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Spring has sprung at the Creamery Bridge

Like us on FacebookMay 2, 2014 

Hilltop featured on WCAX 
Adam Sullivan was on campus this week as part of a series on 30 schools in 30 daysThe story is scheduled to air between 6 pm - 6:30 pm this Sunday; posted online at WCAX.COM.  
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Next week at Hilltop
Notes from the Board
Development Update
Birch Room
Willow Room
Lower El
Upper El
Middle School
Community Events
Next week at Hilltop

Monday, 5/5

UL trip to Botanical Gardens at Smith 

College 9 - 1


Spanish CH & LE 3 - 4


Ultimate Frisbee at the Compass School 3:45


Tuesday, 5/6
Open House for the 
Young Child 9 - 10
Fire & Stone 3 - 4
Gardening 3 - 4


Mt. Biking MS 3 - 4:30


Wednesday, 5/7
LE Workshare 8:30 - 9
Bagel Lunch 


NE Traditions 3 - 4


Girls on the Run
3:00 - 4:30


Ultimate Frisbee


Thursday, 5/8
Parent Coffee 8:30 - 8:45


All School Gathering

Tennis 3:15 - 4:30


Drum Circle 3 - 4


Friday, 5/9
Pizza Lunch
Fencing 3 - 4:30


Jr. Bakers 3 - 4
Girls on the Run
3:00 - 4:30 
Saturday, 5/10
Children's House 
Work Party 9 - 12

Notes from the Board

The Board is excited to announce two new members. In addition to Linda Schmidt who recently joined the board, we now have Rich Wolfe. Rich is father to Middle School student Greta. His family recently moved to Putney for his wife, Katie's job at The Putney School. Rich has a background in business and finance and has experience on non-profit boards including as treasurer. Rich has already become active on the Finance Committee and has begun serving his board term. He plans to combine his board experience with his sincere appreciation for Montessori and for Hilltop. With his daughter graduating next year, he will be moving to the role of an alum parent while serving on the board. 

We are also pleased that Mark Anagnostopulos has accepted an invitation to join the board. He already is an alum parent, having had his daughter graduate from Hilltop in 2002. Mark has worked at the Brattleboro Retreat since 1986 focussing on child and adolescent psychotherapy and consultation. He is active in music and has been a member of the Vermont Jazz Center Board of Directors for more than 10 years. He will bring wonderful perspective as an active community member without a child currently at Hilltop Montessori School. Mark will begin serving his board term during the upcoming Summer.
For full bios of these and other board members, please see the Board of Trustees page on the Hilltop website. 
Development Update
4 Weeks Until the Tag Sale!

This week, why not engage the help of your children in sorting out outgrown toys and clothing? Then add to your growing pile of items for the Ginormous Hilltop Family and Friends Multi-Family Tag Sale on Saturday, May 31 from 8:30 - 1pm. Remember to reserve your spot with a $25 payment. You will be glad you did when you walk away with lots of cash in your pocket!
Save the Date
Thursday, May 15 5:30-7pm  Arts Barn Reception. Invitations going out next week! Join us in celebrating all of our progress and help launch the "Final Mile" registry.
Thank You
Thank you from Birch Room to:
Ross and Amanda Thurber for a fun morning at their sugarhouse and calf barn, from Birch Room.

Todd and Silvia Kammerzelt for the Bob Books donation.


Ross, Jean and Kaya for several favorite books they donated.  

SummerFun at Hilltop Weekly Camps June 23 - August 1
10% Discount for Early Bird Registration on or by May 16.

SummerFun brochure and registration for summer 2014 available here.


Hilltop's SummerFun camp program offers the perfect balance of creative learning and fun recreational activities in the fields, woods, and water of our sprawling 43-acre campus for students ages 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12.


Open House

Hilltop Montessori School Open House for the Young Child

Tues. May 6, 9 -10:00 am 

Prospective Parents & Young Children (18 months - Kindergarten) are invited to learn more about our Toddler Program, 18 - 36 months, and Children's House Program, for age 3 through Kindergarten, during a morning visit. Meet the program directors and explore a thoughtfully prepared learning environment designed to facilitate exploration by the children. Learn how a Hilltop experience meets the academic and social needs of students at each stage of development in a supportive, enriching environment.


Our campus, with its 43 acres of fields, woodland, trails and a pond, and an Arts Barn, new this fall, to house our music room, theater and gymnasium, are the perfect complement to the thoughtfully prepared classrooms.


Hilltop accepts state child care subsidy, Vermont State public pre-K program funding, and middle school vouchers. Hilltop also maintains a strong need-based financial aid program for families who might not otherwise be able to attend HMS. 


Details available on our website, www.hilltopmontessori.org.

Birch Room
We have been reading the many books of author/illustrator Eric Carle.  In the Art area the children have been exploring and experimenting with his distinctive collage technique using 

hand painted papers cutting and layering to create bright and colorful creations. 


On Wednesday we read his book Pancakes, Pancakes! and finished up our sugaring unit with

his great story and a pancake feast for snack.

Cheryl reads "Pancake, Pancake"
Testing out what we read.
Our efforts were enjoyed by all!
 The next Children's House Workshare, Monday May 12 8:30-9:15 am.


Willow Room

It's Children's House playground spruce-up time!  Let's give it a little love and add some new elements.  Planned projects include: 1) moving a trellis archway to the garden area, 2) installing a ball run, 3) making a woodchip pathway, and 4) spreading woodchips and cleaning up the flower beds.  Come for an hour or stay until the jobs are done.  Coffee, snacks, and great company too!  Children welcome to help.  Hope to see you Saturday, May 10 from 9-12.


On Wednesday morning during circle we sat down with the children to talk about the future staffing changes for the Willow Room.  The children responded to the news with a wide array of responses.  At the beginning of our discussion, some of the children moved physically closer to us while others moved away, positioning themselves outside of the circle.  We talked about how as children grow and develop they move from stage to stage such as from younger to middler, middler to older, and older to 1st grader and that this was true for adults as well in a bit of a different way.  "Grown-ups are still growing??!!",  queried many small voices.  We continued our conversation by talking about how adults grow in different ways and one of those ways is changing careers.  We talked about how some children spend two years as a middler or an older before they are ready to move to the next stage and that I had spent twenty-one years as a teacher at Hilltop and now I was at the next stage of my life and ready to start my own school.  "It took you twenty-one years to be ready!  That's a long time, Melissa." (lots of giggles and smiles)  Then we focused on Ellie and the five years she has spent as an assistant teacher growing and changing and now she's ready to develop the toddler program and have a classroom of her own! 


By the end of our circle the children had readjusted themselves and our circle was whole again.  We answered lots of questions, smiled and laughed and shared many hugs; then it was off to work!  It's a big change for all of us and the children are checking in more than usual for reassurance, some needing extra hugs or recognition of their work.  We will continue to provide all the answers to their questions and all the hugs and love needed. Please let us know of any concerns or questions as we work together to make this transition as smooth as possible for everyone.



Melissa and Ellie


P.S. Rebecca, who will be the assistant in the Willow Room, was in the classroom for a morning last week to begin getting to know the children. She will also be in for three mornings next week (Monday-Wednesday) while I make a family trip. Jonathan, the "boy teacher", who will be in the Willow Room next year will be visiting on May 15th. Meeting these teachers now, will help the children gain comfort with the transition.

       Avery running the stump jump                                    Hazel swings 
August, Matai, Talia, and Senji
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Lower El
Reminder: We invite parents to another work share next
Wednesday.  Hope you can join us!


Upcoming field trip:  Dan is arranging a field trip to the Brattleboro Museum of Art on
Friday, May 16th.  The class will get a chance to observe botanical prints as part of their botany study. Permission slips will be sent out soon.
Highlights from our week:
  • Jay introduced the class to pictures and music from Zimbabwe 
  • Dan treated us to some drumming to make barley "dance" during our second sound experiment.
  • Older students are studying different types of triangles and angles.
  • Younger students learned about straight, curved, and serpentine lines
  • Our plant study continued with the introduction of the parts of a flowering plant - the newest type of plant to have evolved thus far. 
Enjoy your weekend!
Kerstin and Patrick



And the Beat goes on...

Ellie and Jamie F. 
Roleplaying for Apologizing Lesson
Owen and Solomon Practice Apologizing

Parts of a Plant

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Upper El

Our studies begun in recent weeks continue.  Building off of our chemistry study,  students looked at the chemical formation of sugar, starch, and oxygen within photosynthesis.  These students are completing their plans for individual botany experiments that they will carry out over the coming weeks.


Older students are looking at settlement patterns in 19th century Vermont-in particular how changes in migration, agriculture, industry, and transportation related to changes in the land.  They are examining an assortment of primary documents, include old photos, announcements, brochures, bills of sale, diaries, etc., which tell the story better than anything else could. 


Documents that tell the story of settlement in 1800s Vermont.

New math works range from long division, positive and negative integers, order of operations, and operations with decimal numbers to comparing sets of data.


Negative Snake Game--a recently acquired new material for learning negative integers. 


New rope trick with Ben James during UE P.E.
Jennifer and Tom      


Middle School

After being rained upon and sprinkled by holy waters in the Boston environs, we are taking the next step:


When we return to school on Friday (May 2nd), we will make an epic, day-long journey on foot from Upland to the Connecticut River following the streams in our local watershed. 

Check out pictures and reflections from their travels using the quick link "Middle School Odyssey" on the far right of our homepage

 Society of Saint John the Evangelist monastery, Day 6. 

Community News

Come Join the Hilltop Team for Camp for a Common Cause! 


Sign up and pledge sheets at the front desk. Join us the Hilltop Team on Friday, May 9th for Morningside Shelter's second annual Camp for a Common Cause - a family-friendly, overnight camp out on the Brattleboro Common - raising awareness and funds to support the Brattleboro Area Drop-In Center and Morningside Shelter - two organizations that work to alleviate homelessness in the greater-Brattleboro area. 


Its easy: ask your family and friends to support you with a donation. Pitch your tent on the Brattleboro Common any time after 4pm on Friday, May 9th. We need to get a minimum pledge of $250 as a team and time is running out!


Not a camper? Join us for a community barbecue and live music from Groove Prophet starting at 6pm! Barbecue tickets ($10 and $5 for children 12 & under) are available at Morningside Shelter, the Brattleboro Area Drop-In Center, and the Shoe Tree in Brattleboro. Barbecue tickets will be included for overnight campers who meet the suggested fundraising minimums. For more information or to join the Hilltop team contact Emilie or 246-1213


For more information about the event visit Morningside Shelter or contact Libby at lbennett@morningsideshelter.org or 802-257-0066 x101.


Hire Putney School Students on May 10th -- All Proceeds Go to an International NGO


Charitable Work Day is The Putney School's way of contributing to the global community by donating our labor towards a cause. This year's Charitable Work Day will be Saturday, May 10th.


This year we have elected to donate the funds we raise to Citta, an organization dedicated to providing access to healthcare and education in some of the poorest and most isolated places in the world. Citta also works holistically with these communities to help them develop their prospects for sustainable economic development.


Need something done around your home? If you live within 30 minutes of Putney, you can hire students to come to your home to do yardwork or housework for $8 an hour, for up to 5 hours. The proceeds from our labor will then go to Citta.


If you'd like to hire Putney School students on May 10th, please complete the Project Request Form at http://www.putneyschool.org/charitable-work-day by May 3rd. If you'd like to speak with someone for more information, please call 802-490-3743.


Host an exchange student from Spain for the month of July! 


An incredible learning experience for all!   We've done it for the past few years and it's been an amazing experience for my entire family and the exchange student (of course!)  The students speak English well.  They come to experience our culture and practice their English.  There's a stipend to cover costs.  And a weekend trip to NYC that your child/ren get to go on with the exchange students!  For more info please contact me, Ariel, mother of Malick in MS, at 802.246.7387 or anelson73@gmail.com    

Hilltop Montessori School