T onight in the Arts Barn, 6-9pm, all are welcome! 

APRIL 28TH, 2017 
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Next Week at Hilltop
Moving Up Night
Job Openings
Toddler Program (TP)
Birch Room
Willow Room
Lower ELementary (LE)
Upper Elementary (UE)
Middle School (MS)
Before and After Care
Hilltop Helpers
Community News
Next Week at Hilltop

Monday 5/1/17
Ultimate Frisbee
Moving up Night 6-7pm

Tuesday 5/2/17
Strength and Conditioning 
MS Baseball Game in Dummerston

Wednesday 5/3/17
Girls on the Run
Ultimate Frisbee
MS Baseball Practice

Thursday 5/4/17
Strength and Conditioning 
MS Baseball Game @ Westmoreland

Coming up...

Monday 5/6/17
MS Performance in the Arts Barn 7-9pm

Tuesday 5/7/17
MS Performance in the Arts Barn 7-9pm

Thursday 5/11/17
UE Trip to Smith Botanical Gardens

Check out the School Calendar 

SummerFun Registration has started! Flyers are at the front desk and online ! Sign up now as camps fill quickly!

Moving Up Night...

Parents of children transitioning to the next program are HIGHLY ENCOURAGED TO ATTEND MOVING UP NIGHT-Monday, May 1st at 6pm. Childcare is available; please let R ebecca know at the front desk if you need childcare.

"Oh! The places they go!" 

As we think about our younger students "Moving Up" to new programs and making their way through Hilltop we thought it would be interesting to share the experience of our graduates as they head to high school. Hilltop has graduated 274 students from the middle school program since 1997. We stay in touch with our alumni and the schools they attend. Our alumni speak well of their accomplishments and skills they take away from their time at Hilltop.

Our 8th graders start the process in the fall attending Hilltop's High School Night with Hilltop alumni who share their experiences, then it's onto the applications, SSAT tests, and student visits days, events that lead to their final decisions. A great lesson in itself!

This year we have 17 graduates who have been accepted and are finalizing their choices from the following schools:

Brattleboro Union High School
Concord Academy
The Dublin School
Northfield Mount Hermon
St. Paul's School
Proctor Academy
The Putney School

We are also proud of our current high school alumni who have been recognized at Brattleboro Union High School this year, 10 students have received high honors and honor student recognition for their efforts. We also have an alum who is graduating from Northfield Mount Hermon and elected to the Cum Laude honor society. 

So to our 8ths Moving Up and On...

Today is your day.
You're off to Great Places!
You're off and away!

If you would like to hear more from our graduates please join us Friday, June 9, 2017 at 5:30pm for Hilltop's Graduation Ceremony. Our graduates will speak and share their parting words!

Job Openings For Next Year

Business Manager: We are  looking for candidates for the Business Manager position. A job description and required skills and experience can be found on the Employment Opportunities Section of our website If you know of someone who might be interested, please encourage them to contact Tamara.

Physical Education/Athletic Director: We also have a position to fill in our athletics program. Soren has done a wonderful job leading our PE activities, from gym classes, to coaching the Middle School Baseball team and everything in between. He has brought his education in PE programs and his ability to support athletes at every level to bear with all he has done at Hilltop this year. He will be applying these skills at Guilford School  and we will certainly miss him, but will be glad to see him in town for many years to come. We have a job description for this position posted here. If you know of someone with a background in PE Education who might be interested in leading up our athletic efforts, please encourage them to contact me. 

After-Care and Substitute Teacher: While we do not know our exact needs yet, we often find ourselves looking for more help for aftercare and needing a good pool of substitute teachers. We are looking for people with experience, skills, and a love for working with children from toddler through elementary years. We need people who are consistently available from 2:30-5p.m. on weekdays, and can be on-call for work during the regular school hours (8-3). A posting for this possible opening is available here

Toddler Program 

" The essence of  independence  is to be able to do something for one's self." - Dr. Maria Montessori.

Spring is in the air! As leaves suddenly appear on trees, so, too, the children's language skills are exploding - words are more clearly articulated, sentences longer and more complex, and vocabularies expanding daily. 

Child #1 to child #2: "No, don't drink that. Don't drink the water. It's dirty."
Child #1 to Ellie: "She's drinking puddle."

And as flowers burst into bloom in the garden, so, too, the children embrace their budding independence and their beautiful joy is evident!

Here's a sampling of what independence looks like in the Toddler Program:

Please mark your calendars:  Saturday, May 6 is our annual spring playground clean up day! Stay tuned for details.

Ellie, Amanda & Marco

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Birch Room

At circle time this week we read The Invisible String, by Patricia Karst.  This lovely book tells us that "People who love each other are always connected by a very special String made of love."  this string is felt "deep in your heart" and is always there even when the person you love is not with you.  After the story, the children shared some of the people the could feel tugging at their string.  Here are some examples:

"My nana!"
"My oma!"
"My mom and dad!"
"My cat!"
"My cousin!"
"My Larry!"

Have a great weekend tugging on those strings!

-Cheryl, Serina, and Mariam

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Willow Room

Happy Spring! The flowers are adding a much needed color to the landscape. Birds are waking us up from our winter nap with beautiful springtime songs, and frogs have popped out of hibernation for their first swim of the season. In the Willow Room, we are diving into spring by exploring flowers, birds, seeds, and ponds. We are also exploring rainforests, volcanos and dinosaurs!  

If you see rain in the forecast, please remember to send your child in with appropriate rain attire: boots, a rain jacket and extra dry clothing. See you soon! 

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Lower El

Welcome back! And welcome spring! Right before break we had a wonderful field trip to the Vermont Institute of Natural Science (VINS). We learned a great deal about raptors during our visit. We were also fortunate enough to meet the baby turtles currently at the center. 

We are excited about our next field trip, which is also part of our current biology study. 
We will travel to the Robert Barrett Fishway down in Holyoke on Wednesday, May 17th. We do need a few parent drivers, so if you are interested in being a driver and chaperone, please email Patrick at  pburke@hilltopmontessori.org.

Thank you to everyone who was able to attend our Authors' Tea this morning. Students were so excited to share poetry they have been working on over the past several weeks. Have a wonderful weekend.

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Upper El

T he class is back at it this week!
  • New group project focussing on plant adaptations in the different biomes of the globe (see email on upcoming field trip)
  • A new series of lessons taking our Silk Road studies further eastward to China and India, and globally to the general topic of world exploration
  • A look at the difference between social norms and rules as part of our peace education curriculum
  • Our final round of electives for the year:  competitive sports, song writing, textile arts including weaving and embroidery, cut metal jewelry, making "pong-ball" launchers, and making cribbage boards.

Please note upcoming important UE dates:
May 12, Friday:  Field trip to Smith Botanical Gardens (regular drop-off and pick-up times, see email for drivers)
May 18, Thursday: (rain date May 19):  Pinnacle hike with 
next year's  UE class (regular drop-off and pick-up times, see email for drivers)
May 25, Thursday, 2:00 p.m.:  UE Museum
May 26, Friday:  UE Museum followed by Grandparents day
May 31-June 2, Wednesday-Friday:  Three-Day trip  (regular drop-off time on Wednesday, regular pick-up time on Friday)

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Middle School

What do you do with the vast myriad of experiences, interactions, observations, and questions that we individually and collectively collected during our week in Alabama?  Does a simple written reflection, "My Alabama Odyssey", do justice to the depth of our exploration?  We don't think so. The tradition at the middle school is to collaboratively create a performance that comes from circle conversations, small group collaborations, and singular creative endeavors. The process requires ideas building on ideas, excellent listening skills, a great deal of self-direction, the pursuit of individual passions, and the courage of one's convictions. Currently students are in the music room working on songs, huddled around computers experimenting with 3D graphic animation, and imagining scenes, characters, and situations. This vibrant, exciting, sometimes frustrating, deeply creative, and challenging process will result in a performance that will be performed on Monday, May 8 and Tuesday, May 9 at 7pm in the Arts Barn Theater. We invite you to witness and enjoy the results of this extraordinary effort.

Of course math studies never sleep in the middle school. Students are currently engaged in a great array of math projects including: fractal art, line drawing with functions, math quilts, exploring simultaneous equations using student constructed see-saws, modeling exponential decay through the dropping of bouncy balls from great heights, and probability studies.

Enjoy the weekend!

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Before and After Care

The balance bikes are in high demand! If anyone has any ready for the tag sale, or for donation to the school, we will take them! They will be put to good use on our playground bike path!

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Hilltop Helpers

Thank you to Jen Betit-Engel for dedicating her morning to eye screenings for all our students on Thursday morning! She also spent time cleaning up after the LE Author's Tea this morning, and then spent hours shopping for pancake breakfast items and school snack supplies! You will see her flipping pancakes tomorrow at Hilltop's Pancake Breakfast and Tag Sale event! Thanks Jen!

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

Julia Fedoruk 
in the Middle School would like to thank all of you who have helped refugees through donations of clothing and funds to Carry Me Home, the Brattleboro-based 501c3 non-profit that sends clothing to refugees in Eastern Europe. We are currently shipping spring items, with special focus on items for refugee children who have begun attending schools in Greece. We are also beginning to stockpile fall/winter items to begin shipping in late summer. Please bring items from the list below to the collection box in the lobby. Carry Me Home is also in need of funds to pay for shipping. A 44 pound box costs $164 to ship. Please make donations via Indiegogo Generosit
, or leave a check made out to Carry Me Home With Love in the collection box.

NEEDED ITEMS  (In gently-used or better condition, washed, without stains, rips, or holes)

Adult (men's and women's small or medium, no L or XL please) and children's (all sizes) items:
-long pants, jeans, and leggings
-long skirts
-long or short sleeve tops
-sweaters and sweatshirts
-new underwear
-raincoats and winter coats
-rainboots and sturdy shoes, all sizes
-men's flip flops sizes 8-10.5
For shipping: 
-Essentials brand vacuum storage bags, size large, 17.5 x 27.5 inches. These are intermittently available at the Dollar Tree Stores in Brattleboro and Keene, and fit our shipping boxes perfectly.

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.

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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Community News

"Theophilia" by Paul Dedell inspired by a 13th century Miracle Play features The Choir School conducted by Susan Dedell and includes Hilltop students: Julia Fedoruk, Marion Wojcik, Julian Siegel, and Annelise Fedoruk.  "Theophilia" is a musical tale of betrayed friendship, devilish temptation, the appearance and intervention of saints, and forgiveness. Featured artist, Judith Serkin, is the cellist along with Susan Dedell on the piano.

Mark your calendars for Saturday, May 6th at 5pmfor a family-friendly celebration to benefit HOST. The event featuring Kevin O'Keefe's One-Man Circus in-a-Suitcase, dinner by Tito's Taqueria, and M'bolo, a Senegalese Rock and Afro-Pop Band. 118 Elliot, Brattleboro. Suggested donation $10 adults ($20 generous) and $7 children. Tickets at Everyone's Books or at the door. Tell your friends and bring them along!

The Brattleboro Women's Chorus presents their annual spring concert " Sing, My Sister! " on  Mother's Day, May 14th at 4pm at the Latchis Theatre . Under the direction of founder/conductor Becky Graber, ninety local women sing uplifting songs about perseverance, courage, hope, and the power of singing. They will be joined by five exceptional local musicians:   Cathy Martin on piano; Julian Gerstin, Lisa Newell, and Ben James on percussion; and Lisa McCormick on guitar and banjo as well as with her ukulele orchestra. 
Two songs on the program were arranged by Debbie Nordeen, the director of Womansong from Asheville, NC. One is "Sing, My Sister," which was created by British singer Annie Lennox to raise awareness of and funds to help women and children in Africa with AIDS. The other is "I Come From Women" by Amy Carol Webb, which celebrates our female ancestry.
Two other songs were crafted by strong African-American women. "I Am Determined" is from Ysaye Barnwell and "One Foot in Front of the Other" is by Melanie Demore. Other pieces include "Dig Down Deep" by Libby Roderick; "From Way Up Here" by Malvina Reynolds and Pete Seeger; and two by Australian composer Lisa Young, "Unity" and "Thulele Mama Ye" which feature the percussion section.
The ukulele orchestra joins in on Graber's arrangement of Bobby McFerrin's "Don't Worry, Be Happy" as well as the Israel Kamakawiwo'ole version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and Albert Brumley's "I'll Fly Away."
Tickets are $12 adult, $20 generous, $10 student and senior and are available at  BrownPaperTickets.com or at the door. For information visit the chorus's new website at  BrattleboroWomensChorus.org or call 802-254-8994.

Summer Language Camp August 7th-10th 
Express Fluency is offering Spanish, French, and Latin classes August 7th-10th, at BUHS. The classes run from 9-12pm each morning (9-11:30 Thursday). They will engage and delight students ages 7- adult. World-class language teachers are coming to Brattleboro from OR, CO, LA, MN, ME and MI to teach these classes and teachers from all over the US are coming to observe them and participate in teacher workshops in the afternoons. 

Offerings Include:
  • Elementary Spanish taught by Annabelle Allen (Ages 7-11)
  • Beginner Spanish taught by Grant Boulanger (Ages 12-adult)
  • Intermediate Spanish taught by Becca Lynch Nichols (High School to adult)
  • Beginner French with Tina Hargaden (Ages 12-adult)
  • Beginner Latin* with Justin Slocum Bailey(Ages 12- adult)

We expect these classes to fill up, so recommend registering early.
More info and registration can be found here:

Full time student price: $125 (before June 1st) 

*A note about Latin from Elissa McLean: My daughter (Emmy, age 12) and I took Justin's Latin class together last summer and had the best time! Justin is a gifted teacher and he literally brings Latin to life in the class. Before the class I was honestly a little unsure of why anyone would want to take a Latin class, but now I recommend it to everyone. There are so many connections to English and all the Romance Languages. This would be a great class for someone facing PSATS or SATS, wanting a base from which to explore many other languages, interested in science and medicine, and so much more! Plus, it is a ton of fun.  Emmy and I still remember the Latin from the class now  7 months later and its like we have our own secret language at home.

Creating with Clay Summer Camp 2017

Green Mountain Girls Camp
News Flash! Green Mt Camp for Girls, the beloved 100 year old summer camp in nearby Dummerston has openings for girls ages 4-13 this summer! They are welcoming 4 year olds for Session #1 (June 19-23)  for day camp from 8:30-4:30  and all other ages are welcome to come for the day or stay the night as this is a Try Me Camp week! Arts and Crafts, Drama and Dance, Nature, Music, Sports and Games, Swimming and so much more! They also have a pay by the day option that week if you have limited availability! Financial Aid is available if income eligible! This is a great chance for you to check out the camp during a time when our summer program hasn't started yet and there are still openings! Call Billie at 802-257-1751 today or go online to register at u nder the Come To Camp tab.

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