All School Gathering is Back! Parents invited to join us from 8:50-9:10am. 
Free Coffee before!

March 3rd, 2017
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Next Week at Hilltop
Notes from the Head of School
Parent/Teacher Conferences
Parent Education Night
Save the Date
Kids Night Out
Toddler Program (TP)
Children's House (CH)
Lower Elementary (LE)
Upper Elementary (UE)
Middle School (MS)
Before and After Care
Hilltop Helpers
Next Week at Hilltop

Tuesday 3/7/17
Strength and Conditioning 
Sweet Treats Cooking Class Begins

Wednesday 3/8/17
Girls on the Run
Spanish with Marco Begins

Thursday 3/9/17
Strength and Conditioning 
All School Gathering
Strategic Plan 
Meeting @ 9:15am and 4:30pm (CH and TP Focus)

Friday 3/10/17
CH Workshare @ 8:30am
Strategic Plan Meeting @ 8:30am (Elementary Focus)


Coming up...

Friday 3/10/17
Drumming Begins
(K-3rd Grade) Needs Enrollment!

Thursday 3/16/17
Parent/Teacher Conferences
Noon Dismissal 

Friday 3/17/17
Parent/Teacher Conferences
No School

*Childcare available for both days and during conference times-please speak with Rebecca at the front if you need either.

Check out the 2016-2017 School Calendar 
here.

Notes from the Head of School

Hilltop Montessori School's 2017-2021 Strategic Plan Info Session

Please join us to hear about the new Strategic Plan and the initiatives that will result! 
We are providing several times of day for meetings, hoping to accommodate many people's schedules. While we've designated each meeting for a specific program group of families, you  are welcome to attend any session.

Thursday, March 9th
8:50 - 9:10am -  All School Gathering is back! 
9:15 - 9:45am - Strategic Plan Presentation - Toddler and Children's House Families
Join us for both! 
Thursday, March 9th  
3:15 -3:45pm - Strategic Plan Presentation - Children's House Families
Friday, March 10th 
8:45 - 9:15am - Strategic Plan Presentation -Elementary Families
Tuesday, March 14th  
8pm - Strategic Plan Presentation - Middle School - following the Odyssey meeting

As always, my door is open to anyone who would like to discuss the new initiatives at a time that is convenient for them. Email Tamara.



Parent/Teacher Conferences

Parent Teacher Conferences are March 16th and March 17th. Please check your email from SignUp.com (Volunteer Spot) to sign up!

If you did not get the email, or if you have any questions, please contact Rebecca.

Childcare is provided on both days. Please sign up with Rebecca at the front.


Parent Education Opportunity

What to Wear?!  
A Discussion around School & Dress
TUESDAY, MARCH 21, 7PM
Hilltop Middle School

What kind of messages about females and their bodies do we give - specifically in terms of clothing?  This discussion will focus on the policing of girls bodies and sexuality and how this negatively affects both men and  women. It will also give concrete ways in which to talk to youth about dress code in supportive and non-blaming ways.  
 
Moderated by Anna and Shea from the Women's Freedom Center.  The Women's Freedom Center is the local organization working to end domestic and sexual violence in Windham and Southern Windsor counties. The Youth Advocate works with teachers, staff, students, and caregivers around issues of consent, rape culture, social media, objectification, body image, gender identity, and healthy relationships.    


SAVE THE DATE!

Saturday, April 29th
*7:30am - noon
In the Arts Barn

*come when you want, but tag sale people are an eager bunch

Hilltop  Multi-Family 
Tag Sale and Market & 
Pancake Breakfast 

Believe it or not, spring IS coming... and you know what that means. Spring cleaning! Want to turn those no longer needed items into cold hard cash? Here's a fun solution: Join us for the Multi-Family Tag Sale and Market. Each family reserves a table for $10 and is responsible for selling their own treasures - you keep the profits. This year, we're adding a twist...

We're hoping to host other merchants who sell items that would be of interest to parents! So, if you know of someone who you think would fit this description, let Amelia know. The only contribution to selling at our market would be one small item that we will then put in a tricky tray raffle (like the one we did at the holidays). So, think children's clothing, activities, products etc.

Let the decluttering BEGIN!



Kids Night Out

Kids Night Out
Friday, March 10th

Do you want to have a fun night out on the town? Are you having a hard time finding a babysitter? Do you want your kids to have just as much fun as you do while you're out? Drop your child/children off at our Arts Barn anywhere between 5:30-9:00pm on Friday, March 10th to have a night of fun and games with our responsible middle school babysitters.
 
There will be fun, games, crafts, and tons more! At least one Red Cross certified babysitter and one adult will be there. We will provide snacks, but in addition please pack a nutritious dinner or feed your child before you come. This fun night for you and your kids costs only $7.00 an hour and $3.00 for each additional child. All proceeds from Kids Night Out go to the Hilltop Montessori Middle School Odyssey Fund. Our businesses are an important part of our fundraising, so your support really helps! Your kid must be at least two years old and potty trained. If you want to sign your kid up and they are under 2 years old, email us and we might be able to make things work.

If you are interested in signing up, or if you have any questions, email us at Lyoung@hilltopmontessori.org 
or Msharff@hilltopmontessori.org. We only have 15 spots, so don't wait, sign up now!



Toddler Program 


"The first essential for the child's development is concentration. The child who concentrates is immensely happy." - Dr. Maria Montessori


"Watching a child makes it obvious that the development of his mind comes through his movements." - Dr. Maria Montessori



"Of all things love is the most potent." - Dr. Maria Montessori




Children's House

It's Sugaring Season!

This week, the children got to learn about maple sugaring in the CH classrooms.  Works included pouring with maple syrup themed materials, matching different types of taps, and making nomenclature books detailing a sugar house. We also read books such as Sugaring Time by Kathryn Lasky, and Anytime Mapleson and the Hungry Bears by Mordicai Gerstein. On Friday, Cheryl gave a presentation to both classes on the process of making maple syrup. The circle time included small sample of some fresh made syrup made at her farm the night before.  As you can imagine, it was a big hit!

Later in the month, the Children's House students will be tapping our very own maple trees with Kegan Refalo our Facilities Manager.

Along with sugaring, our Vermont "mud season" is bringing unpredictable weather.  Please make sure your child still has snow pants, hats, and gloves for cold or muddy days, and rain pants and jackets when needed. Also, be sure to re-stock those extra clothes bins. Many have been depleted over the winter or have clothes that no longer fit!
 
Have a great weekend and stay warm!

-The Children's House Teachers













Lower El

It's nice to be back together again after a brief vacation. Lower El students returned to work with geometry lessons this week, learning about solids, surfaces, lines, and points, as well as different angles. 

Conferences are on Thursday, March 16th and Friday, March 17th. Please sign up for one if you have not already done so. We look forward to seeing you! 

Field Trips: We are excited to announce that we have two field trips planned for the Spring! Our first, to visit VINS (The Vermont Institute of Natural Science) will be on Friday, April 14th. We will get a tour of the Holyoke Fish Ladder on Wednesday, May 17th. Because we will be using the van, we will only be looking for approximately four parent drivers/chaperones. More details about travel plans will come soon.  

Stay warm this weekend!
Kerstin, Patrick, and Amelia









Upper El

It was great to see everyone back on Tuesday morning! Always surprising how much a child can grow in just one week! As your child may have told you, it was a busy week as we jumped right back into our studies. In botany, we began our study of roots. In addition, students began the process of planning their own plant experiments. The next unit in our study of the Silk Road is a look at religion with a focus on the growth of Islam and ancient Islamic cultures. This week students learned about the difference between animism, polytheism, and monotheism. Additionally, students began a comparison of five major religions. Students had many questions during these discussions. Discussing your family's religious background at home would be a great way to extend this work.

Some lessons this week highlighted the integrated nature of our curriculum. Our study of roots will connect back to our chemistry unit as students learn more about the special properties of water molecules. Our word study lesson this week was all about plant tropisms- the many ways in which plants move. We examined Greek roots as we learned more about how plants respond to their environment. In art class this week, we looked at patterned tile work in mosques from different Islamic cultures. Looking at this beautiful art led to some very interesting discussion about religion and religious history.

Thank you to our parent volunteers who are helping with the newest round of Thursday afternoon electives: Bo Foard on cooking, and Michael Davidovits on story-telling. New this session is also the first ever student-led elective, thanks to Solomon's growing knowledge of computer programming and his willingness to share.







Our new lit books are  Flush, by Carl Hiaasen, and  Day of the Pelican, by Katherine Paterson. Sixth grade seminar is reading the beloved  Phantom Tollbooth, by Norton Juster.

Back in full swing is geometry, which took a hiatus during winter sports, as well as the Montessori math sequence. It was especially wonderful to see our beautiful cubing material come out this week. This is an elegant physical representation of mathematical principles.



Congratulations to Julian, who passed the next level of Geography Bee competition via a written test.  He will be going to Middlebury College at the end of March to compete against 200 other students in the state geography bee. 

Important reminder: INDOOR SHOES! These are especially needed during mud season. Our floors and carpets are grateful.




SAVE THE DATE!  The Upper El play will be on Thursday, April 13th
There is a school show at 1pm and a family show at 5pm!




Middle School

Who could have known that the ubiquitously popular delicacy, Skittles, could aid in a greater understanding of human evolution? Perhaps only in the middle school could such profound science be explored in such a tantalizing way. From Nora's lab sheet:
 
Adaptation Lab 1.0:  The Great Skittle Feed
 
Introduction
As Charles Darwin said:
"In the struggle for survival, the fittest win out at the expense of their rivals because they succeed in adapting themselves best to their environment."
 
This lab explores how different phenotypes, for instance Red vs. Yellow, affect the survival of individuals in a population of Skittles. It investigates how the relative quantities of red and yellow Skittles change over ten generations in response to natural selection due to environmental pressures (hungry middle schoolers). Ideas about fitness and adaptation explored in this lab may be applicable to an overall understanding of the history of human evolution.
 
Students went on to perform a rather complicated series of steps that involved numerous Skittles, some serious concentration, and the occasional giggle. They gathered reams of data and then promptly ate their results. They are currently using spreadsheets to create histograms and scatter plots and writing conclusions. Finally, students are designing their own population dynamics experiment (Skittles are once again making an appearance) employing their own essential question. This results in a formal lab report comprised of the procedure, data table, analysis, and conclusion that refers to a specific example from nature. 
 
Enjoy the weekend.


Colored Sugar Bead Genetics - Natural Selection dynamics explored with Artificial Flavors and Colors 








Before and After Care











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Hilltop Helpers

Thank you  to Maya and Larry Goldschmidt (grandparents to Leo in LE) for donating the mod chairs in Hilltop's lobby, they are a bit hit!

J ulia Fedoruk in the Middle School would like to thank all of you who attended the Greek Supper to benefit Carry Me Home last week, and special thanks to those who helped with cooking, serving and cleaning up the meal. Carry Me Home, a Brattleboro-based 501c3 non- profit, sends clothing to refugees in Eastern Europe, coordinating with volunteer organizations on the ground to make sure the right items are sent to the right places when needed. Recent shipments have gone to Athens and to Lesvos, where refugees continue to arrive by boat.  

Collection for spring clothing has begun, with special focus on items for refugee children who have begun attending schools in Greece. Please bring items from the list below to the collection box in the lobby or the box in the Middle School. Carry Me Home is also in need of funds to pay for shipping. The largest box they can send, 44 pounds, costs $164 to ship. Please make donations via Indiegogo Generosity, or leave a check made out to Carry Me Home With Love in the collection box.

You can find more information about Carry Me Home on  Facebook, or via email.
You may be interested in PBS Frontline's Exodus , a documentary on the refugee crisis that aired in December 2016 and is still available to watch on line.


A big THANK YOU to Hazel for providing our students and staff with delicious pizza each week!


Many thanks to Brattleboro Tire, 558 Putney Road in Brattleboro for donating
snow tires for our Hilltop van . Please visit Dan and the boys at Brattleboro Tire for your car's needs and be sure to say "Thanks" on Hilltop's behalf. 
www.brattleborotire.com  or call them at 802-254-5411.




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