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Homeless Education Program

Newport-Mesa Unified School District is dedicated to supporting families who are experiencing housing instability. We will assist you in accessing resources and eliminating barriers necessary for your child to be successful in school.

mckinney-vento homeless education assistance act

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act is a federal legislation that ensures the educational rights and protections of children and youth experiencing homelessness. It requires all local educational agencies (LEAs) to ensure that homeless students have access to the same free, appropriate public education, including public preschools, as provided to other children and youth. 

The McKinney-Vento Act defines the term "homeless children and youths" as individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.

You may be considered homeless if you are:

  • Temporarily staying with other people, often called “doubled up",  because you cannot afford to live alone. This can include sharing another person’s house, such as a friend or relative, because you lost your housing or don't have another safe place to go. 
  • Staying in emergency housing, like emergency or transitional shelters. This can include domestic violence shelters, trailers provided by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), housing paid for by programs such as Rapid Re-Housing, transitional living facilities, etc.
  • Staying in a hotel/motel, cars, parks or any public or private places not designed for humans to live in. This can include camping grounds, cars, or any place outside/not meant for human habitation (abandoned buildings, bus or train station).
  • Staying in substandard housing or housing with inadequate space for the number of occupants. 

Additional Definition:
If you are not living with your parent or guardian, you may be considered an Unaccompanied Youth. 

Unsure if you are eligible? Complete the Housing Questionnaire and contact the district liaison to see what services and supports may be available. 

Unaccompanied Youth are young people experiencing homelessness who are not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian. 

Under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act and state law, Unaccompanied Youth have the right to immediate enrollment without proof of guardianship.

The McKinney-Vento Act extends the same rights to students experiencing homelessness on their own as with their parent or guardian.

Unaccompanied Youth

Your children have rights and protections under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act and state law.

They have the right to:

  • Receive a free, appropriate public education.
  • Receive educational services comparable to those provided to other students, according to each student's needs. 
  • Automatically qualify for school nutrition programs.
  • Receive transportation to and from school of origin, if requested. 
  • Potential credit reduction for graduation requirements.
  • Have access to school supplies and other items at no cost.
  • Get tutoring and other academic support.

Your children have rights and protections under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act and state law.

  • They have the right to enroll immediately, even if you do not have a permanent address (proof of residency is not required) or you're lacking documents normally required for enrollment (like school and immunization records, or other health records). 
  • Your student can attend classes while the school gathers required documents.
  • Enroll in the local school, or continue attending the school of origin (the school they attended when permanently housed or the school in which they were last enrolled), according to each student's best interest.
    • If the school district believes that the school selected is not in the best interest, the district must provide the parent, guardian, or unaccompanied youth with a written explanation of its position and inform the parent, guardian, or youth of the right to appeal its decision. 

The enrolling school shall immediately contact the last school of attendance to obtain missing records. The school will need the Student Record Request of Missing Documents in order to request the records. 

Aeries Online Enrollment

This form is to be completed by a parent, guardian, or student when there is a dispute regarding school selection. As an alternative to completing this form, the information on this form may be shared verbally with the McKinney-Vento Homeless liaison.

Newport-Mesa Enrollment Dispute Form 

Dispute Resolution Process

When completing the Federal Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), there is a question regarding homeless status. If you are a part of The McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Program, indicate you are experiencing homelessness on the form.

If you are identified as Unaccompanied Youth, you are considered independent and won't need your parents' information to submit. There is a question on the FAFSA regarding Unaccompanied Youth status.

See the links below for helpful information on FAFSA and McKinney Vento.

Financial Aid Guide for Homeless Youth in California

Completing the FAFSA: A How-To for Supporters of Youth 

Visual Step-by-Step Guide for CA Youth Who've Experienced Homelessness

Complete the FAFSA Form

California Student Aid Commission: Cash For College (CSAC)

contact us

Sarah Coley
Director of Student Services & Community Services
Newport-Mesa USD
(714) 424-5016

Angela Allen-Hess
Coordinator, Child Welfare & Attendance (McKinney-Vento Liaison)
Newport-Mesa USD

Jeanne Awrey
Orange County Department of Education (County Homeless Liaison)

Leanne Wheele
State Homeless Coordinator (California Department of Education)