Education / Schools / Why are our schools so overcapacity?

The OUR SCHOOLS Facebook blog asks:

Why are Forest Park, Hylton, Osbourn Park and Woodbridge High Schools over capacity? Transfers in, not boundaries

Why are Potomac and Freedom High Schools under capacity? Transfers out, not boundaries.

Why do schools continue to accept transfers in that greatly exceed their transfer out numbers when they are out of space? High scoring students look good even in trailers and packed in like sardines.

Patriot is the only above capacity high school that had more students transfer out than in. The school decided to close the school to transfers in starting in Sept of 2013. It was a wise decision.

The numbers don’t lie:

Battlefield High School is 408 students above capacity with a net gain of 109 students from transfers in.

Brentsville District High is 188 student below capacity with a net loss of 109 students from transfers out.

Forest Park High School is 296 students above capacity with a net gain of 429 students from transfers in.

Freedom High School is 133 students below capacity with a net loss of 370 students from transfers out.

Garfield High School is 385 students below capacity with a net loss of 184 students from transfers out.

Hylton High School is 341 students above capacity with a net gain of 470 students from transfers in.

Osbourn Park High School is 333 students above capacity with a net gain of 335 students from transfers in.

Patriot High School is 561 students above capacity with a net loss of 127 students from transfers out.

Potomac High School is 733 students below capacity with a net gain of 694 students from transfers out.

Stonewall High School is 91 students below capacity with a net loss of 157 students from transfers out.

Woodbridge High School is 114 students above capacity with a net gain of 282 students from transfers in.

Spreadsheet of school student loads

Tenth Congressional District will hold two GOP candidate debates – NEXT March 15th, Winchester

The Tenth Congressional District will hold two GOP candidate debates.

The first debate will occur on March 15, 2014 at Millbrook High School in Winchester, Virginia. Details are below. The second debate will occur on April 9 at River Bend Middle School in Sterling, Virginia. Details of the second debate are still being finalized and will be released later.

Candidates and their names and contact information are listed below in the order in which they will appear on the ballot (which was determined by random draw):

Delegate Barbara Comstock
Campaign Manager: Susan Falconer
Telephone: (703) 868-2429
Email: susanlfalconer

Howie Lind
Campaign Manager: Howie Morgan
Telephone: (662) 832-8882
Email: howie.morgan

Stephen Hollingshead
Campaign Manager: Luke Mahoney
Telephone: (757) 353-7058
Email: luke

Marc Savitt
Campaign Manager: Tim Price
Telephone: (540) 550-4496
Email: tprice

Rob Wasinger
Campaign Manager: Michael Cogar
Telephone: (571) 251-3830
Email: mcogar73

Delegate Bob Marshall
Campaign Manager:
Telephone: (703) 853-4213
Email: delegatebob

March 8th Seminar – Home Repairs – Habitat for Humanity

Need Home Repairs? Habitat Can Help.
Attend a Home Repair Interest Meeting to Learn How

Habitat for Humanity is dedicated to eliminating substandard housing. We partner with low- to moderate-income homeowners who live in Prince William County, Manassas and Manassas Park to make exterior and interior home repairs that alleviate critical health, life and safety issues or housing code violations.

How you qualify:

ü Do you live in Prince William County, Manassas or Manassas Park?

ü Do you own your home or are you currently making mortgage payments?

ü Do you earn less than 60% of the Area Median Income?

ü If a veteran lives in the home, do you earn less than 80% of the Area Median Income?

ü Can you demonstrate a challenging circumstance such as limited income, disability, illness or age that prevents you from making the repairs?

Attend our Home Repair Interest Meeting on Saturday, March 8, 10:00 – 12:00 p.m., at Ben Lomond Community Center, Room A/B, 10501 Copeland Dr., Manassas, VA 20109, to get all your questions answered and to get application information.

To register or for more information, call programs.


Habitat for Humanity of Prince William County, Manassas & Manassas Parkis a nonprofit, locally operated affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International. Since 1994 we have partnered with families, businesses and volunteers to make safe, affordable and decent homeownership a reality in our community. We have built, rehabbed and repaired more than 130 homes, making a difference in the lives of many residents right here in Prince William County, Manassas and Manassas Park. For more information visit

About Habitat for Humanity Internationalis an ecumenical Christian ministry that welcomes to its work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since its founding in 1976, Habitat has built more than 300,000 houses worldwide, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 1.5 million people. For more information, visit

Feb 14 / 3:30pm / PWC Courthouse Rally – Marriage Equality

Peaceful rally and witness for love — Bull Run Unitarian Universalists and People of Faith for Equality in Virginia Coalition plan a demonstration in support of marriage equality for GLBT persons in front of the Prince William County Courthouse today, Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14 at 3:30 pm in Manassas.

For more information, please contact Rev. Greg Ward at 703-361-6269, revgreg. Interested attendees can also visit one of the Facebook pages that have been set up for the event, at More information about the People of Faith for Equality in Virginia (POFEV) Coalition can be found at

Supreme Court Summer Institute for Teachers – Washington DC

Since it began in 1995, the Supreme Court Summer Institute for Teachers has brought together over 900 teachers from across the country to convene in Washington, D.C., for six days of educational activities related to teaching about the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Institute is co-sponsored by the Supreme Court Historical Society.

As a teacher, learn how to get involved:

2014 PWC GOP Convention – Sat, Mar 22nd Stonewall Jackson HS

The 2014 Prince William County Republican Convention will be held on Saturday March 22, 2014, at Stonewall Jackson Senior High School, 8820 Rixlew Lane, Manassas, Virginia, beginning at 9:00 AM ET.

The specific purpose of the biennial convention is to elect a chairman as well as delegates who will go on to select a nominee for the Republican Party for Congress in the 11th District, or attend the 10th Congressional District Convention and finally the State Convention to select the Republican nominee for Senate. Specific details are at:

Deadline for filing to run for Chairman of the local Republicans is Saturday, February 15th and the deadline to file to be a delegate is Saturday March 1st.

For more information:

PW Area Young Republicans (PWAYR) meeting 23 Feb for Food, Drink and Social – Woodbridge

PWAYR February Meeting/Social

23 February at 17:00

The Bungalow Alehouse – Potomac Mills in Woodbridge, Virginia

Keep up with Prince William Area Young Republicans (PWAYR) on Facebook at

Your News Wanted – Politics, Events … even good rumors are welcome is coming back to life … As editor and chief information collector, I have been sidelined with health issues for the last six months. Not any more!

I want your political and community news. I even look forward to your good rumors — but promise not to spread your rumor until I have done a bit of factchecking first. is non-partisan but strong opinions are wanted. You are welcome to publish your opinion on issues and current events. Just send your piece to

Best regards,
Bill Golden

Manassas – Daughter Publishes Memoirs of Afghan Poet and Statesman Ustad Khalilullah Khalili

Daughter Publishes Memoirs of Afghan Poet and Statesman Ustad Khalilullah Khalili

Authors Marie Khalili and Al Nasiri

Authors Marie Khalili and Al Nasiri

Nearly three decades after her father’s death in 1987, Marie Khalili has published the long-awaited English translation of Memoirs of Khalilullah Khalili: An Afghan Philosopher Poet – A Conversation with his Daughter, Marie. Her husband, Afzal Nasiri, translated and edited the Memoirs. Nasiri is a former editor of the Kabul Times in Afghanistan.

The couple lives in Woodbridge, Virginia, and manages a successful State Farm Insurance office in Manassas. They are well known in the regional business and faith communities of Washington, D.C.

The original memoirs of Ustad Khalilullah Khalili, the eminent historian, poet, philosopher and statesman of Afghanistan, were written in Persian in Maywood, New Jersey, between 1983 and 1986 while he was in exile in the United States, during the Soviet occupation of his country.

Ustad Khalili authored more than 70 works of poetry, fiction, histories and Sufi studies. His booklet From Balkh to Konya on the 13th century mystic poet Jalaluddin Balkhi-Rumi is highly regarded across the Persian-speaking world as well as India and Pakistan. He is best remembered for his quatrains; his most notable work was published after the invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviet Union in 1979, and provided inspiration to the freedom fighters. Khalili is among the few contemporary Afghan poets to gain a following in Iran.

In his memoirs – an ongoing conversation with his eldest daughter that was taken from taped recordings and notebooks – serve as the testimony of an eyewitness to eight decades of Afghan history. Khalili recounted his life, his literary endeavors and his government service under the reign of four kings. After an unjust imprisonment and exile to Kandahar, he returned to service as ambassador to Saudi Arabia and Iraq, and secretary to King Zahir Shah. After the 1978 Soviet coup, he took asylum in the United States.

English translation of Memoirs of Khalilullah Khalili: An Afghan Philosopher Poet – A Conversation with his Daughter, Marie

English translation of Memoirs of Khalilullah Khalili: An Afghan Philosopher Poet – A Conversation with his Daughter, Marie

Ustad Khalili moved to Pakistan in 1986, hoping for a return to his beloved country. Unfortunately, he died before realizing his hopes on May 4, 1987 and was buried in Peshawar near the tomb of Pashtu poet Rahman Baba. In 2012 his remains were returned to Afghan soil and re-buried in the city of Kabul, near the University he once co-chaired, in a place of honor. Afghan academicians, intellectuals and scholars attended his re-burial ceremony in 2012.


Memoirs of Khalilullah Khalili: An Afghan Philosopher Poet – A Conversation with his Daughter, Marie (ISBN-13: 978-0615889726, 554 pages, $19.99) is available in paperback in English and Persian at

For more information, email Al Nasiri at Afzal.nasiri or visit

Campaign to End Hunger – Nov 9 – Manassas Park – There’s still time to sign up

“Campaign to End Hunger” Nov 9 – Manassas Park – There’s still time to sign up

MANASSAS PARK, Va. – There’s still time to register to help pack meals for the House of Mercy’s annual “Campaign to End Hunger,” Saturday, Nov. 9, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Manassas Park Community Center, located at 99 Adams Street.

Volunteer registration is being accepted at the House of Mercy (8170 Flannery Court) and on its website, Sponsors and donations are also appreciated, said House of Mercy Executive Director Kellie Ross.

This is the third consecutive year of the event, when volunteers for the faith-based nonprofit humanitarian organization in Manassas pack food for meals to be distributed to the hungry.

Feeds hungry locally and abroad

This year’s campaign includes packing meals for families in need overseas and at home, Ross said. Previous “Campaign to End Hunger” events focused on sending meals to hungry families in third-world countries, such as Nicaragua. The hungry in that nation will again be recipients, but Ross said she wants to ensure that this year’s campaign also assists local residents.

“Instead of having packing lines exclusively for the production of meals to be shipped overseas, we’re going to have a mixture of domestic lines and international lines for the food,” Ross said. “So some of the food will remain here in the community.”

Campaign to End Hunger

Raises awareness, and funds House of Mercy

The event does more than feed the hungry. “‘Campaign to End Hunger’ is primarily a program to raise awareness of hunger,” Ross said.

It’s also a family-oriented community service activity, she added. “It’s a way for people to come together and do real hands-on, life-saving work. Kids as young as 5 years old can pack meals with their parents on the packing line. Participating in the event helps children and adults understand the need to help others and to develop citizenship activities,” she said.

Additionally, the event is a fundraiser for the agency, which relies on donations to operate and to support its numerous community programs.

“It provides critical funding for the House of Mercy year round,” Ross said. Donations received during the campaign “above and beyond” covering the costs of the program “will stay right here in our community to support our programs for the poor. So it is definitely a win-win for everyone because we help people locally, not just internationally,” she said.

House of Mercy programs include “Passport to Hope,” providing free food, clothing and other assistance to low-income families; free tutoring and educational programs and classes designed to help area residents improve their job prospects and quality of life; a back-to-school program for kids in need; and a Christmas toy giveaway for the organization’s low-income clients.

“We rely on the ‘Campaign to End Hunger’ to help buy school supplies and new shoes for kids, to provide financial assistance for those in need as donations allow and to help put food in our food pantry to feed the hungry,” Ross said.

The agency also operates a host of community outreaches, including home prayer visits for the sick and a bimonthly homeless outreach in Washington, D.C., where House of Mercy volunteers wash the feet of the homeless and give them new socks, underwear and other items, Ross said.

“Our philosophy is that we have a stronger community when people are empowered. So the more we can do to help build stronger individuals, the stronger we build our community,” she said.

The goal: 250,000 meals

The agency’s goal for the 2013 campaign, themed “Who CARES about Hunger?,” is to pack 250,000 meals, according to Gary Korpi, the director of volunteer projects for Hope for the City, a Minnesota-based nonprofit organization. Korpi, who also helped plan the first “Campaign to End Hunger,” assisted Ross in organizing this year’s event.

“If we do 250,000 meals at about 25 cents a meal, that’s right around $62,500, just to buy ingredients and supplies, but we’d like to be able to raise more than that, because the excess helps support House of Mercy and its efforts,” Korpi said.

Volunteers packed more than 500,000 meals during the first campaign in 2011 and about 283,000 at last year’s event, he said. “We’re being more conservative with this year’s goal because there’s a drop compared to previous events in the number of people who have pre-pledged so far. If we can raise more money for the event, we’ll certainly raise the meal-packing total, but we want to make sure there is a balance in how much goes abroad and how much funding goes to House of Mercy to help the local community.”

Campaign to End Hunger

Volunteers during last year’s “Campaign to End Hunger” packed 283,000 meals.

Registering Online

To register online as a volunteer or sign up as a sponsor for this year’s event, click on “Our Causes” at and go to “Campaign to End Hunger.”

Volunteers are asked when registering to commit to a specific donation amount depending on the timeslot they sign up for to help pack meals. Other timeslots are available that do not request a donation.

“People can donate to package the meal ingredients or they can decide that they want to help support the program with a donation without coming in to pack,” Korpi said. “There’s also the opportunity for people to just come in and pack.”

This year’s program will include testimonies and stories of the campaign’s impact, speeches by Korpi and Ross about their experiences in fighting hunger locally and globally and, while volunteers are packing, a slideshow presentation of poverty-related statistics, Ross said. “We plan to educate our volunteers on how the food they’re packing is going to make a positive difference,” she said.


About the House of Mercy

The House of Mercy is a Catholic-based humanitarian nonprofit organization located in Manassas, Va. Founded by the Missionaries of Our Lady of Divine Mercy in 2005, the organization is dedicated to serving the poor, marginalized and forgotten by sharing the message of God’s mercy to others and providing free food, clothing and other donated items to those in need. The House of Mercy offers a variety of community programs designed to improve local residents’ quality of life.

Kellie Ross
Executive Director
House of Mercy
8170 Flannery Court
Manassas, VA 20109