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Schools consider options to make up latest snow day

Yet another snowstorm hit the county this week, resulting in the 11th weather-related school closure this year.

This latest snow day has thrown a wrench in the works. Fairfax County sets calendar contingency plans for up to 10 snow days, so No. 11 is literally off the charts.

To make up for the large number of snow days, the county already has canceled student holidays planned for Feb. 17 and April 7 and extended the end of the school year by two days. The last day of school, originally scheduled for Friday, June 20, now is set for Tuesday, June 24.

School officials have said the county is considering a number of options, including extending the school year by one more day, to Wednesday, June 25, or adding minutes to each school day.

The school system also is considering asking the state for permission to forgo some of the required makeup days. School districts can apply to the state School Board to waive makeup days that resulted from a state of emergency. Two snowstorms this winter resulted in declared states of emergency from Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

Chantilly Academy tastes victory at culinary competition

Students from Chantilly Academy won first place at the second annual Fairfax County High School Culinary Challenge last week.

Four of the county’s seven high school culinary academies participated in the competition on March 13 at Falls Church High School, where teams of four teen chefs from each program were tasked with creating a vegetarian or vegan dish. Chantilly Academy took the top prize for its lentil shepherd’s pie.

The dishes were judged on taste, visual presentation and nutrition, as well as adaptability to the school lunch menu. Parent group Real Food for Kids sponsored the contest to promote healthier food options in school cafeterias.

Chantilly Academy also won the first Culinary Challenge in October 2012, although with a completely different group of students.

Prizes for each winning team member included $200 from RFFK, a top-of-the-line Wusthof chef’s knife and paring knife, a five-day internship at a local restaurant, a meeting with the director of L’Academie de Cuisine culinary school in Gaithersburg, and — last but not least — buy-one get-one burrito cards from Chipotle.

Students asked to participate in environmental film festival

Students are invited to participate in the Green Inspirations Environmental Film Festival, to be held next month at Cinema Arts Theatre in Fairfax.

The festival, sponsored by the Fairfax County Restoration Project, runs from Sunday, April 20, through Thursday, April 24, to raise awareness for Earth Day, which falls on the Tuesday of that week.

Any child from grades K-12 can create a short, 2 to 5 minute film on an environmental topic and submit it to the festival. Students also can submit previously created films. The student films will be shown between feature movies at the theater.

For more information, contact Amy Gould of FCRP at amy.gould@cox.net.

— Kate Yanchulis