Remember Moving Up Night is Tuesday at 7pm for parents whose students are moving up to a new program. All are welcome to attend and sign up for childcare at the front desk.
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Mark Your Calendar
Monday, February 3
  • Spanish (4+ and first grade): 3 - 4 pm 
  • MS Basketball: 3:15 - 4:45 pm 
Tuesday, February 4
  • Drum Circle: 3 - 4 pm  
  • Moving Up Night! 7pm. For current parents moving up to a new program and prospective parents of students applying to the school. A presentation by the program directors and teaching teams with a question and answer session to follow. RSVP by contacting the Admissions Office, 257-0500 ext 101.
Wednesday, February 5
  • Lower El Workshare 8:30 - 9 am
  • Bagel Lunch
  • Beginning French: 3 - 4 pm  
Thursday, February 6
  • Winter Sports (No All School Gathering) 
Friday, January 31
  • Pizza Lunch 
  • Junior Bakers: 3 - 4 pm
  • Ukelele: 3 - 4 pm 
  • MS Basketball: 3:15 - 4:45 pm   
  • Kid's Night Out: 5 - 9pm, sign up at the front desk or email the MS 
Coming Up...

Girls on the Run Sign Up:
If your 3rd-5th grade daughter would like to participate in this after school program, sign up for Hilltop's team on-line. This year, Girls on the Run will meet on Wednesdays and Fridays starting on March 12th from 3-4:30pm. The cost for the 12 week program is $80. Girls must bring a healthy snack, water bottle, shoes, and dress for the weather.To register: Go to at the bar at the top, click on "participant registration". Click on "HERE" for registration for locations attending the Brattleboro 5k. Choose Hilltop as the location.Contact GOTR directly to discuss financial aid.  Scholarships are available on a need basis Click here for more information about the Girls on the Run program.

Monday, February 10 - Parent Education Program "Navigating Social Media and Electronics Use"
8:30-9:30 am and 7-8 pm
Karen Blumberg, Lower El parent to Ben Berg and experienced Social Skills Counselor, will present and lead a discussion about how we as families can support our children in the new arena of social networking and accessible technologies. For many of us, our children are living in an electronic world less-familiar to us. How can we give them the tools to manage their behavior and reactions productively? Sign up at the front desk. Childcare available for the evening session, reserve a space at the front desk.

Tuesday, March 11 - Curriculum Night 6-8 pm What is this "Montessori Peace Curriculum" that we hear talked about? For many families, this component of a Montessori education is a mystery. Come hear what the Peace Curriculum is and how it is implemented at each age and stage of our programs. The evening will conclude with guest speaker, Karen Blumberg (see bio  below in Parent Ed article) speaking on how to reinforce this approach at home. Pizza and childcare for provided for kids.

Friday, March 28th - Hilltop Family Dinner and Contra Dance at the Dummerston Grange with very special musical hosts and Middle School parents, Keith Murphy and Becky Tracy. Join us celebrate going solar with song and dance.

REMEMBER: To see events further in the future go to the calendar on our website.
Important Notice Regarding Campus Traffic and Construction!


We have walls and... the trusses are here, the trusses are here! The building is going to take shape in front of our eyes these next few weeks.

This exciting building project does come with a few inconveniences. At the end of next week the gate to the parking lot will be closed ALL DAY. We ask for your patience and cooperation on these days. For the morning drop off, we will have staff on hand at the circle to escort Children's House students to the playground. If you must escort your child, you will have to pull all the way around the circle and park - briefly, please!

Then, for Children's House pick-up, next Thursday and Friday, the afternoon Children's House dismissal will be at 2:45 sharp in the circle. Hopefully, this will alleviate some of the traffic in the circle for Elementary and Middle School pick up at 3pm.

We'll be sending a reminder email next week with more details. Again, thank you for your patience!

Notes from Tamara

Two Important Documents from Hilltop Today!

Somewhat coincidentally, two official documents are going home today:

1) Progress Reports - Elementary and Middle School students will all receive progress reports. The teachers spend a great deal of time reviewing and documenting the progress of each student. This proves worthwhile both in considering the individual child and the class as a whole. If you have any questions about your child after reading the report, please do not hesitate to contact the teachers to set up a meeting. 

If you have any comments or suggestions for the format of the reports, please contact me, Dan or Paul. The main purpose of these reports is to communicate strengths and goals to you, the families. We are always evaluating our programs and communication and looking for ways to improve, progress reports included.

2) Re-Enrollment Contracts - All students (except for our graduating 8th graders) will receive a re-enrollment package. The package for this year includes a couple of changes. Most notably, all required fees will be included in tuition! There is a tuition deposit that replaces the former "Enrollment Fee" and this will be credited to the last tuition payment. These contracts are due back ASAP, or by Feb. 14th, so that we can move forward on acceptances for new students and planning for next year. As the papers note, please let us know if you have ANY questions or comments about the contracts, or considerations for your child's education for next year.

These documents are going home today in one envelope to each family. At dismissal, we will be trying to put one into the hands of an adult. :)



Drop In Center Accepts Our Gift
Tamara was pleased to present Lucie Fortier, Director of the Brattleboro Drop In Center, with a check for $300 at the Middle School's Society Project Film Premiere at the Brattleboro Museum. The money was raised by Hilltop Families at the Ginormous Cookie Swap in December. Who knew cookies could make a difference?!

Sign Up for Childcare on Parent Conference Day, March 28
Exciting nature activity offered on Conference Day, March 28th

Friday, March 28th, (No School) 8:30 - 12:00 Cost: $25

Brattleboro Environmental Education Center (BEEC) will lead our children in a morning of science and nature-based activities. Please email Ann or stop by the Front Desk to sign up by Friday, February 14th, for your child to participate in this fun activity.

(Childcare during your conference time will be free of charge.  Afternoon childcare from noon until 5pm will be available at the regular rate of $7.50 per hour.)

Great Big Thanks to Sutton-Smith family for donating four sleds to the elementary classrooms! Cow - a - bung -gahhhhhh!

Basketball Fever!

The Hilltop Middle School basketball team is closing out their schedule with their best overall team efforts of the season.On Monday night the Hilltoppers used a balanced scoring attack and clutch defensive plays to hold off the Keene Waldorf School cagers in a thriller, 38-34. 


The Hilltop squad will play its final game against St. Michael's on February 7 at the Austine School gym.   


Team members include Ian Fenn, Emmanuel Keppel, Zack James, Mac Kelley, Izzy Snyder, Jeremy West, Aidan Murphy, and Alex Lier and are coached by Patrick Keppel.


Birch Room

While teaching music in Children's House, Jay's goals are to develop singing tone (lots of songs- maybe you've heard some of them at home?), rhythmic skills (clap patterns and rhythm sticks) and movement (many dances, and of course, "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes", among other timeless tunes.) Jay also likes to inspire creativity and improvisation: a favorite time with Jay is the sharing of songs students have created on their own. Most of all, there is a sense of fun in Jay's time with the Children's House. Though it often means working hard to develop a skill, there's much joy in creating and playing music!




Willow Room

Exciting News Flash from Willow Room
Our Olders have published their first books!

When we returned to school in January the Olders began learning about how to write a story.  We read the story, The Mouse that Jack Built by Cyndy Szekeres, at Olders' circle.  Then working together we dissected the story into three parts, the beginning, the middle and the end.  We identified characters and different elements in each part.  Now the children were ready to write their own stories about a snowman. 

First a rough draft was written and illustrated followed by conferencing with the teacher.  Editing was introduced and final copies were drafted.  At last it was time to illustrate and publish the stories.  Many of the Olders chose to display their books in the classroom library to share with their friends.

Enjoy the weekend together!

Melissa and Ellie

Lower El
This week in Lower El found us busy, once again, with many exciting studies. 
Here are some highlights:

  • The Clock of Eons transformed into the Timeline of Eons, which "stretched" into large and beautiful charts that we will use to study the changes life has undergone since it first appeared on Earth. 
  • The History of Bread, a Fundamental Needs lesson,  led us on a tour of the "staff of life" as it changed through time, and we baked our first loaf to share at snack time.
  • Measurement work featured weight and temperature, and practice with both.
  • Peace studies included a discussion of how we can make someone's day better by a simple act, or a kind word, and resulted in many good ideas from the children. These good ideas were put into practice with our "peace fortunes." Giving and receiving a thoughtful, heartfelt compliment was practiced, too.  
  • Our Thirds began their long-awaited atlas work, which will have them creating many different kinds of maps of the various continents of the world.  
Housekeeping Items:

MISSING: one white wool balaclava, owned by Solomon Ponzio, and missing since the second winter sports trip to Mount Snow.  If it has fallen into the wrong backpack, please return it asap to Lower El.  Thank you!

Thank you to Andrea Burke and Robyn Ostrander for volunteering to wash our dust cloths and work rugs.  Your extra care of our environment makes a big difference!  

Happy Weekend!
Kerstin and Patrick

Upper El
Elect hydrogen for President! No! Vote for helium! Is your boat rusting? Don't worry, super detective zinc is on the case!

Students are deep into their element studies and figuring out how to best share the information they have gathered. Election campaigns, comic strips, magazine interviews, and skits are all being created by students to share their learning with one another. Somehow, there are wigs involved!

Students have also been busy revising their poems as they prepare for the Poetry Performance on Wednesday, February 12, at 1:30. Next week, students will begin to compose music to accompany their poems. 

If you should have questions or concerns about your child's progress reports, please let us know so that we can set up a time to meet. Thank you!

Middle School

During the bitter cold of last week, the Middle School once again trekked to our home away from home, Upland. The thermometer peaked at fifteen degrees, which was comparatively balmy compared to the dangerous temperatures on top of Mt. Snow where many of the students were scheduled to be that day. The experience in Upland included the mandatory consumption of S'mores made on the fire and overall fun and frolic. It was wonderful to see our outdoor campus cloaked in snow. When we last left it in late October, there were few leaves left on the trees.  



On Monday morning we hosted Jackie Trepanier from the Brattleboro Justice Center. The center is staffed by a number of individuals who volunteer their time to bring a different understanding of justice to the legal system. We spent the morning exploring what restorative justice is and attempting to put it into practice by applying it to a community issue, namely the misuse of the kitchen. We are continuing our exploration of conflict next Monday with a visit from Anna of the Women's Freedom Center. Our focus will be on domestic abuse and gender inequality. On Tuesday morning a panel of veterans from the Brattleboro American Legion are arriving to talk to us about service and their wartime experiences.



Students are hard at work creating their own personal representation of peace films. The films originate with an original poem or song and grow from there. The plan is to have a screening next Friday morning and then post the finished films on the Hilltop website.


Enjoy the weekend!


Community News
"Green Mountain Care: The end of employer-sponsored health care" will be held at Marlboro College Graduate School in Brattleboro on Tuesday, February 11, from
12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.The workshop is free, but please register. Leading the workshop will be Craig Miskovitch. Craig teaches in the Marlboro College School for Graduate and Professional Studies. He advises hospitals and health systems, nursing facilities, health maintenance organizations and other healthcare providers in Vermont and New Hampshire in healthcare matters.This event is part of a Tuesday lunchtime MIX (Management Ideas Exchange) workshop series. MIX is a free monthly networking opportunity sponsored by the nonprofit, business and healthcare managements program at Marlboro College Graduate School.  
For more information, contact Ariel Brooks at [email protected].

BEEC's Winter Explorers Vacation Camp
February 17th - 20th9am - 3pm
Come for one day or all four! All kids grades 1 - 4!

Monday February 17th ~ Art for Animals

Tuesday February 18th ~ Tracking the Delirious Duck

Wednesday February 19th ~ Lessons from the Frozen Forest

Thursday February 20th ~ My Side of the Mountain

Members: $35/day, $120/week
Non-members: $45/day, $160/week
On-line registration is open at  For more information and scholarship inquiries please call 802-257-5785 or email [email protected].

River Gallery School new session starting soon!
Classes for our Winter/ Spring semester run February 3-May 30th (15 weeks), and midterm enrollment is also an option. Scholarships available. Visit their website for more info.

Harris Hill Ski Jump is looking for volunteers. This year's jump will be happening on February 15 and 16th. If you are interested, get in touch with Children's House parent, Kathryn Einig. If you're not familiar with this quintessential Brattleboro event, you are in for a treat. Visit the Harris Hill website for more information and discounted tickets.
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