The countdown is on! School starts in less than two weeks. Are you ready?  


Stay tuned to your email and our Facebook group for more information and pictures.

Shelly Emmett
Shelly Emmett


As teachers return to school this week, we will be starting our sixth year in operation as a contemplative progressive school. We have learned a lot about putting this model--which sounds great to many in theory--into practice in real life in the last five years. When we first began, teaching mindfulness to young children was not a focus in education, mainstream or otherwise. Now, mindfulness practice is widely recognized as a powerful tool that helps children not only emotionally and socially, but academically, too (one study found mindfulness practice to be more effective at increasing students' test scores than even one-on-one tutoring in the subject area). Progressive education has been around in this country for over a century, but in the field of education the popularity and practice of progressive ideas ebbs and flows depending on the politics and culture of the time.

Over the past five years, we have gained confidence in the value of teaching contemplative practices to kids, as well as engaging with them in the learning process. Even though we know that mainstream education will not always reflect the ideals that we have here, we see, feel, and know the value of what we are offering our students and families, ourselves. Together with our students and families, we will continue to celebrate being part of an educational movement that recognizes the importance of tending to the whole child. Welcome to the 2014-2015 school year!

Farewell from Miranda

Parting is such sweet sorrow
Especially for how much I love BMS.
Although I am excited to be moving back to the sea,
Children here have made me a better teacher.
Everyone must follow their paths.

Please Welcome Shawna!

Please welcome our new middle elementary teacher, Shawna Williams. Shawna has a master's degree in education and over 15 years teaching experience in both public and private schools. Here is a brief look into Shawna's teaching philosophy:

I work to reach all of my students' needs at their individual level by creating lessons that incorporate as many different learning styles and multiple intelligences that the subject allows. If you walked into my classroom, you might observe us beginning our day with a Morning Message meeting and students participating in an academic game or movement activity. You might see us using the arts as a learning tool, a reflection piece, an assessment device, or a catalyst for exploring ideas and making connections. You would most likely observe students setting goals, leading discussions, and problem solving together, and while there would frequently be students chatting and engaged in group collaboration, you would also find other students completing assignments independently. You may discover exercise balls being used as seats or a student focusing on a sand garden while listening to a teacher-led lesson. Depending on the day and lesson, you could find students engaged in center work, a hands-on project, or a movement piece. My classroom is rarely completely silent; it is abuzz with student inquiry, activity, and reflection.

It's Tea Time!
Jessi Howell
Jessi Howell

The BMS Parent Collective invites you to join teachers and staff for our Back-to-School Tea on August 27 at 5:00. The tea is a wonderful opportunity for students and their families to check out classrooms, chat with teachers about the upcoming year, catch up with old friends, and meet some new friends, too.

There will be an All-School Meeting following the Tea at 6:00. Director Shelly Emmett will be sharing with you her plans for the year, and you will have a chance to ask any questions you might have. Child care will be provided.

If you would like more information about the Parent Collective, please contact me by phone or text at 540-230-5352 or by email.

We hope you enjoyed reading the Indigo Messenger.

Be sure to  it to anyone you think may be interested.

Thank you,

The folks at

In This Issue
Tea Time
Parent Reminder

Aug 25:
Lower Elementary Parent Meeting (5:00) and Upper Elementary/Middle School Parent Meeting (5:30)
Aug 26: Kindergarten Parent meeting (5:00) and Middle Elementary Parent Meeting (5:30)

Aug 27:
Back-to-School Tea (5:00) and All-School Meeting (6:00)

Sep 2:
Half Day (9:00 to 1:00) and Preschool Parent Meeting (1:00)

Please turn in all required forms to the office by the first day of school. You should have received everything you need in the mail recently. If you didn't receive a packet or if you have any questions about what you received, please contact Carol
The Board will meet next on September 10 at 5:30 in the enrichment room. The public is welcome to attend.


In Gratitude We Thank

Miranda, Jason, Simone, and Stella Altice for being a beloved part of the BMS Family.

Arthur Rodriguez
for helping set up the networking and printers for the school computers.

Bob Grubel for donating to the scholarship fund.

Guru Priya Kaur for bequeathing money to the scholarship fund and Juniper Healy for facilitating this gift.

Beth Spillman and Karl Berzins for all their hard work on the school facilities over the summer.

Vicki Town for donating books.  

Warren Lapine and Angela Kessler for paying the school's mortgage.



Shopping on Amazon?

We encourage everyone to support local businesses whenever you can. However, if you find yourself shopping on Amazon, please use the link below, and a portion of your purchase will go into our scholarship fund.

Blue Mountain School 

470 Christiansburg Pike, Floyd, Virginia 24091