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Like us on FacebookHilltop Montessori School                              March 29, 2013

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Lost Kitchen Items
Annual Report
Next week at Hilltop
Notes from the Head
Tiny House
Willow Room
Birch Room
Lower El
Upper El
Middle School
Pick Up Kitchen Items
Think WAY back... did you make a dish for the Faculty/Staff feast? If so, you may not have picked up your dish or platter. Look in the front lobby on the side table for your long lost terrine!
One sure way to beat the winter blues is to think "Summer". And that means -- SummerFun at Hilltop! 
Annual Report
The 2012 Annual Report is now available in web and print versions.
Click here:  to read the web version. 
Print copies are available at the front desk.
Coming up...

Monday, April 1
Monthly Tuition Due

Tuesday, April 2
Girls on the Run, 3-4:30

Wednesday, April 3
MS Leaves for Alabama

Friday, April 5
Girls on the Run, 3-4:30

If you have an item, service or community event you would like to post in this space, email Amelia. Deadline for entries is Thursday afternoon. Entries will be posted for one week. Thanks! 


Sat., April 20, 7:30 pm

Take a Seat: 

Five Storytellers on a Mission 

Nationally renowned storytellers from The Moth, This American Life and Wait, Wait... Don't Tell

Me tell hilarious tales to raise money for the historic Latchis 

Theater in Brattleboro. 

Hosted by NYC 

comedian Brooke Van Poppelen. Storytellers include PJ O'Rourke, 

Adam Wade, Peter Aguero, 

Ed Gavagan and Jim O'Grady. Sponsored by VPR and The Hatch. Tickets start at just $25 and are available at Brattleborotix.com or at the front desk of the Latchis. 



Sunday April 7th

Come celebrate spring with a bike ride!  West Hill Shop invites everyone to our community-wide Spring Warm-Up Ride Sunday, April 7th.  Check-in at the Putney Tavern Green at 10am.  We'll ride as far as we can south down Route 5 and back, with a goal of reaching the Brattleboro rotary.  All ages and abilities encouraged to come.  After the ride, let's have lunch together at The Gleanery, they will open early for us! 


Check out what's happening at BMAC

--Family Fun at BMAC

--Find the Invisible Man

--VT Kids Design Glass II 





Notes from the Head


Teachers, students, admin staff, parents. Everyone has the regular stuff they do: give lessons, morning drop-off, answer phone calls, family chores, school chores. What is astonishing is how much happens outside of our regular chores - and how a week with all these "specials" couldn't happen without significant commitment from everyone in the community. Here is a brief summary of how the community made this past week work. Thank you to all!

*A Montessori trainer from Kerstin's certification program observes Kerstin and gave her feedback. 
*Hilltop parents/students makes and serves supper at the overflow shelter. 
*The Children's House has a field trip to Lilac Ridge Farm.
*The Upper El has a field trip to the Pequot museum. 
*Cheryl, Mariam and Sarah spend Friday soaking in new Montessori ideas at another school.
*A Montessori teacher from a public Montessori school in Springfield, MA visits Hilltop and soaks in new ideas. 
* Lauren, Melissa and Cheryl host a mini-class to welcome prospective Children's House applicants and introduce them to a Montessori classroom. 
*The Faculty/Staff meet to get an overview of the 2013-14 budget .
*Ellie attends a professional development workshop. 
*The Design team (Tonia, Sarah A-J, Frank, Leland, Jenny Smith) meet to discuss Barn demolition project timing. 
*The Middle School holds an Alabama details meeting. 
*Girls on the Run takes place two afternoons after school. 
*Lauren tours prospective parents.  


The Tiny House Raffle is OPEN!



The Tiny House raffle is open online and tickets are selling fast! For those of you who can't wait to purchase paper tickets, or want to let far-away friends and family know, an online purchase option is now live.


Go to  http://tinyhouseraffle.eventbrite.com to buy your ticket(s)


Upper El students are working hard to build a fantastic Tiny House, with the help of Chad Farnum, of Farnum Insulators. The house will be raffled off as a fundraiser for Hilltop's financial aid program and Morningside Shelter (the only homeless shelter in Southern Vermont). Nearly 50% of Hilltop's families receive financial aid, and the need is growing. The Tiny House raffle will directly support our financial aid program so it, along with the upcoming vacation raffle, is a really important fundraiser for the school and we want everyone to get involved.


The raffle drawings will be held on Saturday, June 8, right after the Strolling of the Heifers Parade, on the Commons in Brattleboro.


Huge thanks to Chad Farnum. Leader Home Centers donated materials and Jancewicz & Sons donated the windows and roofing. Be sure to say thanks when you do business with them.



Willow Room


On Tuesday Willow Room made our annual trip to Lilac Ridge Farm to see its sugaring operation!  We enjoyed learning about the equipment used to tap sap from the maple trees, checking the sap collection buckets, seeing the sugar house evaporator in action, and best of all tasting the freshly made warm maple syrup!  Many thanks to Farmer Amanda, her assistant, Maeve Campman, and the rest of the Thurber Family for allowing us to visit.  And thank you to our classroom rep, Rebecca Fontaine, for expertly coordinating the chaperones for both classrooms, and to our chaperones: Tara Davis, Todd Einig, Christian Engel, Jessica Gould, Mike Harrington, Dave and Becky Lewis, and Liz Richards.
Reminder to parents to make a greater effort to be on time for both morning drop off and afternoon pick up. Any drop off after 8:40 AM and any pick up after 12:00 PM or 3:00 PM will be considered late. 
Walking to the barn
Farmer Amanda and the gang        Delia checks the sap bucket 
check the bucket                              
 Quinn, Emma and Mark
Ava, August, Brooke and Hailey 
Enjoy the weekend together.
Melissa & Ellie



email the Willow Room


Birch Room 


We all had a lovely Tuesday morning visiting Lilac Ridge Farm for our annual Sugaring Trip. The sap was running, the evaporator was boiling away, and the steam was billowing out of the vent. Pretty exciting! A big thank-you to Lilac Ridge for graciously opening their doors for us to be involved in the sugaring process and to all of our chaperones -- without you this great experience could not have happened. Thanks so very much!  



Lining up for a snack!


 Amanda tells us all about making syrup!




               Going for a ride!




Lower Elementary 


We are continuing our study of the five kingdoms of vertebrates, with reptiles our focus for this week. This study follows an evolutionary trail: the first subject of our study, fish, breathe with gills in the water; the second, the amphibian, "lives a double life," as one first grader put it, and at one stage of its life breathes with gills, and then with lungs. Reptiles breathe only with lungs. Not slimy, but dry and scaly, these creatures inhabit almost every corner of the earth. The Youngers are learning about many of them through their research of two different reptiles.

Oceania is a host to many of these reptiles, as Australia and New Zealand have some of the most unique creatures in the world. We continue to learn more about this area of the world and all of the strange creatures that populate it, including the Tasmanian Devil.  
The Middlers and Olders have been hard at work learning their math facts. Please ask your child which math fact they have decided to practice this week; we will check in with them on Tuesday. The Olders' Lit. Group is every Monday, and homework must be completed when school begins on that day.  
Thank you to all of the parents who drove us to the Latchis Theatre last Thursday; it was nice to have the opportunity to go out and experience some beautiful music, especially when much of it was composed by children. Sitting in the balcony was also a thrill for Lower El!  
Enjoy the warmer weather this weekend!
Jessica, Kerstin, and Connie

Owen and Emmett read about snakes

Nomi practices her multiplication facts

Ally and Lucy read together

Julian explains to the class how to play baseball geography

Ellie works on her Austraila map



Talia plays for All School Gathering


email Lower El 


Upper Elementary 


We had a great trip to the Mashantucket Pequot Museum on Thursday. Students explored the museum and participated in workshops. The fourths and fifths took part in a workshop on how the Pequots used the natural resources of the Connecticut coast. In their workshop, the sixths used primary documents to examine attitudes toward Pequots in the first half of the twentieth century. Some comments about our trip from the children:
Tula - I really liked how the tool exhibit compared modern and Native American tools. I think it's cool how the Pequots could use their materials that well to make tools.
Colin - My favorite part was the village because it was so realistic and explained everything so well.
Daniel - It was really interesting how the village changed after the Europeans arrived. They had a huge fence and places to see through and shoot from.
Izzy - The workshop we did showed us different perspectives about the Pequot. The primary resources we used let us develop our own perspectives. 
Mason - The language activity was really interesting. It was really cool to hear English words in different Native American languages and to see how they spelled it.
Soha - I thought it was interesting to see how tall the glacier was that used to be there.
Holden - Learning how the government got to decide who was a Pequot and who wasn't based on their skin color was really interesting. The government could just kick people off the reservation based on its decision.
Students also began the play-writng process. On Friday morning students made a long list of all that they had studied during the year. Next, students brainstormed a central conflict for the play and worked on slowly moving toward a consensus. Next week students will write the script, write lyrics, and choose parts. 
Students trying to design a fishing weir

Middle School  

As the day for our departure to Alabama quickly arrives we are busily putting the final pieces together. We are trying to sing a little bit everyday to practice the freedom songs we will be singing throughout Alabama.This morning we began to learn the choruses of many of the original songs students have written as part of their personal exploration of the concepts that drove and sustained the Civil Rights Movement. We will share these songs as well as student poems (which are in the throes of their final drafts) with the poet/performance artist, LaQuita Middleton in Birmingham, along with the residents of Gee's Bend, and with the BAMA Kids in Camden.


Students are busily quilting whenever they get the opportunity before we pack our gift for the folks of Gee's Bend. We are using quilting hoops loaned to us by the wonderful folks at Delectable Mountain who also donated much of the fabric remnants for our quilt.


Finn hefted 60lbs. of multiple � pints of maple syrup to UPS and shipped them off to Birmingham where we will reunite. Many thanks to all of you for your donations, and especially to the Thurber family for their very generous gift of 53 � pints of brand new maple syrup. We have lots of friends and people to thank in Alabama and plan to make more. Sharing our natural bounty is a wonderful way to do so and people remember us.


We know that students are very excited to begin packing. A very important part of their preparation is packing their speeches and poems into the valises of their brains this weekend. They are on call as soon as we disembark on Wednesday so they want to be ready and confident.


We are ready to go!


ZJ Beat
Jonah and Zack Spontaneous Project




And more singing! 



Sharing our quilt at ASG 




Jonah and Isabella share at ASG



email the Middle School


Hilltop Montessori School