• Grandparents/Special Friends Day is Monday! 
  • Happy Thanksgiving!         No school Wed.-Fri. 
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Mark Your Calendar
Monday, November 25
  • Grandparents and Special Friends Day! 8:30-noon
    • Photographers from In-Sight Photography on hand to take studio-like photos of Grandparents/Special Friends with children. This is free and we encourage all to get a photo taken! 
    • 8:30-9:45 visit with children in classrooms 
    • 9:45-10:45 head to Middle School for coffee, treats and talk with Tamara, our new Head of School 
    • 11-11:45 All School Gathering  
  • MS Basketball: 3:15-4:45pm  

Tuesday, November 26   

  • Stone Soup Day for students 
  • CH/LE Spanish 3-4pm 
Wednesday, November 27-29 - Thanksgiving Break! 

Looking ahead...

Wednesday, December 4 -
Winter Sports Sign-Ups Due with Payment 

Thursday, December 19 - Upper El Museum

Save the Date! Friday, December 20 at noon dismissal, don't miss the very first "Hilltop Ginormous Cookie Swap/Sale and Snowflake Tricky Tray"

REMEMBER: To see events further in the future go to the calendar on our website. 
Thank You!
Thank you to Jen Betit-Engel, Tara Davis, Ross Gibson, Seth Harter, Kathryn Einig, Linda Schmidt, and Tamara for helping out on a Saturday to work on the Children's House playground. Thanks for giving up your Saturday for Hilltop! That's dedication!

Financial Aid
The SSS website for online financial aid applications is now open and the deadline to apply for next year is Jan 15, 2014. A Guide to Financial Aid pamphlet is available at the front desk.

Winter Sports
Think snow!

Sign ups for downhill skiing, snowboarding and ice skating have gone out to all families K through 8. Registration forms and payment are due to the front desk by Wednesday, Dec. 4.

Barn Update


Hilltop is going solar! The installation of our solar panels on the main building will begin over Thanksgiving Break!!!

Foard Panels have started going up on the old barn. The building committee is working on choosing siding. Work continues in siting the pumphouse and water tanks for the sprinkler system.

Leland Smith
Barn Committee

Birch Room

"Gratitude is the memory of the heart..." by Jean Baptiste Massieu
In this week prior to Stone Soup we focus even more on thankfulness and gratitude.  In our classroom the Montessori Gratitude Jar is an activity that can be a focus all year long to create an awareness and curiosity in a child about showing gratitude to others and what it means to be thankful.  This activity encourages a child to think about what he is thankful for and then communicate it in pictures first then written words.  Then the child can write out his own thoughts on a slip of paper or ask for assistance from an older child or adult.  

"The ability to feel true gratitude is a process.  As a young child is exposed to others expressing thankfulness and gratitude for the people and things in life through the use of a Gratitude Jar, it becomes a part of everyday life.  Soon, feelings of thankfulness become automatic and the written gratitude is replaced with immediate thankful verbal communication with another person.  As true gratitude is expressed to another, an honest feeling of happiness is achieved for both people."
-- Robert Emmons

Willow Room


It has been an amazing math week in our classroom. The children have been engaged in everything from counting to 10 with the sets basket to multiplication with the multiplication bead board. Here's some of the math work that's been keeping us busy:

  • Aiden working with the Binomial and Trinomial Cubes
  • August, Corbin, Delia, Hailey and Tucker building numbers with the Golden Bead Bank
  • Ava identifying numerals to 100
  • Ciana learning about place value with the 45 Layout
  • Avery learning about teens with the Teen Beads and Boards
  • Lila learning addition facts with the Addition Strip Board
  • Lydia and Max working with quantities 1 to 10 with the Bead Stair
  • Mark learning addition facts with the Addition Chart
  • Rhys learning multiplication facts with the Multiplication Bead Board
  • Senji exploring the bead chains
  • Talia practicing numeral formation


Hailey builds numbers with the
Golden Bead Bank

Ciana completes the 45 Layout

Senji works with the 5-squared chain

Many thanks again to Jen Betit-Engel for organizing and carrying out the CH playground workday last weekend! Pegboards are going to be so useful for organizing shovels, snowshoes, and sleds. And the Red House lives on with wooden reinforcements and a fresh coat of paint!


Please continue to send your child to school dressed for the weather. Coats, hats, mittens, warm boots, and snow pants, as necessary, are essential as the days become colder.


Looking forward to seeing Grandparents and Special Friends next Monday.

Melissa & Ellie




Lower Elementary
Some studies that LE is currently engaged in:

  • classifying triangles by side and angle
  • comparing the body functions of fish and amphibians
  • learning about adjectives
  • reviewing contractions and capital letters
  • how to take 1 away from 1000 with the golden beads
  • learning the reason for the seasons
  • becoming better readers!

To end our busy week, we took a trip to Amherst College's Bassett Planetarium to enhance our study of the sun and earth, and space in general.  Many thanks to our parent drivers Karen Blumberg, Ellen Garvey, Rebecca Fontaine, Rachel Zamore, Andrea Burke, Rita Ramirez, Leigh Marthe, and Amanda Rupard.  


Haytown Revelers

Studying the functions of a fish

Haytown Sweet Shoppe Owners

Chocolate Factory Employees

Leaf Grinder

Working on sketches for their big book

How to bind a book

See you on Monday, Grandparents and Special Friends Day!

Kerstin and Patrick

Upper Elementary



This week the fourth and fifth year students traveled down to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Students enjoyed a guided tour of the ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Roman galleries. After lunch, students continued to explore these galleries as well as galleries throughout the museum. Thank you so much to our drivers who spent the day with us.



To better understand topographic maps, students built mountains and valleys out of clay. They then used rising water levels to create two dimensional maps of their creations. This work connects to the students' exploration of watersheds as part of the Work of Water study.




Please join on Thursday, December 19 at 2 pm until dismissal for our Upper El Museum. Students will display their recent project work and answer your questions about their work. You can also visit the Museum on Friday morning from 8:30 to 9:00.


On Friday, December 20 the Upper El will host its annual Present Making Day. Students will have the opportunity to make several small hand crafts throughout the morning. We do need parents to run 'workshop' tables during the morning. Students will move from table to table throughout the morning, with generally five students at one workstation for about twenty to twenty-five minutes. Past crafts have included snow globes, candles, window stars, and pop-up cards. If you would like to be part of Present Making Day, please contact Tom.


Middle School

The middle school is deeply in the flow of exploring a sense of place. Throughout the week, students were conducting interviews and photo shoots of Brattleboro community members for their "Society Project" and continuing the primary source research for the "Before Our Time History Project". We also discussed, using a Barbara Kingsolver essay as a catalyst, how poverty, homelessness, and economic disparity in Brattleboro also define place. On Monday, in between grandparents and special friends, we are baking fifty apple pies that we will share with Morningside Shelter, several of the local soup kitchens, and the Drop In Center. 

Community News

Helen Schmidt, interim Director of Children's Programs at River Gallery School (and Tula's mom!), has asked us to share an exciting announcement.


The River Gallery School has received a grant that enables us to offer full and partial scholarships to students for our upcoming short course and spring term enrollment.  We will work with each family to determine what they can pay towards the cost of the six-week short course in December and January or the fifteen-week spring class starting in February.


Our midterm course runs for six classes from December 2nd to January 24th.

The fifteen-week spring semester course runs from February 3 to May 26th.


This is a wonderful opportunity for students who might not otherwise be able to take advantage of high quality art programming in a safe and nurturing environment. We would love to have as many students as possible be able to benefit from this opportunity. For more information, please contact the River Gallery School.


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