Parents and Friends! Hard hat tour of the Arts Barn next Friday, March 21 at 3pm. Meet at the front desk. Come see the progress - you won't want to miss this. See you then!

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Mark Your Calendar

Monday, March 17
  • Contra Dance Organizing Committee Meeting: 8:30 am in the kitchen  
  • Spanish (4+ and first grade): 3 - 4 pm 
Tuesday, March 18
  • Fire and Stone: 3 - 4 pm
  • Mindfulness and the Science of the Mind: 3 - 4 pm
Wednesday, March 19
  • Children's House Parent Visit: 8:30 - 9:15 
  • Bagel Lunch
  • Girls on the Run: 3 - 4:30 pm  
  • Hilltop Board Meeting: 6 - 9 pm 
Thursday, March 20
  • All School Gathering: 8:45 - 9:15 am, Coffee for parents beforehand 
  • Drum Circle: 3 - 4 pm
Friday, March 21
  • Pizza Lunch
  • Hard hat tour of the Arts Barn: 3pm meet at the front desk 
  • Junior Bakers: 3 - 4 pm
  • Ukelele: 3 - 4 pm
  • Girls on the Run: 3 - 4 pm
Coming Up...

Kids Night Out

Next Friday, March 21st and Friday, April 4th  

Do you want to have a fun night out on the town? Are you having a hard time finding a babysitter? Do you want your kids to have just as much fun as you do while you're out? Drop your child/children off at the Hilltop Montessori Middle School anywhere between 5:30-9:30 on Friday, March 21st or Friday, April 4th to have a night of fun and games with our responsible middle school babysitters.


There will be fun, games, crafts, and tons more! At least one certified babysitter and one adult will be there. We will provide snacks, but in addition please pack a nutritious dinner or feed your child before you come. This fun night for you and your kids costs only $6.00 an hour and $4.00 an hour for each additional child. All proceeds from Kids Night Out go to the Hilltop Montessori Middle School Odyssey fund. Our Odyssey is coming right up, so your support really helps!


If you are interested, or have any questions, please email us at [email protected] We only have 15 spots, so don't wait, sign up now!

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 to celebrate going solar with song and dance. We're looking for a few strong volunteer helpers. Email Rebecca if you can help either on Thursday, March 27th with decorating and/or cooking, or on Friday with ticket sales and/or clean up. Tickets on sale NOW!!! Available at the front desk.

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

We were thrilled with the turnout for Curriculum Night!   

More than 60 adults joined us to hear about how we implement the peace curriculum from Children's House through Middle School. We started out with a wonderful shared dinner including the children. (I know I've moved to Vermont - I've never has so many delicious kale salads!!) Then the children (30+!) went off to enjoy playing with Middle Schoolers or watching Dolphin Tale.


For the program, we focused mostly on the social and conflict resolution components of the curriculum - starting off with words from the children captured in this quick video:

Then each program did an activity/presentation of a component of the curriculum at that level:

Children's House - Peace Works - from "making silence" to the conflict resolution at the Peace Table
Lower Elementary - Why and how to use "I statements" role playing activity
Upper Elementary - "Community Meetings" that went "live" with parents brainstorming and sharing solutions to real issues they wanted to bring up!
Middle School - a group activity to define Peace
Admin - How families can partner with the school to support children developing the skills of taking responsibility for their own happiness, advocating for themselves, reflective listening and becoming leaders in social problem solving.  

In the course of the evening there were a few books mentioned. Some of you were interested in the titles:

The Peace Rose (out of print - Cheryl's copy might be a collectors item!)

We thank you so much for joining us. The teachers and staff put a great deal of thought and time into these nights and it is so rewarding to have such a great audience!!

Barn Update
Please join us for the first of several "Hard Hat Tours" of the Arts Barn on Friday, March 21st. We'll meet at 3pm in the front lobby. We know you must be curious!

Birch Room

A big thank-you for coming to our Peace Curriculum Evening!


During the course of the evening the teachers discussed Peace Curriculum goals and ways in which they accomplish those goals. One particular focus was conflict resolution. The Peace Place is an area in the prepared environment where the disputing children can go to calmly express their feelings to each other and reach an amicable agreement on their own. Cheryl and Ellie demonstrated how this area is used in our classrooms.



"No one is claiming that the Peace Rose or other Peace works will ultimately lead to a peaceful world.. but it can lead children to reject violent means of settling disputes. If our youngest citizens form the habit of resolving conflicts peacefully it is possible they will become more peaceful adults who, hopefully, will work toward a more peaceful world." By Alicia Jewell



Willow Room


Even though Willow Room has been plagued with illness, we have shared lots of smiles and laughter this week.  Runny noses and nasty coughs have provided us with multiple opportunities for practical life lessons in care of self.  Teachers and children help remind each other to "catch a cough" in your elbow, use a tissue to wipe your nose and WASH hands thoroughly.


It's Maple Sugaring time and we're looking forward to learning about the sugaring process.  On Thursday April 10th we will journey to Lilac Ridge Farm with the Birch Room to peek into sap buckets, spy tubing in the woods, visit the sap house and the sugarhouse and sample some delicious syrup!  Please reserve the date on your calendar if you can help drive or chaperone.


On Wednesday, March 19th, from 8:30 to 9:15 the Children's House will host parent classroom visits.  It's a great opportunity to see what your children have been working on lately!


Melissa & Ellie



Lower El
Thank you so much to all those who came out on Tuesday night to participate in our Peace Curriculum Night!  It was a pleasure to see everyone, both the veteran families, the new members of Hilltop, and prospective parents.   
Many thanks to grandparent, Carolyn Fish for keeping our work rugs and dust cloths clean.
We hope you enjoy these pictures of your children, hard at work.  Have a great weekend!  
Kerstin and Patrick


Upper El

Another busy week in the Upper El. Jen brought in two pig hearts for the sixth grade to dissect as part of the human body systems study.  (Ask your sixth how many chambers the pig heart has.) The fourths and fifths had a lesson on the power of roots to pump water up to their leaves. This is made possible by the structure of the water molecule itself, and we recalled our work of water experiments and the stickiness of water (adhesion and cohesion). The students then examined the structure of roots under the stereoscope, both the exterior of a root and in cross section. In geometry, the sixths explored the relationship between the diameter of a circle and its circumference by rolling out circular objects on a straight line. They found that the circumference is about 3 1/7 times the diameter. In Art, the students were creating tessellations as an outgrowth of our Islamic study and their geometry work.


Thanks to all who attended the Peace Curriculum Night. We really enjoyed our community meetings with parents.


A quick reminder about three upcoming events:

1. March 20, 9 AM trip to the Latchis Theater to hear the Windham Orchestra. We are still in need of drivers for this  trip.                                         


2. Thursday, March 27, (Noon dismissal) and Friday, March 28 (no school) parent conferences.


3. Thursday, April 10, UE play at 1 PM and 5 PM. After the play we have a potluck meal here at school. We are still in need of a couple of people to coordinate this event. If you are interested, please contact Dan at [email protected].   


Middle School

We began the week with our last stellar performance of "Boxed In". The audience was comprised of the Hilltop elementary classes, a mixture of parents, students from the Marlboro middle school, Anna, from the Women's Freedom Center who was a guest speaker during our "Struggle for Peace" study, and a contingent from Holton Home. Jeremy invited his elderly companion, Barb, to the performance and his initiative blossomed into three more companions and Holton Home's activities director, Elenka, making the trip and enjoying the performance. After the show the Marlboro students and Anna stayed behind and we entered into a conversation about the process and themes of "Boxed In". It was a nice way to end this part of our year's journey.


The next day we jumped right into "The River of Spirit". Beginning with a little meditation, we explored the different perspectives of religion and started looking at the big questions that have permeated our historical need to gather and contemplate the worlds beyond us. Later in the week, we discussed our first major religion, Hinduism. What worlds to explore! As we discover and investigate five of the world's religions, we will be hosting clergy and practitioners of those faiths in the classroom. Here is the schedule for our speakers if you would like to join us for any of these exchanges:


 Hinduism - Friday, March 21 at 9:00 - Shital Kinkhabwak

Buddhism - Monday, March 24 - Gary Keiser (former Tibetan Buddhist monk) and hopefully the Ven. Geshe Ngawang Singey

Judaism - Monday, March 31 - Kate Judd, spiritual leader - Brattleboro Area Jewish Community

Christianity - Thursday, April 5 at 9:30 - Reverend Mary Lindquist of Saint Michael's Episcopal Church

Islam - Monday, April 7 - Amer Latif, professor of religious studies at Marlboro College


Plans and the itinerary for the River of Spirit Odyssey are coming along beautifully. We will be sending along details in the weeks to come. Here is a reminder of the dates that we will be away: Thursday, April 24 to Wednesday, April 30th.


Have a wonderful weekend.




Community News
Putney Community XC Ski Day! 
West Hill Shop and Green Mountain Orchards invite you to a FREE Community-wide Cross Country Ski Day at Green Mountain Orchards.  Come ski with friends and family Sunday, March 21st from 9:30AM-2:30PM on groomed trails through the orchard, courtesy of The Putney School groomers.   
FREE rentals available from 10 to 12:00 and 12:30 to 2:30.  Reservations must be made in advance by calling 802-387-5718 or emailing: [email protected].  For more info go to

Got Tweens & Teens?  
Free Parenting Workshop
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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