Application Process

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Thank you for thinking of Hilltop for your child’s educational journey! 

Hilltop Montessori School is a small, progressive, authentic Montessori school. Parent/guardian partnership, participation, and understanding of what we do (and why we do it!) is vital to the success of each of our students. We value each member of our community, and want to start off our relationship with each applicant and applicant family in a place of mutual understanding. Our admissions process is designed with this in mind, with the goal of setting up each individual student for success at Hilltop through learning and community. 

If you have any questions about the application process, please feel free to contact me at [email protected], and I would be more than happy to answer your questions. 

I look forward to partnering with you, and helping to begin your child’s educational journey with Hilltop! 

-Zoe Proctor, Director of Admissions & Enrollment

step one

Learn more about hilltop

Our mission is to inspire life-long learners, and it is critical that each family who joins Hilltop has a basic understanding of Montessori pedagogy and Hilltop programs. There are three ways families can do this:

  • Join us for an Open House on Wednesday, May 15th, from 9:30-11am
    • Visiting days are a wonderful, in-depth chance to see Hilltop in action, speak with teachers and students via group Q&A, and meet fellow applicants. Visiting Days are approximately 2 hours long. 
    • RSVP to an our upcoming Open House here!
  • Join Zoe Proctor, Admissions Director, for a 1:1 tour
    • 1:1 tours are also a great way to learn more about Hilltop. In order to see the classrooms in action, sign up for a tour during our Morning Work Cycle, between 9-11am. These tours are intended for adults, though older students interested in UE and MS are welcome to join. 1:1 tours are approximately 1 hour long. 
    • Sign up for a 1:1 tour here
  • Schedule an online meeting with Zoe Proctor, Admissions Director
    • If you are unable to come for a tour in person (if you are out of state, for example), we can find a time to “meet” online to discuss our programs and answer any questions you may have. Please note that in-person tours are preferable. Hilltop uses Google Meet. Online meetings are approximately 30 minutes long. 
    • Sign up for an online meeting here

Parent/Guardian tours and visits are intended for adults, and we ask that you keep young children at home if possible. If you have an older student interested in Upper Elementary and Middle School, they would be welcome to join. Babies in carriers are also welcome. 

If none of the options available work for you, or there are specific circumstances you would like to discuss, please reach out and we would be happy to figure something out that works for you. You can reach Zoe at [email protected]. We also invite you to explore our website, and take a look at some past Parent Education workshops

step two

Submit an application

Once you have completed step one of the Admissions Process, Zoe will reach out with a link to our online application. For students applying for Elementary and Middle School, school records and a current teacher assessment are included (and required) with the application.

Applying for an Index Tuition Level below 100%

If you are interested in applying for a school grant Index Tuition program, please let Zoe know so that she can provide a link and you can do so in tandem with your school application. Information about the Index Tuition program is available here. 

Toddler Program and Children’s House Applicants

The first source of funding available for children under age 6 in Vermont is the Child Care Financial Assistance Program (CCFAP). The financial resources that Hilltop has available to support families is finite, and we rely heavily on state funding to subsidize much of our programming. If state funding is available to families, we have to ask that you apply. This will allow us to have more school grant funding for families in school aged program levels, where this type of state funding is not available. To learn more about CCFAP, click here

step three

student visits (CH-MS)

Student Visits will be set up for students applying for Children’s House through Middle School after an application has been submitted. I will reach out to you to find a time that works for you. Toddler Program applicants are not required to visit prior to enrollment. 

  • Students applying for Children’s House will spend approximately 20-30 minutes in the classroom while the rest of the students are not there. This could happen before school starts, or after the school day ends. This gives our young applicants the opportunity to explore the classroom, meet the teachers, and interact with materials without the hustle and bustle of other students. We ask that parents/guardians use this time to take a step back and observe, or chat with Zoe, and allow their child to engage independently with the teacher.
  • Students applying for Lower and Upper Elementary will spend half of a day in the classroom, from 8:30 – 11:30am. Applicants will be paired with one or two classroom ambassadors who will be their buddy for the morning, including giving them a tour and showing them the ropes. Students will need to bring a snack to eat when they get hungry, and a water bottle. 
  • Students applying for the Middle School will spend one or two full days in the classroom. At this age, it is critical that students understand what they are signing up for just as much as the adults in their life do. Please let us know if there is a specific subject your student is particularly interested in, and we will try and schedule a day for them to visit when they might be able to participate in that. Whether or not a student comes for one or two visits is collectively up to the student, teachers, and family. Students will need to come with a snack, lunch, and appropriate outdoor gear for whatever the weather may be. 
step four


Once your family has completed steps 1-3, your applicant will officially be considered for enrollment. HMS makes first round enrollment decisions by March 15th, after which we operate on rolling admissions, which means that we continue to accept students until classrooms are full. Families will get an email of acceptance that includes instructions on how to create a FACTS Family Portal and complete our online Enrollment Packet. Once enrolled, families will be required to attend a Montessori 101 workshop to deepen your understanding of Montessori pedagogy, and how it plays out here at Hilltop. A couple of times will be offered at the start of the school year for families to choose from. Please see our full Enrollment Policy below.

Do you still have questions? Check out our Admissions FAQ page!

enrollment policy

As an approved independent school Hilltop Montessori School (HMS) follows these enrollment policies:

  1. All applications to HMS shall be made voluntarily.
  2. No student shall be denied acceptance for enrollment in HMS on the basis of disability (as defined in Section 504 of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended), or that the student is eligible for special education or undergoing the comprehensive evaluation process for special education, race, ethnicity, national origin, immigration status, language, religion, socioeconomic status, gender identity, size, sexual orientation, dis/ability or any other classification protected by federal or state law.
  3. HMS may make acceptance decisions based on considerations such as student and family agreement with the Montessori philosophy (including a commitment to the three year cycle), student ability to be successful within the parameters of a Montessori learning environment, enrollment of other family members, age (in respect to a balance of our mixed-age classrooms), general makeup of the classroom, and date of application. 
  4. If the number of applicants to HMS exceeds capacity, enrollment decisions shall be based first upon continuing to enroll previously enrolled students and then upon considerations itemized in paragraph 3 above.