McDowell High School Home Page
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On July 1st, 2015 we will begin working on the new McDowell County Schools website. áWe may experience down time as we transition to a new provider. áPlease check our Facebook pageáfor updates during the transition.
School Information
McDowell High School is extremely proud of its academic tradition. From the time the school was established in 1971, students have excelled in all types of scholarly endeavors, and been recognized for their successes. In 1985, McDowell was awarded the Excellence in Education Award from the United States Department of Education. We often serve as a pilot school for new educational initiatives in North Carolina, including the ABCs of Education.

McDowell High continues to receive recognition for academic excellence. The Teacher Cadet class has been observed by a delegation from Washington D.C. and from Raleigh and then recognized nationally for its innovation. The class is one of only three such classes in the state in which the students receive college credit. The NJROTC Academic Team consistently ranks in the top 2% in the nation. The graduating class of 1998, consisting of approximately 350 students, received over $1.6 million in scholarship offers. In the 1998-99 school year, one of our seniors was the recipient of the High School Heisman Award, and a student from our school has been awarded the Morehead Scholarship three of the last five years.
Student Gmail Login
Access by clicking "Gmail Login" from the [Students] menu or go to

Username is firstname + last four digits of student ID.

Example: david1234

Password is “mcdowell” + last four digits of SSN.

Example: mcdowell5678

Address is firstname + last four digits of student ID +

New Quilt Square Dedicated
On Friday, November 5th, 2010, a ceremony was held at noon to dedicate our new quilt square. Many students and staff were in attendance.

With the new quilt square mounted, McDowell High School joins the Appalachian Quilt Trail in support of our mountain heritage.

MHS Star
A Brief History of the establishing of McDowell High School

By Wayne L. Greene
(McDowell County teacher 1969-2010)

McDowell High School was established in 1971, thus the date on the school seal. The school building was scheduled to be completed by the spring of 1971. However, it was not completed until November of that year. Rather than attempt to relocate in the middle of a school year, the newly consolidated (McDowell County and Marion City) school board decided to delay the move until the following 1972-73 school year. The 6 community schools continued during the 1971-72 school year as McDowell High School with one football team, one basketball team, one yearbook, etc. The seniors received the first McDowell High diploma even though there were actually 6 graduation services.

The building was first occupied by the second graduating class of MHS students, 1972-73. Football games were played on the East Jr. High field for the first few years until the MHS football field was constructed. The MHS gym originally had a special red Tartan Floor which permitted any type of shoe to be worn on it.

From the beginning and continuing for the first few years, crimson red was the dominant school color with blue and silver as minor accent colors. The official school symbol was a block style red "T" of the same style as the University of Tennessee “T”. During the fall of 1979, Bobby Norris designed the Titan "Star and M” with a red M on a blue and white star outline and presented it to the athletic department. The new design was adopted and quickly became popular with the school and community. Since then, blue has been the dominant school color with red and silver as minor colors. The Titan Star is now proudly worn and recognized by all graduates and citizens of McDowell County as the official Titan emblem.

Student Parking
All students wishing to drive to school will need to complete a series of forms.

Also, according to a North Carolina state law, students who do not pass at least 3 out of 4 classes each semester will have their driver's licenses revoked. McDowell High School must report these students to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

View associated files.

Contact: The Security Guard

Summer School and Summer Enrichment
Summer School is available for students who fail a course. Enrichment is available for students who lose credit in a course due to having too many absences.

Contact: Mr. Price
Student Web Site Registration
Here's the good news! You should already be registered! Login to the web site the same way that you login to the computers at school with your 6-digit ID and last-4-digit SSN as your password.

Once you login for the first time, you can click on [My Personal Settings] from the new curtain menu that appears over the logo and change your login, your password, your email, and other aspects of your account. That page even functions as a personal home page with links to all of the classes, clubs, and teams that you have joined.

Student Web Site Login
Workplace Leadership Program (WLP)
On Oct. 30, 2006 representatives from the McDowell Economic Development Board (MEDA), McDowell Tech, JobLink and industry representatives announced the creation of the Workplace Leadership Program (WLP). WLP is an opportunity for students interested in manufacturing jobs to better prepare for the workplace and for MHS to connect with our industry stakeholders.

View associated files.

Finding Your Way Around MHS
Essentially, the main building is a big square centered around the media center. It has an upper and lower floor and houses the academic classes. With a few exceptions, all classes are grouped into hallways:
  • The Math and Science halls are downstairs
  • The English, Foreign Language, and Social Studies halls are upstairs.
The other building is the Vocational building. It has three floors and houses classes in the CTE (Career and Technical Education) department.
  • The shop classes are located on the second and third floors across the upstairs, outdoor area.
Room Numbers follow this pattern:

CO = Main Building, Downstairs
C = Main Building, Upstairs
VO = Vocational Building, Downstairs
V = Vocational Building, Upstairs
G = Gym
Project Pass
Project Pass is a program offered to students who fail a required English, Math, Science or Social Studies course. In order to be eligible for Project Pass the student must fail with a grade no less than 60 or have permission from the teacher.

The program runs from 3:15 until 4:30, Monday through Thursday for four weeks. Students attend a minimum of one week and a maximum of four weeks depending on the amount of work required to bring the grade up. The student's teacher will provide assignments. Upon successful completion of Project Pass the student's six-weeks grade will become a 70. (Students who score below a 60 must have teacher permission to attend and may or may not bring the grade up to 70. That is at the discretion of the classroom teacher.)

Students may participate in the program one time per semester per course. Check the School Calendar for dates and times.

Contact: Counseling

McDowell High School (MHS) was established in 1971. The building of the school was scheduled to be completed by the spring of 1971, however, it was not completed until November. Rather than attempt to move into the new building in the middle of a school year, the new consolidated school board (McDowell County and Marion City) decided to delay the move until the following school year.

The 6 individual community schools continued until the following year as McDowell High School with one football team, one basketball team, one yearbook, etc. The graduating seniors of 1972 received the first McDowell High diploma even though there were actually 6 graduation services. The current building was first occupied by the second graduating class of MHS. Therefore, 1971 is the date on the school seal and this is correct even though the building was not occupied until the 1972-1973 school year.

School Calendar Color Codes
The McDowell High School Calendar is color-coded. You will find:
  • District Events in Blue (Early Dismissal, Grading Periods, Holidays, Parent Conferences, Report Cards, Vacation Days, and Work Days)
  • Club and Group Events in Red(Meetings)
  • Faculty Events in Salmon (Faculty Meetings)
  • Graduation Events in Orange (Counseling, Enrichment, Graduation Supplies, Scholarship Deadlines, and Test Dates)
  • Lunch Menu Items in Gold ,
  • Special Events in Purple (Award Programs, Community Events, Fire Drills, Open House, Pep Rallies, Pictures, Scheduling, and Student Meetings)
  • Sporting Events in Green (Event Locations, Game Times, and Opponents)
Annual Enrollment
School Year:

  • 1263 students in 2008-2009
  • 1341 students in 2010-2011
NC State Board of Education Guiding Mission
"The guiding mission of the North Carolina State Board of Education is that every public school student will graduate from high school, globally competitive for work and postsecondary education and prepared for life in the 21st Century."
Our School Motto is "Everyone Learns Every Day."
The official colors of McDowell High School are Scarlet, Royal Blue, and Silver. Most people generalize these colors as just Red and Blue, sometimes keeping the Silver and sometimes substituting White, but that is a mistake. Over the years the Scarlet has just about disappeared, but it is still evident in many of our Logos.

Historically, graduating classes wore outfits that were Navy in color due to limitations in the availability of more appropriate colors. However, starting with the class of 2004 a more appropriate Blue uniform was used and marked a pleasant change in our school's graduation proceedings.
Alma Mater
The first official performance of the McDowell High "Alma Mater" was on November 11, 1976, during a McDowell High School Band Concert. The first live performance of the McDowell High "Alma Mater" took place during a football game in the fall of 1976. The words were composed by Mrs. Alice Ostrom, a noted North Carolina poet, and Angela Israel, a student of Captain Ostrom. The musical score was composed by Capt. Ralph K. Ostrom, Ret. In addition to having served as band director at Marion High, Captain Ostrom studied with the United States Army Band and was director of the Tenth Division Band Training School. Captain Ostrom died in December, 1984, at the age of 76.

Alma Mater Lyrics

    Amidst the mountains blue
    Our alma mater stands

    Where echoes fill our dreams
    Of peace throughout the land

    Though time should part our ways
    Our hearts still turn to you

    McDowell High we raise our shield
    And pledge our trust anew

Alma Mater Music

See the folder at right.
Graduation Honor Cords
Color Meaning
Black and Yellow AVID Student
Blue and Gold National Honor Society Member
Light Blue Teacher Cadet / Future Teacher
Maroon Journalism Student
Pink Tri-M National Music Honor Society Member
Red (Single) Red Cross Honored Blood Donor
Red (Double) Honors Graduate (Grade Point Average of 3.7 or above)
Silver Student Council Member
White Vocational Honor Society Member
Grading Scale (7-Point)
A = 93 to 100
B = 85 to 92
C = 77 to 84
D = 70 to 76
F = 40 to 69
Free (and Reduced Lunch) Money
Did you know that schools receive FREE MONEY based on the number of students participating in the Free and Reduced Lunch program? If your child qualifies, turn in the Free and Reduced Lunch form at the beginning of each school year. You'll save some money and earn some money for MHS too!
Parent Web Site Registration
Parents will be able to monitor their child's homework and receive email messages from teachers. Registering is a simple, three-step process.
  1. Use the link below to complete the registration process. It only takes a moment.
  2. After registering, login using your new username and password from the home page (if you are not already logged in). You will need to verify your email address before you are allowed to monitor your child's information. Follow the on-screen instructions to verify your email address.
  3. Once verified, have your child login and use the "My Family" link to add you as a parent. This is a safe and secure process that protects your child from predators. Each student of McDowell County Schools has a unique 6-digit ID number which is the student's username. The last 4-digits of the student's social security number is the password. If a password would start with any zeros (like "0123"), omit them when entering the password (use "123").
Go to Parent Web Site Registration.

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