MCPS Graduation Rate Remains High; Outperforms State

The graduation rate for Montgomery County Public Schools remains steady at nearly 90 percent and is significantly higher than the state of Maryland public school average.

The four-year cohort graduation rate for the 2016-17 school year is 89.5 percent, according to data released by the Maryland State Department of Education. While this is a slight decrease of 0.3 percentage points from the previous year, the district’s four-year cohort graduation rate has remained steady at nearly 90 percent over the past three years.

The four-year graduation rate has improved for several student subgroups. For instance, the MCPS graduation rate for African-American students rose to 88.2 percent, a one-year increase of 0.5 percentage points and a three-year increase of 1.8 percentage points. 

One of the challenges MCPS faces is a significant increase in the number of students with limited English proficiency enrolling in the system during high school. The 300 percent increase between 2014 and 2017 has affected graduation outcomes for this subgroup.   

Iconic Hyatt Regency Bethesda Completes $37 Million Transformation

Hyatt Regency Bethesda, a prominent landmark in the heart of downtown Bethesda for more than 30 years, has completed a comprehensive, $37 million renovation. In late spring, the hotel will host an official celebration and introduce new retail offerings, including one of the tri-state area’s largest Starbucks.

Beyond the new exterior facade, the lobby features American black walnut accents, topography-inspired custom carpets, stone flooring, arabesques’ marble elements and a glass elevator. The lobby features “Make Space,” a lively work and play area offering communal workstations with modern technology as well as a designated quiet area. There are interactive touch screens throughout. Completing the lobby is a redesigned atrium terrace as well as new retail spaces with occupants to be announced later.

Enhancements to the hotel’s 390 guest rooms and suites include custom-designed furniture and luxurious bedding, 55-inch flat screen TVs, wooden work desks with hidden coffee makers, and spacious baths with walk-in showers, marble sinks and vanity mirrors that display the time and weather. In-room technology and complimentary Wi-Fi allow guests to stream video on up to six devices. 

Supplementing the newly renovated guest rooms are 21 new allergy-friendly PURE Rooms. Each is enhanced with PURE’s patented, seven-step purification process, which treats every surface, removing up to 99 percent of pollutants and irritants.

The new Rooftop Downtown Bethesda is an enclosed 2,400-square-foot event space featuring floor-to-ceiling windows, which can accommodate up to 180 guests for a reception, 120 for a sit-down dinner or 90 for an all-day corporate meeting.

The Regency Ballroom has also been upgraded and is available for large-scale events. It has been expanded to 7,200 square feet, boasts 16-foot ceilings, has private access to parking and can accommodate up to 550 guests.

The event space overhaul also includes 19 newly designed meeting rooms and two executive boardrooms. All meeting rooms feature upgraded, first-class technology, innovative lighting and digital displays.

For more intimate affairs, guests can choose from the renovated mezzanine level or the open-air concourse terrace, while the Plaza Lawn offers a plush setting for seasonal, outdoor activities.

The hotel offers a 24-hour StayFit gym and health club featuring state-of-the-art equipment for all levels of physical activity. This new addition includes strength machines, elliptical and treadmill machines with HD televisions, a complete set of kettlebells and free weights, yoga mats, and complimentary cold towels and water bottles. 

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