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Christian Braunlich elected new state Board of Education president

Christian Braunlich of Fairfax County was elected president of the state Board of Education.

The board elected Braunlich to the post unanimously at their meeting Feb. 27. Braunlich has served on the board since being appointed in July 2011 by then-Gov. Bob McDonnell.

Braunlich served as a member of the Fairfax County School Board from January 1996 to December 2003. He currently is vice president of the Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy, based in Springfield.

The state Board of Education, which consists of nine members appointed by the Governor, oversees curriculum standards, standardized testing and school accreditation, among other duties.

Another snow makeup day added to end of school year

Snow days on Monday and Tuesday marked weather-related closings No. 9 and 10 for county schools.

Required makeup days have already usurped scheduled long weekends and started cutting into summer vacation, and the latest snowstorm pushes the last day of school further into June. The final day of the school year will now be June 24.

State law requires each snow day up to No. 5 to be made up, and every other snow day after that. Fairfax builds three snow days into its calendar, but has needed to find time for four more makeup days.

The school system canceled the Presidents Day holiday and a scheduled teacher workday, and now has added two more days to the end of its school year.

This snowstorm and the last, which caused snow days No. 7 and 8, both resulted in declared states of emergency from Gov. Terry McAuliffe. According to state law, school districts can apply for a waiver scrubbing required makeup days caused by states of emergency, but FCPS officials said no plans for a waiver application are currently in the works.

GMU aims to increase international presence on campus

George Mason University in Fairfax has joined with INTO University Partnerships to beef up its international student programs.

INTO is a company that helps universities in the United State, United Kingdom and Asia to attract more international students.

George Mason currently has more than 2,000 international students from more than 125 countries, but with INTO plans to add more than 1,000 international students to that total in the next five years.

“The INTO Mason partnership will help increase the university’s enrollment and boost global education for all of our students, both of which are important strategic objectives for George Mason,” university President Angel Cabrera said in a statement.