McDowell County Schools

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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)
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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!
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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
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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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Angela Autrey of McDowell HS Named Teacher of the Year

Superintendent Mark Garrett is pleased to announce that Angela Autrey has been selected as the 2018-2019 Teacher of the Year for McDowell County Schools. Ms. Autrey is on staff at McDowell High in the Science department. Additionally, Samantha Hartley Hunt has been named the Elementary Teacher of the Year. Ms. Hunt teaches 3rd Grade at Eastfield Global Magnet School. Ms. Autrey was in tears upon the news and received a hug from each of her 2nd period students as they departed the classroom. She shared “McDowell County is blessed to have so many hard working, deserving teachers. I am so humbled to be representing such a wonderful group of educators.”

Superintendent Garrett and members of the district staff visited McDowell High and Eastfield Global Magnet today to make the announcements in front of Ms. Autrey’s and Ms. Hunt’s students and colleagues. All of the 14 school winners were honored at the annual Teacher of the Year Banquet last night at the Marion Community Building, which was sponsored again this year by Wells Fargo Bank. Garrett shared with the guests at the banquet, “Everyone here is deserving of this honor. I want all of you to enjoy tonight’s celebration because, no matter who is announced tomorrow, you are all worthy.”

The faculty at each school in the district selects a school winner each year as part of the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction Teacher of the Year process. Each school winner is then judged based on professional portfolio, classroom visit, and an interview with the district selection committee. The district honors an Elementary and a Secondary Teacher of the Year. One of those two is selected as the MCS Teacher of the Year and represents the district at the Regional level.

Ms. Autrey began her teaching career in 1990 at West McDowell Junior High and moved to McDowell High in 2005. She currently teaches Advanced and AP Chemistry, Honors Biology, and Standard Biology. Autrey also serves on the School Improvement Team and the MTSS committee for MHS. She earned her BS degree in Biology and HS Science from Appalachian State in 1989.

Ms. Hunt earned her BS degree in Elementary Education in 2008 and earned her Masters degree in Elementary Education in 2011, both from Appalachian State. She joined the staff at Pleasant Gardens in 2012 as a Kindergarten teacher. She was reassigned to the staff at Eastfield in 2013. Hunt’s students danced with joy as she told them “this happened because you all are such a great class! Thanks for working so hard and being so awesome!”

Ms. Autrey will represent the district at the Regional level in November.
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Operation Backpack

This school year will be Operation Backpack’s 20th year assisting students with school supplies​. ​School supplies will be available for McDowell County School students of all ages at the ​MAI/​AEC GYM, Monday - Thursday​ from 9:00 am until 4:00 pm ​July 30th ​thru August 1​4th​.

​Supplies will ​only ​be available​ at the ​MAI/​AEC Gym​ on these days. If you are unable to come during summer distribution, please see the school counselor, principal, or a teacher once school begins to request supplies.

From 1 student in 1998 to 989 students ​last summer. ​This assistance was only possible because of our giving and caring community!

Our ​WBRM Remote will be at WalMart on ​Thursday, August ​2nd; ​3:00​ ​p​m - ​5:00 pm Please come out ​and Help us FILL the Bus!!

​​Supplies and monetary donations are ​very ​much ​​appreciated​ and needed​!
Monetary and supply donations are accepted year​-​round at McDowell County Schools, 334 South Main Street, Marion, NC 28752. ​C​hecks can be made to The Endowment Fund and indicated for "Operation Backpack".

If you have questions or need further information, please contact Melanie Dunham at 828-652-4535 x106 or
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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
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McDowell County Board of Education Special Called Meeting 7/30

The McDowell County Board of Education will meet for a Special Called Meeting on Monday, July 30, 2018, at 5:30 PM in the Board Room of the Central Office located at 334 South Main Street, Marion, NC. The purpose of the meeting will be to consider the site selection and plans for a new Old Fort School, personnel considerations, and any other business properly brought before the board relating to the opening of schools for the 2018-2019 year. Following the Special Called Meeting the Board will meet for their monthly Work Session. No action will be taken at the Work Session.
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