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Schools cannot require ACP participants to disclose the confidential address.
Under the ACP law, a program participant is not required to provide a school district with the participant’s confidential physical address for residency verification purposes. Upon request by the participant, the school district must use the designated address for all administrative purposes. See 2020 PA 301, MCL 780.851, et seq. The designated address for all ACP participants will be a mailing address in Ingham County, Michigan. Mail sent to the designated/substitute address will be forwarded by the Department of Management Technology and Budget to the participant’s confidential residence address.
How will schools be able to verify residence of children of ACP participants for enrollment or other purposes?
Since schools will only have access to the designated address, which does not reflect actual residence location, the Michigan Department of Attorney General will determine the school district for the participant’s residence address and provide then participants with a School Verification Letter that identifies the correct school district for any children in the household. A program participant then can present their ACP participation card and the School Verification Letter to the schools for proof of residency within the school district when enrolling their child(ren).
Can ACP participants provide the school with their confidential address if they want to do so?
Nothing in the ACP statute prohibits an ACP participant from providing the confidential address to schools or other entities. However, it is not recommended that they do so, as every disclosure of the address increases the risk that the address does not stay confidential and could become known to the person who presents a threat to them. Accordingly, application assistants working with ACP applicants and participants will be encouraging them to be very cautious about disclosing the confidential address to other entities.
If an ACP Participant discloses the confidential address to the school, what should the school do?
In addition to the privacy requirements mandated by FERPA, the Michigan School Code, MCL 380.1136(7), prohibits schools from disclosing the confidential address of an ACP participant.
“The department, CEPI, a school district, an intermediate school district, a public school academy, an educational management organization, or an authorizing body shall not disclose the confidential address of a pupil if the pupil or the pupil's parent or legal guardian has obtained a participation card issued by the department of the attorney general under the address confidentiality program act and the parent or legal guardian provides notice of the issuance of the participation card, in a form and manner prescribed by the department.”
It is recommended that the school take extra steps to protect the confidential address from being inadvertently disclosed to anyone not entitled to see it. For example, the school may wish to store this information in a special database separate from any database routinely accessed for legitimate disclosures by the school.
The Address Confidentiality Program is unable to forward computers, laptops, tablets, or any other electronic equipment to program participants’ confidential addresses.
Parents or guardians will have to work closely with the school administration to arrange alternative methods of acquiring such equipment.
Unless notified otherwise by the ACP participant, schools should presume that an ACP participant student has opted out of the pupil directory.
For purposes of school-provided transportation, a parent may provide the confidential address or an alternate address to the school for student pick-up/drop-off location.
The ACP participant /parent will be provided an ACP Alternate Bus Form from the Michigan Department of Attorney General. The participant will fill out that form and give it to the transportation department to arrange bus transport.