About Hilltop

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Adults must defend children. We adults must see the real humanity in children, the humanity which will take our place one day, if we are to have social progress. Social progress means that the next generation is better than the one before. 

Maria MontessoriThe 1946 London Lectures

Hilltop Montessori School was founded in 1972 by a group of parents who wanted a quality pre-school experience for their children. Over the last 50 years, Hilltop grown into a fully accredited Montessori School, serving over 120 students, Toddler Program through the Middle School.

Originally housed at the West Village Meeting house in West Brattleboro, and aptly named Hilltop Nursery School with 20 enrolled students, Hilltop moved to downtown Brattleboro in the basement of the Centre Congregational Church, to High Street when it was the Winston Prouty Center, to the Vermont Hall at the former Austine School for the Deaf, and finally to the current location on Stafford Farm Hill. 

Hilltop Montessori School implements an authentic Montessori curriculum at all levels, and has been working to incorporate an anti-bias curriculum along with a focus on addressing climate change. We invite and encourage you to read more about Hilltop Montessori School’s authentic implementation of Montessori pedagogy here. Read our full Diversity Statement here

Hilltop Montessori School helps students discover their potential through independent thinking, self-discovery, peer collaboration, and social responsibility. It’s a place for dreaming and doing, for self-exploration and exploration of the world. Beginning with the whole child approach, inspiring joy in learning, and deep knowledge understanding of our place in the world and in community, Hilltop Montessori School prepares students for academic and social success for years to come.

In celebration of our 50th anniversary in 2022, we interviewed our past and present Heads of School, as well as former and current faculty and staff. Check out these videos by clicking the link below!

Hilltop Montessori School’s mission is for students to practice responsible independence in a caring community of curious, critical learners and thoughtful citizens.

Core themes

The Educational Partnership 

Honest, open communication forms the basis of the educational partnership among teachers, students and parents. Members of the Hilltop community believe that it is the responsibility of each individual to be respectful and caring of each other and of the world in which we live.

The Montessori Curriculum 

The Montessori curriculum fosters inquiry and exploration. Teachers committed to Montessori principles serve as role models and guides in a multi-disciplinary curriculum that requires initiative, problem solving skills and the personal integrity to work to one’s fullest capacity.

The Prepared Environment 

Each child is given the freedom and permission to learn directly from a thoughtfully prepared environment. The responsibility to make choices instills in students self-discipline, independence, and joy in the learning process.

The Collaborative Learning Community 

In Hilltop’s multi-age classrooms students are encouraged to develop, share, and acknowledge individual strengths and skills. Learning is a collaborative process in which students inspire, motivate, teach and, above all, respect each other.

The Potential of Each Individual 

On an intellectual, emotional, physical and spiritual level students are guided and supported as they strive toward fulfilling their individual potential. By respecting a child’s unique voice, learning style, rhythm and pace, teachers foster self-confidence and a willingness to take risks. Student assessments measure the personal growth of each individual in the academic and social context.

Land Acknowledgement

To honor the work of fostering the future generations in a thoughtful way, we would like to acknowledge that the land our school is on is part of N’Dakina, the original homelands of the Abenaki People, and was never ceded to any other government and remains the land of the Abenaki. We acknowledge the painful history of genocide and forced removal from this territory and we honor and respect the many Indigenous people still connected to this land.

Accreditation & Affiliation

Hilltop is a fully accredited Montessori school by the American Montessori Society (AMS). Hilltop is affiliated with the North American Montessori Teachers Association, the Vermont Independent Schools Association, and Montessori Schools of Massachusetts.


STARS is Vermont’s quality recognition system for child care, prekindergarten and afterschool programs. Hilltop is an accredited five-star program, recognized for our outstanding standards for education, staff training, facilities, environment, and curriculum. Being a five-star program allows our families of 3-5 year olds to be eligible for Vermont’s Universal Prekindergarten Funding. Learn more about Pre-K Funding here