McDowell County Schools

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East McDowell Middle School students at the Outer Banks


about 40 teachers with awards

Teachers whose students achieved growth in the top 25% in North Carolina.

students with race bibs

North Cove Run Club about to race in the Old Fort Super Leader 5k

Students on Wright Flyer Model

WMMS at the Outer Banks

13 Teachers holding flowers

Teachers of the Year

high senior giving high fives to elementary students

Class of 2018 Senior Walk at Eastfield Global Magnet School

Superintendent's Message

Superintendent Mark Garrett Behind Desk
MCS Family,
On behalf of the Board of Education and our family of educators, I want to welcome you to McDowell County Schools.  Our district is made up of fourteen schools and is fully accredited.  We also have a Head Start program and several NC Pre-K classrooms to serve community pre-school needs.  This means we have the great pleasure of serving students as young as six weeks of age all the way up to high school seniors.
We are excited about the accomplishments of 2016-17.  State accountability results are up.  On time graduation rates are at record highs.  Drop outs are decreasing.  Students are earning more credentials with many completing internships across the region.  Staff turnover is among the lowest in the state.  Buses safely travel over 750,000 miles each year.  School cafeterias serve more than 1.3 million meals annually.  And these are but a few examples of the successes taking place all across McDowell County Schools.  We look forward to even greater things in 2017-18.
Please take time to explore our website to learn more about us.  I encourage you to check back frequently to keep up with McDowell County Schools news and events.  You can also see great things taking place in our schools by following us on our social media platforms:
Twitter: @mcdowell590
We invite you to partner with us to make McDowell County Schools the absolute best place for education.
Mark R. Garrett

News & Announcements

Free Summer Meals

Free summer meals are available for children and teens when school is out.
All Children 18 & under
No Registration Required
No ID Required
To find a summer meal site close to you:

1-Text “FOODNC” to 877-877 / Envie “FOODNC” al 877-877
2-Call 1-866-3HUNGRY (1-866-348-6479) / Llame1-877-8HAMBRE (1-877-842-6273)

Have you signed up for Camp Opportunity?

WHO: Middle grade students (who will be in 6th through 8th grades beginning August 2018) from McDowell County Public Schools

WHEN: June 25-28, 2018 8:30am to 3:00pm

WHERE: McDowell High School, McDowell Technical Community College, and other area locations.

COST: FREE! Includes lunch and snacks!

TRANSPORTATION: Camp will begin each day at McDowell High School; transportation offered through an abbreviated bus route. Transportation to the off-site sessions will be provided.

More Information & Registration: or

Camp Invention is returning to McDowell County Schools!

Camp Invention takes summer fun and transforms it from ordinary to extraordinary!

In partnership with the National Inventors Hall of Fame, Pleasant Gardens Elementary School is pleased to offer the nationally acclaimed Camp Invention program to children entering grades K-6. It’s an exciting, weeklong summer adventure with lessons that explore connections between science, technology, engineering and innovation. Children will work together to seek solutions to real-world problems and sharpen critical 21st century learning skills while rotating through several fascinating modules. The week begins on July 9, 2018 with the Fast Forward™ program!

Here is how young innovators will be spending their time:

Dreaming up and designing their very own futuristic smart home filled with gadgets, LEDs, technology and innovation
Using tools to take apart robotic dogs and compare their inner mechanics to the anatomy and physiology of a real dog
Designing tracks for their Optibots to follow while exploring different modes of transportation
Exploring chemistry, non-Newtonian fluids and magnetism as they investigate magnetic slime

All activities give participants the opportunity to explore, discover and achieve while having fun!

Local educators will facilitate program modules and enthusiastic high school students will serve as Leadership Interns, ensuring that one staff member is in place for every eight children.

Every registration includes a complimentary Camp Invention t-shirt. Availability is limited, so visit or call 800.968.4332 to secure your child’s spot today!


McDowell County Emergency Services is excited to announce that registration for Safety Camp 2018 is now open. During the camp, kids will be taught CPR, first aid, ATV safety, pet safety, water safety, along with other safety sessions. Over 20 different agencies assist with this camp, along with numerous volunteers. A special thank you to Columbia Forest Product's Care Team, who will provide breakfast each morning to the campers. McDowell County Child Nutrition will provide the students lunch during the camp.

When: June 19th - June 21st
Time: 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. each day
Where: East McDowell Middle School
Ages: 6-14
Cost: $20

To register visit
Online registration is available

Hydromaniacs Robotics Team win the 2018 Middle School Champions Award at the RoboFest 2018 State Championship

The Hydromaniacs robotics team from the Foothills Community School competed in the RoboFest 2018 State Robotics Championship in Charlotte, NC on Saturday, May 5, 2018.

The Hydromaniacs won the Middle School Champions Award at the RoboFest 2018 State Championship. They successfully competed against 34 of the top elementary and middle school robotics teams from all across the state of North Carolina.

Congratulations to the Hydromaniacs robotics team!!

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Events Photo
No School-Teacher Workday
Date: 8/20/2018
No School-Teacher Workday (PD)
Date: 8/21/2018
No School-Teacher Workday (PD)
Date: 8/22/2018
No School-Teacher Workday
Date: 8/23/2018
No School-Teacher Workday
Date: 8/24/2018