As students across Orange County begin a new school year, thousands of students experiencing homelessness remain without access to proper Wi-Fi and technology. This “digital divide” is the difference between those who can participate in distance learning and those who can’t. With education being the great equalizer of our youth’s future, we simply cannot afford to let this essential need to go unmet.


Since April 2nd, our Rapid Response efforts have reached an additional:

Providing them with:




PHA was front-page news in the OC Register!  This article poignantly captures the struggle that our kids face on a daily basis. With school closures remaining in place for many of our students, we will ensure the catalytic opportunity of education is still available to them, no matter what. 

Read the article here


Starting today, Project Hope Alliance has opened an online learning & support center in our building, that is allowing for our K-12th grade students to reserve a personal learning space Monday-Friday from 9 am to 4 pm. The center will be following all CDC guidelines including mandatory mask-wearing, social distancing & sanitation. 

As you can imagine, many of our children & youth are doing online learning in extremely crowded and often embarrassing surroundings.  Noise, commotion, inability to focus, and a need for assistance from an adult  dramatically interfere with their learning. This space eliminates those challenges.  We’ve also set up a stocked refrigerator, microwave, food & snacks.

The crippling circumstances surrounding the pandemic have weighed heavily on our hearts because We know firsthand how incredibly difficult it is to learn while experiencing homelessness. 


On July 14, 2020, the Newport-Mesa Unified School District Board of Education approved a 3-Level Plan for Re-opening the 2020-21 school year. The Board previously approved a Parent Choice – Virtual Learning 100% option for the 2020-2021 school year. 

3-Level Plan for Re-Opening Schools (Eng and Spanish)

3-Level Plan for Re-opening Schools for the 2020-21 School Year

The District will be prepared to shift between the following learning models throughout the school year. The District will determine the level for all students, based on state, county, and local health department guidance, orders, and/or local conditions at the time. Alternatively, parents have the choice of a 100% Virtual Learning School option instead.

Level 1 -100%  In-person 

Used if the State of California moves to Stage 4 and Orange County and local conditions support instruction without the need for social distancing.

Level 2 – Elementary (TK-6) – Full Day “Max 16” Model* 

  • Students on campus all day (except Wednesdays)
  • In-person classroom instruction up to maximum capacity (16)* with social distancing – half-day (morning or afternoon)
  • On-campus extended learning – half-day (morning or afternoon); with parent opt-out option
  • Wednesdays – half-day morning – all students/half-day afternoon – teacher professional development 
  • Inclement weather/air quality day – In-person classroom – half-day only. No on-campus extended learning offered
  • Students receiving Special Education (Special Day Classes) services will be full days except Wednesday half day

*Maximum capacity may vary slightly due to classroom size.

Secondary (7-12) – To be determined

  • While district staff was prepared to present the Level 2 instructional model for secondary students, it is being revised and anticipated to be presented to the Board of Education at a special board meeting tentatively set for Tuesday, July 21. Being a special meeting (not regularly scheduled) an agenda for this meeting will be posted on the District Agenda Webpage at least one day prior to the meeting.

School bus transportation will be limited for elementary and secondary schools. Available space will prioritize students with special needs. Other criteria for limited space will be determined by need and distance. Face coverings will be required for all passengers.

 Level 3 – 100% Distance Learning 

Used if a Stay-at-Home order is issued by the state, county, or local health officials.

NMUSD will prepare for all three levels and confirmation of the level for the start of the school year will be determined approximately two weeks prior to the first day of the school on August 24 (August 12 for Early College High School). Reopening will be based on state, county, and local health department guidance and/or orders and local conditions at the time.

Parents/guardians will be provided with additional information on the approved models above and the parent Choice Virtual Learning option. 

100% Virtual Learning Option

Within the next week or two, all parents will receive an Intent to Participate notice to indicate their preference to have their student in the parent Choice Virtual Learning 100% or the 3-level plan described above. This information is critical for district staff and principals to prepare schedules and staffing for the start of the school year. 

 Further details of reopening guidelines will be provided throughout the summer and at the August 4, 2020 Board Meeting. For the latest information, please visit the 2020-2021 School Reopening Webpage


Newport-Mesa Unified School District Deputy Superintendent Mr. Russell Lee-Sung shares how NMUSD plans to address the challenge of reopening schools on August 24th. Check out the Planning Update: 2020-2021 School Year video to learn more.


Updated needs for the kids:

Or check out our Amazon Charity List HERE.



The Covid-19 pandemic is revealing the breadth of education’s digital divide, separating those who have access to the internet from those who don’t. Thanks to your support, PHA has been able to expand our reach to make sure families have equal access to resources their youth need for continued educational success. Read about Distanced Learning effects on our low-income families here.


Team Kid is grateful for our parents who are doing their best to make sure their kids are keeping up with their education. Here are some resources for parents trying to figure online learning. Check it out here. Spanish version here.


We continue to be in awe of our community. You all have made this movement possible. When we all had to stay home, you found the most creative and essential ways to show up (albeit virtually, with protective gear and/or 6 feet apart) for our kids who don’t have a home. Thank you. Read more


This week, in addition to checking in with our current students and their families, Team Kid dropped off essentials to families housed in motel rooms. 27 Chromebooks, 10 Wi-Fi hotspots, 25 perishable food boxes, 50 bags of food, 60 Easter goodie ‘baskets’ from Ikea,14 bags of hygiene items, and 14 art boxes to help youth and families during this time of physical distancing. A special thanks to The Ecology Center, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian, IKEA Costa Mesa, Mariners Church, Sempra Energy Foundation, OC United Way, Project Dignity, and Edwards Lifescience for stepping up with Team Kid.


Learn more about PHA’s Wifi & Technology distribution to our children & youth experiencing homelessness to ensure their access to online learning and resources. OC Register Article


Newport Mesa Unified will follow recommendations and continue with Distance Learning through the 2019/2020 school year and schools will not physically re-open until further notice. Full update here.


Project Hope Alliance has partnered with The Ecology Center to bring fresh produce for our children and families experiencing homelessness.


Insellerate is donating 2% of all new revenue on contracts executed between now and the end of April to help and support Project Hope Alliance’s efforts to reach children who are homeless. Check out their conversation with Jennifer Friend below.


NMUSD Support and Care Resources. Link


Newport-Mesa Provides Free Grab-and-Go Lunches During School Closure. Distribution Locations


Public Health Order is not an Order to Shelter in Place. Press Release


PHA is considered essential and we will continue our work with our kids. County Health Officer Press Release


Free student lunches are available for NMUD Students. District Link


Despite school closures, we are still serving our kids and taking the appropriate measure to keep everyone safe and healthy. Day by day FRIENDS.


Team Kid unanimously agreed to keep providing services for our youth experiencing homelessness.


Countywide school closures have been recommended. OC Register Article

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