The Picnic is today, see you there!
4:30pm at Green Mountain Girls Camp

Please Remember that Hilltop is now Peanut and Nut-free!
September 2nd, 2016



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Next Week at Hilltop
Notes from the Head of School
Parent Orientation
Toddler Program (TP)
Children's House (CH)
Hilltop Helpers
Community News
Next Week at Hilltop
Monday 9/5/16
No School 
Labor Day

Tuesday 9/6/16
Early Morning Care Begins
MS Upland Trip (9/6-9/9)

Thursday 9/8/16
UE Overnight Pinnacle Trip

Friday 9/9/16

Check out the 2016-2017 School Calendar 

Coming Up...

Monday 9/12/16
MS Soccer 

Tuesday 9/13/16
UE Soccer 
Parent Orientation
5:30-6:30 (TP, LE, MS)
6:30-7:30 (CH and UE)

Wednesday 9/14/16
Spanish with Marco 
MS Soccer

Thursday 9/15/16
LE Soccer

Friday 9/16/16
UE Soccer

Notes from the Head of School

We've had a wonderful week one of school. This being my fourth year, I've now seen the youngest "Youngers" in the Children's house go through the full cycle, becoming leaders, and now again see them as Youngers in Lower El, and have seen a student who was a  fledgling new student in Lower El, now eager to have the new challenges of Upper El. I feel very fortunate to get to walk the halls and see this school in action.

In fact, almost every day, I give myself the gift of walking through the classrooms during the morning work cycle. It is so rewarding to see these students from toddler through Middle School using the opportunity to work independently, in small groups, or in a lesson. I encourage all of you to find a time that you can tour the classes with me mid-morning. If you ever have a reason to hang out after drop off, we welcome you to read or email in the front office, we might even be able to set you up at a desk. Then, once the outside time, or getting settled, has happened, we will tour and observe a classroom. Sometimes you can observe in your own child's classroom and be unobtrusive. Some children find this too distracting, but in any case, I'm sure you will find a renewed appreciation for the Montessori environment. 

I'm hoping you've had a chance to look through the "Student and Family Handbook" that was in your packets. Our invitation and guidelines for "Visiting and Observation" are on page 21 of the handbook and we do welcome you! 

Parent Orientation

Parent Orientation is on  TUESDAY
September 13th, all are strongly encouraged to attend!

This is an opportunity for families to connect with faculty, learn about the curriculum, and to ask questions. This is especially helpful for students new to a program. The schedule for the evening is split to allow parents to attend with children in multiple programs.

5:30 - 6:30pm for Toddler, Lower El and Middle School
6:30 - 7:30pm for Children's House and Upper El

Please sign up for childcare at the front desk!

Toddler Program

Welcome and welcome back, Toddler Program Families! We are excited about our class  of 7 new and 3 returning toddlers. We are already off to a great start. With the mornings split, we focused on helping the new children acclimate to their new playground, classroom, and teachers and we went on a few adventures with the experienced toddlers.

We took a walk in the woods noticing leaves and mushrooms and collecting pine cones and sticks. We also picked vegetables in the green house planted by Children's House last May. The children also had fun exploring the beautiful cardboard house Marco made.

Thanks to our new families who did a beautiful job with keeping drop offs short and sweet! Each day the separation at the gate seems to be getting a little easier for the children. And many thanks to all families for making the orientation schedule logistics work so beginning students can be set up for a successful start to the school year.

Have a wonderful weekend!
Ellie, Amanda & Marco

Children's House
We had a great start to the year getting to know some new friends and welcoming back some old ones. Our youngest students started with some basic lessons on sitting at circle, getting snack, and cleaning up, while our returning students jumped right back into work- even starting a few big map projects on the very first day! On Friday, the whole group got together for the very first time to work and play together.
PE started on Thursday, so if you have an Older, make sure they have a pair of sneakers for running, jumping, and hiking. Everyone should have secure (non flip-flop) sandals, sneakers, or other shoes for playground play- these children like to move!

We are so excited to get started on the new year!

Also, thank you for working towards our consistent routine of dropping off and picking up at the playground gate! Many of you have found it so helpful and we appreciate that. While we have loved the sense of community and togetherness that hanging out on the playground after drop-off and pick-up has brought in the past for parents, we need to provide better clarity for everyone involved and appreciate your understanding. Having parents say "good-bye" and "hello" at the gate helps:
  • Honoring the Child: in keeping with Montessori philosophy, we are constantly working towards independence and responsibility. This begins as soon as we step onto the playground. 
  • Separation Anxiety: this is lessened for students who have separation issues, making drop-off clear and short and sweet is a huge help. Lingering and having the "good-bye" point be variable and negotiable adds to anxiety. Many families have found a routine works well. For example, 2 kisses and 2 hugs before entering into the playground, can help to set a limit on need for "goodbyes" and clinging.
  • Efficiency: for many parents who need to get off to work, or after school, off to an appointment, having the teachers facilitate arriving and picking up is more efficient.
  • Consistency of Supervision and Safety: when a parent lingers on the playground, it can become confusing to all involved about who is responsible for supervision, the parent or teacher? Having teachers be the only adults on the playground allows us to be consistent with our oversight and conflict resolution, as necessary. The teachers who have been working with the children know where each one is in their development and what independence they are capable of.

We welcome parent involvement in many ways. There will be many opportunities for parent volunteers throughout the year. We will need chaperones for field trips, help, at times, with classroom projects, and community events. We greatly appreciate all of your support. Thank you!  


- The Birch and Willow Room teachers

Lower Elementary (LE) 

We began our study of botany this week by going outside to observe a variety of plants. After observing with just our naked eyes, students used loupes (magnifying eye pieces) to look even more closely. The next day we made nature journals. We ended our week looking closely at leaves and drawing them. 

A Couple Reminders:

Have your child bring in a medium to small mug for drinking water if you haven't already!  Please also make sure to pack enough food for snack and lunch . And lastly, if you have sunscreen , please send it in with your child. 

Upper Elementary (UE) 

Classroom Work

PE with Chris

Middle School (MS)

The Middle School is off to a rollicking start. We have engaged in conversations about the ins and outs of the middle school, introduced, read and discussed the "Evolution of the American Identity" and "Innovation" curriculums and began our work with a seminar discussion on the "Declaration of Independence" including the paragraph on the evils of slavery that was removed before it was delivered to King George. We also began our exploration of simple machines by rigging up a double pulley system to pull the old, heavy, and falling apart float out of the pond. Chicken baseball was played, much swimming in the pond was enjoyed, and micro-economies planned.

Next week brings us to Upland.

All is well.

We want to give special thanks to Bianca Zaransky, Amanda Thurber, and Bo Foard for their contributions to our successful "Home Made Montessori Salsa" production and sale.

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

Thanks to Bianca Zaransky, a Middle School parent, for organizing the Lula Roe clothing sale by inviting her good friend Caren Demyen to come! W e raised almost $500 for the Middle School Odyssey fund! 

They will be joining us again during the Cookie Swap on December 20th.

C lick here to join the Lula Roe Facebook group!

Carmen and Bianca

Carpool Request!
Anyone live close to Putney and wish to carpool? David Bayer, grandfather to Kiersten in LE, is looking for someone to share the ride to and from school with. If you are interested and/or know of someone who may be, please contact him directly here or mention it to Rebecca at the front desk.

Community News

Join the Hilltop Trivia Team and Win Cash for Hilltop!
When: Monday, September 12th at 6:30pm at the Legion.
Please contact Amelia if you are interested in joining!

WHEN: Fridays 9 am - 10:15 am
Ready to improve your fitness? Challenge yourself with a dynamic fusion of yoga, Pilates, and core conditioning. This vigorous class weaves sun salutations, core work, and yoga poses into a heat-building, breath-based flow... all to a rocking playlist! Visit our sun-filled studio in West Brattleboro and try out the class starting September 9th.

ALL LEVELS WELCOME. No yoga experience necessary. Class runs by the monthly session. The September session is September 9th-30th. Drop-in for $15 or buy a session card for $52. Visit  for more info or contact  Diana Whitney.

THE BRATTLEBORO WOMEN'S CHORUS  will start up again next week, and women and girls over 10 who love to sing are invited to come and join in the fun! Now in it's twenty-first year of offering area women a chance for community and music-making, the chorus welcomes new singers to come to our first two rehearsals and see if chorus suits you.

Wednesday night rehearsals are at All Souls Church beginning  September 7th  from 6:30-8:30pm and  Thursday  morning rehearsals at Centre Congregational Church begin
September 8th from 10 until noon. This fall, the music centers around the theme of the Earth, our home. There is a fee for chorus, and there is also financial aid. More details can be found on our website or by contacting director Becky Graber at 802-254-8994.

Jacob Miller will be running the Annual Fall Junior Tennis Program at the BOC starting Tuesday, September 13th

It will run Tuesdays and Thursdays for four consecutive weeks from 3:45-4:45pm.
The cost if paid upfront is $90 otherwise $15 per session if paid by the day.

If you have questions email Jacob or call/text 603-313-7672.

Express Fluency  is offering a free Spanish class on Thursday, September 8th  from 6-7pm.  73 Main Street, Brattleboro. Come check out this new kind of language class.  Register here . Fall classes begin week of September 14th . Read about Express Fluency's origin and unique approach in the  Brattleboro Reformer!

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!

Hilltop Montessori School