Friday Newsletter / December 15, 2017
Calendar Listings  

Monday 12/18/17
MS Basketball 3:00-4:30

Tuesday 12/19/17
UE Museum - 2:00-3:00
UE Basketball

Wednesday 12/20/17
UE Museum - 8:30-9:15
Cookie Swap & Snowflake Raffle

Thursday 12/21/17 - Tuesday 1/2/18

Wednesday 1/3/18
School Resumes
MS Basketball

Friday 1/5/18
UE Basketball
This moment was not staged!
Upcoming Events...

January 2: No School. In-service day.
January 3: School Resumes
January 5: Middle School Society Film Project
January 11: Winter Sports Begins
January 15: Annual Financial Aid Applications Due
January 31: Open House 9-11 a.m.

Highlights from the last All School Gathering of the season...
Snowflake Raffle, Sale & Cookie Swap!
It is time for our annual Snowflake Raffle, Sale and Cookie Swap. We are happily accepting donations for raffle prizes throughout next week. 

Don’t forget the ginormous cookie swap! Bring your most delicious cookie, bar or treat to the barn at drop-off on Wednesday morning, December 20th. The more cookies, the more fun (and the more boxes we sell). Everyone loves a delicious box of cookies!

If you would like to donate something to the tricky tray raffle or would like to set up a table to sell crafts, email Roselle here.
Cleaning Help!
We are loo king for an occasional substitute for our cleaning of the Main Building and Arts Barn. Karen Rhodes continues to do a fantastic job, but on occasion nee ds someone to fill in. This would be an hourly position for 2 hours at a time from 3:30-5:30 on weekdays. Please contact Tamara or Kegan , Facilities Manager, for more information.
Toddler Program
In January three of our friends will be moving up to Children's House as they will be 3 years old. On Friday two of those friends visited their new classroom, the Birch Room, for the morning and spent time getting to know their new teachers, friends and works. They had a wonderful time! We are sad to see AJ, Elijah and Harry go AND so excited to see them take this big step and have a new adventure!
We've been so lucky to have André Silberman to help out in the Toddler Room while Amanda has been on leave. We've also enjoyed having 7th grader, Solomon, visit on Friday mornings for the last few weeks. They've brought great warmth and energy to the group!
Parents, thank you so much for sending your children well dressed for the snowy, cold weather! We've had a great time playing in the snow and there haven't been any tears because of cold ears, toes, or fingers - that's saying a lot! Also, thanks to families who've donated outdoor gear to the classroom. We are grateful to have extra snow pants, coats, boots, mittens and hats on hand.
Enjoy the weekend!
Ellie, Amanda (in spirit), Marco and André 
Birch Room
This week in the Birch room we celebrated the season with stories of St. Nicholas and Hanukah, by making Latkes, and (of course) by playing in all our wonderful new snow! Like every year, our emphasis in holiday celebrations has been on our similarities- how many people around the world celebrate this time of the year and the return of longer days after the solstice. We also talk about celebrations and traditions, and how things like eating special foods and seeing friends and families are often a part of those. Don’t forget our own Hilltop Holiday Cookie Swap celebration at noon on Wednesday, December 20th!

Have a great weekend!

-Cheryl, Serina, and Mariam
Charles and Finn make snowballs.
Eko, Asha, Mazin, and Henry work on a snow fort.
Isaac makes latkes.
Sophie reads "Christmas Around the World'
Willow Room
This week we’ve been exploring what the Festival of Lights looks like around the world. Children have been learning about holidays that are celebrated this time of the year and how each one has a different symbol of light. On Wednesday we made potato latkes, a traditional food eaten during Hanukkah. We also learned what a menorah is and played the dreidel game. Tamara visited our classroom to read a book about the Winter Solstice, which helped us to see the connection between creating light during the darkest time of the year and how that is celebrated in different cultures. 

As we look ahead to the winter break coming up, it’s a good time to reflect and give appreciations. It is such a pleasure to be a part of such a wonderful community of staff, children and parents. We really enjoy each and every day with your children. and are looking forward to what the new year will bring. We wish everyone a warm and peaceful holiday and a Happy New Year! 

Rebecca and Jonathan
Tamara visits the Willow Room to share a book about Winter Solstice.
Sylvia, Athena and Alexander help grate potatoes for the latkes.
Harper and Sylvia play dreidel.
Finn reads a book about Hanukkah around the world.
Lower Elementary
Preparing for Author's Tea...
Leo and Hazel lay out their final books for gluing and finishing touches.
Lower El-ers display the covers of their non-fiction picture books.
...and presenting!
Sledding in the first snow of the season!
Happy Holidays!

Kerstin, Patrick, and Amelia
Upper Elementary
In Upper El, we have begun one of the favorite components of each year: sixth grade teaching.  Each of our elder students at some point will present a 15 minute lesson to half the class, review its success, and present to the other half the following week. Ellie and Sam were the first to teach this year, by leading their peers in making pretzels and paracord bracelets.

In addition to teaching, the sixth grade has been looking into historic Supreme Court decisions, the good and the bad, as a part of their American History study. Today they presented in small groups such momentous turning points in history as Plessy vs. Ferguson, Brown vs. the Board of Education, and Nixon vs. the United States. They presented the main question brought by the case, the opposing arguments and both the majority and minority opinions. 

Yesterday we finished out our second round of electives for the year. Big thanks again go out to Cyrus Shaoul for teaching sourdough breadmaking, and to Mac Oglesby for teaching construction of wooden ramp-walkers.

Ellie was our first ISP (independent study project) presenter of the year! This is the major research project completed by each of our sixths during their final year in Upper El. Ellie presented a paper on Chinese medicine and acupuncture that reviewed the Chinese philosophy of illness, and compared it with western medicine.

Progress continues towards the UE museum, which will take place  Tuesday, Dec. 19 at 2:00 p.m. , and again  Wednesday, Dec. 20 8:30-9:30 a.m.  Come see share their research topics in history and science through models, games, computer programs, stop-motion videos, original music compositions, and more!!

Students who made ramp-walkers for their elective have a little extra fun racing balloon-powered boats.
Ellie presents her sixth grade independent study project on Chinese Medicine.
Sander and Tucker work on their museum gameboard to show effects of black lung disease and pnemomina on the lungs.
Otto constructs a model hand as part of his prosthetic limbs studies.
Beautiful progress in the knitting elective.
Middle School
Middle Schoolers hard at work finishing many projects as they complete their Sense of Place study...
Happy Holidays!

Paul, Nora, Finn, and Becky
After Care
Hilltop Helpers
A message from Upper El students Ally & Davey:
"Next week the Upper Elementary will be having a museum on Tuesday and Wednesday. The two of us are studying leukemia. Part of our project is donating to St. Jude hospital. We would like to inform you that you can bring money to donate, but only if you would like to donate."
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!
Community Events
We recently released our Holiday Flyer that highlights the exciting programs we will be offering over the school holiday break. It also gives the schedule for many Last Night events that happen on New Year's Eve. Did you get a copy? If not, you can access it here !
You can also visit  under the Recreation & Parks tab or pick up a copy at the Gibson-Aiken Office. You may call office at  802-254-5808  or visit our website  or Facebook for more information.
Parents, do you need to get your kids out of the house? Check out our Winter Mini Camp. Register soon!