Group Facilitators may be trying to get in touch with you to check in, they would love to see how you are doing. If you are trying to get hold of one of them and do not remember their full name to email them, simply email me at [email protected]. Simply tell me your name and what school you are at and when your group meets and I can look up their names for you to email. We are all here for you and want you to know you are cared about. We will all get through this together and come out as better, stronger people I believe!

Mental Health Wellness Tips for Quarantine

After having thirty-one sessions in one week with patients where the singular focus was COVID-19 and how to cope, this doctoral level Psychologist in NY with a Psy.D. in the specialties of School and Clinical Psychology decided to consolidate her advice and make a list that is hopefully helpful to all.

  1. Stick to a routine. Go to sleep and wake up at a reasonable time, write a schedule that is varied and includes time for work as well as self-care.
  2. Dress for the social life you want, not the social life you have. Get showered and dressed in comfortable clothes, wash your face, brush your teeth. Take the time to do a bath or a facial. Put on some bright colors. It is amazing how our dress can impact our mood.
  3. Get out at least once a day, for at least thirty minutes. If you are concerned of contact, try first thing in the morning, or later in the evening, and try less traveled streets and avenues. If you are high risk or living with those who are high risk, open the windows and blast the fan. It is amazing how much fresh air can do for spirits.
  4. Find some time to move each day, again daily for at least thirty minutes. If you don’t feel comfortable going outside, there are many YouTube videos that offer free movement classes, and if all else fails, turn on the music and have a dance party!
  5. Reach out to others, you guessed it, at least once daily for thirty minutes. Try to do FaceTime, Skype, phone calls, texting—connect with other people to seek and provide support.
  6. Stay hydrated and eat well. This one may seem obvious, but stress and eating often don’t mix well, and we find ourselves over-indulging, forgetting to eat, and avoiding food. Drink plenty of water, eat some good and nutritious foods, and challenge yourself to learn how to cook something new!
  7. Develop a self-care toolkit. This can look different for everyone. A lot of successful self-care strategies involve a sensory component (seven senses: touch, taste, sight, hearing, smell, vestibular (movement) and proprioceptive (comforting pressure). An idea for each: a soft blanket or stuffed animal, a hot chocolate, photos of vacations, comforting music, lavender or eucalyptus oil, a small swing or rocking chair, a weighted blanket. A journal, an inspirational book, or a mandala coloring book is wonderful, bubbles to blow or blowing watercolor on paper through a straw are visually appealing as well as work on controlled breath. Mint gum, Listerine strips, ginger ale, frozen Starburst, ice packs, and cold are also good for anxiety regulation.
  8. Spend time playing with children. Children will rarely communicate how they are feeling, but will often make a bid for attention and communication through play. Don’t be surprised to see therapeutic themes of illness, doctor visits, and isolation play though. Understand that play is cathartic and helpful for children—it is how they process their world and problem solve, and there’s a lot they are seeing and experiencing in the now. [Playing with brothers/sisters can be both helpful for you and for them]
  9. Give everyone the benefit of the doubt, and a wide berth. A lot of cooped up time can bring out the worst in everyone. Each person will have moments when they will not be at their best. It is important to move with grace through blowups, to not show up to every argument you are invited to, and to not hold grudges and continue disagreements. Everyone is doing the best they can to make it through this.
  10. Everyone find their own retreat space. Space is at a premium, particularly with city living. It is important that people think through their own separate space for work and for relaxation. Identify a place where you can go to retreat when stressed. You can make this place cozy by using blankets, pillows, cushions, scarves, beanbags, tents, and “forts”. It is good to know that even when we are on top of each other, we have our own special place to go to be alone.
  11. Limit social media and COVID conversation. One can find tons of information on COVID-19 to consume, and it changes minute to minute. The information is often sensationalized, negatively skewed, and alarmist. Find a few trusted sources that you can check in with consistently, limit it to once a day, and set a time limit for yourself on how much you consume (like 15 minutes, once daily). Keep news and alarming conversations out of earshot from children—they see and hear everything, and can become very frightened by what they hear.
  12. Notice the good in the world, the helpers. There is a lot of scary, negative, and overwhelming information to take in regarding this pandemic. There are also a ton of stories of people sacrificing, donating, and supporting one another in miraculous ways. It is important to counter-balance the heavy information with the hopeful information.
    13. Help others. Find ways, big and small, to give back to others. Support restaurants, offer to grocery shop or mow the lawn, help with chores, check in with elderly neighbors, create cards for people, write psychological wellness tips for others—helping others gives us a sense of agency when things seem out of control.
  13. Find something you can control, and control the heck out of it. In moments of big uncertainty and overwhelm, control your little corner of the world. Organize your bookshelf, purge your closet, put together that furniture, group your toys. It helps to anchor and ground us when the bigger things are chaotic.
  14. Find a long-term project to dive into. Now is the time to learn how to play the keyboard, put together a huge jigsaw puzzle, start a 15 hour game of Risk, paint a picture, read the Harry Potter series, binge watch an 8-season show, crochet a blanket, solve a Rubix cube, or develop a new town in Animal Crossing. Find something that will keep you busy, distracted, and engaged to take breaks from what is going on in the outside world.
  15. Engage in repetitive movements and left-right movements. Research has shown that repetitive movement (knitting, coloring, painting, clay sculpting, jump roping, dancing, etc) especially left-right movement (running, drumming, skating, hopping) can be effective at self-soothing and maintaining self-regulation in moments of distress.
  16. Find an expressive art and go for it. Our emotional brain is very receptive to the creative arts, and it is a direct portal for release of feeling. Find something that is creative (sculpting, drawing, dancing, music, singing, playing) and give it your all. See how relieved you can feel. It is a very effective way to emote and communicate as well!
  17. Find lightness and humor in each day. There is a lot to be worried about, and with good reason. Counterbalance this heaviness with something funny each day: cat videos on YouTube, a stand-up show on Netflix, a funny movie—we all need a little comedic relief in our day, every day.
  18. Reach out for help—your team is there for you. If you have a therapist or psychiatrist,a teacher, or school counselor  they are available to you, even at a distance. Keep up any  medications and  therapy sessions the best you can. If you are having difficulty coping, seek out help for the first time. There are mental health people on the ready to help you through this crisis. Your  teachers and related service providers will do anything within their power to help. There is help and support out there, any time of the day—although we are physically distant, we can always connect virtually.
  19. “Chunk” your quarantine, take it moment by moment. We have no road map for this. We don’t know what this will look like in 1 day, 1 week, or 1 month from now. Often, when I work with patients who have anxiety around overwhelming issues, I suggest that they engage in a strategy called “chunking”—focusing on whatever bite-sized piece of a challenge that feels manageable. Whether that be 5 minutes, a day, or a week at a time—find what feels doable for you, and set a time stamp for how far ahead in the future you will let yourself worry. Take each chunk one at a time, and move through stress in pieces.
  20. Remind yourself daily that this is temporary. It seems in the midst of this quarantine that it will never end. Please take time to remind yourself that although this can be scary and difficult, and will go on for an undetermined amount of time, it is a season of life and it will pass. We will return to feeling free, safe, busy, and connected in the days ahead.
  21. Find the lesson. This whole crisis can seem sad, senseless, and at times, avoidable. A key feature to working through this is to help find the potential positive outcomes: the meaning and construction that can come out of destruction. What can each of us learn here, in big and small ways, from this crisis? What needs to change in ourselves, our homes, our communities, our nation, and our world?

What is CSI?

Everyone faces challenges. Whether it is building friendships, adjusting to a new school, dealing with family changes or working through the loss of a loved one, CSI groups support students in every circumstance. 

CSI is an 8-week, confidential, educational support group that focuses on listening and communication skills, empathy, coping skills, acceptance and supporting others.  Adult facilitators are certified to create a safe, positive, confidential environment that is supportive but not counseling or therapy.  Facilitators guide students in gaining hope, support and tools to navigate successfully in various areas of their life. Students are expected to make up the work missed during a class period, but can work collaboratively with their teachers to ensure they do not fall behind in class.

CSI aims to equip students with tools that will help them grow as an individual, accomplish their goals and face challenges positively in the future. CSI addresses those important decisions and helps students make valuable connections with peers and trained staff for support along the way.

Who is CSI for?

Any student can benefit from the support, connection, communication, coping and listening skills gained in CSI support groups. Over 275 groups took place last year across the CUSD district in K-12 schools, supporting approximately 2100 students!

CSI Coordinators 2019-2020

 Area   School  CSI Site Coordinator  
   BHS  Bryan Franks  
   Alta Sierra Marcy Zunich 
   Century  Lainie Esquivel  
   Cole  Sherri Johnson 
   Dry Creek Michelle Merrill  
   Garfield  Tamara Riley 
   Tarpey  Brandi Duncan 
   Woods  Sara Harper  
  CEHS  Derrick Davis  
   Reyburn  Caren Burgess  
   Boris  Jennifer Mersino 
   Fancher Creek Christina Luna 
   Freedom  Patti Bernardi 
   Miramonte  Sue Hamilton 
   Oraze  Jamie Brew 
    Reagan  Sabrina Mendez  
    TK  Melissa Stafford  
   CHS  Katy Habib  
   Clark  Estevan Reyes 
   Cedarwood  Dianne Hall  
   Clovis Elem Jill Harold  
   Gettysburg  Beth Walker  
   Jefferson TBD 
   Mickey Cox  Leesa Lee  
   Red Bank Stacy Mc Manus 
   Sierra Vista  Tammy Adrian  
   Weldon  Sarah Gottfried  
  CNHS  Laura Quall  
   Granite Ridge Nicole Torres 
   Bud Rank Rachel Campbell  
   Copper Hills TBD 
   Fugman  Taryn Graham  
   Mountain View Anthony Zuniga  
   Riverview  Stan Holt  
  CWHS  Anita Giannobile  
   Kastner  Debbie Monroe 
   Fort Washington Sheila Cobb  
   Liberty  Stephanie Patterson  
   Lincoln  Colleen Garrigan  
   Maple Creek Lori Kuipers  
   Nelson  Nanxe Vang  
   Pinedale  Lori Garcia 
   Valley Oak Loretta French  
  Gateway  Denise Sandifer  
   CCDS  Denise Sandifer 
   Clovis Online Dianne Kapigian 
   Enterprise  Dianne Kapigian  
   CART  Tina Chandler  

How to sign up or refer:

  • Talk to any teacher or CUSD Staff member on your campus and fill out a CSI Referral form so they can refer you or your child.or
  • Contact the CSI Site Coordinator at your school site

For more information, contact Cheryl Kurtze - CSI Coordinator
[email protected]

**Referrals made after March 1st will be placed on a waitlist for fall of the following school year. 

How does CSI work?

  • Voluntary program where students may be invited, referred or selected to participate
  • Parent permission is required 
  • Confidential
  • Small group setting of 6-10 peers & 2 trained adult facilitators
  • Approximately 45-minute sessions per week for 8 weeks-during the school day, lunch or class time
  • Structured groups, guided by scripted curriculum.
  • Groups are made up of peers facing similar challenges


CSI Goals

  • Develop listening and communication skills
  • Learn problem-solving strategies
  • Increase a student's confidence
  • Improve decision-making skills
  • Gain support through challenges
  • Build relationships 
  • Feel more connected at school
  • Empathize, accept and support others
  • Gain hope and tools to navigate successfully in all areas of life 

Benefits of CSI

Students Reported: 

  • Meaningful Connections with Peers & Adults
    • 90% know who and where to go for help

  • Interpersonal Relationship Skills
    • 86% feel better about coming to school

  • Communicating Feelings Effectively & Appropriately
    • 85% can communicate and express their feelings in a more positive way

  • Social & Emotional Learning
    • 73% pay attention and focus better in school

  • Support Through Trauma & Crisis Recovery
    • 88% feel supported and understood in their life challenges

  • Self Reflection
    • 84% like and accept themselves in new ways

  • Assertiveness
    • 84% feel more confident in life and school

  • Team Building
    • 94% reported that participating in their CSI group was beneficial and enjoyable

  • Positive Coping Skills
    • 88% have more hope for their future

  • Problem Solving 
    • 84% reported they are more confident in dealing with problems and challenges

  • Self-Control
    • 91% reported they think about making better choices

  • Goal Setting
    • 74% reported improving their overall academic goals

Statistics taken from student survey.


Clovis Unified School District: Be the best you can be in mind, body, and spirit

Buchanan Area Schools

Buchanan Alta Sierra Cole Century Dry Creek Garfield Tarpey Woods

Clovis High Area Schools

Clovis High Clark Cedar Wood Mickey Cox Gettysburg Jefferson Red Bank Sierra Vista Weldon Clovis Elementary

Clovis West Area Schools

Clovis West Kastner Ft. Washington Liberty Lincoln Maple Creek Nelson Pinedale Valley Oak

Clovis North Area Schools

Clovis North Bud Rank Copper Hills Fugman Mountain View River View

Clovis East Area Schools

Clovis East Boris Fancher Creek Freedom Miramonte Oraze Temperance Kutner Reagan Elementary Young Elementary

More Schools

CART Gateway Clovis Online School Clovis Community Day School Clovis Adult Education Sierra Outdoor