Indigo Messenger



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

Shelly Emmett
Shelly Emmett


I talk a lot about how grateful I am for our staff here at BMS. One of the highlights of my job is to witness all of us--students and staff alike--grow and change over the course of a school year. I love to see the gifts that each person here offers, and to know that each of us is here for a reason.  


Here are just a few of the things I appreciate about each of our staff:


Carol Volker, Office Manager: Thank you for being a sounding board, a sharer of ideas, and general fixer of things. Thank you for your good brain, your unwavering dedication to the students and staff at our school, and your friendship.


Stefi Schafer, Early Childhood: Thank you for your innate, fierce devotion to young children and for remaining unphased by big 3- and 4-year-old emotions. Thank you for your funny stories about life with the Sandy Gorillas.


Winter Hart, Early Childhood: Thank you for your playfulness and patience with children and for modeling generosity of spirit at school and in the world beyond.  

Corey Avellar, Early Learning: Thank you for your expansive excitement and creativity in and out of the classroom and for your big-hearted nurturing of children and awareness of their needs.


Virginia Klara, Literacy: Thank you for your dependability and adaptability and for helping kids to see the world in a new way.  

Miranda Altice, Lower and Middle Elementary: Thank you for your infectious inspiration and wonderment about many subjects and for modeling and encouraging self-awareness and self-direction in and out of the classroom.


Hari Berzins, Upper Elementary and Middle School: Thank you for showing us how to take a big idea and bring it into reality with grace and professionalism and for your genuine understanding of a group of 9- to 12-year-olds with teeth.


Inge Terrill, Upper Elementary and Middle School: : Thank you for modeling the value of maintaining open-heartedness through extremely difficult times, sharing your joy and sorrow with us all, and sharing your love of science with your class.  

Jonathan Vandergrift, Upper Elementary and Middle School: Thank you for your dedication to providing enriching experiences for your students and the students at school in general. Thank you for modeling the value of learning new skills and techniques in areas in which you would like to grow and then sharing those skills and techniques with others. Thank you for always doing what you say you are going to do.


Lucia Gruber, Music and Movement: Thank you for your steady willingness to try new things and adapt to new ideas in the classroom and for your big-picture thinking as a staff member at the school and a member of the wider Floyd community. Thank you, also, for generously creating the school survey on your own time.


Lore Deighan, Art: Thank you for your warm, nurturing presence and your willingness to get messy for the sake of art and for creating a classroom experience for each group of students that has a (wonderful!) life of it's own, reflecting the unique relationship that you have with each class.


Sarah McCarthy, Yoga and Movement: Thank you for your dedication to learning and sharing your learning in conjunction with your students and for playing games with them that have helped them grow as individuals and a group. Thank you for witnessing and being an integral part of the evolution of this school and for helping to hold the vision of what we are and what we are becoming.  

Jagadisha Rotella, Contemplative Studies: Thank you for your calm, warm, welcoming spirit. Thank you for helping to transform big conflicts first into deep breaths and then into peace. Thank you for offering the gift of believing and expecting that small and big kids can learn to sit in silence and just be.

The Unknowns:
Math and Language Arts
Jonathan Vandergrift
Jonathan Vandergrift

Oh, the things we learned

Views from different points

Even brushing up on grammar

Remembering Pi, not Pie

Analyzing commercials

Novels, too

Division, mostly long

Opinions versus Facts

Unknowns - what a great school year!

Thanks and enjoy the summer.



Red-Eyed Tree Frogs
Miranda Altice
Miranda Altice



Under water
Eating fruit

Under water
Mega ice cream cone
Maine vacation
Extra hot days
Running around

Up late
More free time
Extra ice cream
Remember school

Under the water
More freedom
Magnificent swimming
Extra fun

Under the water
Magnificent sun
Magnificent ice cream
Even if it is never cold

Swimming in the pond
Under the hot sun
More ice cream
Magic in the forest
Extremely hot
Running in a sprinkler

School's out
Under water
Magnificent sun

Warm water
Ice cream
No school
Green grass

Ice Kids
Corey Avellar
Corey Avellar


Hello everyone,

Well it is the last month of the school year, and we all had such a great time that we can't believe it is almost over. We have been getting all our books we made this year ready for our last day book fair. It is like a science fair, but we show the books we've written all throughout the year.

Some of our books take all year to write. For instance our tree books are about trees that we have tagged around the school and have been observing through all the seasons. We have collected seeds, flowers and leaves for the book. We have also completed four art works of a tree in each season. Another theme this year was cycles: life cycles, water cycle, recycle, what goes around comes around, and more. As we learned a new cycle we added it to our cycle book.  Some books take week or a couple of months, such as our worm journal, which involved our observation of creating a habitat, feeding our worms various foods, and how our worms mixed the soil and made it rich for plants. Each book we make has educational skills and knowledge woven in with the creativity, either in the subjects of language arts, science, math, Social Emotional Learning, geography/history, or a combination there of. All our writing is that way.

In fact our latest poems written for Mother's Day combine language arts, grammar and Social Emotional Learning. Let me tell you about them:

Our Mother's Day Poems were created in eight steps:

1. We think about and discuss what moms are, do, mean to and for us.
2. One on one with me the students each make a list of at least 7 things that their mom does. For example, My mom reads me books.
3. Then we look at the verb in each sentence and try to change it into a noun by adding the "er" suffix. For example, "to read" converts to "reader," or "My mom is a book reader."
4. The next step is to add an adjective to the end of the sentence. What is it like when she reads: snugly  exciting, good, fun, cozy, etc. So then the sentence becomes "My mom is an inspiring book reader." You can also see where the S.E.L. (social emotional learning) comes in here and throughout this exercise.
5. Then we have to use our best handwriting for this because it is a present, so we may have to rewrite it if we mess up.
6. Then we go outside and find things in nature we think our moms might like. We press the plants overnight.
7. We make our arrangement first, till we are happy with it then glue it on. We may have to go for a second walk, most did, till we are satisfied.
8. Then we let them dry and gave them to our Moms. Not quite in time for mother's day, but close.

Here they are below. We hope you enjoy them.

Sincerely, Corey and The Ice Kids Class

To see a larger version of a picture, click on it...



Sandy Gorillas
Stefi Schafer & Winter Koeppe
Stefi Schafer
Winter Koeppe




Virginia Klara
Virginia Klara

Times at school
Late summer


Trail meets yours

And again
I will
Notice and bless you.

Virginia Klara
Lore Deighan
Lore Deighan


Icky paper mache 
Too many hot glue gun burns 
'so many materials to explored!  
Belly getting big 
Excited about a new baby
Enthusiastic about next year
Not to worry, I will return!  
Feeling thankful for this school year
Ultra pumped about all that we made 
ow it's time for summer!
Yoga and Movement
Sarah McCarthy
Sarah McCarthy














Music & Movement Education
Lucia Gruber
Lucia Gruber


The focus was in May

to bring everything on its way.


Roots are grown

into skills that are shown
in singing as a choir
and thickening musical wire.


The aesthetic of dancing

together with friends
brought the sense of intense


The playground is for everyone
with drumsticks and fun,

beating together to allude
the rhythm of your mood.


Measuring, cutting, gluing,
decorating, tying, finding tones 

task for every age making bamboo xylophones.

Contemplative Studies
Jagadisha Rotella
Jagadisha Rotella


Sing Summer, Ah! Live and Be!







We hope you enjoyed reading the Indigo Messenger. Be sure to  it to anyone you think may be interested.
Thank you,


In This Issue
Unknowns: Math & Language
Red-Eyed Tree Frogs
Ice Kids
Sandy Gorillas
Yoga & Movement
Music & Movement
Contemplative Studies
Parent Reminder
Board Notes
Parent Collective
On the Calendar
June 4-6: Parent Conferences
June 17-21:
Mystery Camp June 24-28: Radio Camp
July 8-19:
Circus Camp
2013-14 Info Packets Mailed to Families
Aug 29:
Back-to-School Tea
Sept 3: Half-Day -- 1st Day
of Fall Semester

Parent Reminder

The school office will be operating on reduced hours during the summer. Please call before coming by to make sure someone is there.

If you need to make payments over the summer, you can mail checks to the school or place them in the rainbow mailbox next to the office. Please do not put cash in the mailbox or send in the mail. 
Board Notes
Mindful work at hand
Enjoying our community
Everyone is included
Tasks a'plenty
Ingenious thinking allowed
Not your everyday Board
Gathering our thoughts

Our next meeting is June 12 at Wall Residences and is, as always, open to all.
From the Parent Collective
Vested in their future
In love with each and every one
Letting them be kids
Listening with our hearts
Allow the moment to be
Growing up so quick
Enjoy your children!
In Gratitude We Thank

Dolma McPhee
for donating toys and art supplies.

Ashley Morales for donating books.

Scott Smith for bringing the pizza oven and sound system to the end-of-year celebration.

Lyle Martens for helping set up for the end-of-year celebration.

Jennifer Jakubecy and Kathleen McIntyre
for visiting with us and sharing ideas about running contemplative progressive schools.

Angela Kessler
for donating low temperature glue guns for art class.

Linda Johnson and Martha Taylor
for helping in the classroom.

Robert Montague for working with the Chess Club.

An Anonymous Donor
for paying the school's mortgage.

Wilder Publications for donating to the scholarship fund.

The entire Blue Mountain School for another wonderful school year!

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Blue Mountain School 

470 Christiansburg Pike, Floyd, Virginia 24091