Lower Elementary parents playing word 
games at  the Work Share.

May 19, 2017  

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Grandparent/Special Friends Day Volunteers!
Immunization Rates
Toddler Program (TP)
Birch Room
Lower ELementary (LE)
Upper Elementary (UE)
Middle School (MS)
Before and After Care
Hilltop Helpers
Community News
Next Week at Hilltop

Monday 5/22/17
Ultimate Frisbee Practice
MS Baseball Game at Kurn Hattin - 3:30pm

Tuesday 5/23/17
Strength and Conditioning
MS Baseball Game @ Walpole - 3:45pm

Wednesday 5/24/17
Ultimate Frisbee
MS Baseball Game in Dummerston -3:45pm

Thursday 5/25/17
Strength and Conditioning
All School Gathering
UE Museum 2-3pm
MS Baseball Practice

Friday 5/26/17
UE Museum
Grandparents/Special Friends Day
Noon Dismissal for All

Coming up...

Ultimate Frisbee Amherst Invitational Tournament!

No School-Memorial Day

UE Three Day trip

Check out the School Calendar 

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

Please explore the Summer camps and activities offered by Brattleboro Recreation in their  Summer Newsletter.

A Note from Amelia
Dear Wonderful Hilltop Community,

It's with a heavy heart that I share the news with you that I will be le aving my position as Developm ent Director at Hilltop Montessori School this August. Over my six year tenure at Hilltop, I have grown and stretched professi onally in ways that I didn't know were possible! I've worked hard and I'm proud of what we, as a community, have achieved for this wonderful school!

I am leaving to join my husband in our family business, Farnum Insulators. A decision that was not easy, but is necessary for our family at this point in time. From the wonderful people I've gotten to know, befriend and work with, to the children who make me laugh, to the staff, parents and volunteers that continue to astound me with their dedication, it has been a phenomenal six years that I will always look back on with pride, love and joy!!!

I'm hoping to help Tamara find the next Development Director soon, and be able to work with the new person to show them the ropes. If you know of anyone who might be interested, including Hilltop alum, please have them contact one of us - Amelia or  Tamara. An official job description for the Development Director Position can be found on our website  here.

Thank you all for making my last six years at Hilltop memorable and rewarding ones!


Grandparents/Special Friends Day Volunteers!

Grandparents/Special Friends Day is fast approaching! It's next week -  Friday, May 26th . This is always a nice celebration and a beautiful way to invite our friends to the school to share the environment the students enjoy all school year!

In order to make this special, we ask for parents to bring in a breakfast type dish/food for the event-muffins, pastries, fruit salad, scones...whatever your heart desires really!  We also need volunteers to help with the set-up, clean-up, and folks to greet people when they arrive!

Please email Rebecca if you can help in any way. Breakfast dishes should be brought to the Arts Barn kitchen the morning of the event. If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch!

Thank you!

Immunization Rates

For this School Year (2016-2017), 95% of the total student population here at Hilltop has been fully vaccinated for each individual vaccine, that's up from last year's rate of 81%! Immunizations are required for enrollment in all Vermont schools in order to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.

Please visit the Health Department  webpage for guidelines as to what vaccinations are needed for the upcoming school year 2017-2018.

Toddler Program 

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Children's House

There is no description, no image in any book that is capable of replacing the sight of real trees, and all the life to be found around them, in a real forest. Something emanates from those trees which speaks to the soul, something no book, no museum is capable of giving. 
~ Maria Montessori

Exploration of nature and the natural word is an important part of the Montessori curriculum. The Olders in both the Willow Room and the Birch Room have also been enjoying weekly trips into the woods to build and explore the natural world. We have noticed many different birds on our walks, including orioles, red wing blackbirds and chickadees. We have also found an abundance of smaller creatures living under logs, rocks and leaf cover. 

There is also a buzz of excitement with our newly improved playground and outdoor learning environment. We are digging, building, stacking and running. With our trees still not casting a wide range of shade, please remember to prepare your child for sun - apply sunscreen before your child comes to school, and send in appropriate warm-weather clothing. Sun hats and water bottles are recommended as well!

Have a wonderful weekend, and enjoy the beautiful new green landscape!  


The Children's House Team

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Lower El

Trip to the Fishway

On Wednesday, we visited the Robert E. Barrett Fishway in Holyoke. We learned about the history of the dam (the first one lasted five hours before it collapsed) and which fish swim up the Connecticut River to begin their spring migration (American shad, sea lamprey, striped bass, and Atlantic salmon, among others).  We were also taken to the viewing deck to see the elevators up close, and experience the thrill of being sprayed with water that slammed against our perch. The students played a fish migration game and learned that fish recognize the river in which they were born by smell. The last day to visit the Fishway this year is  June 11th. Many thanks to our drivers, who made this trip possible: Jean, Kegan, Andrea, Ariel, Roselle, and Kathryn.  

Our last two Moving Up Days took place  on Tuesday and  Thursday. Older partners did a fine job of looking out for their visitors. The newcomers seemed happily busy with various cultural, language, and math works. Recess was a big event, and most of our guests could be found in "Haytown". Moving Up Days are a great opportunity for students and teachers alike to get a glimpse of what their future classroom community will look like in the fall. We are excited to reunite with the K's in a few months' time! 

Have a wonderful weekend.

Kerstin, Patrick, and Amelia

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Upper El

Moving Up Day: We loved having the thirds visit  on Tuesday  for a whole hour, sitting with their new peers for next year as they worked, and playing a game with clues as to their identities. On Thursday, we all enjoyed the hike up to the Pinnacle cabin where we will spend the night next September. Thank you to par ents who drove for this trip. The sixths were over at the Middle  School on Thursday and  Friday .
Students have been working on a final geography project, "Mapping the World by Heart."  Students began by putting themselves in the role of cartographer, and doing their best to draw, freehand, a map of the world from memory. They are now practicing strategies for drawing a world map and labeling key features they each chose and committed to learning-all by heart. In the process, we have reviewed the concepts and locations of the Equator, Tropic  of Cancer, Capricorn, the Arctic and Antarctic Circles, and the location of the Prime Meridian--all of which are helpful to us as points of reference when drawn onto our blank grids. Already we have made major improvement in this exercise, which will culminate during the last week of school.
Cultural studies are taking us into ancient China. We identified the Four Great Inventions of ancient China, and in individual work students are examining several artworks for clues as to how the Ancient Chinese met their needs. In botany, we reviewed the timetable of the evolution of plants, focusing on how recently flowering plants appeared in the earth's history.  We are culminating our plant studies with dirt. Yes, looking for where on campus is the soil most rich in bugs, measured by using our stereoscopes.
This week also marked the beginning of the "Independent Study Project" (ISP) presentation season, with Julian sharing his research on the roll of the space race in the Cold War. This was a new topic for most of the audience of students. We look forward to the rest of the sixths sharing this major component of their sixth grade year, and learning about a huge range of subjects. Stay tuned.
Research and writing for museum projects is culminating this week, and the phase of creating our presentations is now underway.  Join us next  Thursday, May 25 at 2:00 p.m.  and  Friday, May 26, 8:30 - 9:00 a.m.  to view the fruits of our final research projects this year.
Plenty going on!! 
Reminders for all:
-        water bottles at school
-       regular tick checks - we've had one a day for 2 days now
-       3-day trip coming up on  Wednesday, May 31  - Friday, June 2 (details to come)

Please Note Upcoming Important UE Dates:
May 25Thursday2:00pm: UE Museum
May 26Friday:  UE Museum followed by Grandparents day-noon dismissal for all!
May 31-June 2Wednesday-Friday: Three-Day trip (regular drop-off time on Wednesday, regular pick-up time on Friday)

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Middle School

Every year the eighth graders seek out and obtain a week long apprenticeship in a field of their interest. This was their week. Our large group of soon to be graduates utilized the skills they have been building throughout their Hilltop education. They identified their passions, searched for businesses or other organizations that aligned with their interests, initiated and followed through with communication, and wrote and mailed resumes and business cover letters. Once again the greater Brattleboro area responded positively and generously. Students did it all from sorting bolts at Vintage Steele to designing ad campaigns for Mondo Mediaworks. Other locations that took on apprentices include: Tavernier Chocolates, Girls on the Run, Mazzioti Bakery, Brooks Memorial Library, Brattleboro Town Offices, Let's Grow Kids, Thea Elijah, In-Sight Photography, Walpole Veterinary Hospital, Specialized Sports, Boomerang, Kelly Fletcher Photography, High Point Studios (Brad Holcombe), and Andrzej's Polish Kitchen. We thank all of these organizations for accepting and nurturing our students.

The eighth graders were not the only busy ones this week. As Becky reports: students spent weeks planning, building, and practicing math-related games in order to host this year's Annual Math Bash. The fair featured events including: math bowling, "Odds R U Have 2 Do Math," "Fraction Attraction," and more. Non-pre-algebra Middle School and Upper El students attended the event by the pond. Each attendee participated in completing a variety of games which required solving tiered math problems to win the coveted prize of jelly beans and M&Ms. Thank you to our guests for attending!

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Before and After Care

Cooling off in the hot afternoons with the sprinkler and some fruit popsicles!

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Hilltop Helpers

Are you looking for extra help around the house? 
Childcare? Petsitter? House sitter...?

Hi, I'm Katie Reynolds, a Hilltop alumna (class of 2011!) and 
a rising junior at Mount Holyoke College  and I'm seeking: any type of helper's job! Petsitting, house-sitting, childcare, you name it! Get in contact and I'm certain we can work something out.   As a counselor at SummerFun (both last year and this upcoming session) and a substitute in the Children's House, I am experienced in childcare for all ages up from 1.5 years old.   I love animals and have been working as a volunteer farm hand at Farming Connections Inc. in Guilford since 2011. I am perfectly willing to mold my schedule to yours, as long as I can still keep my commitment to my work at Hilltop. Any time of the day, any amount of time, I can be there!  

If you or someone you know is interested in my services as a house-sitter, childcare provider, or petsitter (and it doesn't matter what kind of animal!) please contact me, Katie or call 802-451-6822.

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 Generosity - they only need $850 to reach their $10,000 goal!  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

Brattleboro Concert Choir Presents...SANCTUARY
John Tavener
Atma Mass
Ola Gjeilo
Sunrise Mass   (the spheres/sunrise/the city/identity and the ground)
Paul Dedell
Will Todd
The Call of Wisdom  - with the voices of The Choir School
Susan Dedell, music director
Brattleboro Concert Choir with string orchestra
Four exciting works from composers who awaken your thoughts and touch your heart
Atma: The essence of self, the breath; but also the World Soul, from which all individuals derive.
  "Surely it is only by the language of music, and by the unity of all faiths, that peace can be bestowed on a planet that is in a shattered state."      
~John Tavener.
"Everything moves forward, to transcend conflict and dissonance by going through it, not avoiding it. Art has the capacity to bring us deeper into ourselves, to be reminded of who we really are and what is truly important in our lives, whatever that may be."    
~Ola Gjeilo 
"Bright sparks of fire continually ascending: my life partakes of  infinity"          
~from Sanctuary Paul Dedell
"Striving to attain the heights, turning in a new direction, entering a lonely place, welcoming a friend or stranger: I am here. "   
The Call of Wisdom, Will Todd
*Program to benefit Vermont Migrant Justice.

Poetry, Bookmaking and Art Project Summer Program
Poetry Studio,  242 Piney Brook Way,  Brattleboro
802- 257-8972
Attention is the Beginning of Devotion, Mary Oliver
Once again a summer workshop combining poetry, bookmaking and
art, will be held at Ann Gengarelly's Poetry Studio. As always,
young people will have the opportunity to write and draw in a natural
setting with woodlands and beautiful gardens. Each student will have
both a poetry and bookmaking class each day. This program offers a
rare opportunity to enjoy a community of kindred spirits, a community
of kindness that provides personal attention to each student.
Poetry classes will be taught by Ann Gengarelly who has been a
poet-in-the-schools for over twenty-five years. Bookmaking and Art
Design will be led by Tony Gengarelly who teaches Art History at
Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.

AUGUST 7, 8, 10, 11, AND/OR AUGUST 14, 15, 17, 18
We welcome students between the ages of 6-17 (with exceptions). Classes
will be kept small in order to maintain a one to six student-teacher ratio. Students
will be accepted on a "first-come, first-serve" basis. If interested call Ann
at 802-257-8972 or contact agengar@sover.net or a.gengarelly@mcla.edu .

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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