Kristin Haile

Hello!  I'm so excited to be returning as the school counselor for the Mount Pleasant Academy family this year!  This is my 12th year as a school counselor and I love my job!  I look forward to watching your children learn and grow this school year as well as each coming year. 

I graduated from the College of Charleston with a BA in Communications and from The Citadel with a M.Ed in School Counseling.  My husband and I have two beautiful and energetic children, Teagan (6) and Andrew (4).  I also have a crazy dog named Lilly...your children may hear a story or two about her shenanigans!  My family's favorite things to do are swimming, playing at the beach, riding bikes, reading, and taking Lilly on long walks...and cheering on the Gamecocks!

As the school counselor, I am here to help your children grow emotionally and socially so they can succeed academically.
  Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns. I am happy to work to ensure your child's success here at MPA!  You may contact me by email: or by calling the school's phone number: 843-849-2826.

School Counselor

Contact Information


Phone: (843) 849-2826 or (843) 856-6801

Office Hours: Mon-Fri 7:00am-3:00pm

Guidance Updates

    Thursday, August 17, 2017

    Welcome to a new school year!  The beginning of a school year is so exciting!  It can even be a little bitter-sweet for moms and dads as we are excited to watch our children grow and learn, but a new school year and a new grade level is just a reminder of how fast they do grow!  Since parents are not there to witness their day, we are of course curious and excited to hear about their school adventures.  Asking questions like "How was your day?" may not give you answers with much detail though.  Instead, we may get answers like "Fine", or "Good", or "Fun".  Try asking some of these questions that might help lead to more conversation about your child's day at school:

    What's the coolest thing that happened today?
    Tell me what you learned that you'd like to know more about.
    Describe a book you enjoyed today.
    Let's see what you brought home.
    Pretend you're the teacher.  How would you describe the day?
    What made you laugh today?
    What was the most creative thing you did today?
    How were you kind or helpful today?
    Who was kind or helpful to you? How did they show kindness?
    If you could change one thing about the day, what would you change?

    Hopefully you will learn a little more about their adventures and experiences while you were apart!  Have a great year!

    Fairness is our character trait for the week of February 13th, which means to treat everyone the same.  Congratulations to our students of the week! 

    Monday, February 13, 2017

    Classroom guidance lesson update, January

    In January, we learned all about setting goals!  The start of a new year is the perfect time to think about new things we'd like to try and things we'd like to improve.  

    CD:  We are learning about Perseverance.  We watched a video story of The Most Magnificent Thing.  The main character has a vision of something that she wants to create but she isn't able to make it just right.  She gets frustrated, takes a break, and then returns to successfully create the object.  This is a great story about having a growth mindset; we are always learning new things and gaining new abilities through practice and hard work.  The students then created "I Can" and "I Can't Yet (but will keep trying)" pictures of something that they have learned how to do and something that they want to learn to do.
    Kindergarten: We learned about perseverance and positive thinking in kindergarten.  We read the story The Little Engine That Could.  This classic story teaches the best lesson about perseverance and positive thinking when trying something new that seems hard or scary.  The students then created their own engines with a writing prompt describing something that they tried and accomplished or something that they would like to learn how to do.  Wow...they are so proud of what they have accomplished, whether tying their own shoes or riding a bike without training wheels!
    1st: We learned about short and long term goals.  The students and I watched a video story of Oh, the Places You'll Go!.  This is the perfect story about what it is like trying to reach a goal...sometimes it's hard and you want to give up, sometimes it's scary and you don't want to try, but you will succeed with perseverance.  After the story, the students shared what their long term goals were in their "Oh, the Places You'll Go" balloons.  Some students created pictures of a career they would like to have when they get older and some created pictures of a college they would like to go to.  They all have big plans...let's cheer them on!
    ​2nd:​ The 2nd grade students set some goals for themselves during our lesson: a goal to reach at home and a goal to reach at school.  We also talked about the importance of having a plan to reach your goal and sharing your goal with important adults who can help you along the way.  To help them develop some ideas of a goal they could create or some ideas to add to their plan, the students completed a short self-habit survey to help them consider their home and school habits and if there were any areas they could improve in.  

    Monday, January 2, 2017

    Have you heard of a growth mindset???  It is a belief that a person's intelligence and abilities can be developed through practice, hard work, and motivation.  A fixed mindset is the belief that intelligence and talent alone will lead to success; you are either born with it or not, and things can't be developed or improved on.  Children with a fixed mindset are more likely to: fear failure, give up on tasks that they see are too difficult, avoid challenges, ignore feedback.  Children with a growth mindset are more likely to take risks, learn from their mistakes, accept challenges, be motivated to succeed, and seek feedback.
    Instead of making comments like "you're so smart", "good job", or "you're so talented", try saying these to your children:
    You tried really hard on that.
    You never gave up.
    You have really improved on_____.
    I can tell you studied very hard!
    You thought of that all by yourself!
    I am proud you made that choice.
    I can tell you've been practicing.
    Give specific feedback about what he/she accomplished.

    Here are some questions you can ask your child to encourage a growth mindset:
    What did you do today that made you think hard?
    What can you learn from this?
    What will you do to improve your work?
    What will you do to improve your talent?
    What did you try hard at today?
    What mistake did you make that taught you something?

    Here are some websites you can explore:

    Monday, November 28, 2016

    Classroom guidance lesson update, November-December:

    During the next classroom guidance lessons, we will be discussing conflict resolution.  Sometimes people don't always fill our buckets, and it's important to know how this makes you feel, how to communicate, how to solve a conflict, and to recognize our conflict management style so that we can improve the way we face conflicts.
    CD: I will read Oh Bother, Someone's Fighting.  I will introduce the students to the ABC model of conflict resolution.  A is for Ask...What is the problem?, B is for Brainstorm Solutions (think), and C is for Choose the Best Solution.  We will discuss these steps in relation to the story and also as we do a little role playing activity.
    K: Kindergarten classes will watch the Howard Wigglebottom Learns It's OK to Back Away video story.  Students will identify how different body parts feel (ie, heart beats fast, cheeks feel hot, knees feel shaky, etc.) when someone makes you angry.  We will discuss and practice ideas to calm our body down when we recognize those feelings: deep breaths (smell your birthday cake with your nose and blow the candles out with your mouth), counting, exercising, etc.
    1st: I will read When Sophie Gets Angry to first grade classes.  We will discuss how Sophie escalates and de-escalates in her anger.  The students will create their own strategy posters filled with ideas they would use to help them calm down first when a conflict makes them feel angry so that they can solve it peacefully.
    2nd: 2nd grade classes will be practicing communicating during a conflict.  I will read A Bug and A Wish, and students will role play communicating in examples of conflicts that may even sound familiar to them!  It bugs me when you..., I wish you would...
    3rd: Third graders will learn that there are different ways to react in conflicts: like a mouse, a monster, or a cool cat.  The students will make a flip book of how these different conflict styles look.  We will also role play through some typical conflict scenarios as a mouse or monster would.
    4th: Fourth grade classes will be working through some typical peer problems as we learn and practice solving conflicts that arise with their peers.  We will make a paper fortune teller that can help solve some examples of conflicts I will share with them...and we might find that not every conflict solver will be a good solution for the conflict starters!
    5th: We will re-visit conflict management styles in 5th grade.  Students will take a conflict management style survey to identify how they typically react to conflicts: like a mouse, a monster, or a cool cat.  We will also role play as a class to help us see what it looks like and what it sounds like to react in conflict like a mouse, a monster, and a cool cat.

    Thursday, November 3, 2016

    Classroom guidance lesson update, November:

    Our Bucket-Filling lessons are following up to the Bully Prevention lessons we have just completed.
    CD: I will be reading Fill A Bucket with the students in the CD classroom.  This is an introductory book to the bucket filling stories.  It introduces the idea of your invisible bucket, ways to fill other's buckets, and we fill a bucket and fill our own buckets by doing acts of kindness or saying kind things.  The students will play a matching activity with scenes from the book to reinforce ideas of ways to fill other's buckets.
    K: I will be reading Fill A Bucket with kindergarten students also to introduce the bucket filling idea.  Kindergarten students are creating a beautiful fall tree poster for their classroom by writing ideas to fill a bucket on their leaves.  It turns out looking so beautiful!
    1st Grade: I will be reading Bucket Filling from A to Z in 1st grade classes.  The students then color their own pages of scenes and bucket filling ideas from the book to create their own class book.  The student-created books will remain in their classroom to read any time they like!
    2nd Grade: I will be reading Have You Filled a Bucket Today?.  This story further introduces bucket dipping, or taking love and happiness from someone's bucket by doing or saying something unkind.  The students and I will play a bucket filling and bucket dipping game.  It's very suspenseful...ask your 2nd grader if their class had a full bucket or an empty bucket at the end of our game!
    3rd Grade: I will be reading How Full is Your Bucket in 3rd grade classes.  The students are writing special bucket-filling notes to faculty and staff at our school.  These kind words are so special to hear from the students!
    4th Grade: 4th graders and I will be reviewing what bucket filling and bucket dipping means.  Then we will do two activities, one to see first hand how special bucket filling can make someone feel and one to see how much bucket dipping can weigh on a person's shoulders.
    5th Grade: 5th grade classes and I will be reviewing what bucket filling means and discussing ways to go above and beyond to fill someone's bucket...think volunteering, donating items, sitting by someone you usually don't talk to at lunch.  5th graders will make a bucket-filling bucket list of things they would like to do.  They will bring them home, so check them out!

    Monday October 17, 2016

    Wednesday, October 19th is Unity Day.  Unity Day is about standing together against bullying and united for kindness, acceptance, and inclusion.  What this means for our students: respect each other and stand up for each other.  CCSD students and staff will observe this day by wearing orange (MPA will wear orange stickers).

     Classroom guidance lesson update, October:

    October is Bully Prevention Month.  My lessons with students will be centered around this theme.
    CD: I will be reading Hooway for Wodney Wat with students in the CD classroom.  This is a story of a mouse who pronounces R's differently and is teased by his classmates, but a twist in the end shows that what makes him different from others ends up saving the day!  We will discuss how we are unique and our differences are strengths.
    K: Kindergarten students will be learning about respect vs. disrespect and the way each can make us feel.  We will read Chrysanthemum, a story of a mouse who is teased for her name.  We will talk about the ups and downs Chrysanthemum feels as we complete a chart of when she felt respected and disrespected.
    1st Grade: 1st graders are watching a video story: Howard Wigglebottom Learns About Bullies.  Howard tries many different ways to avoid being bullied but knows he needs to "be brave, be bold, a teacher must be told."  He finally reports his problem to the teacher in the end.  Students play a game with me following the video to help reinforce situations that must be reported to an adult (when you or someone else is not safe) and situations that you can try to solve on your own.  Examples of these are: "you hear someone say they will punch someone else if they don't get out of their seat" and "someone snatches your scissors away while you are using them".
    2nd Grade: We learn what a bully is in 2nd grade.  Students watch a BrainPopJr video that helps explain all the ins and outs of bullying: including what a bully is, what to do when you are bullied, cyberbullying, and standing up for others.  Then the students get to create their own comic strips that tell a story about someone being bullied.  They decide how the character is bullied, how the character responds or how others respond, and how their story concludes. 
    3rd Grade: Third grade students are becoming brave knights armored with an anti-bullying shield.  We read Bully B.E.A.N.S. and discuss the events in the story that take place as a group of friends learn to defend the bully's main victim.  Students create an anti-bullying shield armed with ideas of what to do when bullying strikes!
    4th Grade: We are creating drama in 4th grade!  We read the book titled One and discuss the events in the story that take place as one character stands up for himself and influences others to take a stand against the bully also.  The group ends up taking the power away from the bully, but has a twist in the end as they include the bully in their group.  We re-read the story as a group of students act out each part.
    5th Grade: 5th graders are creating anti-bully superheros!  As we review empathy from our former lesson, we discuss the importance of standing up for each other rather than being a bystander when bullying takes place.  The students work in teams to create their superhero around the theme of one who stands up to bullying.  They are having a blast deciding the superhero's name, what their powers are, who their sidekicks and villains are, what their costume looks like, and even what their trademark saying is!  I will have a few on display outside the guidance room if you'd like to check them out!

    Wednesday, October 12, 2016
    Did you know how much sleep is recommended for our children?  The American Academy of Sleep Medicine updated its recommendations for the amount of sleep children need to maintain better health, including to improve attention, behavior, learning, memory,  emotional regulation, and physical and mental health.  I haven't noticed recommendations for parents yet:)!  Here you go...

    ·         Infants 4-12 months: 12-16 hr of sleep (including naps)

    ·         Children 1-2 yr of age: 11-14 hr (including naps)

    ·         Children 3-5 yr of age: 10-13 hr (including naps)

    ·         Children 6-12 yr of age: 9-12 hr

    ·         Teenagers 13-18 yr of age: 8-10 hr


    Monday, September 12, 2016   
    Classroom guidance lesson update, Sept-Oct:

    I am visiting classes for the first classroom guidance lesson of the school year.  We are discussing feelings during these lessons. 
    I am sharing the book The Way I Feel with students in 4K and 5K.  We are identifying clues that match different feelings, such as facial expressions, shapes, and colors.  The students and I have had fun making colorful feelings bracelets with beads that represent different feelings! 
    First graders are reading Glad Monster, Sad Monster and are also identifying clues that match different feelings, such as facial expressions and colors.  We also discuss what feelings different situations give us and that it is okay and helpful to talk about our feelings.  Students are "unmasking their feelings" while making their own feelings masks which they decorate with colors that match their feelings they identify for that day.
    I am part school counselor and part magician in 2nd grade classes!  I'm having a blast sharing my Magic Coloring Book of Feelings with the students to help them see that our feelings make us special and colorful.  Feelings, pleasant or unpleasant, are a part of us and are all normal and acceptable to have.  2nd graders are making a body outline more colorful and special by coloring them to reflect feelings they have identified as having that particular day.
    Third graders are identifying how they currently feel, identifying a positive and responsible way to respond to their feelings, and identifying people they can talk to about their feelings.  They are adding this information to complete their "feelings guy".  I also share different scenarios that include how the person involved reacts or responds to their feeling.  The students are deciding it is a positive way to respond or a negative way to respond, and if it is negative, they are brainstorming how the person in that situation could take responsible actions for their feelings (instead of yelling at our brother when we are angry, play outside to help release the angry energy or instead of snapping at someone when feeling frustrated, take deep breaths or take a break and try again).
    It's all about standing in others' shoes as 4th and 5th graders are learning about empathy.  We are reading Stand in My Shoes to help better understand empathy.  Some volunteers go "shoe shopping" and they find a shoe and a story in the shoe box they select.  After the students share the scenario, we identify how the person may be feeling (sometimes it is helpful to imagine how we would feel if we were in the same situation) and ways we can show that person we care (it is also helpful to imagine what we would like from others if we were in that situation).