HMMS performs next week!

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Friday is Grandparents' &  Special Friends' Day - 
Noon dismissal!


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 May 15, 2015


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Next Week at Hilltop
Spring Events
Summer Fun
Summer Fun
Tiny House
Toddler Room
Middle School
Community News
Next Week at Hilltop

Ultimate Frisbee 

Cultural Cooking 

Middle School Performance 7PM

Guiding Good Choices

Fire & Stone 3:30-5

Ultimate Frisbee  3-4:30

Middle School Performance 7:00

Lower El Author's Tea 8:45

Upper El Museum

Circus Arts 

FRIDAY 5/22 
Grandparents' & Special Friends' Day 8:30-12 noon 
(noon dismissal)

Upper El Museum

Vintage Swing Gala & Auction 6-10

Spring Events are around the Corner!

It's a busy time at Hilltop, with many special events coming up:
Grandparents and special friends are invited to visit classrooms and attend an all-school sing. RSVP to the Front Desk.


Playground clean-up was a great success!
Thanks to all the families who came to help last Saturday!

Ayla and Josh Traeger
Lauren and Moses Wolk
Rob and Cooper Cartelli
Marco Yunga
Jennifer Betit-Engel
Ben Madow
Ben and Luci Boyarko and Uri and Vanessa Long 

A special thanks to Jennifer Betit-Engel for organizing the volunteers!

Marco sands the sandbox seats

Moses and Lauren take a break

Ayla and Josh refill the sandbox


SummerFun at Hilltop-Spaces are filling up fast


Camps are filling up! Woods and Tools I (Week 4, for ages 9-12) is FULL!
There is still availability in all other camps, but sign-ups are coming in fast. Be sure to register now!
Find out more about SummerFun on our website


Tiny House 
The Tiny House has traveled to Dummerston for insulation and interior finishing. 
Next week off for flooring!
Please share the link with friends and family: 

Looking for help selling Tiny House Raffle Tickets at the June 5th Gallery Walk and on the Common on Saturday, June 6th. Email Amelia if you can help out. 

Mini-May-Bag-O-Fun Fundraiser
Only for the merry month of May!
*Perfect for picnics and beach trips* 
When you purchase a Thirty-One brand tote this month, Hilltop will receive $12 of the purchase price. These totes are super handy - great for the supermarket, sleepovers, beach, etc. Price is $40, $8 additional for monogramming. Click here for an order sheet. 


Toddler Room

Many thanks to toddler family helpers - Rob and Cooper Cartelli and Marco Yunga - for helping out on the playground clean up last Saturday morning!

Best wishes to Hattie McWhorter and her parents, Lee and Alison, with their move to Washington, D.C. We will miss you!

Ellie & Hannah

Mazin has a lesson on colors

Hattie, Hannah, and Asha bake

Kennedy scrubs a teacher's chair

Henry stirs the berry muffin batter


Willow Room

Hello HMS Families,

Enjoy a few snapshots from our outside play and learning, with friends from the Birch Room!

Have a wonderful weekend! 

--Jonathan Rebecca and Mariam  

Hazel and Layla draw together outside

Graham reads in the sun

Ava exploring leaves and a little shade on a  hot day

Talia helps to build a house out of a small stump

Small sand houses built in the sand area

Birch Room

This week, we had our second "Moving Up" day, during which we welcomed some younger friends from the toddler room for a visit. These children will be joining the Birch Room this fall, and the visits give them a chance to see their new space, classmates, and teachers. They also help us get to know our incoming students and form a bond to help them through their upcoming transition. These visits, along with conversations with Ellie and Hannah, help us plan for next year. Having younger students visit also gives our experienced Birch Room students a chance to take on the role of teacher and mentor as they show their visitors around.  

While the toddlers visited us, our "olders" made a trip down the hall to the lower elementary classroom, where they got to explore the environment and get to know the teachers better. They returned with beaming faces, proudly showing off the works they had been doing during their visit. Luci later told a friend excitedly, "Next time we get to stay the whole morning!"

Have a great weekend!

Cheryl and Serina

Mariam helps Asha get a snack

Malika works on a project she started during her Lower El visit
Henry and Serina explore the red rods

Eko and Asha work together

Addy shows Oliver a work

Lower El

Our second Moving Up Day, which took place on Wednesday, was a success. Older partners were thoughtful and kind to their younger visitors, and the room hummed with happy activity. Our last Moving Up Day will be next Thursday, May 28th. We will have to part with our Olders for the entire morning, as they will be hiking the Pinnacle with their future class.  

Everyone is busy with their writing, working to include some dialogue or describe how a character felt or what they thought. Fairy tale writers are being mindful of the number three and how that often plays a significant role in the genre, and writing their characters into, and then out of trouble so they can arrive at a resolution by next Thursday's Author's Tea (8:45.)  

Youngers have been excited to practice static and dynamic addition with the more abstract bead frame, while the Middlers are working on multiplication with the large bead frame. Olders are working on division with a two-digit divisor, and they can usually be seen spread out on a large part of a table with the many tiny test tubes needed for this work in a mad-scientist-meets-mathematician way.  

What exactly IS the function of conjunctions, anyway? Middlers learned this on Tuesday. The words "and, but, or, since" act as connectors in a sentence. We were reminded of the Montessorian symbol for the conjunction - a pink rectangle - when in a recent lesson we joined flowers together with a pink ribbon. 

Thank you to all of our post office drivers: Leah, Jean, Michael, Rebecca, Rachel, Andrea, Tim, Rita, Linda, and Alix. Without you - we would have walked!  

Enjoy your weekend. Have fun on Saturday, Girls on the Run!
Kerstin and Patrick


Upper El

We are gearing up for next week's museum, while moving ahead with our other studies. Sixths continued writing their personal belief statements, with 4th and 5ths drafting personal memoirs. Often the best and most effective critiques come from peers. With each major piece of writing, the students articulate questions and areas they would like help with, share the writing with a responder, and receive feedback and suggestions about their writing. The photos below show pairs of students in this process during yesterday's writer's workshop.

In our human body studies, the group participated in a genetics exercise. We began by using Punnet squares to show how a recessive gene, such as blue eye color, can be carried, skip generations, and appear further down the family tree. Each student created their own version of a creature, randomly assigning certain traits through the flip of a coin. The students watched as the traits were or were not passed down to the next generation based upon whether the traits were dominant or recessive (again, randomly determined) and with whom the creature 'mated'. In the photo below, Mama and Papa with jagged fins both carried a recessive gene for the smooth fin. Susannah and Emmy mated them to produce an offspring that, by chance, inherited both the recessive genes!


Drivers are still needed for our Pinnacle hike the morning of May 28th!

(Grades 3-4-5 only)

Upcoming dates:

UE Museum:

Thursday, May 21, 2:00 p.m. 

and Friday, May 22 9:15 -10:00 a.m.

Grandparents' Day: Friday, May 22 (noon dismissal) 

And for adults, Swing Gala at night!

Pinnacle Hike (grades 3-4-5): Thursday, May 28

Three-day class trip:

Wednesday, June 3 - Friday, June 5


Middle School 

The Middle School prepares for...




Community News


You Can Help Build a Library in Sierra Leone!

The African Library Project is an organization that partners with needy schools in rural Africa, and builds libraries with books and funds raised in book drives. My name is Sarah Young (I graduated from Hilltop last year), and  I am a ninth grade student at The Putney School. I started this book drive for a school project, with the guidelines of following through with a plan of action for a social justice cause that we believe in. I chose to do a book drive because I love to read, and I can't imagine trying to learn how to read without access to any books. When I found out that this is a common thing in rural African schools, I knew that I had to help. In order for this book drive to be successful, and for us to build a whole library, 1,000 books and $500 need to be raised! I won't be able to complete this without your help! If you have any books at your house, please look through them to see if there are any you would like to donate. If you can't donate books, but still want to help, you can donate to my GoFundMe campaign. The book box is in the lobby of the elementary building, so you can bring books and find more information there!


GoFundMe Campaign for Mariam Diallo
Please be sure to visit the GoFundMe campaign page for Mariam Diallo, mentioned in last week's newsletter. We are getting closer to our fundraising goal of $5,000 and every little bit helps!



as told by


Five Incredible Singers

Soprano Junko Watanabe
Alto Emily Jawarski
Tenor Karim Sulayman
Baritone David McFerrin
Bass Charles Mays, Jr. 
An Orchestra of Passionate Professionals
A Chorus primed and pumped to deliver
 and a Story for the Ages
Saturday May 16 at 7:30 pm Sunday May 17 at 3:00 pm
Latchis Theatre, downtown Brattleboro
Tickets: $15; $10 students. 
Visit for tickets and more information

Vermont Open Studio Tour
Next weekend (May 23rd and 24th) be sure to stop by JMB Glass (HMS parents Josh and Marta Bernbaum), stop #49 on the tour. Grab a brochure at the Front Desk or visit for more info.

Bike for a Cause!

Ride 40, 60, or 100 miles in support of the Boys & Girls Club of Brattleboro


Join us on Saturday, June 27th for our 6th annual fundraising ride through Southern Vermont and the Pioneer Valley.



The ride is fully supported with food and drink available at rest stops every 20 miles. Celebrate your achievement after the ride with a picnic at the Marlboro College Graduate Center. In lieu of a registration fee, each rider commits to raising $500 or more to support the work of the Boys & Girls Club of Brattleboro.


The Club provides a safe, positive place for over 1,000 youth in Brattleboro, Bellows Falls, and the Westgate Housing Community. Money raised funds our empowering year-round programs, free nutritious meals and snacks, affordable summer camps, and supportive mentoring. Register, donate, and find out more here, or contact Bob Nassau at [email protected] for more information.  





Hilltop Montessori School