Lower El presents during All School Gathering

logo hms


Like us on Facebook

Click heading to skip to section
Toddler Room
Willow Room
Birch Room
Lower El
Upper El
Community Events
Next Week at Hilltop
MONDAY 11/17
Cultural Cooking 

Middle School Basketball 3.15-4.30 

Spanish 3.30-4.30 

Upper El Basketball  

All School Gathering 

Lower El Field Trip to Lilac Ridge 9-11.30

Drum Circle 3.15-4.15 

Creative Movement 

Graphic Jam 

FRIDAY 11/21
Fire & Stone 3.15-5 

Middle School Basketball 3.15-4.30 


Notes from the Head of School

Let's Grow Kids

Time and time again, Dr. Maria Montessori's ideas from 100 years ago are validated by modern science. Hilltop has been participating in the state-wide campaign, Let's Grow Kids, a public education campaign to raise the awareness of the importance of the early years in development. This campaign is to make Vermonters aware of observations that Maria Montessori noted in her early writings: "The most important period of life is not the age of university studies, but the first one, the period from birth to the age of six.  For that is the time when man's intelligence itself, his greatest implement is being formed.  But not only his intelligence; the full totality of his psychic powers. At no other ages has the child greater need of an intelligent help, and any obstacle that impedes his creative work will lessen the chance he has of achieving perfection." 

Or, as Let's Grow Kids puts it: "Eighty percent of a child's brain is developed by age three and 90% is developed by age five...Getting kids ready for school means more than helping them with their ABCs, packing their lunch boxes, filling their backpacks, and getting them to the bus on time. It starts the day they're born with quality early experiences."

Montessorian's have known it all along - the early years of development are critical and are worthy of investment - the investment of providing the quality experiences that happen at Hilltop every day. 

Max from the Willow Room completing the Trinomial Cube

Time to sign up for Winter Sports! 

Winter Sports Packets have gone out! The program begins on January 8, 2015 and continues for six consecutive Thursdays until February 12th. All Children's House Olders through Middle Schoolers participate. There is no additional fee for Learn to Skate or Cross-Country Skiing, however there is a charge for those who choose to go to Mt. Snow. 

  • Children's House Olders will be learning to ice skate at the Nelson Withington Skating Rink at Memorial Park in Brattleboro. 
  • Lower El Youngers may Learn to Skate or Cross-Country Ski. 
  • Lower El Middlers through Middle Schoolers may skate, cross-country ski or join the fun at Mt. Snow for downhill skiing or snowboarding (snowboarding for Upper El and Middle School students). 

Please contact Jennifer with any questions or concerns, and return paperwork to the front desk by Friday, November 21st.  

Hilltop Needs Girls on the Run Coaches for this spring!

Girls on the Run is a positive youth development program for girls in 3rd to 5th grade. Coaches follow a curriculum and teach life skills through dynamic interactive lessons and running games. The program culminates with the girls being physically and emotionally prepared to complete a celebratory 5k running event, which is held at the Brattleboro Union High School. The event draws girls from all of Southern Vermont! The goal of the program is to unleash confidence through accomplishment while establishing a lifetime appreciation of health and fitness. Girls on the Run meets twice a week from mid-March to May. Coaches will set the schedule. If you are interested in being a Girls on the Run coach email Amelia.

Reserve your seats NOW!

Saturday, November 22 at 5pm in the Arts Barn, Hilltop Montessori is thrilled to present one of its own - Middle School Teacher and Artist, Finn Campman, as he stages his one man puppet show entitled "Of Bread and Paper". Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children. There  is limited seating so reservations are required. Sign up a the front desk, or email Amelia. All proceeds are to benefit Hilltop's 2014 Annual Fund. 

Invite grandparents and special friends to join you. What a great precursor to Monday's Grandparents' and Special Friends' Day!


Muffins and Scones and Coffee Cake, Oh My!

Need some baking therapy in your life? How about baking a breakfast treat for Grandparents' and Special Friends' Day which is coming up on Monday, November 24th? You may have heard from your class rep already asking for baked donations. Let them know if you're able to contribute to the spread. Thanks so much!


Project Feed the Thousands

Hilltop will once again be participating in the town wide effort to "Feed the Thousands". We will be collecting non-perishable food and personal hygiene items - including diapers - in the front lobby. Then, on Friday, December 19th, we'll be loading a school bus with our contributions that will then head to the Hannaford parking lot where other area schools will come to load their donations. This year's Feed the Thousands' goal is 200,000 meals. Let's help fill that bus!


Kelli Corbeil, owner of WTSA Radio station and Steve Cormier, disc jockey from the station, visited ASG this week to talk to students and staff about Project Feed the Thousands.


Toddler Room


It has been a busy and exciting week in the Toddler Room with several  visitors.  Linda Pear of Boston, MA, joined us for the whole week to observe and practice teaching for her Montessori toddler certification. The Middle School mentoring program has also started. Two 7th grade students, Gus and Elle, joined us on Friday morning to learn about the classroom and spend time with the children. They were very popular book readers and soccer players! And although music teacher Jay is a regular visitor to our classroom, this week he brought a drum for the children to play. Several children were interested in playing it and learning about the drum's form and function. We feel so grateful for these enriching experiences! We are pleased to share our classroom community and learn from our guests.  


Happy weekend.

Ellie & Hannah


(We apologize that there aren't photographs to share this week; we're experiencing some technical difficulties.)


Willow Room

The Willow Room is busy with energy and excitement! We are beginning to explore traditional crafts, involving sewing and bead - stringing (making bracelets). 

We have begun to put together "Our Peaceful Families" display in the classroom with pictures you have kindly sent-in. This will be accompanied by a book of these photos to be explored during our morning work period. If you have not yet sent in a photo, please do so by the end of next week. Thank you!

Warm Regards, 

Jonathan and Rebecca

Ciana makes a "Book Of Names"

Leo explores magnets

Graham listens to a story

August strings beads to make a bracelet

Birch Room

Math is an exciting experience in the Montessori classroom. Being able to experience the concepts of math and geometry sensorially first, and then to the abstraction on paper, gives meaning to the written symbols. Feeding the mathematical mind with things such sorting, counting, and classifying objects instills the sequential logical steps needed for many more advanced works as children move throughout the environment. The images below display only a few of the math works the Birch Room children used one morning this week!

Enjoy the weekend!

Cheryl and Serina 

Jade gets a lesson from Cheryl on the multiplication bead board

Sebastian works on the 45 Layout

Matai uses his pencil as a pointer while he counts

Gabe works on the addition strip board

Lower El
What do all human beings need to survive on Earth? What does six trillion look like? What happens to a wax crayon when it's melted and then put into water?  

Lower El is exploring these, and other questions during their studies of Fundamental Needs, place value, and the Nature of the Elements.  

P.E. Footwear Reminder: Lower El's P.E. days are on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Please help your child remember to wear (or bring) clean and dry sneakers on those days.  

Sharing: Next Monday, November 17th, it will be Group C's turn to share: Annelise, Davey, Ian, Jamie, Leo, Mark, Morgon, Rhys, and Silvia.

Upper El




This week witnessed a run on note cards. Some students were finishing off the research on their hero - from Dian Fossey to Henry Ford to Malala Yousafzay to Richard Feynman. The essay they are working on now will prepare them for the upcoming presentation, complete with a hand-drawn portrait of their hero. Other students are busy preparing for the upcoming reenactment of the Constitutional Convention of 1787. All of your favorite delegates are sure to attend and discuss the merits of the Virginia Plan and the New Jersey Plan, two competing ideas for the structure of our government. Luckily, we have heard that Roger Sherman is sure to be in attendance (as long as "she" doesn't come down with something between now and then) to offer his great compromise which led to the structure we have today. In addition, many students are also gearing up to create skits on the three branches - their checks and balances, as well as how a bill becomes law. 


Jen, Tom and Dan 

 Back to top   
Middle School 


Sophie, Selena and Paul practice a mill girl song.


It has been a week of word, images, and ideas.  

There is always poetry: every morning the voices of our guardian poets ring out, new poetry is offered and, starting this week, memorized anthology poems were recited. During Thursday's morning at All School Gathering, a number of the "Motto" poems were presented and the same afternoon students were busy in the art room painting images of one of their original poems. And don't forget, the poetry study will come to a stunning close with a Poetry Cafe on Thursday, December 18th at 7 pm in the new theater. 

Earlier this week we wrestled with the ins and outs of the Harvard Specific Outline. Students have selected an individual who in their own way contributed to the evolution of the American identity. They are deep into their research (or at least they should be!) and by next week they will write their main thesis and supporting paths. With that thesis in mind, students will write a specific outline that proves and supports their opinion. It is a project that helps hone research, organizational, and discernment skills.

Nora's math classes are a constant in our ever-changing and evolving world. Passing by her classroom you can feel the intent focused concentration or hear the jubilant shouts of successful computation and understanding. Math is fun.

Have a lovely weekend.


Paul, Finn and Nora



Ethan works on an image for one of his poems

Word and image work

Middle School shares their Mottos at All School Gathering



Community News


Nomad vs. Settler, a band featuring three Hilltop family students, Owen James, Archer Parks, and Rei Kimura (Senji's sister), will be playing at an all-ages benefit concert with the groovy Fantastic Partnerz for Brattleboro's Heating Fuel Assistance Program at the Stone Church in Brattleboro on Saturday, Nov. 15th. Nomad vs. Settler will play at 7.00PM Come enjoy some great original music and support our neighbors in need!


From Morningside Shelter: 

Community Support For A New Mom
Childcare, Donations, and a Meal Train all needed. 
We're expecting a new baby at Morningside any day now! We're reaching out to the community to help support the expectant mother and her family.
We are looking for volunteers to sign up for childcare (the mother already has a young daughter and son), and for a Meal Train that will begin once the new baby arrives. We are also looking for all types of baby items and winter clothing for the older brother. 
Thanks in advance! Contact Jon at [email protected]

Altered States - A Day of Chanting


On Saturday, November 15th, a day long program sponsored by Winged Productions offers an opportunity to go in-depth into the world of chants from two different traditions, Islamic and Christian. This program is led by Dr. Amer Latif of Marlboro College, and Sr. Kristina Frances, SSM, Cantrix of the Society of St. Margaret in Boston. 

This rejuvenating day of singing will be held at St. Michael's Episcopal Church. The fee for the program is $70 (sliding scale available) and includes lunch, snacks, coffee and tea throughout the day. For more information and to register, visit St. Michael's website or call 802-254-6048. Winged Productions is a program of creative events that explore the sacred designed and directed by Paul and Susan Dedell.


Hilltop Montessori School