logo hms
Our Mission is for students to attain responsible independence.

Like us on FacebookHilltop Montessori School                              April 5, 2013

Click heading to skip to section
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
Still lots of lonely platters in the front lobby waiting to go home with their owners! Stop by and reunite with yours.
Making summer plans for your child? Look no further! SummerFun, right here at Hilltop, is just the ticket.
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...

Tuesday, April 9
Girls on the Run, 3-4:30

Wednesday, April 10
Lower El Workshare 8:30

Lower El - Gallery Walk Art Show

MS returns from Alabama

Thursday, April 11
Upper El Play! Two shows 1pm and 5pm

Lower El - Gallery Walk Art Show

Friday, April 12
Girls on the Run 3-4:30

April 15 - 23

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.Thanks! 



Morningside Shelter is redesigning their space and in need of: office, bedroom & living room furniture, area rugs, plants (& pots) of any size, table/floor lamps, fabric, mirrors, artwork. To donate or volunteer,

please contact Tara Davis /

802.254.3992[email protected]



HOST a student from Spain for the month of July!!  An incredible opportunity for your child and your family to make an international connection.  Malick and I hosted a student last summer and it went great!  He's coming again this year!  You receive a financial stipend so as to not add financial stress to your family.  If your child goes to camp, so will the exchange student (and the bill is paid for by the Spanish family). For more information please contact me at [email protected] and check out the website at  www.homestaysusa.org/webs/young-person-from-Spain/default.asp  


River Gallery School  
April Vacation Art Camp for children ages 6 -12
Week of April 15th
Mon. - Fri. 9 am - 3 pm. Fee: $150. Or $32. Per day 
Your child can enjoy a week of drawing, printmaking, painting, sculpture and more.  Register for the week or for the day. Art  materials and snack provide, just bring your imagination and curiosity. Please call RGS at 
257-1577 for more information or to enroll.


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. 




Check out what's happening 



The Brattleboro Museum & Art Center (BMAC) invites kids in grades K-6 to take part in VT Kids Design Glass II. Draw an 

imaginary creature, give it a 

name and description, and drop 

it off at the museum by June 1

Every drawing submitted will be featured in a museum exhibit 

next fall. Some drawings will be selected by local artists to be 

turned into amazing glass sculptures! Entry forms are 

available at BMAC or at www.brattleboromuseum.org. There is no entry fee and no 

limit to the number of entries 

allowed. Questions? Contact 

Susan Calabria at 802-257-0124,

 ext. 102 


Now through June 23, the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center (BMAC) presents 

three exhibits showcasing contemporary Chinese art. 

Liu Bolin: The Invisible Man 

features photographs of the 

artist painted from head to toe, 

so as to disappear into his surroundings. Inspired by Liu's artwork, the museum is offering 

an interactive exhibit on 

camouflage in its Ticket Gallery. Create your own camouflaged creature and see if you can 

make it disappear into the gallery walls. BMAC is open 

Sun, Mon, Wed, Thu 11-5; 

Fri 11-7; Sat 10-5. 

Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors, $4 for students, free 

for BMAC members and children under 6. For more information, visit 

www.brattleboromuseum.org or call 802-257-0124, ext. 102.  



Notes from the Head


Blogs, Articles and other Readings


Like so many of you, there's never a shortage of emails that are advertising some fabulous product, webinar or workshop. Many of the ones I receive at Hilltop can be deleted just by reading the subject line. However, every once in a while something comes in that's intriguing. Here are a couple of articles/blogs that should spark an interesting conversation with family and friends.




by Edward Burger


Although this article is directed towards higher ed, the subject is relevant: learn from failure. Everyone talks about it; here is a professor who goes one step further and actually teaches failure, believing that only by trying and failing does one begin to take risks and think beyond the obvious.



by Maria Popova


I found this particularly interesting. Imagine writing something that is one plagiarized sentence after another! Maria Popova re-examines Kenneth Goldsmith's book Uncreative Writing. It could be quite a challenge to write something where Mark Twain's or Maya Angelou's sentences or phrases are used in a different way.


The Dearth of a Salesman

To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others

by Daniel Pink


Yes, this is about teaching as a sales job. As one reviewer wryly admits, "While no teacher wants to be a salesman explicitly, we still have to convince our students that what we "sell" them is worth the effort, whether the "buying" is required or not." 






Great article on MS Quilters


The Commons published a terrific piece on the MS students and their Alabama Odyssey. Read it here (scroll to section B, page 1) 


Hilltop (Get) Happy Hour

We're celebrating all the wonderful things happening on campus and our fantastic school on Saturday, April 27 from 5:30 - 6:30 at the Whetstone Station. Come enjoy drinks on us, along with delicious appetizers at a Hilltop Happy Hour. 


Childcare will be available from 5 - 7 pm at Hilltop for those who only want to come for the Happy Hour. RSVP to Amelia.


Want to make a night of it? Book your own babysitter and make a dinner reservation.


Thanks to David Hiler, Hilltop parent and co-owner of Whetstone, for making this happen.


The Raffles Are Coming! The Raffles Are Coming!



Packets are being handed out with raffle tickets and information for each family. Both the Tiny House and Summer Getaway raffles are included so it's time to start selling! These prizes are way better than frozen pizzas, magazine subscriptions and wrapping paper so you'll have no problem finding buyers. 


Big thanks to Madeline Fan for her help securing the baseball and theater tickets.


We're asking each family to sell 10 Summer Getaway tickets ($5 each) and 2 Tiny House tickets ($20 each), but of course, we hope you'll sell more. 


Put cash and checks (made out to Hilltop Montessori) along with ticket stubs into the plastic bags we've provided and bring them to the front desk. 


More raffle tickets are available - remember that these raffles support our financial aid program, and the Tiny House raffle also supports Morningside Shelter.


Thanks for all you do for the school. 



Elementary Art News

Lower El:
Gallery Walk Wednesday: Come view your LE student's artwork from the year. It will be on display in the halls during the work share  Wednesday morning (4/10).  


For Upper El:
Gallery walk Thursday: Come view your UE student's artwork from the year on display in the halls after the play (4/11). 


Willow Room

At last, SPRING has arrived!! Snow pants hang sadly in the cubbies as the children race around the playground and industriously dig in the sandboxes. We've embraced the milder weather and enjoyed early spring walks this week. On our walks the children have been busy observing the changes in the woods and fields and hunting for signs of spring. Using their "nature detective" eyes, the children have spied buds on trees, birds in flight and young plant shoots emerging from the cold soil. They have also quietly listened to birdsong and felt the warmth of the spring sun on their faces.


April is Month of the Young Child. Hilltop is one of the schools participating in many of the activities during this month. The celebration kicks off with the children's art show at the River Garden on Saturday, April 6th from 10 - 12noon. All Children's House students have a piece of artwork on display. There will be snacks, arts and crafts activities, face painting and more so come and join the fun. If you can't make the opening don't worry, the exhibit will be at the River Garden for the whole month to enjoy. Be sure to check out the MOYC posters (hung outside our classroom doors) or the MOYC brochures (on the tables by our classroom doors) for more fun and free activities.


Enjoy your weekend together.


Melissa and Ellie


email the Willow Room


Birch Room 


You may have noticed that we've recently done a bit of re-arranging in our classroom. In observing the children and then looking at our environment we felt it was necessary to add another small table to accommodate those children who need to eat before they can focus on their work. We also added a bench at the door so that we could greet children at their level. We were feeling a bit like vultures in a tree looking down at the children prior to this change. This solution is a more personable and gentle way to say welcome!


Mariam, Sarah and I attended the Newport Montessori School Spring Symposium 2013 this past Friday. Speaker Jack Agati spoke about the Art of Encouragement. Claire Dooley gave and overview of the Art of Language and Dr. Lasagna Foliar engaged us in a lively discussion titled, "Culture Belongs to Everyone." It was an information packed day and we left with helpful tips to incorporate into our classrooms.


Easter treats have had their effect on the energy and focus of the children this week. Please keep those treats for after school time. Thank you.



Lower Elementary 


Every day in Lower El, we begin our circle with a greeting. Sometimes it's just an ordinary handshake, while other days we might do a "pinky shake."  Still another way we greet each other is with a "peace sandwich," with our two hands sandwiching the shaking hand of our neighbor. As we hold their hand between our two hands, we offer them a wish for the day: "I hope you get lots of work done;" "May you have a nice day;" "I hope you have a terrific day!" This ritual is an opportunity for us to start each morning in a positive way, with every individual having the opportunity to greet and be greeted. We practice looking our friends in the eye, waiting for them to speak before we take our turn, and greeting them in an audible voice. It is a pleasant bookend to our day, with our end-of-morning circle pulling us in for a calm and reflective period before lunch and recess.  

It's mud season outside, and we are celebrating with our ritual reminders: "Remember inside shoes!"  "Make sure you have extra clothes in your box!" and our personal favorite "It's still cold outside! Bring a jacket, mittens, and hat!" Even if the temperature is warm for one or two days, it may plummet again. One day, a sweatshirt is just right for the weather, but another day, a jacket may be necessary.

*** Parent Work Share is next Wednesday, April 10th***

Enjoy the sun and the warmer weather this weekend! 
Jessica, Kerstin, and Connie


Leah, Lucy and Elliot share a song

Julia says good morning to Raina


Conrad greets Lucy 




Upper Elementary 
We have been working feverishly on our play this week - writing scripts, working on music, painting scenery, etc. We look forward to presenting our play next Thursday, April 11 at 5:00 pm for parents and friends (with a 1 pm dress rehearsal if you can't make it at 5).

Middle School  


The Middle Schoolers are off on their amazing Alabama Odyssey and enjoying the red dirt. Keep track of their activities on their blog.


The day they left The Commons published a terrific article on their trip, and the beautiful quilt the students made as a gift to the Gee's Bend Quilters Collaborative.


Here's a link to the article (scroll to Section B, page 1): 




email the Middle School


Hilltop Montessori School