A Surprise Snowfall!
Thanks for everyone's help and patience this morning. The snow hit just at drop off and surprised us all. 
Hilltop follows the WSESU school closing policy for snow days. Cancellation of school will be announced over local radio stations by 7am (WTSA, WKVT, 1450).
School closing information is also posted on the date in the Public Access Calendar on our website and at www.sover.net by clicking on "School Closings". 

February 5, 2016


Click heading to get to section
Next Week at Hilltop
Open Board Meeting
Summer Fun
Shop Amazon and Earn Money for Hilltop
Toddler Program (TP)
Birch Room
Willow Room
Lower Elementary (LE)
Upper Elementary (UE)
Middle School (MS)
Winter Sports
Hilltop Helpers
Community News
Next Week at Hilltop
Monday 2/8/16
Cultural Cooking
MS Basketball Game-Putney Central

Tuesday 2/9/16
UE Basketball Practice
MS Basketball Game @ Guilford vs. Marlboro

Wednesday 2/10/16
UE Poetry Performance 1:30-2:30pm
Spanish with Marco
MS Basketball Game @ BAMS 4pm
Open Board of Trustees Meeting 6-8pm

Thursday 2/11/16
Last Winter Sports Session
Winter Outdoor Survival with BEEC

Friday 2/12/16
Re-enrollment Contracts Due Back

Check out the 2015-16 School Calendar 

Coming Up...

Monday 2/15
Mid-Winter Break Begins
No School

Monday 2/22
No School
Teacher In-Service Day

Tuesday 2/23
School Resumes

Friday 2/26
Kids Night Out

Questions about school governance? Come to the Open Board meeting next week

Wednesday, February 10th at  6pm 
Open Board Meeting 

The Board is responsible for supporting and overseeing the mission of the school, including: fiscal stability, fundraising, hiring and evaluating the Head of School, approving the budget and tuitions, and the long term planning of the school. Please join us for our Annual Open Board Meeting and hear about Board Committees and Activities (Finance, Buildings & Grounds, Trustees, Development, Emergency Planning, Equity), Board service, the "state of the school" and the ongoing Strategic Plan Process. 

The Board and administration work to keep tuitions as low as possible and provide the high quality programs our community so appreciates. Part of our Strategic Plan will include embarking on an endowment campaign to help raise money with the goals of: stabilizing tuition increases and increasing financial aid, maintaining the facility, and providing competitive compensation packages to staff. Please join us to hear about this.

The Board consists of 10 very nice and interesting 
peoplecome spend time with them on Wednesday! It would be helpful to know how many of you will be attending, so we can plan the space and the snacks. Please RSVP to  the Front Desk. Also we had not planned to provide childcare, but if you need it, let the Front Desk know and we will see what we can do to meet your need.

If you aren't able to join us Wednesday, but are interested in this information, please contact Tamara or Patrick Keppell (Board Chair). Either of them would be happy to speak with you individually.

Summer Fun

We are looking for  certified lifeguards and camp counselors for 6-12 year olds.  If you are interested, or know of anyone who may be, please contact  Becky .

Shop Amazon and Earn Money for Hilltop!
Shop at Amazon and earn some cash for Hilltop! Go to 
smile.amazon.com  and search for Hilltop Montessori - BE CAREFUL! There are TWO of us. You want the one in Brattleboro not the one in Alabama! Then, all you have to do is shop for that bowling ball or whatever you're searching for, and Hilltop will get a piece of the action. It's that simple!

Toddler Program 

T his week we were pleasantly reminded of the conflict resolution capabilities of our young friends. Having had conflict resolution modeled throughout their lives, they already can demonstrate the skills of listening, empathy, and restitution! Here's a good example (one of several this week):

Child One is kneeling happily at the shelf. He delights in the little bins that open and close and the "treasures" hidden within. Child Two notices this exciting activity, pushes Child One out of the way and begins using the set of bins. Understandably, Child One begins to cry. As I move toward the children to offer help, I stop myself. I watch Child Two pause and then hug Child One. Child One calms down and accepts the hug as an apology. Beauty! 

The experience was yet another powerful reminder of the impressive skills two year olds can possess. And perhaps even more importantly, it was another powerful reminder of how important it is for adults to hang back at times and realize when they aren't needed. These little people have amazing skills.

Happy weekend,
Ellie & Hannah

Here are a few photos from the week...

Birch Room

Thanks to all of you who came to Tuesday's Moving Up Night! For those of you who couldn't make it (or don't have someone moving up quite yet), we wanted to share some of what we talked about. Although there are specific lessons for our Olders-only group during the afternoon, much of their critical learning as Olders takes place in the multi-aged environment of the morning classrooms. One of the ways in which Olders learn is by engaging in our beautiful materials in new ways that require things like; a longer concentration span, more multi-step planning, and better fine motor skills than needed when exploring the basic work. We call these "extension activities".  

On Tuesday, after a morning lesson on the geometric solids, the Olders (and a couple eager Middlers) were off and running with self-planned extensions. These included tracing shapes and making patterns using a puzzle, creating pages for a book with geometric cards, copying and painting the geometric bases, and building a paper reproduction of the pink tower! One of the beautiful things about a Montessori classroom is the freedom it provides to children to independently explore an idea in a way that truly resonates. That was in full force the other day!

Also, just a quick  reminder that afternoon pick-up time is 2:45pm. Our aftercare has been getting a little crowded with stragglers!

We will be celebrating  Valentine's Day next Friday,  February 12th. If your child chooses to take part in the celebration (it's optional), please remember to gift each child in the class with a Valentine's card. Handmade cards and store bought cards are welcomed, but please no candy. The teachers will help distribute the cards during the school day. If you need a list of each child's name, Rebecca will have some print outs at the front desk.

Have a great weekend!

Cheryl, Serina, and Mariam

Willow Room

We will be celebrating  Valentine's Day  next Friday,  February 12th . If your child chooses to take part in the celebration (it is optional), please remember to gift each child in the class with a Valentine's card. Handmade cards and store bought cards are welcomed, but please no candy. The teachers will help distribute the cards during the school day. If you need a list of each child's name, Rebecca will have some print outs at the front desk.

Marquetta and Astrid explore animal tracks

Max and August share a design they made during older's time

Pasture walks on the line

Jaime and Cooper explore North America

Archer looks at a book in the quiet area

Lower El

We are deep into the study of the Timeline of Life now, with stories of nautiloids, the tiktaalik, and prehistoric plants firing up our imaginations. The discovery of the tiktaalik fossil is significant in the history of life on earth, because it is believed to have been the very first fish to have ventured onto land. Fittingly, it had a mix of fish and amphibian traits to help it in this bold endeavor. Students are researching creatures from the timeline, tracing the coming of trilobites and their demise, and creating "wanted" posters of fierce predators that roamed the earth millions of years ago. Through this study, the children gain an appreciation for the diversity of life on our planet, and a sense of gratitude for all that came before us and contributed to the evolution of life as we know it. This is what Maria Montessori intended, and it's a thrill to observe the excitement in the room while children pursue their Timeline work.  

Lower El will be celebrating  Valentine's Day  next  Friday,  February 12  with a card exchange for anyone who would like to participate. Although many commercial cards include candy these days, we strongly encourage candy-free store-bought cards or, better yet, homemade cards. Simple, from-the-heart cards are wonderful; no need to feel the pressure of Pinterest!  

Thank you to all parents of K's who attended Tuesday's Moving Up Night!  It was a pleasure to share our classroom with you, and hear your questions.  We look forward to having your children in Lower El. 

Have a great weekend!
Kerstin and Patrick

Upper El

Loads of fabulous and innovative work is going into our preparations for next week's multi-media poetry performance which will be  Wednesday, February 10th at 1:30pm . We hope you all can join us!

The snow date for this performance is Friday, February 12th at 1:30pm.

Back to top
Middle School

This week we are wrapping up the " Struggle for Peace" study with "World Awareness" conflict presentations, specific outlines and research papers drafted and redrafted, a "Book Thief" vocabulary extravaganza, and a showing of the "personal representation of peace" films. After presentations, discussions with guests, and seminar dialogues about conflicts that span the globe as well as touch us everyday, our pervasive culture of violence, and heartfelt and active work for positive change, it was made clear to all of us that we have choices. We can support the culture through our actions and purchasing power or strive not to be complicit and as Morrie in "Tuesdays with Morrie" would say: make our own culture.

Next week we begin to bring expression to all of our learning and thoughts and feelings through the collaborative creation of a  performance . You are invited to enjoy the fruition of these efforts on  March 7th and 8th at 7pm in the Arts Barn Theater .

Winter Sports

Winter Sports Pictures

At the rink...

At the BOC...the crew still managed to have fun trekking around the Country Club's coarse. Scavenging for golf balls, playing games, and hiking kept them all plenty occupied!

Hilltop Helpers

Hilltop Montessori School has a wonderful group of helpful families supporting each other in many ways: carpools, meals in time of need, hand-me-down snow pants, etc. We would like to provide this space in the newsletter as a place that people can share needs and "gifts" with the rest of the Hilltop community

Looking for a Dresser
The Davis Family  who recently had twin baby boys (their oldest August is in the Willow Room) , is looking for a dresser for use in their nursery. If you have one to offer them or have any insight on obtaining a used one, please contact Rebecca at the front desk. 

Looking for a Babysitter
The Whitney Family  (Carmen is in Lower El)  is seeking a reliable, friendly, experienced babysitter who has transportation. Does anyone in the Hilltop community know of someone who fits this description? If so, please email  Diana Whitney  or call 451-6637. 

Would you like more time?
Offering daily rides to and from Hilltop
Student Driving Service
In an effort to create a more effective and  efficient collaboration to transporting multiple
students to Hilltop Montessori School on  weekdays, we've started up an informal driving
service. Both Gene and Sarah  (parents to Marquetta in the Willow Room) were school bus  drivers for many years and have a great deal of  experience working with students and  transportation services. Both have flexible  schedules and can easily accommodate driving  to different pick up and drop off points within a  range of our regular school route. Give yourself  some extra time and piece of mind. 

- efficient and affordable
- flexible and punctual
- understanding Montessori parents
- professional school bus drivers
- safe, reliable vehicle (Toyota Prius)

When: Hilltop School Days
Where: Hinsdale NH, Brattleboro VT,  Northfield MA
Times: 8am pick up & 3:15pm drop off
Cost: asking $5/day, incl. pick up & drop off

Email Sarah or Gene, or call 413-695-3938 or 413-834-2933. Flyers with all this information is available at the front desk.

Harris Hill Ski Jump 
Kathryn Einig  (mom to Ava in Lower El)  is looking for adult volunteers to assist in ticket sales for the Harris Hill ski Jump event this year.  The shifts that have vacancy are:

Saturday February 20th:  11:00am-1:00pm  and  1:00-3:00pm.
Sunday February 21st: 9:00am-11:00am ,11:00am-1:00pm, and 1:00-3:00pm.

The 2 hour shift coverage gets you into the awesome event free of charge. If a volunteer does 2 shifts (4 hours), they get a free Harris Hill commemorative tee shirt!  

Any interested parties should contact Kathryn Einig with subject "Ski Jump 2016" or call/text  802-258-1983.

This is a great event, hope you can join in!

Collections for  Carry Me Home
Julia Fedoruk (Upper El) is now collecting clothing and other items on behalf of Carry Me Home, the organization mentioned in the January 8 th Hilltop Newsletter. Carry Me Home is a Brattleboro based non-profit (501c3 approval pending) that sends clothing and baby carriers to Syrian refugees in Eastern Europe. Carry Me Home coordinates with volunteer organizations on the ground in Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia, and Greece to make sure the right items are sent, to the right places, when needed.

Please bring items from the list below to the collection box in the Hilltop Main
Lobby. Julia will deliver items from the box weekly to Carry Me Home, so items can get to Europe sooner. She will keep collecting until spring break.

NEEDED ITEMS  (All should be in gently-used or better condition)

Baby carriers: any type except hard-framed or recalled

Children's items
-winter outerwear:  jackets, preferably waterproof
-warmer pants & jeans (no snow pants)
-hats, gloves/mittens, scarves
-warm clothes for layering:  fleece items, tops, bottoms, tights, leggings, thermal underwear
-regular underwear, socks
-snow & rainproof boots
-LIGHT and SMALL toys/dolls/stuffed animals

Adult items
-socks (in good condition, no holes)

You can find more information on Facebook , Indigo's Generosity , or Email .

Thank you!

Thank you  Hazel  for providing our students and staff with delicious pizza each week!


Winter Sports  Chaperones
we are grateful for all parent participation!

If you have a need, or a service or item to offer, let the  FRONT DESK  k now and we'll get it in the newsletter!

Community News

Girls on the Run

3rd-5th grade girls can join this wonderful exercise and personal growth program at Hilltop by registering here. (from that page, click on Southern Region 5K, then under the "Category" drop-down menu, choose Hilltop).   

Starting  March 9th, we will meet on Wednesdays and Fridays after school, from  3-4:30pm. The season will culminate with a 5K here in Brattleboro on Saturday May 21st.  The fee is $80, and need-based scholarships are available, which you can apply for during the online registration process or by contacting  Jess Rodrigues.  

GOTR will be brought to you by new coach Karen Blumberg (a.k.a. "Ben Berg's Mom") as well as returning coaches Jennifer Griffith (a.k.a. "that awesome lady who worked at the front desk last year") and Alix Fedoruk (a.k.a. "Annelise and Julia's Mom").  
GOTR is an international program founded in 1996, whose mission is to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running. Designed to allow every girl to recognize her inner strength, the Girls on the Run curriculum inspires girls to define their lives on their own terms. Throughout the season, the girls make new friends, build their confidence, and celebrate all that makes them unique. The Girls on the Run lessons encourage positive emotional, social, mental, and physical development. Participants explore and discuss their own beliefs around experiences and challenges girls face at this age.  They also develop important strategies and skills to help them navigate life experiences. We start with helping the girls get a better understanding of who they are and what's important to them. Then, we look at the importance of teamwork and healthy relationships. And, finally, the girls explore how they can positively connect with and shape the world. Physical activity is woven into our program to inspire an appreciation of fitness and to build habits that lead to a lifetime of health. At the end of the three-month season, the girls participate in a Girls on the Run 5k event. This celebratory, non-competitive event is the culminating experience of the curriculum. Completing the 5k gives the girls a tangible understanding of the confidence that comes through accomplishment as well as a framework for setting and achieving life goals. Crossing the finish line is a defining moment when the girls realize that even the seemingly impossible IS possible. More information and FAQs can be found  here, you may also contact Alix Fedoruk.

Brattleboro Concert Choir

Hilltop Montessori School