Application for the Access Opportunity Grant

The new year will bring much assistance to families of children with special needs. The Educational Credit for Exceptional Needs Children (ECENC) will go into effect on January 1, paving the way for students to receive up to $10,000 to use for tuition at a private school like Trident Academy. Students with exceptional needs are deemed eligible for the ECENC grant if they qualify for an IEP.

Palmetto Kids FIRST is the nonprofit organization that will distribute grants to students enrolled at Trident Academy. This organization has very recently developed an application process which is now available online at

Page one of the application should be submitted to Palmetto Kids FIRST, and pages two through four should be sent directly to Niki Leiva at Trident Academy. Please note that page two should be accompanied with an IDEA Eligibility Report or IEP dated within the last three years, or a district-issued letter confirming your student’s eligibility to receive an ECENC grant.

Families can initiate the IEP eligibility process by contacting their district Child Find Office. Many families have already chosen to work with the Charleston County Child Find Office which serves Trident Academy. The Intake Secretary for this particular office is Elizabeth Cowley and she can be reached by phone at 843.958.2700.

If you have questions about the application process, please contact Jeff Davis, founder of Palmetto Kids FIRST, at or 843.501.1842. Families who wish to enroll their child at Trident Academy can contact Niki Leiva, the Director of Admissions and Marketing, at or 843.884.3494.

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