Mount Carmel Area School District is located in southern Northumberland County which is part of the anthracite coal regions of central Pennsylvania. Currently the campus is located on West Fifth Street in the borough of Mount Carmel. The inaugural class graduated from Mount Carmel High School in 1888. In 1951 Mount Carmel joined with Mount Carmel Township and added the communities of Atlas, Centralia, Locust Gap, Natalie and Strong to the district. In 1963 Mount Carmel became Mount Carmel Area after a jointure with neighboring Kulpmont High School. At that time the borough of Marion Heights also became part of the district. The school system serves approximately 1540 students in the elementary and junior/ senior high schools. The facilities are located adjacent to each other on the main campus. The current junior/senior high school was constructed in 1977 and renovated in 2001. The current elementary school was constructed in 1991 and replaced several buildings located within the district.
The growth of the anthracite coal region communities of Pennsylvania was the result of mass immigration by Europeans beginning in the mid to late 19th century. Various ethnic groups each contributed to the hard work that provided the necessary energy to power the industrial revolution of the country. Within each community people perpetuated their traditions and work ethic to propagate a culture grown from old-world traditions, which eventually became the assimilated summation of experience unique to the coal region. Proud of their heritage, coal region people were generally hard-working individuals with strong family and ethnic ties. Through time they found ways to coexist and work together to produce and increase wealth and benefits for their families. Once coal was no longer the fuel of choice beginning in the 1940’s, the coal region began a slow economic decline. Today fourth and fifth generation families work to preserve their heritage and lifestyles in a declining economy, while welcoming new residents to take the place of those who have left the region.