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Special Education

Meet the team:

Athena Bivens

Director of Special Education Services/Diagnostician

Tel: (214) 628-9152

Fax: (214) 628-9124

Mobile: (214) 682-9164

Email: abivens@eciacharter.com

Elicia Villa (Rowlett Campus)

Special Education Coordinator/Special Education Teacher

Tel: (972) 412-8080

Fax: (214) 628-9124

Email: evilla@eciacharter.com

Carol Hordge (Royse City Campus)

Special Education Coordinator/Special Education Teacher

Tel: (972) 636-2600

Fax: (214) 628-9124

Email: pkelley@eciacharter.com

Dave West (Sunnyvale Campus)

Special Education Coordinator/Special Education Teacher

Tel: (214) 628-9152

Fax: (214) 628-9124

Email: dwest@eciacharter.com

Special Education Services

All children are entitled to educational opportunities consistent with their ability to learn. 

The teamwork of our staff of dedicated professionals combined with the support of our community equals positive outcomes for our students.

We recognize and encourage parent participation. It is an essential and vital element of the total education process. Together, parents and the school form a team to determine quality services for these exceptional children. We encourage parents to participate in ARD meetings, ask questions, and work closely with their child’s teacher and school. 

The federal law (IDEA) uses the below terms to define a “child with a disability”. Individuals qualify for special education services when they have one or more of the following disabilities, according to state and federal guidelines:

  • Autism
  • Deaf-blindness
  • Deafness
  • Emotional disturbance
  • A hearing impairment
  • Intellectual Disability
  • An orthopedic impairment
  • Other health impairment
  • A specific learning disability
  • A speech or language impairment
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • A visual impairment including blindness
  • Multiple disabilities

Special Education resources

Admission, review and dismissal (ARD Guide) process

Read More: English Spanish

An admission, review and dismissal (ARD) committee determines a child’s eligibility for special

education services and makes most of the major decisions about the child’s special education

placement and the services needed. If an ARD committee is formed for your child, you will be a

member of that committee.

Learn more about the ARD process and your rights and responsibilities in this document created

by the statewide leadership for The Legal Framework project team and the Texas Education Agency(TEA).

Notice of procedural safeguards

Read More: English Spanish

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) provides certain rights
to the parents of children with disabilities. This document created by the
Texas Education Agency (TEA)provides a full explanation of the the procedural
safeguards available under IDEA.

If you have any questions about the information in the ARD Guide or Notice of Procedural Safeguards or need someone to explain it to you, reach out to one of the local special education contacts listed below.

Athena Bivens                                        Region 10 Education Services Center

Director of Special Education Services              Dr. Pamela Baker

Tel: (214) 628-9128                              Program Coordinator-Special Populations

Email: (214) 628-9124                         Tel: (972)348-1654

Email: abivens@eciacharter.com        Email: pamela.baker@region10.org


Special Education Information Center


The full set of special education rules and regulations are available here:

Child Find Services

CHILD FIND is a process designed to help identify, locate, and evaluate individuals from birth through 21 years of age with suspected disabilities who may need special education services. 

Read more



Texas Transition and Employment Guide

Beginning on or before the student turns age 14, and annually thereafter, transition needs are discussed at the student’s annual ARD meeting. 

Athena Bivens: Director of Special Education Services

Education Center International Academy

302 N. Town East Blvd.

Sunnyvale, Texas 75182

Tel: (214) 628-9152

Fax; (214) 628-9124

Email: abivens@eciacharter.com

Dyslexia Handbook

The State Board of Education (SBOE) on November 16, 2018, gave final approval to updates to The Dyslexia Handbook—2018 Update: Procedures Concerning Dyslexia and Related Disorders (Dyslexia Handbook). The updates address recent legislative changes and clarify processes regarding identification and services for students, including students with dysgraphia. The updated Dyslexia Handbook is effective immediately.

The handbook contains guidelines for school districts to follow as they identify and provide services for students with dyslexia. In addition, information regarding the state’s dyslexia statutes and their relation to various federal laws is included. 

The Dyslexia Handbook—2018 Update: Procedures Concerning Dyslexia and Related Disorders (PDF)

Helpful Websites

Parent Resources

Parent Coordination SHOUT OUT!

The Legal Framework

The Texas Education Agency and Region 18 Education Service Center partnered to provide a compilation of state and federal requirements for special education organized by topic.

Texas Project FIRST

Families, Information, Resources, Support & Training
Created by parents for parents, this website is designed to make it easy to find Texas Education Agency (TEA) information and resources specific to students with disabilities and their families.

Special Education in Texas A-Z Index

An index of Special Education related terms with links to appropriate information on The Texas Education Agency website.

Region 10 ESC

Region 10 Education Service Center, located in Richardson, provides school districts and charter schools in the northeast Texas area with professional development, programs, and services
designed to improve student achievement and school district efficiency.