Our Program

Hilltop is open Monday through Friday from 7 AM to 6 PM and offers part-time, full-time and extended-day programs that meet with the needs of working parents. We enroll children ages 2 to 5 years old. Your child does not need to be potty-trained to be admitted.

For the current Hilltop calendar, click here.

Our Curriculum

At Hilltop, learning is fun! We have two mixed-aged classrooms with a “free-choice,” play-based, emergent curriculum in which children are allowed to choose from a wide variety of activities, all designed to help them develop life’s basic growing skills: self-esteem, self-expression, conflict resolution and a curiosity about the world around them. We offer creative experiences in art, music, movement, science and nature, communication and language, and physical education. Our goal is to provide children their first glimpse of the world in a safe environment where the hard work of growing up and solving problems can be learned through personal experience.

Our Staff

Hilltop’s staff is composed of highly trained professional teachers and teacher’s assistants, all selected by the parents. While degrees are important, affection, patience, enthusiasm and “quality” experience in working with preschoolers are main considerations in hiring staff. In addition to planning and organizing Hilltop’s curriculum and daily activities, Hilltop’s staff provides guidance and supervision to classroom volunteers, conducts parent conferences and maintains a steady watch on each child’s development.

A Parent-Owned Cooperative

A cooperative nursery school is “owned” by the community of families it serves. Parents are involved in all aspects of their child’s education from participating in the classroom, hiring staff and serving on the Board of Directors to organizing fundraising activities for the school. This participation demands commitment from every family, but there are many rewards. Co-op members benefit by being part of an extended family and feeling secure about where and by whom their child is being taught.

For children, the benefits of a cooperative school are even greater. With family members involved, the transition from home life to school life is easier, a child’s self-esteem is boosted and both parents and child develop a dynamic learning relationship that carries over into the future.

As a cooperative preschool with half-day, full-day and extended-day hours, Hilltop is an ideal place for families who want to be involved with their children’s education in a hands-on way, but who may need more hours than most co-ops are able to provide.

Parent Participation

Because its families have a wide range of schedules and skill sets, Hilltop offers a variety of ways for families to do their part in running the school.

All families are required to:

  • Attend Family Meetings one night each month, to facilitate communication and community-building
  • Participate in fundraising activities essential to maintaining the socioeconomic diversity that is central to the school’s values
  • Give six hours per year in maintenance
  • Serve on a school committee
  • Do school laundry once a year

Although they may participate in different ways at different times, all Hilltop families share a commitment to collective responsibility, and a belief that you get from a community what you put into it.