On August 28th, we began our 36th year at Blue Mountain School. With nearly 60 students in our classrooms this Fall, we are ready for all the wonderful adventures headed our way! We hope you will join us each month as we share our stories with you here in the Indigo Messenger.

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

Shelly Fox
Shelly Fox


This year, our school community has grown and now includes a number of families who are new to us. If you have been a part of BMS before, I hope you already feel connected to our community and see yourself and your family as an important part of it; please join us in also welcoming our new families and helping them to feel seen and heard. If you are new to BMS, I hope that it is already clear to you that you and your family matter here. Our school places a high value on the unique contribution and presence that each of our families, staff, and board members bring to the whole community that is BMS.


As is true for every living thing, our school and the people who make up our school have changed over the summer. Some of these changes at school are cosmetic, but some are deeper and have to do with a deepening sense of who we are as a school. We have built some new practices and ideas into our classrooms, our play time, and our outdoor spaces as we respond to the needs of our students and our school as an entity, as well. If you haven't had a chance to do so already, we welcome you to connect with a staff member to learn more about some of these new practices and ideas. And rest assured that even as BMS evolves, the values and vision that we share remain strong and clear.

Upper Elementary & Middle School
Holly Haworth
Holly Haworth
I am very excited to be beginning my second year at Blue Mountain School. Our class has grown this year! I would like to welcome our new students Kanaya, Miya, Rowan, Julian, and Nyjah.

We have begun our year by getting to know each other through stories and sharing. Students are each choosing an animal guide that will accompany them on their journey through the school year. We will be doing art projects in the coming weeks to bring these animal guides forth.

We have many exciting projects in store for us this year, and I look forward to watching our class grow and discover.

Black Fire-Breathing Pythons
Shelly Sherman
Shelly Sherman
After a summer of adventures, the middle elementary class is back together again. Joining us are six new friends who we are excited to include in our learning journeys!

The first week of school was full of getting-to-know-you games, sharing summer adventures, and discovering new ideas to make this year fun. Through a highly democratic process, we also chose the name of our class to be .............the Black Fire-Breathing Pythons!! (A close second was The Red Fluffy Dragons.)

Despite our name, which would imply a healthy diet of rodent-like creatures, we have welcomed two such furry companions into our lair as friends - not food! Cloudy and Caramel, two adorable 4-month-old rats, have joined us to teach, learn, and grow along side us this year. Our first month of school we will be working on team building and learning about how to care for our new rat friends.

Early Learning
Jenni Heartway
Jenni Heartway
I'm so excited to be returning to Blue Mountain after a full summer!

My favorite part of the summer was spending time outside with my family. It didn't matter if it was in the woods behind our house, on the river, at the beach, or at our favorite hiking spot. Being outdoors is a great way for our family to reset and connect.

Early Childhood
Stefi Schafer & Tammie Sarver
Stefi Schafer
Tammie Sarver

Our first days of school have been very peaceful and filled with construction of all kinds!

Our main work at the start of a school year is to build security, friendships, and a sense of the rhythms of our school days. Returning students have enjoyed being reunited with old friends, and new friends are growing more confident in our classroom. We teachers have enjoyed getting to know families as our class mamas and daddies have lingered in the mornings transitioning our friends into their days.

We've also built lots of trains, towers, structures, and stories of myriad descriptions! Our friends have been spending lots of time in the writing area and dramatic play areas, and we've all really enjoyed our new media table. What goes in the media table? All sorts of things like bottle caps, shaving cream, bubbles...aka media. Playing with these bits and blobs gives kids a fabulous sensory opportunity to develop fine motor skills and stimulate lots of learning across the preschool curricula. We are building our collection of various media to expand our sensory experiences, and if you have something you'd like to contribute, let's chat!

We look forward to watching all of this grow in our constructivist learning environment!

Yoga & Physical Education
Sarah McCarthy
Sarah McCarthy
I am grateful to be back teaching yoga and P.E  at our fantastic little school in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  

Sometimes it is nice to share what we teachers do in our time away from school. This summer, Jagadisha, Satya, and I enjoyed a sweet journey to Colorado to spend time with family. We hopped in our car in mid-July (way too close to getting done with my busiest art show!), and headed to the other side of the country to celebrate my parents' 50th wedding anniversary. They renewed their vows surrounded by lots of family and friends. It was beautiful and inspiring! I feel so blessed to have parents that have grown in love over so many years and have been together for so long. 

While we were out west, Satya, Jagadisha, and I also went on an epic backpacking trip in the White River National Forest outside of Vail, Colorado. We packed up our new backpacking stove (it fits into a 4x2 inch case - oh my!) and way too much food, and then we headed out.

The trail we took bordered a raging river, which followed us all the way up to our 4-hour destination near a series of mountain lakes. We stopped at the first lake after gasping at how the natural world around us was so utterly beautiful and pristine. We found a site overlooking the lake, over a huge rock. It was hemmed in by tall, rocky mountain peaks ,and it seemed that we were the only ones there. It was pretty perfect.

Just after we set up the tent, we thought about dinner. We realized the mosquitoes were having their dinner already, and we were their main course! The biting bugs were unreal; I somehow thought that high altitude mountain lakes at 10,000 ft+ didn't have biting things. Hmmm... Then I realized that everything around us was so green and lush because there was a huge amount of rain and snow runoff. There were actually little bogs in most low places..perfect nurseries for mosquitoes.

Clouds were haunting us the entire hike, and just after we ate it got dark and started to rain. We were cozy in our waterproof tent and the rain was welcomed. Okay, it was welcomed for the first ten minutes then a torrential thunderstorm storm came. I wondered if putting our tent up near a cliff was such a good idea. I couldn't even hear Jagadisha when he whispered something to me. And then came the lightning! Geez! We survived; but I do remember being thrilled when the storm passed.

We spent the next few days hiking over the pass at 12,000 ft, exploring all the other lakes, purifying water from the lake below our campsite, marveling at the unique wildflowers, and just sitting looking at the immense Rocky Mountains all around.

We hike a lot in our family. We live 5 minutes from The Saddle near Rocky Knob. We all know how magical that place is. But somehow being out so many miles from humans and settlements, in the wilds of the Rockies, it felt different. No stuff, no bathrooms, no buzzing. Long periods of true silence. It was a great reminder of how powerful the natural world is.

Lore Deighan
Lore Deighan

What a full and exciting year we have ahead of us! While it can feel like a shock adjusting to new schedules and routines after summer break, I find myself very optimistic and excited for the school year ahead.

With so many new faces among our school family and the annual re-configuring of classes as students move up through the grades, I am looking forward to the growth that will come as we adjust with these changes.

As I write this, I have completed my first day of teaching which left me feeling inspired, proud, and honored to be a part of this school. The kids seemed so excited to be here, and I was pleased to find that the established art room routines from past years were still present within the returning students. I was also welcomed with endless amounts of hugs!

We spent a lot of our first day talking about the classroom and ways in which we can support ourselves and each other to help make this a peaceful and productive year. Together we agreed to try and follow these three main guidelines, which will be displayed in class:

1. Take care of ourselves.
2. Take care of each other. 
3. Take care of our classroom and supplies.

They may seem somewhat simple at first glance, but I believe that all expectations of conduct within the art room will fall under one of these three statements.

And now, here we go!

Contemplative Studies
With great respect and love, a heartfelt welcome to all new and returning families. I am looking forward to practicing mindfulness with your children throughout the school year.
One way we can help our children become established in mindfulness is to develop a family practice. It could start out very simply, like taking a silent walk together, or taking turns listening to each other share something we are grateful for, or reading a mindfulness-based book at a special time. Eventually sitting for meditation together would be great for all.

Later in the school year I would like to have a meeting on mindful parenting. Tell me if you are interested.

Corey Avellar
Corey Avellar


We had a great first week, and it is so fun to be back with all the kids! Everyone is super enthusiastic and tremendously dramatic! We are planning to prepare a  musical this Fall, which we will preform in early December, and we'll be working on individual class plays again in the Spring.


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
Sep 8: Forest Kindegarten Begins
Sep 21: Harvest Celebration (3:45 to 4:30)

Board of Trustees

The BMS Board of Trustees is currently taking nominations for new board members. If you are interested in learning more about joining the board, please talk to a staff member or send us an email.

The date for the next meeting of the Board is to be determined. Details will be shared on Facebook and via email. The public is welcome to attend all general Board meetings.  


In Gratitude We Thank
All our staff and their families, the Keith Family, the Charles Family, Karl Berzins, JA Floors, Wills Ridge Supply, Farmer Supply, and Slaughter's Garden Center for helping us get the school ready for the new year.

The Town of Floyd for inviting us to participate in at Floyd Small Town Summer.

Martha Sullivan, Perrin and Jenni Heartway, Lore Deighan, Carol and Andy Volker, Tammie Sarver, and Eric Wolf
for volunteering at the Floyd Small Town Summer.

Chantilly Farm for inviting us to participate at Cirque du Floyd.

The Dancin' Dankinis for inviting us to participate at Floyd Yoga Jam.

Stephanie Smith, Cindy Tueller, Tammie Sarver, Eric Wolf, and Carol and Andy Volker for volunteering at our booth at Yoga Jam.

Selu Conservancy for welcoming us for our back-to-school staff retreat.

Mitchell Berliner for a donation to the scholarship fund.

Susan C. Heath, CPA, for keeping our books.

Beegle Landscaping & Lawn Care for taking great care of our grassy areas.

Citizens Telephone Cooperative for donating internet services.

Clark Gas & Oil for keeping us and our water toasty warm.  



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