Hilltop has a frequent visitor-the bobcat!             
January 20th, 2017
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Next Week at Hilltop
Notes from the Head of School
Save the Date
Toddler Program (TP)
Birch Room
Lower ELementary (LE)
Upper Elementary (UE)
Middle School (MS)
Winter Sports
After School Activities
Hilltop Helpers
Community News
Next Week at Hilltop
Monday 1/23/17
MS Basketball Practice

Tuesday 1/24/17
UE Basketball Practice
Open House for Prospective Parents
MS Poetry Night 7-8:30pm in the Arts Barn Theater

Wednesday 1/25/17
MS Home Basketball Game in Guilford 4pm

Thursday 1/26/17
Winter Sports 

Coming up...

Friday 2/11/17
Curriculum Math Morning

Check out the 2016-2017 School Calendar 

Notes from the Head of School

Hilltop Families,

Please be on the lookout for the following pieces of communication from us in the coming days:

1) The February Invoice for charges. This will include all remaining tuition charges for the 2016-17 school year. If you have any questions, please let me know.

2) Student Progress Reports for all Elementary and Middle School students

3) Re-enrollment contracts for next year!

4) The new, beautiful, hanging wall calendar!

5) A postcard invitation, email invitation, and teacher invitation, to the Math Curriculum Morning and Storytelling/Circus Workshop on Saturday, February 11th!

As always, if you have any questions, please find me at drop off or pick-up or email  me  to set up a time to meet!

Sneakers for PE!

Just a friendly reminder for students to bring sneakers for physical education. We want our students to be safe and active. Middle School has class on Mondays, Upper El on Wednesdays, and Lower El on Tuesdays. Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

Also, please check the lost and found for left and/or lost clothing items!


Soren Pelz-Walsh

Save the date! 
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.

In order to plan for lunch and to let Bill know how many children to plan for, we'll need to know who's coming. There will be a sign up at the front desk. You can always call or email  Rebecca  and she'll put you on the list.


Toddler Program 

Sometimes I wonder what a person who isn't Montessori-savvy thinks about pictures of children at work in our classroom. The children's faces look serious and they are often working independently. Might someone interpret these children to be unhappy or lonely? 

When I look at these photos through my Montessori lens, I see children who are very happy. They are fully engaged in work. They are content and fulfilled by their vocation. These small children are learning the first essential of their development - concentration. As Dr. Montessori observed, "The child who concentrates is immensely happy." A child who engages in an activity for a period of time without interruption and has freedom to use the work as long or as many times as she likes, emerges feeling energized and peaceful. 

Do you see what I see?

Enjoy the weekend.
Ellie, Amanda & Marco

Children's House (Birch and Willow Rooms)

Freedom of choice in Montessori 

"To let the child do as he likes when he has not yet developed any powers of control is to betray the idea of freedom." Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind

In the Montessori classroom, children are given a world of choices. These include basic choices such as where to sit and when to have snack, as well as the choice of which work to explore at any given time. Choices like these allow children a feeling of control, and help develop a lifelong love of learning. These choices exist within the carefully "prepared environment" of the classroom, and are limited in scope according to the child's level of development. A Younger might be given the choice of a few simple works on one shelf to start, while an Older may explore the entire room in just one day. The choices are made in the context of taking care of each other and our room, respecting one another's space, and using materials constructively. When children struggle in these areas, we give direct guidance and support to help them make good choices. It's all part of the path to "responsible independence!"

Just a reminder to please contact Rebecca at the front for anything attendance related (sick child, late arrival, early departure, etc) and she will be sure to alert the teachers.  Thank you!


Lower El

We are thrilled to have Kerstin and Wendy back in full action!

Upper El

Reading is critical! We don't send home much homework in Elementary at Hilltop, for many reasons. BUT, we do expect that all students to be reading every night at home. Whether your child is reading to you or you are reading to them, this daily practice at home is an important boost to a student's decoding, fluency, and comprehension skills. Please be sure your child is reading for at least 20 minutes every evening. 

And, with lots of reading about geography, they might end up learning as much about geography as Julian who "won" the classroom's National Geographic School Bee contest this week!


Middle School

As we move forward in our study of the American identity and the Civil Rights Movement, students are building the foundation of understanding of what happened between Reconstruction and the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement.  Along with reading  To Kill A Mockingbird , students are preparing collaborative presentations for next week on a number of topics that address the racial politics and history of the late 19th through mid 20th century. These topics include everything from minstrel shows to the landmark Supreme Court case, Plessy vs. Ferguson, that legitimized and legalized segregation in this country. Next week also marks the beginning of our integrated science study, "The Science of Race".

You are all invited to the Middle School's Poetry Night presentation taking place in the Art's Barn next Tuesday, January 24th at 7:00pm. Students will be reciting their poetry along with the premiere of their poetry films. A festive and tasty reception will follow.

Middle Schoolers at the BOC for Winter Sports

Winter Sports

Cross Country Skiing

Mt Snow Fun

Skating Lessons 

After School Activities

The Bookmobile is Back!

Outside Fun in the Snow!

Hilltop Helpers

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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Community News

Ice Party Fundraiser

Items Needed for Newly-Arrived Refugee Family
Please help us welcome Angelique, Bahati and Cody to our community! This wonderful family has just arrived in Brattleboro after a long journey from a refugee camp in Uganda, and they need many items to help set up their new home. If you have any of the following items to donate, please contact   Rachel Zamore

Blankets & bedding
Housewares of all sorts
Toys/games, books and art supplies for a 7-year old girl
Gift certificates to Experienced Goods, grocery stores, Amazon, etc would also be helpful
(At the moment they're feeling overwhelmed by clothing donations, but they might find there are items they still need, especially as the seasons change, so feel free to let me know if you want to be on a contact list for future needs this family may have.)

Thank you for your generosity!

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.

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