Hilltop Montessori School's mission is for students to practice responsible independence in a caring community of curious, critical learners and
thoughtful citizens.

Friday Newsletter / April 13, 2018
Calendar Listings   

Spring Break, April 16-23

Monday, April 23
No School
Teacher In-Service Day

Tuesday, April 24
School Resumes
Cross Country Running 3:15-4:30pm
MS Odyssey Parent Information Meeting

Wednesday, April 25
Girls on the Run 3:00-4:30pm
French with Sylvie 3:15-4:30pm

Thursday, April 26
All School Gathering and Coffee in the Arts Barn
Cross Country Running 3:15-4:30pm

Friday, April 27
Kids Night Out 5:00-9:00pm

Saturday, April 28
Hilltop Community Tag Sale!
Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Diana) reveals the secret to her sprinting power!
Upcoming Events:
May 3-9: Middle School River Spirit Odyssey
May 24: Upper Elementary Museum 2:00-3:00pm
May 25: Grandparents & Special Friends Day & Upper Elementary Museum - Noon Dismissal
May 28: Memorial Day - No School
May 30-June 1: Upper Elementary Class Trip
News from Dan Filler
This upcoming summer my husband and I will be moving to Bellingham, Washington, a small city about an hour and a half north of Seattle. Bellingham sits on the Salish Sea and looks out at the beautiful San Juan Islands. About forty-five minutes to the east of the city lies snow-capped Mt. Baker and the North Cascades. The beauty of the place is just astounding and that is why we are moving - to live on the water and to play in the mountains. And while I am very excited for this new adventure, it is not without a heavy heart. During my fourteen years at Hilltop I have been lucky enough to watch your children laugh, learn, and grow. I know how fortunate I am to be part of this community, and that has made the decision to leave a hard one, but I hear those mountains calling.
Job Openings for Next Year
As we look to next year, we have a few positions to fill. We certainly can’t completely fill Dan’s shoes, and will miss him deeply, personally and professionally, while we also wish him well on his new adventure. We will be distributing many of his responsibilities among current staff.  We will be looking for a new staff person to fill the Elementary Art Teacher responsibility that was one of his roles.  We are also looking for people to add to other teams including AfterCare, the Toddler Program, and Coaching for After School Programs. If you know of someone who might be interested in any of these responsibilities, please encourage them to contact  Tamara  with a resume and letter of interest.

Art Teacher for Elementary: We are looking for an enthusiastic, organized person to lead the teaching of fine arts for the Elementary years (Grades 1-6). This position is half-time, noon-3 Monday - Thursday and extra time during “museum” project and performance preparation times. Responsibilities will include refining and implementing an art curriculum based on “Teaching for Artistic Behavior” and Montessori philosophy of choice based art. Candidates should have experience in classroom management and be able to collaborate with the team of teachers to develop opportunities for integration with other subjects and activities.

After-Care/Afternoon and Substitute Teacher:  We will need help with our afternoon Children’s House program for 3 and 4 year olds, and to help with aftercare. We are looking for people with experience, skills, and a love for working with children from toddler through kindergarten years. We need people who are consistently available from 11:30-5p.m. on weekdays, and can also be on-call for work during the morning school hours (starting at 7:30 or 8:00 a.m.).

Toddler Program Assistant: We would like to add another loving and responsible individual to the Toddler Program team. This full-time, or part time position will be with our 18-36 month old students to assist the team with the children’s development of skills for self-care, communication, sense of order, and becoming part of a community. Candidates should have an understanding, appreciation, and enthusiasm for the Montessori approach to supporting toddlers in their practice of responsible independence in a caring community. There is the possibility of being sponsored for Montessori Infant/Toddler training in the future.

Coaching Team Volunteer: Hilltop after school sports programs will be in need of parents to join the coaching team for next year. Volunteers will have support from the athletic director and other parents. The fall brings soccer, with practices one or twice a week after school. The winter brings basketball, and the spring sports are cross country running and/or ultimate frisbee. This is a great opportunity to help continue and grow the enthusiasm for the programs, not to mention getting to spend time with the kids and exercise! To express interest and/or get more information please contact Athletic Director, Mace Sebby or Tamara Mount .
Kids Night Out
Friday, April 27th
Do you want to have a fun night out on the town? Are you having a hard time finding a babysitter? Do you want your children to have just as much fun as you do while you’re out? Drop your child/children off at our arts barn anywhere between 5:30-9:00 pm on Friday, April 27th to have a night of fun and games with our responsible middle school babysitters.
There will be fun, games, crafts, and tons more! At least one adult and lots of fun middle schoolers will be there. We will provide snacks, and  Pizza!  Please sign up for the pizza in advance. If you don’t want pizza, please pack a nutritious dinner or feed your child before you come. This fun night for you and your kids costs only $7.00 an hour and $5.00 for each additional child. Pizza is $5.00 more for two slices. All proceeds from Kids Night Out go to the Hilltop Montessori Middle School Odyssey fund. Our businesses are an important part of our fundraising, so your support really helps! Your child must be at least three years old and potty trained.

If you are interested in signing up, or if you have any questions, email Julia . We have only 25 spots, so don’t wait, sign up now!
Toddler Program
Zhong-Yi holds Mason.
Quentin works on painting.
Eleanor, Sage and Davis work on a puzzle.
Birch Room
This week in the Birch Room we continued our grace and courtesy lessons by introducing the concept of “greeting”. Learning how to stop, smile, and say good morning is a wonderful skill for children to develop and starts the day off right for everyone!

We also spent a lot of time outside. We are ready for Spring, even if Mother Nature is uncertain!  

Hope you have a great April break!
-Cheryl, Serina, and Mariam 

* Friendly reminder: Please leave your child's toys and candy at home.
Andrew takes notes on a nature walk.
Oliver and Caleb cozy up.
Birch Room children enjoy playing “Duck, Duck, Goose” with elementary friends.
Willow Room
Have a wonderful Spring Break!

Jonathan & Rebecca
Lower Elementary
"We don't want these to be  okay ; we want them to be magnificent." Marcy Schepker's words clearly resonated with the students of Lower El. Over the course of the week, we learned the craft of needle felting as a way to create beautiful tapestries in a cooperative setting. While some students mixed colors of wool roving using the drum carder, others felted scenes or animals, while others created "action figures," felted people whose skeletons are made of pipe cleaners. Each of the five major biomes being studied in Lower El (desert, grassland, mountain, wetland, and tropical rainforest) are the focus of a tapestry. The class created an additional tapestry depicting people, housing and transportation. We are bursting with excitement to share these beautiful tapestries with the community. Many thanks to the volunteers who joined us this week and/or provided Marcy with lunch!

If your child would like to continue to develop their needle felting skills at home, you will need backing, needles, wool roving, and foam:

Backing can be procured from old wool blankets found at yard sales or thrift stores. 
Felting needles can be found online at places such as Nova Naturals or at Michael's. 
Marcy recommends Harrisville Designs (in Harrisville, NH) as a terrific source for wool roving. Going to the store is not only a great outing, it is also a great way to get a variety of wool at a good price. Most sorts of foam will work. Marcy's favorite foam came from an unwanted mattress!

Have a terrific, refreshing break!
Kerstin, Patrick, and Amelia 
Upper Elementary
Thank you for being a wonderful audience last night. We thoroughly enjoyed working on and presenting the UE play. Thank you to Lucia for organizing the after-play potluck, and to those who brought food.

Here are two important dates that should be on your calendar to close out the year:

UE Museum  - Thursday, May 24 (2:00 p.m.) and Friday, May 25 (8:30 - 9:30)

UE 3-day trip  - Wednesday, May 30 - Friday, June 1

Have a wonderful and well-deserved spring break!
Middle School
This week, the middle school students began working with a stream table, a modeling tool available through the Natural Resources Conservation District that gives students hands-on experience with how rivers move in a landscape. Students built various landforms in the plastic "sand" and watched as the flowing river formed meander bends, eroded sediment from cutbanks and deposited it on point bars, and expanded onto its floodplain during flood events. As an outgrowth of our recent conversations about human impacts on the natural work of rivers, students will be conducting labs investigating how the river responds to various man-made structures. Scenarios include straightening the channel, inserting riprap, increasing impervious surfaces, and constricting flood plains above and below urban areas. This work will inform our work along the Whetstone Brook during our week long residency with Abenaki artist and environmental activist, Judy Dow, in the third week of May.

Mark your calendars for the Middle School Odyssey parent meeting:
Tuesday, April 24 at 7:00pm
Episcopal priest Duncan Hilton speaks to us about Christianity.
Amer Latif speaks to us of Islam and shares the music of the ney.
We explore a sand table that allows river modeling as part of The Confluence Project.
After Care
We greatly appreciate the AfterCare team we’ve had this year. We will have a few transitions as we head into the summer and next year. Emy and Maddy will be transitioning before the summer, while Kristin will be with us through SummerFun, but moving to another position for the fall. And we will have Katie Reynolds back to help out this spring. Please join me in thanking Emy, Maddy, and Kristin for all their help this year.
After the April break, I will be substitute teaching throughout New Hampshire and working on freelance projects. I look forward to continuing to grow as an educator and an artist. I am so blessed to have been part of this wonderful, dynamic community. You have all taught me so much, and I will always treasure the time I spent here. - Emy
Next fall I will be moving to Gainesville in magical northern Florida to attend the Florida School of Massage for a 6 month intensive program. While my long term vision includes therapeutic work in education, I've decided to first pursue foundational skills in the healing arts - and take some time for adventure! I hope to land back in southern Vermont before too long. Thanks to all for a wonderful year. I've learned so much from the brilliant teachers and children in this community, and will carry that learning with me. 
Next fall, I will begin teaching 2 nd  grade at Guilford Central School. Having taught 2 nd  grade for four years prior to moving to Brattleboro, I am very excited for this next step in my life. I have greatly enjoyed my time at Hilltop, and I will bring much that I have learned about the Montessori philosophy with me as I continue teaching. Thank you all for a fantastic year, and I look forward to seeing everyone again within our community.  -Kristin
Welcome, Katie!
Katie Reynolds, a Hilltop Alum (class of 2011) and a rising senior at Mount Holyoke College will be helping us out this spring. She has just completed a term studying abroad in Monteverde, Costa Rica, looking at Environmental and Social Sustainability. She is an Anthropology major, Gender Studies minor, and loves learning about behavior (especially through animals and animal mediated therapy). She has worked with Hilltop through SummerFun for the past two years, and as a substitute for the Children's House last spring. It is great to have her joining the team again!
The After Care crew feeling silly in the warmer weather...
3 DAYS left to order from HMS Pop-Up Shop!

Welcome to the  NEW... Hilltop Montessori School Store! 

We are excited to bring you a new online shopping experience. 
A wonderful way to show your support of Hilltop!

This “Pop-up Shop” is only live through April 16...
Start shopping now!  

Hilltop Montessori School themed items hats, sweatshirts, t-shirts, bags and more will be available for purchase.  Check it out now !
Don't miss out...Reserve a table today.
Only 2 weeks left !
Time is flying! Only 2 weeks until the Multi-Family Tag Sale! 

We have 12 families already signed up. Woohoo!

Don't procrastinate, get your reservation in. There is limited space! 

Email Roselle to reserve a table
  • $10 per table
  • You sell and keep proceeds
  • Take what doesn't sell home (or donate to your favorite charity)

Saturday, April 28th
*7:30 a.m. - noon
In the Arts Barn & at the circle

The Nutmeg Food Truck will be on campus selling delicious breakfast and lunch food!

Our amazing Middle School bakers will be selling delicious treats as well!

We look forward to seeing you all for a morning filled of tag sale fun.
Community Events
Congratulations to HELM Construction Solutions , co-owned by Mel Baiser, parent to Isaac in the Birch Room and partner to Rebecca in the Willow Room. They were named the 2018 Vermont Woman-Owned Business of the Year!
Poetry, Bookmaking & Art Workshop
"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 in Brattleboro. 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.

Poetry classes will be taught by Ann Gengarelly who has been a poet-in-the-schools for over 25 years. Bookmaking and Art Design will be led by Tony Gengarelly who teaches Art History at Massachussetts College of Liberal Arts.

For younger students - Register for the week of July 30 or week of August 6.

* Students do not need to know how to write. Ann and an assistant teacher act as scribes for their poetry.

For older students (grades 5-12) - Register for the week of August 20 - only a few openings remain!

If interested call Ann at 802-257-8972 or email at agengar@sover.net.
Hilltop Helpers
Thank you to Martin Humfeldt and Green Mountain Creamery for donations of yogurt!
BIG thanks to Brattleboro Tire for donating our Hilltop van's winter snow tires and for rotating them each year!
Thank you to Nathan Rupard and Hazel restaurant for delivering our pizza each week and providing our staff with delicious pies!