Friday Newsletter / November 17, 2017

Great Turnout for Parents' Educational Night on Solutions to Anxiety
With the fall semester well underway, we have already held three successful events in the  Parent Information Series  for this year. These events have provided some deeper knowledge about the school, the Montessori philosophy and the outcomes. 

Last night we held the  How to Understand and Reduce Anxiety in Children  presentation with Dr. Paul Foxman . We partnered with HCRS and Winston Prouty to bring him here and the event was attended by almost 100 people, many from the broader community. If you were unable to come last night you can go to his YouTube presentations  here  and  here .

Calendar Listings  

Monday 11/20
Stone Soup Contributions Due

Tuesday 11/21
Stone Soup Day!
Spanish with Marco 3:30-4:30

Wednesday 11/22
Thanksgiving Break!

Monday 11/27
School Resumes

Tuesday 11/28
Spanish with Marco 3:30-4:30
UE Basketball 3:00-4:30

Wednesday 11/29
Marionettes and Backdrops 3:15-4:30
MS Basketball 3:00-4:30

Thursday 11/30
LE Basketball Clinic 3:15-4:30

Friday 12/1
LE Field Trip to Montshire Museum
Chess 3:15-4:30
UE Basketball 3:00-4:30
Looking ahead in December and January, we have two   Open House   events coming up for prospective families and current families who would like to join us,  Exploring the Montessori Environment and Experience . The Open Houses will take place in the mornings from 9-11am on Dec 5, 2017 and Jan 31, 2018. Parents are able to observe in classrooms followed by a question and answer discussion with teachers and students. 

Please join us and if you know of a family who might be interested in Hilltop for their child please share these dates and have them RSVP to Lauren
The Annual Financial Aid Applications are due January 15, 2018.
The 2018-19 applications for financial aid are now available at the  School & Student Services  website. These annual applications are required for all families applying for financial aid from the school for the 2018-19 academic year. We are proud of the economic diversity at our school. We participate in state programs that enable us to access state funding to help with the Early Childhood years. Our Annual Fund and other donations from generous donors help us provide additional financial aid to families through all the programs. If you will be applying for financial aid for next year, please complete your application as soon as possible.
Upcoming Events...
November 21: Stone Soup Day, no lunch necessary today!
Children's House students who leave at noon are welcome to stay for lunch! (Pick-up at 1:00.)
November 22: Thanksgiving Break Begins
November 27: School Resumes
December 1: LE Field Trip to Montshire Museum
Stone Soup
Every year, before our Thanksgiving break, students work with their Peace Buddies to prepare a Stone Soup lunch for the entire school. Everyone gets involved, from the very smallest of friends to the Middle Schoolers. We always read the book  Stone Soup  and give thanks together before leaving for Thanksgiving break.

This year, in planning for our Stone Soup day on Tuesday, November 21st (and holding true to the meaning of the story), we would like each student to bring a vegetable for the soup. 

We are asking each student in the classroom to bring their vegetable contribution by Monday (11/20) morning.

Upper Elementary : 4 Potatoes per student
Lower Elementary : 3 Carrots per student
Birch Room :     1 Head Broccoli or Cauliflower 
Willow Room :    1 sm. butternut squash per student
Toddler Room :    2 Onions per student

As a reminder...Stone Soup is an old folk story in which hungry strangers convince the people of a town to each share a small amount of their food in order to make a meal that everyone enjoys. We encourage you to ask your child about the story, but we have included a brief synopsis. 

“Some travelers come to a village, carrying nothing more than an empty cooking pot. Upon their arrival, the villagers are unwilling to share any of their food stores with the hungry travelers. Then the travelers go to a stream and fill the pot with water, drop a large stone in it, and place it over a fire. One of the villagers becomes curious and asks what they are doing. The travelers answer that they are making "stone soup", which tastes wonderful and which they would be delighted to share with the villager, although it still needs a little bit of garnish, which they are missing, to improve the flavor. The villager, who anticipates enjoying a share of the soup, does not mind parting with a few carrots, so these are added to the soup. Another villager walks by, inquiring about the pot, and the travelers again mention their stone soup which has not yet reached its full potential. The villager hands them a little bit of seasoning. More and more villagers walk by, each adding another ingredient. Finally, the stone (being inedible) is removed from the pot, and a delicious and nourishing pot of soup is enjoyed by travelers and villagers alike. Although the travelers have thus tricked the villagers into sharing their food with them, they have successfully transformed it into a tasty and nutritious meal which they share with the donors.”

Please feel free to reach out via email to Roselle @ ( ), if you have any questions or concerns.

Happy Thanksgiving!
Alumni Highlights
Elkanah Linder '11

Since graduating from Hilltop in 2011, Elkanah Linder has gone on to pursue a degree in Pharmacy at the University of Sciences (Philadelphia) - and make history on the school's tennis team! Elkanah racked up 17 victories during her junior season.

Elkanah is just the third player in program history to win 30 singles matches. She is second in career doubles victories at USciences with 31. At the same time she has earned Dean's List Honors four times in college!

Elkanah was recently featured in the Brattleboro Reformer. You can read more about her achievements here !
Hilltop Grads Make BUHS Honor Roll

We are thrilled to see so many recent Hilltop graduates on the Brattleboro Union High School Honor Roll for their work at school this Fall. Yet more data that our students transition to a more traditional environment well. Our graduates are consistently noticed for their ability to advocate for themselves, their problem solving and interpersonal skills, along with a deep love of learning for the sake of learning, not just for the grade. But, as this list shows, the grades come too! Congratulations Hilltop grads who are on the BUHS Honor Roll!

Isabella Thurber, Holden Hiler, Elery Loggia, Aidan Murphy, Gus Williams, Luke Williams, Colin Greenleaf, Rachel Reynolds, Lucy Parks, Lily Buettner, Samuel Capcara, Mason Foard, Marley Hathaway, & Henry Thurber
Toddler Program
Birch Room
Willow Room
Patrick draws a picture of what he is thankful for.
Mazin puts numbers in order from 1-100 using the Hundred Board.
Harper practices writing "S" on the chalkboard.
Amir and Cooper get creative with the Metal Inserts while also refining their fine motor skills in preparation for writing.
Annabel creates her own tactile "e" by gluing beans and beads.
Kennedy hammers a nail into a tree stump.
Alexander works on matching the quantities 1-5 with their symbols.
Finn colors in a "stained glass" turkey.
Lower Elementary
We've had a busy week in Lower El. Ask your child about:

  • What are the layers of the rain forest?
  • What are some animals that live in each layer?
  • What layer has the tallest trees?
  • Which layer is the darkest, and why?
  • What is an adverb? What does the Montessori symbol for it look like? (Red group's grammar)
  • When taking notes from a book, is it okay to copy the author's writing?
  • What is something we could tell ourselves instead of "I give up?"

Please make sure that your child has an extra set of clothing in their cubby, as well as outdoor shoes/boots. We go out on all but the coldest and/or rainiest days.

Have a good weekend.
Kerstin, Patrick, and Amelia
Claire learns about rainforest frogs and records her findings.
Dylan practices addition using the Golden Beads.
Luci researches the California Condor for her non-fiction picture book.
Ciana uses the checkerboard to solve double-digit multiplication problems.
Upper Elementary

Our olders are researching the three branches of government, in preparation for the skits they will present to demonstrate the powers, checks and balances in our system of government. Interestingly, one student said at the outset of this study, "Can we please put on hold our discussions of the current situation, and look at the beginning theory of how all this is supposed to work?" Meanwhile, our middlers and youngers are gearing up for a visual timeline of human culture during the Neolithic and Stone Ages. In grammar, students are identifying types of verbs, differentiating prepositional phrases from objects of the verb, and beginning to look at subject complements. Applied grammar was a hot topic as we edited our writing this week for correct punctuation, and found many examples of both sentences fragments and comma splices. 
Author's Tea
Thank you for all who attended this afternoon's Authors Tea, in which students shared their fall writing on fictional stories or personal narratives. 
Students work to weave a rug using recycled T shirts and hoola-hoops in their elective class with Nora.
Otto and Mark demonstrate proper and improper range of motion with their knee models.
Students in the sourdough bread-making elective weigh ingredients.
A big thanks to Lucia and Shawn for baking scones with students for Authors Tea.
One math group made a new "Montessori material" decorated with digits to practice rounding decimal numbers; unfortunately, this material never made it to the math shelf.
Thirteen Upper El students wrote letters this week to children in Croatia, to begin pen pal relationships. The children are refugees living in a reception center in Zagreb. The volunteer organization Are You Syrious?, who recently started a school there, will be helping with English translation and postage costs. Julia Fedoruk has organized this opportunity, and anyone else ages 9-14 who'd like to become a pen pal, whether a Hilltop student or from elsewhere, may contact her at
Students in the classroom at Porin Reception Center.
Letters stamped and ready to go!
Middle School
The middle school micro-economies were in full swing this week. In addition to our weekly bagel lunch, a delicious corn chowder was the offering for this week’s soup sales, Coffee Cart braved the cold rain Thursday morning, Kids Night Out has a rambunctious and joyful group of more than twenty students scheduled for Friday night, and the monthly bake sale at the COOP is taking place Saturday afternoon. Why all these student run entrepreneurial enterprises? There are a number of responses to this question focusing on responsible independence, community engagement, and building organizational and leadership skills. Perhaps the most tangible goal oriented answer is the raising of funds for our annual week long odyssey. This May we are off to Boston on our “River of Spirit Odyssey”- the culmination of our study on world religion, faith, and spirit. The funds the students earn through their micro-economies make our travels possible and contribute to the deep engagement we enjoy and expect on our journeys. The students earn this privilege, own the trip, and are deeply committed to the process and each other.

As we prepare for the well earned Thanksgiving break, the students are taking some of their hard earned profits and giving back to the community. Next Monday we will be baking upward to fifty apple pies that we will distribute to Morningside Shelter, the Women’s Freedom Center, Loaves and Fishes, and the Groundworks Collaborative. It is wonderful to celebrate the bounty and good fortune of our lives especially when we remember and contribute to those less fortunate. 
No matter the weather - the game must go on!
Always a tremendous day for singing!
After carefully learning the nuances of Unit Proportions the brownie batter was gone...
Annabel shares a project with her newfound friend, Kristin.
Hilltop Helpers
A message from Julia Fedoruk, 8th grader in the Middle School:

I am still collecting clothes for refugees, which local nonprofit  Carry Me Home sends to camps and outreach programs in Greece.  We currently need adult winter clothing sizes small and medium, warm adult sleeping bags, and shoes/boots for all ages.  Needs change as we hear from our contacts in the field, so please check this space for any updates! All items should be clean and in good condition. Please leave them in the box in the lobby. 

Carry Me Home's  Greek Supper Benefit is this  Saturday  November 18, 5-7pm! We hope you will attend and enjoy some of Greece's world famous delicious cuisine, made by our volunteers. All the information is on our event page, Thank you to those of you who have donated ingredients and signed up to help cook, serve and clean up. 
Kalí óreksi! (bon appétit in Greek)
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
The Brattleboro Women’s Chorus will present their 22 nd  annual fall concert, “Singing in the Light of Love,” on Saturday, November 18 at 7:30pm and Sunday, November 19 at 4:00pm at the First Baptist Church in Brattleboro.
More than 80 women directed by Becky Graber will perform songs of love and songs about music. The talented Cathy Martin will accompany on piano, and the local Ukulele Orchestra led by Lisa McCormick will join on several songs, including a new song by Libby Roderick, "Got to Love."
Other selections, from a variety of genres, include a gospel medley of Rollo Dilworth’s arrangement of the spiritual Shine on Me paired with Russell Robinson’s composition, Standing in the Light of Love; Plovi Barko from Croatia; Amovolovolo from South Africa; This Ancient Love by Carolyn McDade; Kinder, as created and sung by the group Copper Wimmin; and the Wailin’ Jennys’ version of Storm Comin’.
Tickets are available online at  or at the door, $12 Adult, $20 Generous, $10 Student and Senior. More info is at or at  802-254-8994 .
Cotton Mill Open Studio Holiday Sale! 

December 1 - 4

Lisa Charkey will open her art studio with a display of mixed media work on paper. Morocco inspired holiday cards will be available for sale as well as hand sewn Moroccan leather babouche from her Lily and Chloe Shoe Line.