Annual Fund Family Bowl...Tonight!

Please check the 'Lost and Found' at the front desk for missing belongings, the boxes are overflowing!

October 30, 2015


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Next Week at Hilltop
Notes from the Head of School
Notes from the Head of School
Toddler Program (TP)
Willow Room
Birch Room
Lower Elementary (LE)
Upper Elementary (UE)
Middle School (MS)
Sharing our Beautiful Campus
Kid's Night Out
Middle School Soup
Hilltop Helpers
Community News
Next Week at Hilltop
Monday 11/2
No School
Teacher In-Service Day

Tuesday 11/3
Cultural Cooking

Wednesday 11/4
Historical Fencing

Thursday 11/5
Video Club

Friday 11/6
LE Field Trip to BEEC
Circus Arts

Check out the 2015-16 School Calendar 

Coming Up...

Monday 11/10
MS Love/Hate-CV Night

Friday 11/11
LE Work Share

Friday 11/13
Kids Night Out

Notes from the Board

Hilltop Montessori School strives to meet or exceed the diversity of the various population in the communities that it serves. The Strategic Planning process has identified that increasing diversity, including economic diversity, is a key goal of the school. In order to accomplish that goal, Hilltop Montessori School seeks to analyze and identify diversity goals. The HMS Board of Trustees is looking for a Diversity Task Force to inform the diversity goals to be attained in conjunction with the Strategic Plan. This group is expected to meet starting in November for up to five months with meetings occurring one to two times a month. Additional research is also expected. If you are interested in being on this Diversity Task Force, please contact Board Member Mark Loevy-Reyes at [email protected].

Annual Fund

We are thrilled with the response to the Annual Fund!
You still have a few hours to be counted in this first week's totals. Give before midnight tonight!
Or get your pledge in by email to Amelia at 
[email protected]

With some friendly competition brought in by the UE and MS parents, things heated up! 

We are at 88%!!!!

We hope to see you all soon at the party at 4 p.m.!

Toddler Program

The leaves are falling, the air is getting cooler, and the middle school mentors are starting their Friday visits in our classroom - it must be fall! For about six weeks 2 seventh grade students will visit the Toddler Room once a week to read books, share in toddler works, and help in the classroom. It's a wonderful way for Hilltop's youngest children to spend time with the older students. Earlier in the week the middle schoolers got an overview of our toddler room and some guidance on how they can be most helpful during their visits. 


Reading with Nico

Fall is also time for delicious root vegetables and squash. We prepared delacotta squash for snack this week too.

Preparing delacotta squash

Many thanks to all of the parents for meeting with us for conferences. We enjoyed the conversations and appreciate your involvement.

Happy Halloween
Ellie & Hannah

Willow Room


There has been a calm but busy energy in the Willow Room this week. We have been exploring new works in Practical Life, Science, Language, and Math. Children have been excitedly using a real hammer to put nails into a pumpkin, as well as learning how to sand wood and how to use a screw driver. Several friends have also been helping to clean the toddler outside learning environment by scrubbing, washing and drying materials, the rock, tunnel and pillars. 

We have also been introduced to a group of three of our Middle School Friends, who will be joining us on Fridays to mentor and help in the Children's House classrooms. We are making new friends and connecting by sharing works, reading, singing, and learning together. We look forward to their next visit!

As the weather continues to fluctuate, and move towards more consistent cold temperatures, please make sure that your child comes prepared with mittens, a warm coat, hat, and seasonally appropriate shoes or boots. Through the colder months we will continue to play outside. Thank you! 

We hope that you have a wonderful weekend, and enjoy a safe and fun Halloween! See you on Tuesday!

--Jonathan, Rebecca and Jaime

Pasture and August help to carve a pumpkin

Astrid hammers nails into a pumpkin

Marquetta shows Henry "living and non-living"

Astrid mixes colors together

Birch Room

"What the hand does the mind remembers." -Maria Montessori

This week, Cheryl introduced the geometric solids through a circle time lesson.  This material, like everything in our classroom, allows for the tactile exploration of concepts.  When using the geometric solids, the children get to feel  the weight and shape of each three dimensional piece, and examine the connection between each plane and a corresponding 2 dimensional picture. Working with concrete models like this helps children to build a fundamental understanding of three dimensional shapes that will carry on to later mathematical studies.  Plus, it's really an engaging way to learn!  Here are some pictures of Sebastian using the material. 

The weather is getting colder - don't forget to check and replenish your child's cubby with warm clothes!  Have a safe and happy Halloween, and see you on Tuesday!

-Cheryl, Serina, and Mariam

Lower El

This week in Lower El, we engaged in many works. Among them were:

- using the Moveable Alphabet to make words with the digraphs "th", "sh", and "ch".(Digraphs are two letters that share the same sound.)

- Reading word problems and figuring out the approach we'd take to find the solution.

- Laying out the numbers 1-100 on the Hundred Board with a friend. 

- Hearing the story of pine trees, the first woody-stemmed plants in our study of plants and their parts. 

- Using the stamp game to practice division with one-digit and two-digit divisors.

- Learning about how land was formed through the shifting of tectonic plates, using an inflated garbage bag and rocks.

- Using our "Story Mountain" organizer to write our fiction stories, including an introduction, build up, problem, resolution, and conclusion.

 Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the Annual Fund so far.

Happy Halloween! 
See you at the bowling alley tonight!

-Kerstin and Patrick 

Upper El

The UE students this week began writing their family stories around migration, beginning with mapping the routes that brought our ancestors here, choosing which of the stories to tell, and deciding how to tell them.  
Our early human studies brought us to the theme of religion: Did it give humans an evolutionary advantage? Students had many thoughtful and wide-ranging responses to the ways religion can help at the individual and community level. We also began our second round of electives, which this session include: creating our own games (Ben), sculpture (Dan), creating music on the Ipads (Jay), wood carving (Tom), theater (Jen), and making ramp walkers with Mac Oglesby, a veteran teacher/sundial maker/ultralight flier.
Enjoy the day off on Monday!

Middle School

This week we invaded Brattleboro.  On Tuesday morning the class descended upon the unsuspecting citizens and institutions of downtown Brattleboro who were subjected (politely) to a question poised by an inquiring Hilltop student: "In one sentence, how would you describe Brattleboro?" Or in the case of the institution: "In one sentence, what is the role of (the name of the institution) play in the life of Brattleboro?"  The students received an array of inventive, generous, creative, pat, dull, occasionally rude but mostly gracious answers. This day of exploration was the beginning of our extensive exploration of place. Thursday brought along with remarkably warm and sunny weather, an opportunity to draw a cityscape in perspective, journal in the style of and inspired by James Agee's Knoxville: Summer, 1915, and get a primer on primary source research opportunities at the library for the "Before Our Time" history project.

Sharing our Beautiful Campus

We so enjoy our beautiful campus AND we are thrilled to be able to share it with the greater Brattleboro community. As many of you know, last Saturday night the Brattleboro Retreat rented out the space for a 200 person Gala dinner in honor of their director, Rob Simpson. Dr. Simpson had graciously presented to our staff during the before school inservice days back in 2013 when Tamara first started as Head of School. We were thrilled to have the opportunity to "host" his retirement party! The Retreat group did an amazing job at transforming the space.

We have also hosted painters from the River Gallery Art School!

Kid's Night Out

Come drop your little ones to Hilltop's Arts Barn for the Middle Schooler's second hosting of 'Kid's Night Out', November 13th from 5-9:30pm. Kids will enjoy snacks, games and a G rated movie. All proceeds go to support the Middle School's Odyssey to Boston as well as field trips throughout the school year. $6/hour per child and $4/hour for each additional child. Contact Emma for details and/or questions and to sign your child up!

Middle School Soup


Starting today the middle school will be selling soup every Friday! After school we will be selling delicious homemade soup at the pick up circle. The soups will include: Potato Leek, Butternut Squash, West African Peanut, Tomato Lentil, Black Bean and Corn Chowder.
All the soups are vegan and gluten-free! The money made will go toward our Boston odyssey. So when you buy family dinner, you will be helping us have life changing connections. The soups cost is $8 a jar.


Hilltop Helpers

Hilltop Montessori School has a wonderful group of helpful families supporting each other in many ways: carpools, meals in time of need, hand-me-down snow pants, etc. We would like to provide this space in the newsletter as a place that people can share needs and "gifts" with the rest of the Hilltop community. 

If you have a need, or a service or item to offer, let the FRONT DESK know and we'll get it in the newsletter!

Community News

Keeping Kids Safe and Secure Online
Steve Breslow, U.S. Attorney and Specialist at Project Safe Childhood, will run a workshop for parents on keeping kids safe and secure online at The Common SchoolNovember 3 from 7- 9 pm. He will cover the topics of Social Media 101, Digital Footprint, Cyberbullying, Sexting, Internet Predators and Being Safe and Secure Online. All parents and guardians are invited to attend.  Please note that this evening is not for children as conversations will be frank and explicit (high school age students are welcome to attend). While this may seem early, especially to parents of young children, by the time children are 9-10 years old, most have used the internet to search and research, play games, take and share photos, email, Skype or text. Learning the ins and outs of safe internet use will help prepare families in protecting their children now and in the future.

Youth Battle of the Bands 
Brattleboro-Fierce competition is expected between six or more youth bands during Youth Services' Battle of the Bands at the River Garden in Brattleboro, VT on Friday, November 6, from 7 to 10 p.m. Competing bands to date are: Negative Space, The Regulars, Wicked Thirsty, Raspberry Jam, Sometime Sunday, and Nomad vs. Settler.  Opening the event is the indie-rock band Snaz, past winners of the Battle of the Bands in 2012.

The Snaz

The cover charge is $4 and includes refreshments and many door prizes. This event is underwritten by Supreme Fitness, Hazel Restaurant and Whetstone Station Restaurant and Brewery. For more information, visit Youth Services at

Eighth Annual Lego Contest and Exhibit
This event is generously sponsored by Brattleboro Ford SubaruG.S. Precision, Inc., and Don Robinson Builder.
Build your very own LEGO creation and display it at BMAC!
Prizes for Creativity and Craftsmanship will be awarded in seven age groups: preschool, grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12, adult, and adult/child collaborations. There will also be overall prizes for Best in Show, Best Architectural Design, Best Use of Moving Parts, Best Title, Best Diorama, and Best Space-Themed Creation. All prizes will be announced at an Awards Ceremony on Friday, November 20, at 5 p.m.
Entries must be delivered to the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center on Wednesday, November 18, 4:00-6:00 p.m. 
Admission to the November 20 Awards Ceremony is $4 for adults and teens, $3 for children ages 6-12, and free for children 5 and under. Admission to the museum on Saturday, November 21 and Sunday, November 22, while LEGO entries are on display, is $8 adults, $6 seniors, $4 students, free for BMAC members and children 5 and under.
Every contestant will receive a personalized certificate of participation and four complimentary admission passes to BMAC, which may be used at any time.
For more information, and a link to an entry form, click here.

Express Fluency is now offering French classes!
Did you "take" French in school but struggle to speak it? Do you travel to Quebec or France and want to be more comfortable speaking? We are offering an Intermediate French weekend intensive in Brattleboro. Come to a FREE class to get a better sense of this different way to learn a language.  Monday from 7-8pm, Main Street in Brattleboro. For more information at or call 

Hilltop Montessori School