Enjoy the snow!

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Mark Your Calendar
Our first week back will be a make-up week for any After School Program that missed a day.
The new Schedule of After School Programs starts the week of March 3rd - See below. 

Monday - Friday, February 17 - 21 -- Winter Break

Monday, February 24: Teacher In-Service Day, No school

Tuesday, February 25: Classes resume

Wednesday, February 26
  • Make-up Beginning French: 3 - 4 pm
Thursday, February 27
  • Winter Sports Make Up Day (No All School Gathering) All School Gathering resumes next week, Thursday, March 6   

Friday, February 28

  • Make-up Ukelele class: 3 - 4 pm 

Coming Up...

Tuesday, March 11 - Curriculum Night 6-8 pm What is this "Montessori Peace Curriculum"? Join staff for an enlightening evening on Hilltop's Peace Curriculum and how it is implemented at each age and stage of our programs. All family pot luck beforehand. Watch for upcoming emails for more details.

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.
After School Programs

We have the new offerings of programs for March and April ready to go! Because of the snow days, we could not get the papers to families, but please review the options with your student(s) and see what fun activities might extend their day! We will have sign-up forms available when school starts up again on Tuesday, Feb. 25th.

Program start time is 3:00 pm unless otherwise noted. This session of programs take place from March to April break. Programs are not held when school is not in session.

All forms with payment are due by February 27th at the Front Desk.

Children's House (Ages 4+) & Lower El with Elissa McLean - $85,
Mondays, 3/3 thru 4/7, program ends at 4:00 (5 classes)
This class is a fun, engaging, student-centered introduction to the Spanish language. The focus is on developing fluency with the most frequently used words and phrases in Spanish through fun and quirky stories, games, personalized discussion and comprehensible, repetitive Spanish. Instructor Information: Elissa McLean is the founder and director of Escuelita Spanish School, offering innovative and effective Spanish programs to students of all ages. She holds a Masters in Education from Harvard University's Graduate School of Education and is a certified Pre-K-12 Spanish teacher. www.EscuelitaSpanishSchool.org

Mindfuness and the Science of the Mind -
Upper El and Middle School with Amir Flesher - $75
Tuesdays 3/7 thru 4/8; program ends at 4:00 (6 classes)
Have you ever felt a lot of stress, speaking in public, being on stage, doing your best at sports, or conflicts with family or friends?  Have you ever found it hard to concentrate, understand why other people do things, or even to understand why you feel the way you do? Practicing mindfulness-- the moment-to-moment awareness of our sensations, perceptions, thoughts, and feelings--is like having a user's manual for our minds that can help us navigate through all of the these joys and challenges in order to tap into the mind's natural state of ease.  If you would like to explore developing this reservoir of ease within yourself through direct practices including various mindfulness techniques, quiet time spent in nature, and other avenues suited to the interests of the class (like movement or poetry) then give the class a try. You can learn more about Mr. Flesher by checking out his website at: mindfulnessteacher.org

Pottery -
Middle School with Shari Zabriskie - $175
Program runs 3:30 - 5:30 with pick up at Clay Works. (6 classes)
Pottery will be held off site at Brattleboro Clayworks on Putney Road.  This class will focus on the techniques required for making pottery on the wheel. Wedging, centering and pulling up cylinders will be explored in a fun, creative and supportive environment.  Given the difficulties involved in learning the first stages of this craft, we will focus on the process, the practice, and the repetition. Students will gain an understanding of the process of making wheel-thrown pots, a hands on experience with clay and the potter's wheel and a deeper appreciation of this hand craft.  Finished projects will be glazed and fired and returned to the student's after the end of session. To see the type of work that Shari does, visit her web site. http://sharizabriskie.com/

Fire and Stone -
Lower El and Upper El with the Vermont Wilderness School- $75
Wednesdays, 3/5 thru 4/9; program ends at 4:00 (6 classes)
Explore the woods and fields of the Hilltop campus and learn ancient survival skills. Become at home in the forest exploring the fens, storytelling in the labyrinth, tracking wild animals, making fire by friction, and more.

Drum Circle -
All Ages with Jay Cook - $75
Thursdays, 3/6 thru 4/10; program ends at 4:00 (6 classes)
Jay's percussion ensemble workshops are energizing, fun, and "hands-on".  Students will experience playing African and African-style hand drums, marimba, bells and shakers. This class explores drumming technique, traditional rhythms and improvisation, as well as the cultural context of the music. Everyone should be prepared to jam!

Jr. Bakery -
All Ages with Vicky Senni Dibe - $75
Fridays, 3/7 thru 4/11; program ends at 4:00 (6 classes)
Come have fun in the kitchen with food science experiments, pie poetry, sun bread, and other handmade doughs.  Mold, spice, bake, and take home new ideas, recipes, and all sorts of goodies!

Ukulele -
Lower El and Upper El with Laura Goldblatt - $75
Fridays, 3/7 thru 4/11; program ends at 4:00 (6 classes)
In six weeks children will learn basic chords, how to tune the instrument using a tuner, six songs strummed and sung, and give a celebratory, sing-along performance for families at the end! This is a class for children who are brand-new to the instrument.

Notes from Tamara

It has been wonderful to see re-enrollment contracts coming in this week, demonstrating Hilltop Montessori School families continuing to value and commit to the educational experience we provide. The American Montessori Society just produced a video (with footage from the Princeton Montessori School where I took my Montessori training) that provides a warm confirmation of a families' decision to choose a Montessori school for their child:

Then, in case you haven't seen it, here is a link to the video recently produced for Hilltop Montessori School.

HIlltop Montessori

Enjoy the February break!

Thanks this weeks goes to Anna Berry who came out on a cold Gallery Walk night to help represent Hilltop at the River Garden for the Strolling of the Heifers' Valentine Making event.

Thanks also to all the parents who made time to come to the Upper El poetry performance. Your presence was so appreciated!

We appreciate everyone's cooperation and patience for drop-off and pick-up with the gate closed for the trusses installation. The driveway situation should be back to normal when we return after break. Wonderful to see such great progress on the barn!

Sign Up for Childcare on Parent Conference Day, March 28
Sign up now! Only a few spaces left for the BEEC nature program during March conferences; signup sheet at the front desk. 

We may not know what the weather will be, but we'll have hours of fun as we play and learn in the fields and forests of the Hilltop campus 
Friday March 28, 8:30 - 12:00, during teacher conference day.

Come investigate the natural world around us through games, activities and exploration lead by staff from the Bonnyvale Environmental Education Center.

Birch Room


The Birch room has been bursting with activity! It has been very gratifying observing the older children "stepping up" to give or assist their younger classmates with lessons. It is through these observations that we learn who has internalized concepts and is able to assist another in their understanding of those lessons.



The olders are also quite confident in their new reading ability. Some even feel comfortable enough to read on circle or to a small group of friends.


 Our two new friends, Minjae and Natalie, are happily settling into their new environment. They are full of curiosity, move about with confidence, and are making many new friends.




Middle School
Sometimes at lunch it is just a hair affair.

Performance - Puppet Workshop

Song Writers at work

A new song is born.

Community News

Songs of Divine Chemistry: Sunday, February 16, 4 pm, Centre Congregational Church, Brattleboro, VT Music and libretto by Paul Dedell, Music direction by Susan Dedell

Where does love come from?  Is it wholly a construct of the human mind?  A mixture of neurochemicals triggered by environmental and genetic factors? Or does it emanate from the ineffable spheres of spirit? Composer Paul Dedell explores these questions in his spectacular choral work, Songs of Divine Chemistry. Alternating the insights of the worlds great mystics with scientific writings on neuroplasticity, Songs of Divine Chemistry probes the realms of human and divine love -- finding an intersection of ideas that are both surprising and revelatory.

Music Director Susan Dedell leads Winged Voices, the Jubilee Girl's Choir, the Limbic System Percussion Ensemble, and Matt Hensrud, tenor, in a highly charged performance of this stunning piece on Sunday, February 16, at 4 p.m. The performance will take place at Centre Congregational Church, Brattlboro, VT.  For more information, call 348-7735.


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