McDowell County Schools

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Class of 2019 Senior Walk at Nebo Elementary School

Class of 2019 Senior Walk at Nebo Elementary School

Group shot of 14 people that are each the teacher of the year at their school

Teachers of the Year 2019-2020

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

East McDowell Middle School students at the Outer Banks


Superintendent's Message

Superintendent Mark Garrett Behind Desk
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 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 2018-19.  State accountability results are up. On-time graduation rates are at record highs.  Dropouts are decreasing. Students are earning both academic and industry 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 2019-20.
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

Bus Drivers Needed!

Do you enjoy working with children? Would you consider a part-time job with a starting pay of $14.28 per hour, with no experience required? If this sounds interesting, we encourage you to apply for a school bus driver position with McDowell County Schools. A school bus driver training class is scheduled for December 10, 11, & 12, 2019, at McDowell Technical Community College. Anyone interested in attending class and driving a school bus should apply in person at the bus garage at 7 Reid Street. Please contact our transportation department at 652-7610 for more information.

Parents of Students with Autism

Come Join Us!

October 29 th from 8:30am until 10am
A Walk in Your Child’s Shoes ~
Making and Keeping Friends
Speakers ~ AU Team Members

Workshop is sponsored by Exceptional Children’s Staff

In Board Room @ Central Office

Donuts and coffee will be served – Child care provided – Advance
Notice Required!

Please call 652-6580 ext. 1203
If you need more information and/or childcare.

Tracey Childers featured on Teachers in America Podcast - Click HERE to listen!

Photo of Tracey Childers

Our very own Tracey Childers was featured on a podcast that aired this past week. He was asked to talk about his experience coming into teaching after a 30-year career in industry. Tracey did a wonderful job representing Foothills Community School and McDowell County Schools, but this is no surprise to those who know him. He is a wonderful educator and an even better person.

New & Important Online Meal Application Information! Click HERE to Apply.

Free & Reduced Meal Benefits

Apply on-line for your children to receive free or reduced-price school meals. Your application will be sent from a secure web site directly to McDowell County Schools, so you don’t need to worry about filling out a paper form that could be lost or misplaced. has been designed to make it easy for you to know exactly what information you need to provide and to guide you through the process. Once your application has been received the district office will determine your eligibility and send you a letter with the results. If you know your child’s lunch number, this will help to match your application to your child in our system.

To apply simply go to and click “Apply Now” and go through all the questions. The final process is to click the “Submit” button to send it to the central office.

* If you don't have access to the internet at home computers will be available during open house events at your child's school or call 652-5633 for a paper copy of this year's Free and Reduced Meal Application.

** If you have already received a letter telling you that your child was preapproved for meal benefits for the 2019-2020 school year, you do not need to reapply. Please make sure all of the school-aged children living in your household are listed on the approval letter so we will be certain they are also receiving the correct benefits you are eligible for. If not please contact Erin Buchanan at 652-5633 or

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Events Photo
Half Day
Date: 12/20/2019
No School-Annual Leave Day
Date: 12/23/2019
No School-Holiday
Date: 12/24/2019
No School-Holiday
Date: 12/25/2019
No School-Holiday
Date: 12/26/2019