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Overview of School Component

Schools serve as a focal point for many of the McDowell County communities. Therefore, during the Planning Effort, the McDowell CHOICES Team conducted several events to capture the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to physical activity in McDowell County schools. Keeping in mind that a purpose of McDowell CHOICES is to increase and enhance the opportunities for students, teachers, and community members to be physically active before, during, and after school, the events included focus groups with school personnel and stakeholders and site visits of all ten (10) schools in the county. The information collected during these events was critical to the McDowell CHOICES Team as it helped to establish the greatest strengths and areas of need relative to physical activity environments and opportunities for children and adolescents within McDowell County.  Read more about the events and respective findings below.



School Focus Groups

Focus groups were held to capture school personnel and stakeholder thoughts and ideas, related to strengths, weaknesses, future opportunities and threats to physical activity opportunities within McDowell County Schools. 


Results of the school focus groups provided insight to the status of physical activity and health within the county schools and prompted the McDowell CHOICES Team to promote the expansion of existing school-based physical activity programs as well as support the creation of new physical activity opportunities for children, adolescents and families in McDowell County.  Read the focus group overview (click here).


School Site Visits

Site visits to the ten (10) McDowell County schools helped the Project Team become more familiar with the physical activity programs, opportunities, and needs specific to each school. During the site visits, McDowell CHOICES Team members were taken on tours of the schools’ physical activity and play spaces within the school and visited one-on-one with school principals and physical education teachers.


Information gathered during of the school site visits provided insight to the strengths and areas for needed improvement in relation to school physical activity environments and opportunities within McDowell County. Read the overview of the collected information from the school site visits (click here).



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