McDowell County Schools

Skip to main content
Main Menu Toggle
East McDowell Middle School students at the Outer Banks


students with race bibs

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

high senior giving high fives to elementary students

Class of 2018 Senior Walk at Eastfield Global Magnet School

about 40 teachers with awards

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

13 Teachers holding flowers

Teachers of the Year

Students on Wright Flyer Model

WMMS at the Outer Banks

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

Bus Drivers Need

We need bus drivers for the upcoming school year. Starting pay for our school bus drivers is $14.00 per hour. A school bus driver training class is scheduled for July 17, 18, and 19 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 828-652-7610 for more information.

Literacy Cafe: July 9 - August 02, 2018

McDowell County Schools will provide mobile library services for students Pre-K - 12th grade. The Literacy Cafe (formerly known as the Literacy Bus) will stop at various community locations, giving students the opportunity to check-out books free of charge, in both English and Spanish, throughout the months of July and the first week of August. Students may checkout two books weekly.

Did you notice the word “cafe” in Literacy Cafe? This year we are adding an additional feature to our services. If the Literacy Cafe stops in your area after 10:30 AM each day, any person 18 years of age and under, may receive lunch free of charge aboard the Literacy Cafe. Lunch service will begin the week of July 9th through August 2nd. Yes, that’s right! The Literacy Cafe has a mobile food service coming to a location near you (food service locations are bold).

The Literacy Cafe will be on the road four days a week. Lunch will be served beginning the week of July 9th - August 2nd.

McDowell County Schools is looking forward to “Serving bodies and minds” of the children this summer.

Literacy Cafe Schedule: July 9 - August 02, 2018 (40 minute stop at each location)

Bright Beginnings - 9:00
Early Childhood Center (FUMC) - 9:50
*New Manna (Park Ave)-11:15
*Parker’s Chapel 12:20
YMCA Camp at PG - 1:30

Early Head Start - 9:30
Addie’s Chapel - 11:00
*Dawn’s Drive - 12:00
*Lamplighter’s Estate 1:00
*Sugar Hill FD. - 2:00

OFE Camp 8:30
*Frisbee’s - 11:00
*PG Ruritan Pool -12:00
*Mad Momma’s - 1:00
*Twin Lakes Campgrd -1:50

First Baptist Ch. - 8:30
McDowell Tech PreK - 9:20
*Hankins Village Park - 10:50
*Triple J MH Park - 12:00
*Ponderosa - 1:10

* Food Service Location

For more information concerning the McDowell County Schools Literacy Cafe, please contact Crystal Hamby at 652-4535 ext. 104 or email

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)

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

Show All News »


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