Hilltop Montessori School's mission is for students to practice responsible independence in a caring community of curious, critical learners and
thoughtful citizens.
Newsletter / Friday, August 31, 2018
Calendar Listings:

Monday, September 3rd
No School, Labor Day

Tuesday, September 4th - 7th
MS in Upland

Thursday, September 13th
September Parent Meeting
5:00-6:00 Toddler, Children's House & Lower EL
6:00-7:00 Upper EL and Middle School

Friday, September 21st
Peace Day
Welcome back to school!
See You Tonight - Hilltop Family Picnic
Friday, August 31st
5:00 -7:00 p.m.

Green Mountain Camp for Girls

Click here for directions to Green Mountain Camp

Since there are certain areas designated for our gathering, here are a few rules we must follow:

  • As always, please keep your eyes on your child/children at all times.

  • Guests (adults and children) are NOT allowed up the stairs, on the ridge or in the cabins.

  • Please park in designated areas only - Town of Dummerston issued stern warnings. We appreciate your help w/the parking. Guests should only park on one side of the road.

  • Parking is tight, if you can carpool with another family from the covered bridge, please do so. Otherwise, once the parking on the Campground is full, you may park on the road. All cars must be parked on the same side of the road.

We are so excited that Green Mountain Camp has graciously invited us to share the camp and the facilities. Thank you for your respect and understanding. We look forward to seeing you there!
Important Reminders

Thank you for picking up your back to school envelopes.

If you haven't already, please fill the forms out this weekend and bring them in on Tuesday. Thank you!

You should have received an email with a draft PDF of your classroom's directory . Please review and send any corrections to frontdesk@hilltopmontessori.org .
Greenhouse Project
Over the summer the Greenhouse was revitalized. We redesigned the layout, recovered it with fresh plastic, installed roll-up venting sides, build new raised garden beds and added storage shelves. Kegan Refalo, the Facilities Manager, worked with Alex Lier, a Hilltop Alumni, and Milo Gardilcic, the new Facilities Assistant. This was the second summer Hilltop Alumni returned as a summer work force, and this was an excellent project for collaborative community learning as well as developing building skills.

The project continues into this school year with the Elementary Programs. Students will reinforce their classroom lessons on the water cycle and incline planes by assisting with the installation of a water catchment and drip irrigation system. The Greenhouse is one of the outdoor learn environments that has been used by all programs over the past eight years. Most recently, it has been used by the Children's House program to learn about the food cycle and how plants grow, and we are excited to have those works supported by the recent improvements. 

The Greenhouse improvements are made possible by a SEED grant from New England Grass Roots Environmental Fund.

About the New England Grassroots Environment Fund
The New England Grassroots Environment Fund (Grassroots Fund) energizes and nurtures long-term civic engagement in local initiatives that create and maintain healthy, just, safe and sustainable communities using stories, tools and dollars to fuel local activism and social change. Since 1996, the Grassroots Fund’s core grantmaking program continues to fund nearly 150 grants annually, giving more than $4 million in 20 years to initiatives by better than 1,700 community groups covering more than 60 percent of New England’s cities and towns.

New England Grassroots Environment Fund awards help solve the problems and realize the promises in addressing climate change and energy action, local food, environmental health and justice, land and water and local economies.

For more information, please visit grassrootsfund.org or call 603-905-9915.
Hilltop Montessori School Store
We are excited for the Fall 2018 online school store! A wonderful way to show your support of Hilltop! Check out the site here .
Please share with family members and friends that love to support Hilltop as well.
This "Pop-up Shop" is live now through October 1st.  
Hilltop Montessori School themed items ball caps, winter hats, sweatshirts, t-shirts, bags and more are available for purchase. These fun Hilltop items also make wonderful holiday gifts! Check it out now, there are new items for colder weather....time is limited.
Orders will be completed within 2-4 weeks of the order deadline.  All orders will be bagged and delivered directly to the Hilltop main office for pickup or choose to have your order shipped directly to you.
Most of these items are available in different colors...check out the site for more information.
Toddler Room
It's been a great start to the school year! In addition to five returning students, we also welcome Cyrus, Harrison, Jody, Josephine and Zander and their families to the Toddler Program. 

We especially wish to thank you for accommodating the orientation schedule for the first few days of school. Having time to welcome new children separately from returners helps to smoothly introduce the new children to the routines, activities and teachers in the Toddler Program and made for a very successful first day all together on Friday. 

Looking forward to a joyful, playful and growing year together.
Ellie, Amanda, Marco & Sarah
Children's House
The Children's House has had a great start to the new school year! Thank you so much for supporting us during our staggered schedule for the first few days. Being able to spend time with the teachers and with one another in a small group makes it much easier for our youngest children to adjust to the new school year. It gives the teachers a chance to provide the extra hugs and attention that many of our those children need as they say goodbye to their families for a new school adventure. It also lets us practice basic routines like snack time and hand washing before adding in the hustle and bustle of a big group. We know the orientation schedule is a challenge for many of our families and we so appreciate your help in providing this important opportunity for our new and younger children.

We would like to welcome Liam, Sage, Eleanor, and Zhong Yi to the Willow Room and Ellea, Kolya, Deagan, and Finley to the Birch Room. We look forward to getting to know them and their families as they become a part of our Hilltop community. 

As we get into our regular school routine, here are some reminders to help things run smoothly: 

Drop off
Between 8:15 and 8:30. While we don't go inside until 8:45, we want all of our children to have time to play on the playground before our inside work cycle begins. 

Pick up
Half day children is between 11:45 and 12pm 
Full day children is between 2:45 and 3pm

Extra clothing
Please make sure your child has extra clothing for varying types of weather. This time of year layers are great as it tends to get warmer as the day goes on. 

We're looking forward to a great school year!

The Children’s House Teachers- Jonathan, Rebecca, Cheryl, Mariam, and Serina
Lower Elementary
Our school year has gotten off to a wonderful, steamy beginning! Lower El spent this first week getting acquainted through community games such as "Find Someone Who..." and "the dot game." In addition, students began all their Specials classes: Art with Jade, Music with Jay, and P.E. with Mace.

Celebrating a birthday in Lower El includes writing a "birthday script." If your child chooses to celebrate their birthday in school, please help them recall an important event from each year of their life, from their newborn year up to their current age. This could be anything from "When I was one, I smiled a lot" to "I went to Ecuador with my family when I was four and met my cousins for the first time." In addition to this, we always ask children if they have something they'd like to accomplish in their new year.  Having this ready on their celebration day will make their birthday walk meaningful.  A candle, representing the sun, is placed on a mat on the floor, along with the months of the year. The birthday child begins at their month, and slowly walks around the sun for each year of their life, holding a globe to represent Earth's revolutions. A teacher reads their birthday script as they go. Afterward, they share their goal for the year, blow out the candle, and are treated to whatever lively version of the birthday song they choose. The Birthday Person is welcome to bring in a treat for the class, but this is optional. We ask that all treats be nut-free and on the healthy side. 

Summer Souvenir Sharing: Next week, we will introduce the much-loved Lower El circle event, sharing! As with everything in our class, this will be explicitly taught. The teachers will kick it off on Tuesday with their own sharings. Through modeling, we will cover important topics such as projecting your voice so all can hear you, as well as keeping it interesting and informative, but brief. If your child acquired something over the summer that is important to them - a special rock or shell, a favorite book, a memento from a trip taken-we will ask them to bring it in on their sharing day. If they have a "talking sharing," that is fine, too. Please look at the list below and determine:

a) if it will be possible for your child to have a sharing prepared for that day
b) if your child is willing to share

We realize that there are some shy new people (and possibly some reluctant returning ones) in Lower El who might not feel comfortable speaking in front of their class. If they would prefer to observe during these next couple of weeks, that is understandable. Also, if the day your child is scheduled to share will not work for your family, just send us a quick email and we can change it. Thank you for your help with this.

Summer Souvenir Sharing Schedule:
Tuesday, 9/4: Kerstin, Patrick, Amelia
Wednesday, 9/5: Eko, Carter, Addy
Thursday, 9/6: Finn,Sophia,Matai, 
Friday, 9/7: Leo, Claire, Ayla
Monday, 9/10: Max Lydia,Sebastian, Jade
Tuesday, 9/11: Charlotte, Esme, Oona
Wednesday, 9/12: Harper, Kaiya, Caroline
Thursday, 9/13: Hazel, Layla,Dylan
Friday, 9/14: Henry, Eleanor, Uri

Enjoy your weekend together.
Kerstin, Patrick,and Amelia
Upper Elementary
Breaking news: It was hot! We cooled off by getting sprayed down. The week was filled with getting to know one another in the new group, as well as some of the classroom norms and routines. We welcomed newcomers to the school: Gabe, Skyler, Cara and Mae. For the first time ever, the sixth grade group presented one of Montessori's Great Lessons: The Creation of the Universe. We are looking forward to our overnight at the Pinnacle next Thursday (departure 3:00 p.m. from school, return by 3:00 p.m. on Friday). Details and packing list to follow via email! We are excited about the wonderful new group and the year ahead.
Middle School
It was a very full first week of middle school. Along with very overheated bodies from the intense weather, our collected minds also began to move towards an intellectual boil. We jumped right into our humanities study: “The Evolution of the American Identity” by reading and discussing The Declaration of Independence (including the cut paragraph concerning slavery), a recent article from the New York Times magazine, "White People Are Noticing Something New: Their Own Whiteness", and an article from Brattleboro Reformer from last July, "Town Responds to Racist Poster". Students have also begun reading their first seminar book, "Of Mice and Men" and considering the upcoming science study, “Innovation”.

Next week we will be in Upland: working, playing, reading, talking, singing, cooking, eating, and sleeping under our big green tarp.
Interested in a Fruit Farm Share this Fall?
Last Call:
Nine Weeks of Ecologically-Grown Fresh Fruits

Scott Farm is offering fruit shares for 9 weeks, starting the second full week in September, delivered here to Hilltop! The first delivery will be the week of Monday, Sept 10th, exact day to be determined.
The delivered prices are: $92 for a full share and $47 for a half share

Time is running out...
If you are interested in a share, the deadline is Wednesday, September 5th.

Any families interested, please email Roselle .

Hilltop Helpers
Thank you to Debra Rosenzweig, Ava and Shoshana for helping beautify the gardens around the signs. We are grateful to all our parent volunteers that attended the Annual Community Work Party.

If you love to garden or would like to contribute your time in another way, let's chat. Please stop by the Development Office and speak with Roselle .
Community Events

The fall session of the Brattleboro Women’s Chorus will begin on September 5th and 6th with open rehearsals for any women or girls over age ten who would like to try out the chorus without obligation. It's a great chance to hear the songs we will perform this fall.

Rehearsals are Wednesday evenings, beginning September 5th, from 6:30 – 8:30 at All Souls Church in W. Brattleboro or Thursday mornings, starting September 6th, from 10:00 – noon at the Brattleboro Music Center, near Memorial Park. Singers may attend either or both. The chorus will be preparing for concerts on November 17th and 18th, and performing in these is always optional.

There are student and family-pair rates as well as financial aid, and all registration information is available on the website, BrattleboroWomensChorus.org , or by calling 802-254-8994.