Don't miss the Middle School Performance! 
Shows on March 6 and 7 at 7pm and March 10 at 10am

Next session of after school activities starts next week.

Enjoying the snow!
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Mark Your Calendar

Monday, March 3
  • Contra Dance Organizing Committee Meeting: 8:30 am in the kitchen  
  • Spanish (4+ and first grade): 3 - 4 pm 
Tuesday, March 4
  • Fire and Stone: 3 - 4 pm
  • Mindfulness and the Science of the Mind: 3 - 4 pm
Wednesday, March 5
  • Bagel Lunch
  • Girls on the Run: 3 - 4:30 pm 
  • Pottery for Middle School: 3:30 - 5:30 pm
Thursday, March 6
  • All School Gathering: 8:45 - 9:15 am, Coffee for parents beforehand 
  • Drum Circle: 3 - 4 pm
  • Middle School Performance: 7pm in the Middle School
Friday, March 7
  • Pizza Lunch
  • Junior Bakers: 3 - 4pm
  • Ukelele: 3 - 4pm
  • Girls on the Run: 3 - 4 pm 
  • Middle School Performance: 7pm in the Middle School


Coming Up...

Monday, March 10:
 Middle School Performance: 10 am
and Hilltop Night at the Overflow Shelter

Tuesday, March 11 - Curriculum Night 5 - 7:30 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. Family pot-luck from 5 - 5:30. We'll provide pizza, you bring a salad or side. See you then!

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.
March 27, 28 Parent Conferences

Conference Sign up Program:  

Every family should have received an email inviting then to use "VolunteerSpot" to sign up for the 

March 27th and 28th conferences. We are using this online service in response to your suggestions and it already seems to be a huge success. If you did not see a message, please check your Junk Mail Folder. It might be there from [email protected].


Please sign up for your conference by using the link in your conference invitation email.  If the time you need isn't available, try the "swap" function.  VolunteerSpot will send an email to that person asking if they are willing to swap times. You can also have them add the time to your online calendar. 

Please email Ann or stop by the front desk to give feedback on VolunteerSpot.  
If this works well for our community we may expand its use for events and volunteering opportunities.
 We do offer childcare both conference days and you can sign up at the front desk. Care during your conference is free; otherwise childcare is billed at the usual rate of $7.50 per hour. There is childcare on Friday morning if needed, separate from the BEEC program, and will be billed at the same rate.


The BEEC program will be held at the Hilltop campus on Friday morning, March 28th and children will not be travelling to BEEC. There is a full roster of children signed up, but they can accommodate more if you would like to be added!


Notes from Tamara


New Employment Openings at Hilltop for next year


We are starting to plan for the needs of next year! With all the returning contracts and new students applying, we will continue to build and grow our programs. With the Toddler Program, more After School Programs, increased use of After-Care, and the completion of our new Arts Barn, we will have a need for more staff. We also will need to fill the shoes of Connie Rugg-Damery who is going to try to retire from Hilltop a second time. This time, we might have to let her, though it will be impossible to find her combination of skills, experience, dedication and modesty. In fact, we are thinking it will take two people to replace her! We will miss Connie.
We will not know our exact needs until enrollment is set, but we would like to begin identifying and interviewing candidates. Some candidates may be in-house and some from outside. Please see the employment section of the Hilltop website for more details. Here is a quick list of the positions we expect to need to fill.

Children's House Assistant

Toddler Program Assistant

Learning Specialist

Teacher Assistant/Substitute

After-Care Teacher for Older Students

After-Care Teacher for Younger Students

Facilities Caretaker
After School Programs
Thank you for your quick response to our ASP offerings! As of now, all programs have sufficient enrollment to be a go, except pottery for the Middle School group.  We need 4 students to be able to offer this wonderful opportunity with potter, Shari Zabriskie. 
Please let Ann know if you are interested. And it's not too late to add your name to the new "Mindfulness and the Science of the Mind" for Middle School and Upper Elementary students. 


In response to your enthusiastic feedback, we are hoping to offer French again in our last ASP session of the year. (Where has the time gone?!) Also up next session will be: tennis, the return of Historical Fencing, Mountain Biking, Gardening with Cheryl and Ultimate Frisbee!


Development News
We are applying for a few grants this spring. One is with the New England Grassroots Environmental Fund. This grant would help the Middle School build a garden space in their front yard. Check out the video we made as part of the grant application and learn about the Middle School's plan.
Garden Grant
Garden Grant Video
We've also applied to the Henderson Foundation for funds to help launch our Toddler Program. We'll let you know the results of these grants when we receive word.
Birch Room
The Birch Room children are making a blanket for their classmate Jade. Jade is recovering from surgery at home. We are looking forward to Jade's return next week!




SEEKING A CLASSROOM CAMERA: Do you have a slightly older, but still working, camera that Children's House could have?  We are in need of one so we can take pictures for our weekly newsletter.
Willow Room

Welcome back! We've had a nice week together after returning from break. Sewing and woodworking have been areas of particular interest in Practical Life. There are a variety of sewing works on the shelf from sewing cards and needlepoint to making a drawstring pouch. At the woodworking table, there are materials to sand, assemble, and paint a toy airplane. These activities lend themselves well to long periods of concentration, focus, and persistence - important skills for lifelong learners!




Thursday marked the end of another very successful skating season! Many, many thanks to our chaperones: Sarah Armour-Jones, Rebecca Fontaine, Jean Gibson, Amanda Rupard, Linda Schmidt, and Jessica Turner.


Pottery with Bonnie Stearns will begin next Thursday, March 6. Olders will spend 5 Thursday afternoons at her studio on Hillcrest Terrace creating a variety of pottery pieces.


Willow Room is hosting a student, Kebrina Howard, from the Career Center. She'll be visiting 2 mornings each week through the beginning of April to learn more about early childhood development and education.


Enjoy the weekend together.

Melissa and Ellie 

Lower El
Our week got off to a lively start, as we exchanged Valentine cards on Tuesday.  The winter sports program ended this week.  There has been much happy conversation centered around this program.  Children look forward to it and return with stories about their thrilling spills and the improvements they have made in their activity.  Although the winter sports program takes the children away from the classroom, there is still much learning being done on the ice, in the field, and on the slopes!
Timeline of Life projects are still in full swing.  Life-sized creatures are being created in the Art room, with Dan's guidance.  In the LE classroom, younger students are drawing their own Paleozoic Era background, and cutting and pasting the appropriate creatures onto their scene. 
Other children are following the appearance of plants on Earth - when they first arrived, and how they evolved.  Some of those earliest plants are still with us today.   
Thirds are working on their atlases, creating, among other things, language maps and biome maps of various continents.  
We baked our second loaf of bread this week, as part of our Fundamental Needs study: gluten-free spelt bread.  It was nice to have the opportunity to "break bread" together at group snack on Friday.  
Housekeeping Items; 
INDOOR SHOES: Some children still do not have indoor shoes to wear when they come in from recess.  Every child must have a pair to wear, in order that their feet are warm and comfortable, and to preserve our carpets.  
BOOK EXCHANGE: If your child has books from school at home, please help them remember to return them.  We would love to exchange them for new books!
SEEKING A CLASSROOM CAMERA: Do you have a slightly older, but still working, camera that LE could have?  We are in need of one so we can take pictures for our weekly newsletter.
CD PLAYER: Anyone have a spare CD player for our classroom.  
LAUNDRY: Our work rugs and dust cloths, and, on occasion, or cushion covers could use washing.  If you are interested, send us a note, or stop by.  Thank you!
Students got a Contra Dance lesson with Keith Murphy, who will be playing for our Hilltop Family Contra Dance on Friday evening, March 28th. Ask your child for a lesson!
Have a good weekend!
Kerstin and Patrick
Upper El

Welcome back after our extended February break this week. Here are some highlights of the week in Upper El:


  • All students began new lit and seminar books. Fourth and fifth grade students are reading either The Westing Game or Holes. Sixths have begun Across Five Aprils, which will dovetail with our new American History unit, the Civil War.
  • As part of their study of the Silk Road and economic geography, fourth and fifth-year students engaged in a trade simulation in which they sold goods from an assigned home country to traders from other countries. Students had to calculate the cost per unit of the items being sold, as well as determine the resale value of the items they were buying. They also began studies of the different religions along the Silk Road.
  • In art, students examined the similarities and differences between the temples and churches of different faiths.
  • Because of snow days prior to the break, students this week presented their earlier research on chemical elements. We have seen skits, interviews, a presidential election between two elements, a court case regarding mercury poisoning, and some lovely brochures and posters.
  • The chemistry study serves as a precursor to botany, which will occupy the fourths and fifths for the duration of the school year. In addition to some intro lessons here, the fourths began researching what we need to create two new terrariums in the room.
  • Sixths will continue their examination of the human body. Ask your sixth grader about a fecal transplant!
  • Sixth graders have also begun outside research for their independent study projects. Parents can support them by making a trip to the library for books, and discussing the project with your child.


Thank you to Keith Murphy, parent of middle schooler Aidan Murphy, for coming in a dancing with us on Friday morning. We are getting excited for the March 28 Hilltop Contra Dance at Dummerston Grange!


We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible on Tuesday, March 11, for curriculum night.


Here are a few photos from the Upper El Poetry Performances.




Middle School
The Middle School will present their performance next Thursday and Friday, March 6 and 7 at 7pm in the Middle School and again on Monday, March 10th at 10 am. Here is a sneak peek...

Community News
Got Tweens & Teens? 
Free Parenting Workshop
Parenting Teens Wisely

Do you want to learn how to problem solve with your teen, encourage cooperation, how to listen and be heard, and to develop fair and effective discipline skills? On MondayMarch 3rd from 6 to 9 PM a FREE Parenting Teens Wisely class will be offered by the Brattleboro Area Prevention Coalition (BAPC) at the Marlboro College Graduate Center at 28 Vernon St. in Brattleboro.

This free 3 hour workshop teaches parents skills and techniques to help them better understand and deal with their children ages 10 to 19. All participants will receive a Parenting Teens Wisely workbook, a parent resource packet, and a certificate of completion. Snacks will also be provided.

Space is limited. Register by calling BAPC at 802-257-2175 or 
email [email protected].

Also being offered: 
The award-winning parenting class:  
Guiding Good Choices 
For parents/ care givers for 4th through 8th graders.

Guiding Good Choices is a free five session parenting workshop that covers how to set clear guidelines with both positive and negative consequences, how to control and express anger constructively, promote family bonds and prepare kids with "refusal" skills for that time down the road when trouble may tempt them. 

The course begins Tuesday, April 1st from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. and will be held every Tuesday through May 6th. *No class on April 15th due to school vacation.

*Childcare and dinner will be provided.  
*Stipend of $65 will be given to class participants 
that complete all five weeks. 
Classes will be held at:
Marlboro College Graduate Center
 28 Vernon St. in Brattleboro

Space is limited. Register by calling BAPC at 802-257-2175 or 
email [email protected].
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