Hilltop’s Montessori curriculum is a perfect match for our beautiful campus. Our students serve both as caring stewards and insatiable explorers of the land, and make amazing use of our 43 acres of fields, woodland, trails, gardens and pond. Our 20,000 sf classrooms and administrative facilities provide the ultimate environment for students at all stages of development to actively strive toward responsible independence and the fullness of their potential.
The toddler environment is set up just for toddlers with low shelves and attractive materials in a spacious and beautifully designed space with room to freely and safely explore. The toddler room is warm, welcoming and cozy with abundant natural lighting and direct access to the garden area. The foundation for future learning, in our Children’s House classes, is built through the development of the five senses and cultivation of the sense of order in both the indoor and outdoor environments.
The three to six year olds’ environment, first and foremost, is a children’s house: a calming and respectful space that belongs to the children in scale, proportion, flow, comfort, safety, and inspiration. It is a hands-on, interactive, sensorial environment that calls to them. It is a place of grace and beauty. It is in the children’s house that the seeds of literacy, numeracy, care of self, others and the environment are sown. Both the practical and wondrous are offered in response to the child’s innate striving toward independence, toward the desire and ability to “do it for myself”.
These six to nine and nine to twelve year old Elementary classrooms are defined by non-interference in the learning process. Three classrooms are available to accommodate individual work, collaborative activities, whole class meetings, and group lessons. The classrooms provide students prepared and inspiring access to the necessary tools, materials, teachers and mentors, technology, the outdoors, and one another to meet their imagination and intellectual thirsts head-on. These rooms are where students come to construct their own learning, explore their passions and talents and truly begin to develop into engaged students.
The Middle School environment is part transition zone, part staging area, part performance, part R & D space, and part launching pad. It is the place where the key materials of one’s childhood classrooms are traded for the tools of society: where the manipulative is exchanged for the calculator; the notebook for the computer, the concrete for the abstract. The Middle School environment serves the reflective, introspective, and intellectual needs of the adolescent. It is all about flexibility and technology, large-scale projects and intimate dialogue, and is designed to meet the changing and diverse interests, passions, and needs of the adolescent while affording them the chance to become increasingly independent in meaningful, responsible ways.
Located in the center of campus, the Arts Barn provides an indoor space large enough for the whole community to gather, for physical activity during inclement weather, a space for our music and theatrical performances and rehearsals, a flexible space that can provide room for creativity and collaboration. The Arts Barn, houses a black box theater, half basketball court, music room, kitchen, storage, and staff room are fully supported by a building maintenance endowment.
The many communal activities — in front of a school-wide audience during all-school gathering, or in a group of students working collaboratively with their teachers– are an integral part of teaching that poise, confidence and responsible independence our graduates embody. The Arts Barn supports the growth of the individual and our community.
We are generating electricity from the sun!
10:30 am on December 31st, 2013, the “switch was flipped” and we officially went solar! Thanks to all the parent committee members led by Seth Harter who worked hard to see this project to its fruition. We are generating about 60,000 kWhs per year. That’s enough to power the entire school!
The solar array was installed at no cost to Hilltop by Integrated Solar Applications of Brattleboro. They helped us connect with investors from Wisdom and Power LLC of Norwich, VT. Hilltop will pay 90 percent of the monthly electric costs to Wisdom and Power. After seven years, we may choose to purchase the panels at fair market value or continue to pay our investor.