McDowell Connect Academic Standards


McDowell Connect is located at the McDowell High School. The Address is 600 McDowell High Dr., Marion, NC 28752. Phone:  828-652-7920 

Entrance Requirements: 

All students must exhibit the requisite course prerequisites to ensure suitable academic placement and access to advanced placement courses. Upon enrollment, homeschooled students must provide a copy of the DNPE homeschool card and/or a transcript. Additionally, students are expected to have a record of good attendance, no disciplinary issues, and be at grade level upon enrollment. Students must also have their own email addresses, and families should have mechanisms in place to provide student support. 

Internet Access:

As courses offered through NCVPS and MCS virtual programs are conducted entirely online, students must have internet access. This can be achieved from home, local libraries, MCS sites, and other suitable locations. Laptops are provided for students to utilize at home.

Academic Standards:

To foster a positive learning atmosphere devoid of harassment, negativity, and offensive behavior, students accepted into McDowell Connect must adhere to all regulations and policies outlined in the MCS Student Code of Conduct. This document is accessible on the MCS webpage for reference.

Academic Failure:

The administration retains the authority to mandate in-person attendance for McDowell Connect or to withdraw students from class(es) if they fail to demonstrate sufficient academic advancement. Additionally, students who fail an end-of-course exam (Biology, English II, or Math I) will be ineligible to re-register for the same class through MC.

Academic Dishonesty:

Any academic dishonesty in online classes will be met with zero tolerance. Students caught engaging in such behavior will face grade deductions on assignments or tests and may be subject to disciplinary measures outlined in the Student Code of Conduct. Academic dishonesty encompasses cheating, copying the work of others, plagiarism, and unauthorized communication between students during examinations. The Distance Learning Advisor or another supervising professional employee will determine academic dishonesty by considering written evidence, observations, and information provided by students.

Academic Supports:

The Distance Learning Advisor (DLA) is accessible daily at the McDowell High School Library from Monday to Friday, between 8:00 AM and 3:00 PM. Their role is to aid students experiencing challenges with class logins and offer a peaceful study environment.


Students must register for at least two courses per semester to qualify as full-time. Additionally, they must enroll in a total of three classes to be eligible for participation in clubs and athletics. The remaining courses can consist of a mixture of homeschool courses (from a Registered Homeschool through the Division of Non-Public Education) and/or courses offered at the traditional school.


During the initial week of school, students must be on campus for at least two afternoons to familiarize themselves with class logins and navigation. Daily attendance is optional except for students failing one or more online classes. Students are expected to sign in and complete assignments daily. The approximate duration for each class is 1 to 1 ½ hours per day. The Distance Learning Advisor and staff oversee this attendance and engagement.

Furthermore, students enrolled in courses necessitating a state/local exam, such as AP Exams, End of Grade Exams (Reading, Math, and Science), End of Course Exams (Math I, English II, and Biology), or CTE Post Assessments/Credentials, will be expected to sit for the exam after the semester or academic year. Attendance by both students and parents at an open house event at McDowell High School is mandatory at the start of each school year. Additionally, students must participate in ALL State Tests or CTE credentials.

Dual Enrollment:

To be recognized as a full-time student, individuals must be registered in at least two courses through MC (In-person, NCVPS, or MCS virtual programs). The remaining courses can blend homeschool courses sourced from a Registered Homeschool through the Division of Non-Public Education.

What is the Curriculum:

MC students can enroll in in-person classes, and online courses via the North Carolina Virtual Public Schools (NCVPS) and MCS virtual programs, accessible from any location. While NCVPS provides numerous traditional courses, it may only offer some elective, core course, or academic/honors level. In addition to online courses, students can participate in seated classes such as band, JROTC, and CTE classes. Furthermore, students may qualify to enroll in Career and College Promise classes that McDowell Technical Community College offers.


Students will receive their high school diploma upon graduation from their North Carolina Registered Homeschool Program.