Scholarships for Children with Exceptional Needs

Earlier this summer, Trident Academy learned of an exciting opportunity that could subsidize the cost of enrolling a child with special needs at a private school. This opportunity is the result of the Educational Credit for Exceptional Needs Children (Proviso 1.85) and will go into effect January 1, 2014. Students who are deemed eligible for this grant will receive up to $10,000 to attend a school like Trident Academy.

Students enrolled at Trident Academy often have a reading or language disability or are highly functioning children with autism. Private schools across the state have established protocols with their public school system to identify students who are eligible for this grant which is also known as the Access Opportunity Grant. Families attending, or interested in enrolling at, Trident Academy must initiate the eligibility process with the Charleston County Child Find office.

After initiating the process with Child Find, parents will then be connected to a school psychologist to establish the child’s eligibility for the grant. Psychologists are chosen based on the elementary school for which the family is zoned.

Elizabeth Cowley is the Intake Secretary at Child Find in Charleston County and is the point person to assist in the eligibility process. Parents are encouraged to contact Ms. Cowley by phone at 843.958.2700. The scholarship funding organization that will distribute grant monies to Trident Academy families is Palmetto Kids FIRST.

The next Tuesdays at Trident Academy Speaker Series will host financial planners from Merrill Lynch as well as key representatives of the Access Opportunity grant. All families interested in learning more about financing a private education for their child with special needs are encouraged to attend. The event begins at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 12 on the Trident Academy campus located at 1455 Wakendaw Road in Mount Pleasant. Email Niki Leiva for more information at or call her at 843.884.3494.

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