We are 2 weeks into our $10K in 30 days ~ Sustaining Our Mission fundraising campaign. We are so thankful to those who have donated already! However, we have only raised about a fifth of our goal so far, and we need your HELP!

We have lots of great prizes to thank you for making us the recipient of your generous giving. If you have not yet donated, please do so now.   



This year, our fall fundraising campaign is focused on developing a Sustainability Fund. We seek to shore up our facilities, fully fund our scholarships, embark on accreditation with the Virginia Association of Independent Schools, increase support to maintain excellence in our academic, social-emotion learning and enrichment programs, and take more steps to attract and retain excellent faculty and staff by offering better compensation and professional development opportunities.


Please support the vital work we are doing at Blue Mountain School through our unique approach to education. Our school community is committed to providing a comprehensive education that nurtures the mind and heart, the rational and creative, the physical and spiritual, to honor the whole child.


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

Shelly Emmett
Shelly Emmett


Sometimes, our students say things that sound so wise, I can hardly believe the words are coming from the mouths of a 5- or 6-year old child and not from a 95- or 96-year-old grandmother.


This week, three students were in the office talking with me about a situation that ended with all three of them mad enough to hit each other (they are 5- and 6-year-olds). After they apologized to each other (unprompted), we started talking about what led them to each be so angry with each other. It turns out that one of the students took something that belonged to one of the others, and things went down hill from there. When I asked him why he took something that wasn't his, he said "I didn't think it through. I do that a lot," and one of the other students answered "I understand."


Wow. Being able to accept one's own missteps, apologizing freely, expressing compassion and understanding...if only we adults could so masterfully navigate conflict!

Moments like this are a sure sign that we are on the right track by providing time, space, and skills that support our students in communicating with each other this way.

The Fellowship
Corey Avellar
Corey Avellar


I love all the hard work the Fellowship students have been doing! What have we been up to?

I'll pass it over to the students and let them tell you.

Cedar says...

This October and November we have been learning about the Native Americans and reading The City of Ember.

On Halloween, we had a treasure hunt that was really fun, and we did optical illusions in our room.  

Layla says... 
We have been working on science projects; we each have our own planet we're working on. We are also spending a lot of time on our Sit Spots. We each have our own sit spot website, where we put pictures and descriptions of the things we find by our sit spots, and we will be blogging about different things that have to do with our sit spots.

Early Learners
Hari Berzins & June Kelly 
Hari Berzins
June Kelly


Jenni is on maternity leave. No babies yet, but any day now! 


Hari says...


The seasons and celebrations are of big interest in our class. With the arrival of Fall and Halloween, we spent a lot of time with pumpkins!  


We guessed how many pumpkin seeds were in just one pumpkin, and then we counted. Our pumpkin didn't have a billion seeds, or 500. It had 258! 

But how to decide what face our jack-o-lantern should have? We each designed different eyes, mouths, and noses, and then we picked parts (without looking!) and used those parts to guide our carving.

June says...


Thank you all for the warm welcome! I am enjoying getting to know the students, and I can't wait to see what we do next. Here are just a few of the things we are currently working on:

  • focusing on naming our feelings so that we can share them with others and tell them our needs
  • making fun crafts to help us learn our letter sounds
  • sounding out and writing simple words
  • displaying number patterns counting by 2's, 5's, 10's
  • keeping track of our school days using paper clips and classifying them by ones and tens
  • using money stamps to make combinations that correlate to our school day
  • having book share and science share
  • enjoying our friends


Invisible Magic Horses
Stefi Schafer & Ashley Morales
Stefi Schafer
Ashley Morales

The change of the season did not go unnoticed by the Invisible Magic Horses, we have been talking about chillier mornings, windy afternoons and the changes in the trees.

Blue sky, crisp air, and sunshine: fall is definitely here and is a perfect time for apple picking at our neighbor's (Strengthening Our System) tree. Before departing, we read a book about trees, and voted on what we might like to do with the apples we would gather. Three friends wanted to eat them whole,  five friends wanted to make applesauce, and two friends wanted to do both.  Next, every horse got a basket, and we set off as a pumpernickel sandwich (teachers are the bread at both ends, kids are the filling in the middle) to gather apples. The ground was covered with apples, and everyone got a chance to be lifted up to get apples off the branches.

Within a few minutes their baskets were full, some too full and heavy to even carry back! Stronger friends quickly came to the aid of children whose baskets were overflowing and with some rearranging and collaboration the load was shared and all the apples made it back to school.

For the next few days we enjoyed eating lots and lots of apples. Friends went to their baskets, one two and even three times, to get delicious apples to eat. They were really, really tasty! We decided to turn some of our apples into applesauce, which was just as tasty!
We also have been reading about Fall, and during our Morning Meeting one day, we read Leaf Man, by Lois Ehlert. This story naturally led to some outdoor leaf collecting. The wind swirled around us as we ran and gathered leaves in our baskets, sometimes dumping them out only to refill them again. We took a stroll down one of the trails in the woods and found not only colorful leaves, but slugs and lichen as well. With full baskets we came inside to make our very own leaf people and animals. The tables and floor were scattered with colorful leaves as the Magic Horses got to work creating. Some friends collaborated on leaf people while others knew exactly what they wanted to make on their own. Dorothy is proudly displaying her leaf cat.

As usual we are using the interests across the curriculum, this time math has become a major area of learning. When we voted on how to use the apples, we counted and compared sets of numbers. As a further extension we supplied little plastic leaves and apples and trees with dice.  We harvested the apples collaboratively, taking turns rolling the die and "picking" the correct number of apples till the tree was empty. This activity even became homework, a tree and fall colored paper bits went home to encourage further math exploration and strengthen the home-school connection.

Yoga & Physical Education
Sarah McCarthy
Sarah McCarthy


Family Circle Time


Lately I have been having trouble slowing down in my life. I feel one of the repercussions of being so busy is not feeling as present and connected to my family as I would like to be. When life gets like this I try to remember some tools our family uses to practice mindfulness. Some of our tools include family morning meditation and family circle time.' Family Circle Time' is taking time out routinely to all be together, be present and check-in with one another. Essentially it is slowing down, being there for one another, and listening to each other.


It helps to have a routine and a set time daily or weekly, ten to twenty minutes is fine. Pick a comfortable, calm place that feels good to everyone; perhaps it is outside on nice days. First do a centering activity to help the mind and body arrive and slow down: Deep belly breathing, five minutes of meditation, listening to al the sounds around you, or have a seasonal game or theme . Next, you can do a check - in with everyone in the family, kids and adults. How are you feeling? How has your week been? Do you have certain goals for next week or even today? If your kids are quite young a one word on how they are feeling is great or they can describe a favorite moment of the week. Reading a meaningful book can be a nice part of family circle too. Make it fun!


Routine, consistency, creativity, and fun seem to be the key to a successful family circle. Perhaps you start with a cup of tea and treats. Make it your own and commit to creating more space and presence in your family's life. We could all use time to slow down and connect more!

Lore Deighan
Lore Deighan




The kids had a great time making my costume.  This has become quite a tradition and the students excitedly look forward to it each year!  I love our school traditions, connecting each year with the past, creating a rich history and a fun, loving community!  What a wonderful place for us to be.

Contemplative Studies


The energy of mindfulness contains the energy of concentration as well as the energy of insight. Concentration helps you to focus on just one thing. With concentration, the energy of looking becomes more powerful. Because of that, it can make a breakthrough that is insight. Insight always has the power of liberating you. If mindfulness is there, and you know how to keep mindfulness alive, concentration will be there, too. And if you know how to keep concentration alive, insight will come also. So mindfulness recognizes, embraces, and relieves. Mindfulness helps us look deeply in order to gain insight. Insight is the liberating factor. It is what frees us and allows transformation to happen.

- Thich Nat Han

My main focus this year is to encourage students to develop a practice of mindfulness. Taking mindfulness beyond a 45-minute per week class can be very profound. I am requiring the Mad Scientists and the Fellowship students to keep a "Mindfulness Journal" in which they have been asked to note daily a mindful moment. Here is one except from the writings the students have been doing:

"Today when I was walking on the beach, I noticed that the waves went in and out, and in between there is a space! just like your breath. Cool! Right?" 

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
The Fellowship
Early Learners
Invisible Magic Horses
Yoga & PE
Contemplative Studies
Parent Reminder
Nov 12: Board Meeting
Nov 21: Make Up Day
Nov 25: Half Day (9-1) and Thankful Celebration (12)
Nov 26-27: No School - Thanksgiving Break

Refer a new family to BMS, and you will receive a $250 credit to apply to your May invoice or 2015 Summer Camp! Contact Carol for more info.
Board of Trustees

We are in the midst of our 10K in 30 days fundraising campaign.  If you have not already donated, please do so now.  We have excellent prizes for donations and your money will be put to very good use - in facilities, scholarships, accreditation, and programming updates.  We thank everyone who has donated thus far and hope that you will share our needs with friends and family and encourage them to donate as well!

The next meeting of the Board of Trustees is Wednesday, November 12, at 5:30 in the enrichment room. The public is welcome to attend.  


In Gratitude We Thank
Kristan Morrison, Andrea Goodrum, Inge Terrill, Chris Newitt & Katie Cesario, Virginia Klara, Alta Pickford, Lester Gillespie & Martha Taylor, Bob Grubel, Jim Best, Wenona Scott & Shannon Atkins, Carol & Andy Volker, Beverly Billand, Shelly Emmett, Shayne Goodrum, Sarah McCarthy & Jagadisha, Sue Avellar, John & Mary Peluso, Terrie Wood, Edward & Renate Smith, Ashley Morales, Lore Deighan & Justin Grimes, Bill & Corinne Graefe, Linda & Chuck Riley, Elizabeth Hammond, Jean Smith, Trish Reynolds, Jacob Horton, Cassie & Scott Pierce, June Kelly, Patricia & Philip Shoemaker, and Angela Kessler & Warren Lapin  for donating to our Sustaining Our Mission Campaign.

Rebekah Hicks, Linda Johnson, and Martha Taylor
for helping in the classroom.

Tree Gigante for taking such good care of The Fellowship.

Linda and Chick Fox for bringing treats for the staff.

Kari Zoller for donating a printer.

Wes Wenger for working with the Fellowship on a puppet show to be performed in December. 



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.
Going Krogering?

With all the wonderful and farm fresh food in Floyd, it's hard to imagine spending much time in Kroger, but if you find yourself there, please help the school earn a little extra for the scholarship fund.

Link your Kroger Card to BMS with the Community Rewards Program. Our Organization Number is 84005.

Blue Mountain School 

470 Christiansburg Pike, Floyd, Virginia 24091