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 / May 11, 2018
Calendar Listings   

Monday, May 14
Spring Foods 3:30-4:45
Girls on the Run 3:00-4:30

Tuesday, May 15
Cross Country Running 3:15-4:30pm

Wednesday, May 16
Children's House Work Share 8:30-9:00am
Girls on the Run 3:00-4:30pm

Thursday, May 17
All School Gathering and Coffee in the Arts Barn 8:45am
LE Work Share 3:00-4:00pm
Cross Country Running 3:15-4:30pm

Friday, May 18
Whetstone Brook Conservation Public Forum 5:00-7:00pm
Upcoming Events:
May 24: Upper Elementary Museum 2:00-2:50pm
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
June 2: Strolling of the Heifers
Playground Clean-up
Thank you!
A huge thank you to all the parents, friends, students, faculty and staff of the Children's House and Toddler Program who helped with the playground clean up on Thursday afternoon. What an amazing turn out! All our landscaping projects were completed! Thank you for your time and energy. We look forward to our playground building project day on Monday from 3 - 5 p.m. We will work on a few new featuring a new "mud kitchen" and repairing the iconic "little red house". All helpers are welcome.
Job Openings for Next Year
Business Manager

David Nordstrom has done a great job upgrading our Business Office operations to use QuickBooks Online. He has met the challenge and will now be going on to another school in need of his services. We will be looking for a full-time person to fill these responsibilities, and in the meantime, Amelia Farnum, who has been managing the office at Farnum Insulators using QuickBooks this past year, is happy to be back with us taking care of the day-to-day invoicing and bill paying. Please direct any inquiries to  busadmin@hilltopmontessori.org .  If you know of anyone with a solid knowledge of QuickBooks   and an interest in working with our enthusiastic and collaborative team, please send them my way!

All of our job postings are here:
We have many candidates responding and are continuing with interviews for the Elementary Art, Toddler Assistant, and AfterCare Assistant positions.

Please have anyone interested in these positions contact Tamara Mount, Head of School with a resume and letter of interest.
Grandparents and Special Friends Day
Grandparents & Special Friends Day invitations have been sent out for Friday, May 25th (see full schedule for the day below). This is always a nice celebration and a beautiful way to invite our friends to the school to share the environment the students have been working so hard in over the recent school year.

This year's spring celebration is special, as we are celebrating our founding Head of School, Tonia Wheeler, with the Kahn Mason Award for Outstanding Contribution to Hilltop . We hope you can join us!
Please RSVP to Roselle Garro .
We love visitors! But sometimes too many grown-ups in the classroom can be hard to manage for children and visitors alike. This year, we welcome all guests but ask that no more than 2 guests per child visit in the classroom at one time. We're hoping this alleviates some of the stress that little ones, especially, can experience on this very special day.

Grandparent and Special Friend Day Schedule:
 8:30 - 9:00 a.m.  - Meet & Greet with coffee & light breakfast
  9:00 - 9:30 a.m.  - Award Ceremony Honoring Tonia 
 9:45 - 10:45 a.m.  - Visit with Grandchildren and Special Friends in the Classrooms and/or Middle School Seminar Discussion (in Middle School)
10:55 -11:45 a.m.  - All School Sing in the Arts Barn
Noon Dismissal for All!

* PARENTS : We love volunteers! We need volunteers to bring in baked goods, help with the set-up, coffee making and clean-up during the morning. If you can help, please contact Roselle .
African Studies in the Elementary Program
Today, Siza visited the Elementary Program!
Siza Mtimbiri is a Montessori teacher originally from Zimbabwe and now from New Hampshire. He was here last summer for SummerFun and returned today to share amazing artifacts. These artifacts from Zimbabwe are actually from trips taken by Sandie Page who was a teacher in Brattleboro for many years. Sandie’s friend Carol Barber ensured that they got to Hilltop, as a school that would put them to good use. With Siza’s help we are doing so! He has catalogued many of them and we have the beginnings of a website that we will be growing:

Today, Siza did lessons with the Upper Elementary and Lower Elementary, including engaging follow-up work for the students. Thank you Siza, Carol, and with fond memories of Sandie.
Toddler Program
Spring has sprung! Blossoms and leaves are coming out, flowers are in bloom and the playground is looking gorgeous thanks to the efforts of children's house and toddler families! Toddlers have started gardening, too. This week they've prepped pots for planting, sowed seeds and watered their seeds. Marco also constructed a stand to hold a pot for each child to care for.
Our bookshelves are filled with stories of spring and new life. Some of the children's favorites are  I am a Seed  by Jean Marzollo and  Planting a Rainbow  by Lois Ehlert. We've also started learning an old children's folk song:  I Love the Mountains.
I love the mountains.
I love the rolling hills.
I love the flowers.
I love the daffodils.
I love the fireside.
When all the lights are low.

Boom dee ah dah. Boom dee ah dah.
Boom dee ah dah. Boom dee ah dah.
Boom dee ah dah. Boom dee ah dah.
Boom dee ah dah. Boom dee ah dah.
I love the flowers.
I love the daffodils.
I love the mountains.
I love the rolling hills.
I love the fireside.
When all the lights are low.
Boom dee ah dah. Boom dee ah dah.
Boom dee ah dah. Boom dee ah dah.
Boom dee ah dah. Boom dee ah dah.
Boom dee ah dah. Boom dee ah dah.
We walk together.
Hike by the quiet stream.
Watch for the sunrise.
Breathing the air so clean.
When we're together,
Sharing our fondest dreams.
Boom dee ah dah. Boom dee ah dah.
Boom dee ah dah. Boom dee ah dah.
Boom dee ah dah. Boom dee ah dah.
Boom dee ah dah. Boom dee ah dah.
The Children's House
Thank you to all CH and Toddler families for your help to spruce-up our playground. The weather held out and so much was accomplished! With more projects to be finished, we may reach out again to ask for more help this year. If you're handy with tools and have basic carpentry skills, let is know! 
Please check our fence during pickup or drop off -- all lost and found items are waiting to be taken home! Have a great weekend! 

We look forward to seeing you at the Children's House Workshare,

The Children's House team
Lower Elementary
On Friday, May 17th, we invite you to our  final work share  of the year. We will be presenting some ways that you can help your child continue to grow the math and language skills they worked so hard to develop in the Lower El classroom this year. Before that, you can spend a half hour with you child as they show you some works, 3:00-4:00 pm. We look forward to seeing you! For anyone who cannot make it, we will provide information for you to take home at a later date. 

The world outside our big windows is fully of industry: bees are buzzing around the flowering trees, birds are zipping back and forth across the fields, and inside, Lower El students are working hard on their last works of the school year. The final writing projects are in full swing: personal timelines and "A Day in the Life of" charts for our youngest students, autobiographies for the Middlers, and biographies for Olders. Correct letter formation, writing complete sentences, searching for adjectives beyond "cool" and "awesome," and shaping sentences into coherent paragraphs are some skills they are applying to this writing. 

While we are reveling in this glorious weather, the ticks are reminding us of their presence on an almost-daily basis. Please help your child to check for ticks after school each day. 

Enjoy your weekend together!
Kerstin, Patrick, and Amelia
Iris and Alica are host for this week's All School Gathering
Jade shares her African and Asian elephant comparison report.
Ava shares long mental math with the group.
Claire proudly completes the "parts of a bird" layout.
Upper Elementary
It is such a relief to have spring finally here! This week the group is focussed
Finishing our persuasive writing
Planning topics for the final museum of the year
Progressing on a culminating writing exercise, “This I Believe,” for our 6ths
  • Creating individual math booklets to serve as guides for future reference (how do you add different fractions again???)
  • Shoring up our math facts
  • Exploring the endocrine system
  • Furthering our studies of Vermont history for some, and the Aztec, Incan, and Mayan civilizations for others
  • End of year assessments in spelling and reading fluency.

We also enjoyed a wonderful presentation by Siza on the amazing collection Zimbabwe artifacts that has been gifted to the school.
Calendar reminders:
UE Museum : Thursday, May 24, 2:00-3:00 PM, and Friday, May 25, 8:30 AM
UE 3-day trip : Wed, May 30 - Fri., June 1. We return at 3PM.

Middle School
This past Wednesday we returned from our week long “River of Spirit Odyssey”. In the course of six days we connected with sixteen different faith communities in both conversation and worship. The middle school visited Buddhist Temples, a number of Christian Churches, Hindu Temples, The Humanist Hub and The Pluralism Project both connected to the Harvard Divinity School, and a mosque. We hope everyone has taken the opportunity to look over the middle school’s “River of Spirit Odyssey” blog . It was an extraordinary journey. 

After a day of rest, we continued our investigation of water and prepared for next week’s immersion with The Confluence Project by entering the Whetstone River and searching for macro-invertebrates. Billy Ernest, an Americorp Volunteer with the Windham Regional Commission was our expert guide. In addition to finding our quarry, students also identified, observed and drew them. It was a beautiful day to get wet and to check out the health of our local watershed.

Our students will be hosting a Whetstone walkabout and Open House on Friday, May 18, 4:30 - 7:30pm, see below.
Counting and sorting samples
Searching for marco-invertibrates in the Whetstone Brook
Looking for samples of Mayfly, Stonefly, Damselfly, Dragonfly, Blackfly, and Red Midge larvae
Billy Ernest, Americore volunteer and river invertebrate enthusiast, describes the health of the Whetstone

After Care
Home Rental needed
Looking for a Home Rental!

Rebecca Fontaine at the front desk is looking for a home or apartment rental for herself and two boys, Rhys and Will.
They are on a time constraint and need to be out of their recently sold home by June 15th!

If you know of anyone or anything that may be a nice option, please email Rebecca @  fontaine.rebecca@gmail.com  or call 802-451-6607.

Looking in the Brattleboro area and surrounding towns. Two bedroom. Open to creative options, like a larger studio. Open to a temporary lease, would prefer a year lease and also would consider longer term with the right place.

Home (and cars) for sale
The Iams family is moving to China this summer and we are selling our house and cars. Please contact us at 614-302-4494 or  steveniams@gmail.com  with inquiries or questions. Or help us spread the word! For more photos of the house,  please click this link.
Missed out on the online Hilltop Pop-up Shop?
Hilltop Gear is available in the lobby!
Hilltop Apartment
Hello Hilltop community! My name is Camille and I’m looking for a queer roommate, or possibly a couple, to join me and my 2-yr-old cat in the semi-furnished, two-bedroom apartment above the Hilltop Montessori Middle School. I’ve been living on campus for almost two years now, and it’s such a beautiful and special place to call home! I will be travelling for 3-4 months in the fall and am ideally looking for a housemate open to either living with a subletter or covering the total apartment rent during that time, which I would subsidize if that person is willing to take care of my cat and allow me to store my things until I return. Pets who are cat-, dog- and child-friendly are allowed (and preferred by my very social cat!).

More details in the online housemate ad:

Do you know someone who might be a good fit? Please help spread the word!
Hilltop Helpers
Thank you to Rodrigo Nava for donating these beautiful chairs to Hilltop!
They are a perfect addition to the foyer and match your amazing magnetic board and the furniture that Marco created so perfectly. Thank you Rodrigo!
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
Disappointed there weren't any Elementary camps being offered at Hilltop this summer?
Well, we have a couple that will be held on campus, see below... flyers available at the front desk!

Traditional Music Camp
for Kids 
Led by Andy Davis, Keith Murphy, Becky Tracy
June 25 – 29, 8:30 am – 3:00 pm
Ages 9-14
Tuition: $260 / 5 days
at Hilltop Montessori School

Click here to register.
Tickets are available from Nora Gordon, Tom Griffith, Paul Dedell, or online from the Brattleboro Music Center.