Kids Night Out is Tonight!

February 10th, 2017
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Next Week at Hilltop
Notes from the Head of School
Math Curriculum
Re-Enrollment Contracts Due
After School Programs
Nut Free School Reminder
Development Office
Toddler Program (TP)
Children's House
Lower ELementary (LE)
Upper Elementary (UE)
Middle School (MS)
Winter Sports
Hilltop Helpers
Community News
Next Week at Hilltop
Monday  2/13/17
New After School Enrichment Program Flyers Come Out!
Extra forms at the front desk. Go here for flyer.

Tuesday 2/14/17
Valentine's Day
MS Poetry Night, 7-8:30pm in the Arts Barn

Wednesday 2/15/17
UE Poetry Performance

Thursday 2/16/17
Winter Sports Make-up!
MS Away Basketball Game

Friday 2/17/17
Re-Enrollment Contracts Due

Coming up...

Monday  2/20/17
No School
Start of February Break

Monday 2/27/17
No School
In Service Day

Tuesday  2/28/17
School Resumes

Check out the 2016-2017 School Calendar 

Notes from the Head of School

I came upon an interesting article that addresses many of the ways we as Montessori teachers work to build a student's sense of self confidence and independence. While the article puts it in the negative, by highlighting what "good parents" do wrong. I'd like to think of it in the positive.  How can we, as parents and caregivers, support our children as they grow into self-sufficient, resilient people.

  • Let children share their worries and problems with us, BUT let them stay as their problems rather than take them on as our problems or get upset about them ourselves.  
  • Support children in finding a solution to a problem that they implement, rather than coming to their rescue.
  • Have children relish in what they do well, rather than become anxious over what is more difficult for them. 
  • Let them set the expectations and soar as they may.
  • Show children that you will accept mistakes and support them through troubles.
  • Have them see you struggle and make mistakes to model problem solving and resilience.
For more examples and analysis from the perspective of what not to do, check out this   article.

Math Curriculum/Circus Workshop Tomorrow!

Saturday, February 11, 9-Noon

It's Math Curriculum/Circus Workshop Morning!

While grown-ups get a guided tour through our math curriculum from Toddler to Eighth grade,  we  have a very special treat for children - a circus workshop morning with Bill Forchion and friends.

We will provide famous Hazel pizza and welcome you to bring a salad, side or dessert to share.

See you tomorrow!

Re-Enrollment Contracts Due Soon!

Re-enrollment Contracts are Due by  Friday,  February 17th Thank you to all who have gotten them in. If you haven't gotten them in yet, please return them next week. Once we have the re-enrollment contracts returned, we will start Financial Aid awards and we will be sending out acceptance letters to new students.

New After School Programs Starting in March!

New After School Enrichment Programs (ASEP) are ready and flyers will be sent home Monday with your child. This is what we are offering this session:
  • Two Cooking Classes: one class for 4-6 year old's and another for 7-12 year old's
  • Spanish with Marco: 4-7 years old
  • Person, Place and Play Circus: 6-12 years old
  • Drumming: K-3rd grade
  • Strength and Conditioning: UE and MS
Flyers are available at the front desk! Click here to view the flyer (then click ASEP 2017).

Reminder About Nut-Free School

Please remember that Hilltop is a nut-free school . We have several children who have nut allergies, so please be aware of this when packing your child's lunch!

Thank you.

Message from the Development Office

Dear Phenomenal Hilltop Community,

BIG NEWS! We did it! We met our challenge to raise $50,000 for this year's Annual Fund! This means that we have earned an additional $20,000 from a most generous set of grandparents. Congratulations!

I realize that we do go on about how great it is having 100% participation from our community for Annual Fund giving... but I wanted you to read something. This is what one of our major donors has to say about our achievement:

"Amelia,  100% participation in an Annual Fund is absolutely unprecedented!  Congratulations!!  That really shows the commitment your parents have to their children's wonderful school.  As I have said before, the fact that parents raised the money to relocate Hilltop to its present location was one of the main factors that impressed us and showed us that this school was a great investment. "

Thank you all so much for ALL you do for Hilltop!


Clean out your closets!
Stay tuned for info about our Spring Tag Sale! We've got some ideas up our sleeves to make it even more fun, fun, fun. If you're interested in being on the planning committee for that fun, shoot me an  email

Smile while you shop Amazon! 
The next time you shop Amazon, sign in at and choose Hilltop Montessori School as your charity and Amaon will donate a percentage of your total to Hilltop. Be careful to choose the correct Hilltop! There is a Hilltop Montessori in Birmingham Alabama, so double check you're choosing us! Last month we received $54 from Amazon!

Toddler Program 

We hope to see many of you at the curriculum morning tomorrow! It's a fantastic opportunity to see the continuum of Montessori math materials through the different classrooms. The materials are not only beautiful, but they are wonderful tactile works that make abstract concepts concrete for children and adults! Many adults who take Montessori training courses have a-ha moments with the math materials, too. 

This week we added a few new works to the shelves including egg shell crushing in Practical Life (essential to successful composting) and objects for counting (dinosaurs). 

And we also learned a new song at circle. Sung to the tune of 
I'm a Little Teapot

I'm a little snowflake, icy and round
I fall from the sky and I don't make a sound
When it's cold, I'll stay all day
When it's warm, I melt away
(Laurie Birkner)

Enjoy the weekend - and the snow!
Ellie, Amanda & Marco

Children's House

We enjoyed our short, snowy week in the Children's House with a lot of outdoor play and some great works inside. It has been beautiful to watch the Olders explore skip counting with the bead chains, the Middlers matching upper and lower case letters and sounds, and our Youngers practice naming numbers in the "knock knock" game. We've also seen some great classroom community work this week as our Olders worked to assist the Youngers in getting in and out of their snow gear and everyone gave an extra hand to clean up the classroom.

Moving into next week, we  wanted to let you know about a few upcoming events:

Math Curriculum Morning: On Saturday from 9-12, come learn about the Montessori math curriculum from the toddler program through middle school. Child care, complete with fun circus activities, will be provided!  

Valentines' Day: Next week, the Children's House classrooms will have a low-key Valentines' Day celebration with a book, some heart themed works, and a place in the coatroom to deliver Valentines. If you choose to bring Valentines, please make sure you have one for each child, and that they are candy, character, and combat free ;-) 

Winter Sports Make-up: The Olders will have their make-up ice skating class  on Thursday.

And finally: New dad Jonathan will return for the mornings next week, and full time after February break!

Hope to see you  tomorrow !

-The Children's House Teachers  

Lower El


We are busy with it, as always, and our measurement unit continues. Fingers, bead bars, globes, and even teachers, have been measured this week!  Here are a couple of ideas for "homework" this weekend:
  • Encourage your child to measure the snowfall in their yard, and report their findings to the class on Monday's circle.
  • Family measurements: Lie down and have your child measure you, head to toe, and then record these measurements to share with the class.  Maybe the family pets will cooperate, too. The LE students love this work!  
  • Family measurements, Part II:  Your child can use a tape measure to discover the circumference of their family members' noggins.
We invite everyone to participate in our Math Curriculum Morning from 9-12 this Saturday with a potluck (and some pizza from Hazel) afterwards. This is a great opportunity to see how each program's math curriculum builds on the one before it. We look forward to sharing a multiplication lesson with you, Montessori-style!

Parents of Olders: Your children have begun telling the stories of their lives in writer's workshop this week. Next week, they will write about their birth and/or early life, and a special memory from their childhood. They will probably need your help in learning or remembering these stories from their early lives - perhaps over dinner, or as a bedtime story one night. Thanks for your help with this!

Lastly.... Valentine's Day! Lower El celebrates this holiday with an optional card exchange. Students will have the chance to decorate large envelopes to use as mailboxes. If your child would like to participate, please have them buy or make 28 cards, one for each child in the class. Names can be found in the school directory.  Please add our newest class member, Lyla Magee, to that list. We kindly request that only non-edible treats/cards be exchanged on this day.  

Stay warm this weekend. See you at Math Curriculum Day!

Kerstin, Patrick, and Amelia

Upper El

Students worked hard this week to prepare for next week's Poetry Performance. Students were busy revising poems, composing music with software or with instruments, creating shadow puppets, and making short films. There was a great deal of collaboration as students taught each other new skills, shared ideas, or helped with filming. 
Students are looking forward to sharing their poems and creativity with you next Wednesday at 1:30pm in the Arts Barn.

In addition to poetry preparations, we brought our study of the economic geography of the Silk Road to the present day. Using materials from NPR's T-Shirt Project, we are learning how a cotton t-shirt is made, from growing the cotton to stocking the shelves. We are learning about how technology has impacted cotton production and the manufacturing process, the environmental impacts of making a t-shirt, and the human stories behind the t-shirts we wear. 

We will be celebrating Valentine's Day next Friday. Students who wish to bring in Valentines may do so as long as they include the entire class. Students may attach one small treat to their Valentines.

We look forward to seeing you next Wednesday, February 15th, for the Poetry Performance!

Jay preps the UE on creating music to accompany their poems!

Middle School

What a crazy week it has been! The active winter weather upstaged classes, curriculum, sports, schedules and for the third time, Poetry Night. Despite all the wintry interruptions, students presented their collaborative projects on subjects pertaining to the science of race beginning with the significance of Darwin's theories, through eugenics, and ending with the tracing of ancestry through DNA.  We also moved forward in our exploration of the Civil Rights Movement with discussions about the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Little Rock Nine.

The absolutely final date for the  Middle School Poetry Night  is next Tuesday, February 14th , for what will surely be a beautiful celebration of words and hearts!

Winter Sports

Make up day for Winter Sports is next Thursday, February 16th

Drivers and Chaperones, please let Rebecca know if this conflicts with you taking part and thank you  to all of you who have helped make this Winter Sports season a SUCCESS!

Hilltop Helpers

Sign at Hilltop
You may have noticed the new sign on the driveway at Hilltop! If you are interested in having one, please contact Allison Korn If enough people are interested, she will get more printed locally at Lotus. The printing cost of signs and stakes is between $15-19, depending on the quantity we get. Thanks!

Carry Me Home Collections 
Julia Fedoruk continues to collect clothing and other items for refugees stranded in Europe. Thank you Hilltop community for all of your generous contributions to date! As you know, Carry Me Home is a local 501c3 non-profit, 100% volunteer staffed, that sorts, packages, and ships your donations to organizations on the ground in Europe, mostly Greece. There is currently great need for sleeping bags and winter-proof shoes for all ages, and gently used or new children's clothes. Some refugee children are now being enrolled in Greek public schools, and need presentable outfits to wear to school.  Please bring items to the collection box in the lobby.

To help raise funds for shipping, and to honor the Greek people who have responded with courage and generosity to the refugee crisis, Carry Me Home is co-presenting a Greek Supper with St. Michael's Episcopal Church on Saturday, February 11th, from 5-8pm  at St. Michael's , 16 Bradley Avenue, Brattleboro. 

The Menu Includes: Greek salad, avgolemono soup, pita and hummus, spanakopita, pastitsio, fasolakia, and kourambiethes. There will be vegetarian and gluten free options.  

Ticket prices:   $10 for adults, $7 for children (3-11 years), with a maximum price of $30 for families of four or more people. All proceeds will be used for Carry Me Home's shipping costs.  

We hope you can join us for a wonderful meal and to show your support for Carry Me Home's important refugee relief efforts.  Tickets are available  here  , or at the door while they last.

Volunteers to help with setup, serving, and cleanup are needed and greatly appreciated. We are also in need of in-kind donations of the ingredients for these delicious dishes.  

Please contact Alix Fedoruk at 802-355-2256  or via  email  to volunteer or make an ingredient donation. If you wish to make a donation without attending the dinner, you can give via their  Indiegogo Generosity Page or leave a check made out to Carry Me Home With Love in the collection box.

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.  or call them at 802-254-5411.

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Community News

Brattleboro Figure Skating Club Presents...Reach for the Stars   
Luci Boyarko from Lower EL and her mom Vanessa Long are selling tickets for this 42nd annual ice show!
$7 for adults, $3 for children, preschool age is free. They are also looking for business sponsors, for a low advertising price of $30!  
If you are interested in tickets or sponsorship, please contact Vanessa.

Free 6-Week Parenting Education Series
Starting Monday, February 27th, 5-7pm at the Winston Prouty Center
Call Janice at 802-254-3755 to register.
Flyers at the front desk!

Ice Party Fundraiser

Cross-Class Dialogue Circle

It's the 95th Annual Harris Hill Ski Jump: February 18th and 19th

Looking for adult volunteers and possible positions for Middle Schoolers for both days. Shifts can be 2 hours to all day if you are really into it.

Contact:  Kathryn Einig  by email by clicking on her name or call 802-258-1983.