This time, The Daily Beast rated the top 2,000 public high schools in the country based on a formula that seeks to measure how well a school prepares students for college. A few weeks ago, both Walt Whitman (No. 59) and Bethesda-Chevy Chase (No. 128) High Schools made the cut for the U.S. News and World Report rankings.
The Newsweek/Daily Beast rankings put Whitman at No. 137, Walter Johnson at No. 148 and B-CC at No. 178. Poolesville (No. 96) and Winston Churchill in Potomac (No. 97) were the top two Montgomery County schools. A total of 17 MCPS schools made the list.
The rankings were determined by a formula that includes graduation rate (25 percent), college acceptance rate (25 percent), Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), and other college-level tests taken per student (25 percent), average SAT/ACT scores (10 percent), average AP, IB and other college-level test scores (10 percent) and percent of students enrolled in at least one AP, IB or other college-level course (5 percent).
“The Newsweek rankings, and other such lists, demonstrate that our high schools are national leaders in preparing students for college and the workplace,” MCPS Superintendent Joshua Starr said in a release. “While there is still work left to be done, our staff and community should be proud of how well we are serving our students.”
Montgomery County Public Schools superintendent Joshua Starr will be in Bethesda schools today (around a County Council budget hearing at 9:30 a.m.) to hear from staff and parents in a series of meetings.
The day ends with a town hall meeting for parents and community members at 7:30 p.m. at Walter Johnson High School (6400 Rock Spring Dr.)
Starr stopped by Ashburton Elementary School this morning to speak with staff.
Also tonight, a committee of the Western Montgomery County Citizens Advisory Board will hear from MCPS long range planning director Bruce Crispell about overcrowding in the Bethesda-Chevy Chase, Walter Johnson and Walt Whitman clusters.
MCPS is planning an addition project at B-CC that would be ready by 2017. Crispell projects the school will be 600 students over its current capacity by 2018. Walter Johnson and Walt Whitman High Schools are also at or projected to go over their enrollment capacities.
Many parents are concerned with additional students who might come from new development. Some also have questioned the procedures which Crispell and his staff use to project additional enrollment.
The meeting with Crispell is set for 7 p.m. at the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center (4805 Edgemoor Lane).
Flickr photo via Montgomery College
Downed Tree Causes Backup On Connecticut Avenue — A downed tree on southbound Connecticut Avenue near the intersection with East-West Highway in Chevy Chase is causing a significant traffic backup this morning. At 8 a.m., only the far left lane was getting by. [Photo from TrafficLand.com]
MCPS Superintendent Holding “Student Town Hall” at Walter Johnson — Superintendent Joshua Starr will head to Walter Johnson High School this morning for a conversation with students that will run from 10:55 a.m. to 11:35 a.m. [MyMCMedia]
Yoga Summer Camp Sign-ups — extendYoga (12106 Wilkins Ave., North Bethesda) will hold a yoga summer camp for children age 5-8 this summer. Sign ups are now. The week-long camp includes instructional yoga classes, crafts and teambuilding exercises. [extendYoga]
Bethesda Church, Synagogue Hold Forum On Gun Violence — The Saint Mark Presbyterian church and the Beth El synagogue held a forum on gun violence last week that included police, school and mental health officials. [The Gazette]
Report Says MoCo Business Incentives Provided $1.2 Billion Return — A county report says business incentives provided to private companies by the government since 1996 has meant a $1.24 billion return in private investment, $38 million in annual net economic benefit and 26,775 jobs. The county has given out about 250 grants in that time, investing about $40 million in businesses. [Washington Examiner]
Developers, Politicians Cut Ribbon On First Class A Office Building Since 2001 — From yesterday afternoon, the ribbon cutting for the 7550 Wisconsin Ave. office building, the renovated former NIH building near the Bethesda Metro station. [BethesdaNow]
Photo via TrafficLand.com
Two of Bethesda’s three public high school girls basketball squads will get a chance to end two-time defending state champion Gaithersburg’s reign this week, as Bethesda-Chevy Chase, Walter Johnson and Whitman open up 4A West Region Semifinal games on Wednesday.
B-CC (11-13) will get the first crack at the defending champs when they travel to Gaithersburg for a 7 p.m. tip tomorrow.
If the Barons can pull off the upset of the No. 1-seeded Trojans, an all-Bethesda Region Final awaits. In the other Semifinal set for tomorrow, No. 3 seed Walter Johnson (18-5) will travel to No. 2 seed Whitman (19-4).
Whitman beat Walter Johnson twice in the regular season by a combined seven points, but Walter Johnson has won eight straight, even after losing its star center Kristen Larrick to a knee injury.
Both B-CC and Whitman fell to Gaithersburg in the regular season (Whitman lost at the buzzer). Walter Johnson, though, was able to pull out a 53-49 win against the champions back in December.
Photo via WhitmanAthletics.org
‘One-Man Crime Spree’ Faces 58 Years Behind Bars — Michael Bernard Dorsey, 47, of Silver Spring on Thursday was convicted in the last of five trials that saw him convicted of 20 counts of theft from autos over the last two years in Potomac and Bethesda. [The Washington Post]
Obama Stops By Strathmore For Daughter Sasha’s Recital — Barack Obama stopped in Saturday night at the venue in North Bethesda to see his daughter’s dance recital, according to pool reports. Obama left for the White House about an hour after arriving. [h/t @PoliticoKevin]
Walter Johnson Senior Wins State Swimming Title With Injured Arm — Barry Mangold, a University of Virginia recruit, dislocated his shoulder on Friday, then won the Class 4A/3A state titles in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle on Saturday. Mangold set the state record in the 50-yard event and helped Walter Johnson to its second straight team title. [The Gazette]
Is Chris Van Hollen Destined For House Speaker? — A profile portrays the Maryland Congressman and Kensington resident as a candidate for the House’s highest leadership position if the Democrats take control. [New Republic]
Flickr photo by ehpien
A near-fight that had police rushing to a courtyard of the Georgetown Square shopping center on Friday has the principal of nearby Walter Johnson High School contemplating the school’s open lunch policy.
Police were called to the area around 11 a.m. on Friday by an employee of the DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse who said she saw about 40 kids who were about start what she described as a gang fight.
Police converged and prevented any fighting, said Walter Johnson principal Jennifer Baker, who said the incident involved fewer than five students and was stirred by social media activity over the previous two days. Baker said many more students, having heard about it via social media, rushed out to watch.
Walter Johnson students regularly leave school grounds to eat at Subway, Chipotle, Flippin’ Pizza and others at the shopping center, located at 10400 Old Georgetown Rd.
Friday’s incident was the latest in a series of disruptions at Georgetown Square during the 2012-2013 school year, which Baker said the administration was taking seriously. Baker reminded students they’re lucky to be so close to Georgetown Square.
“I just reminded students that open lunch is a privilege. The only reason that Walter Johnson has the option is our proximity to Georgetown Square and we are guests there,” Baker said. “They need to behave responsibly to be able to use that space.
“In general, the kids here don’t want to be represented that way. That’s not the culture here,” Baker said. “People are not always in favor of open lunch. Sometimes kids don’t treat the neighbors with respect and that’s important to me and it’s important that students learn to be responsible members of the community.”
Baker said she couldn’t discuss the specific punishments handed out to the students involved in stirring up Friday’s incident, but that consequences generally involve a loss of open lunch privileges and any other standard actions that come after fighting of any sort.
“I do take these things really seriously,” Baker said. “Most of the students understand it and don’t want to destroy the reputation of the school and how we’re viewed by the community.”
Neighbors of the property at 10401 Old Georgetown Rd. argued against the plan because of school overcrowding, traffic and environmental concerns.
But after the County Planning Board imposed setback requirements and made the planned apartment part of the county’s Productivity Housing program, the Wildwood Manor Citizens Association did not oppose it at a special exception hearing.
Six individual residents opposed the project at a Board of Appeals hearing. The Hearing Examiner filed his report and recommendation in favor of the project in December.
The property, which has a three-story, 36,000-square foot medical office building, bank and 206 parking spaces, was supposed to add a general office building. But property owners came back to the county with a new plan for apartments after finding little interest in a struggling office market.
The county’s Productivity Housing program requires 35 percent of the units (21 units) will be below the area-wide median income. The program is meant to provide for affordable housing in new projects in commercial or office zones.
With nearby Walter Johnson High School already overcrowded and with no expansions planned, Hearing Examiner Martin Grossman found that overcrowding was a “legitimate community concern.” But he said the overcrowding issue would be addressed by the Planning Board when evaluating the project’s site plan.
Photo via Google Maps
There are plenty of frozen yogurt shops to go around, but a pair of local businessmen opening one in Bethesda say they have the perfect location in which to thrive.
Ash Rahimi and his business partner will open their second location of FYI (Frozen Yogurt Indulgence) in the Georgetown Square shopping center in the next week or two.
What sets this shop apart? Rahimi says it’s the location and the options other than yogurt. The shop will offer smoothies, juices, milkshakes and locally-sourced wheatgrass shots to go along with six flavors of self-serve yogurt.
The shop, next to Georgetown Square Wine and Beer just steps from a busy Giant grocery store and Walter Johnson High School, is in a prime spot.
“It’s about finding good locations,” Rahimi said. “For us, being right next to the high school in a great community is perfect. I say the things I need in an area are a gym, a school, a church and a synagogue. That shows you a community and we have that here.”
Rahimi’s first FYI location was in L’Enfant Plaza in D.C.
Stone and Holt Weeks were 24 and 20, respectively, when they were killed in a chain reaction car crash in Virginia while returning to their parents’ home in the summer.
The brothers and Walter Johnson High School alums had bright futures, according to many, and regularly volunteered their time. As a senior at WJ, Holt Weeks created a fundraising project for the Leukemia & Lymphona Society that his parents and others have sustained since their death.
The karoke event is Sunday, from 8 p.m. to midnight and include prizes, raffles and volunteer opportunities. The minimum suggested donation is $10. Karaoke singers will be competing for more donations during the event, which includes a list of Stone and Holt’s favorite songs.
Last year’s event helped raise more than $9,000 in donations to the Leukemia & Lymphona Society, Rebuilding Together of Washington D.C. and Environment America.
For more information, visit the event website.
(UPDATE at 11:45 p.m.) All lanes of westbound Democracy Boulevard near Walter Johnson High School have been reopened and the truck, seen above, has been moved to a side street.
The truck, which sustained significant damage to the passenger cab, is being towed away.
Initial reports say a large dump truck fire is blocking all lanes on westbound Democracy Boulevard at Bells Mill Road, behind Walter Johnson High School.
Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services are on the scene.
Citing New Ethics Rules, Chevy Chase Village Board Member Steps Down — Peter Kilborn, on the Board of Managers for Chevy Chase Village, recently stepped down from his post because of stringent ethics disclosure rules some say will force many small town council members like him to do the same. Kilborn said a change in the state law made too much work for him and would have forced him to disclose his wife’s financial information. [The Gazette]
Walter Johnson Boys, B-CC Girls Win County Cross Country Titles — The Walter Johnson High School boys and Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School girls took home county cross country titles over the weekend in Gaithersburg. Walter Johnson had five runners finish between eighth and 18th place. B-CC repeated as county champs with the top two finishers. [MoCoRunning]
Cardin Likely to Stroll, Potomac Independent Making Waves — A new Washington Post poll has U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin (D) easily winning his second term, thanks in small part to Potomac independent Rob Sobhani, who has spent more than $4.6 million of his own money to split the anti-Cardin vote. [Washington Post]
Flickr photo by ehpien
Last Day to Vote For Best Trawick Prize Winner — The Bethesda contemporary art competition is celebrating 10 years with a “people’s choice” award to name the best ever Trawick winner. The vote closes today. [Bethesda Magazine]
Walter Johnson Mom Starts ‘Start School Later’ Petition — Mandi Mader, mom of a student at Walter Johnson High School, has collected more than 3,500 signatures of people who want to move the start time of Montgomery County High Schools to 8:15 a.m. or later. [Potomac Patch]
Rockville Pike Lane Closures — The State Highway Administration will close the right and middle lanes of southbound Rockville Pike near Tuckerman Lane from 9 p.m. today to 2 p.m. tomorrow for paving operations, according to a Montgomery County official.
Bethesda Row Arts Festival Tomorrow — Organizers say they don’t expect this weekend’s Metro station closure will affect attendance of the event developer Federal Realty says has attracted more than 300,000 to Bethesda Row since it began in 1997. [Bethesda Row Arts]
Flickr photo by Jen Sedell
Bethesda Art Walk, Writers on the Row Tonight — Seven Bethesda art galleries will be featured in this month’s edition of Bethesda Urban Partnership’s Art Walk, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Free guided walking tours are available. Today’s Writers on the Row includes one event, a book signing from Bravo TV reality star Rosie Pope from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Bethesda Lane. [BUP] [Bethesda Row]
Big High School Gridiron Matchup — Bethesda-Chevy Chase (4-2), holding on to a playoff spot with four games remaining, travels north to Rockville rival Wootton (3-3) for a 6:30 p.m. kickoff between two teams with playoff aspirations. [Washington Post]
Cal Tor Serves 2,000 Burritos, Rock Bottom Undergoing Renovation — Bethesda California Tortilla owner Pam Felix put this week’s free burrito total at almost 2,000 and Rock Bottom Brewery (7900 Norfolk Ave.) is getting a facelift, but will remain open as the work is happening in off-hours. [Bethesda Magazine]
Crashed Car Again Appears At Walter Johnson — The Walter Johnson High School PTSA again provided for a totaled car to appear in front of the Rock Spring Drive school to remind students about the dangers of drinking and driving during Homecoming week. [Bethesda Patch]
Flickr photo by Bozzuto Group
Bethesda High School Students Score High On SATs — Bethesda-Chevy Chase, Walter Johnson and Whitman High School all had mean 2012 SAT scores above the county average. Whitman led the pack with a 2012 mean SAT score of 1,862. The national average was 1,498. [Bethesda Patch]
O’Malley, State Pols Attend Kensington Fundraiser For Same-Sex Marriage Referendum — Gov. Martin O’Malley and a number of state and county political figures attended a fundraiser Sunday night in Kensington to raise $17,175 for Marylanders for Marriage Equality, a group making phone calls and doing street canvassing ahead of November’s referendum on the topic. [The Gazette]
Poll Shows Splits On Three Major Ballot Topics — According to a Gonzales research poll, 51 percent of Marylanders will vote in favor of the same-sex marriage act and 43 percent are against. Respondents also favored the DREAM Act referendum by a 58 percent to 34 percent margin. A poll on the casino referendum showed 45 percent would vote for Question 7 and 46 percent would vote against. [WAMU]
Memo Details Effects Of Sequestration On Maryland — Federal sequestration could cost Maryland more than 12,600 jobs and $2.5 billion in wage and salary base, according to a memo by the Maryland Department of Budget and Management. [AP via Yahoo!]
Flickr photo by thegreentrousers
Bethesda Firm Gets Nod From Trumps — Donald Trump and daughter Ivanka hired Streetsense, a Bethesda-based real estate and design firm, to select retailers for the their planned luxury hotel at the Old Post Office Pavilion. [Washington Post]
Escalators Go Down at Bethesda Metro — After scheduled track repairs closed the Bethesda Metro station this weekend, WMATA on Monday morning said all escalators to the station were out of service because of mechanical problems. WMATA reported the escalators were back open just before 7 a.m. The Metro station’s elevator is still closed for repairs. [WMATA via Twitter]
B-CC, Whitman get wins, Walter Johnson Not As Lucky — B-CC quarterback David Hogan rushed for 127 yards to lead the Barons to a 39-18 win on Friday against visiting Kennedy. B-CC evened its record at 2-2, as did Whitman with its 10-0 victory against Springbrook. Walter Johnson (2-2) allowed 15 fourth quarter points before losing to visiting Poolesville in overtime, 35-28. [Washington Post]
Flickr pool photo by Andrew-Benson