Educational Institutions

The Plaza Academy

  • Kansas City, MO
  • www.theplazaacademy.org

Mission Statement

Our mission at the Plaza Academy is to provide college preparatory academics, civic and social instruction and therapeutic guidance to students who have been unsuccessful at traditional schools.

Main Programs

  1. Plaza Academy
Service Areas

Self-reported

Missouri

ruling year

1978

Principal Officer since 2010

Self-reported

Mr. Ward Hugh Worley

Keywords

Self-reported

Special Education, highschool, Mental, health care,adolescents and families, Aspberger's Syndrome, Learning Disabilities, Giftedness, ADD, ADHD, Social skills, civility training, Research institute, adolescent learning strategies, Plaza, Plaza

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EIN

43-1056670

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Specialized Education Institutions/Schools for Visually or Hearing Impaired, Learning Disabled (B28)

Adult, Child Matching Programs (O30)

Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis (W05)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

The Plaza Academy is in its third year of transition from the former Executive Director/ Founder to the new Executive Director and a new generation of leadership and new board of directors. The Plaza Academy has added two new board members over the last year, and anticipates adding another new board member over the next year for a total of seven board members. With the help of a very active fundraising committee, our annual fundraiser has grown over the last three years from a $7500 annual event to an over $100,000 annual event last year. Thanks to funding from the Kauffman Foundation and Curry Family Foundation we have formalized and expanded our after school tutoring and Extended School Year programs (summer school). Thanks to funding from the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City and Jackson County's COMBAT program we have been able to expand our social service component to add a full time therapist/ case worker to help assure our families are all obtaining quality of life necessities. In doing so, medical, dental, psychiatric and psychological screening has become a part of our intake process. We have also partnered with local public and charter school districts to provide services to their students who would otherwise be suspended for 180 days or permanently expelled. We have partnered with these same districts to provide IEP and other special education services to their students who would benefit from our program. This coming school year the Hall Family Foundation has agreed to fund a portion of the salary for a school principal for the Plaza Academy as we continue to enhance our academic and mental health services.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Plaza Academy

Our college preparatory curriculum is delivered to gifted and otherwise exceptional students by a professional, state certified staff all of whom have undergone specialized training as research assistants and in special education. We deliver a family therapy sequence that includes weekly parent meetings, training in contingency management, expressive-evocative therapy to reduce parent's emotional responses to their teen's symptoms, and self management training for their teens. We conduct weekly group therapy, a weekly guest speaker program, social skills training, group and individual contingency management learning strategies which strengthen and improve the academic performance and citizenship of our teenagers. We conduct daily tutorial sessions with our teens at the end of each 50 minute class session the focus of which is to remediate academic deficits seen in learning disabilities and the deficits created by a teen's other disabilities. We implement Individual Education Plans under contract from 6 local school districts as well as implement IEPs for parents from the general public.

Category

Education, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

Budget

Service Areas

Self-reported

Missouri

Funding Needs

The Plaza Academy is currently seeking funds to achieve our goal to significantly expand the outreach of our mission to both clients and collaborative institutions in order to serve more families who are clinically and educationally under served and to expand our services to help these families meet fundamental quality of life needs. To compound our institutional need, the recent loss of accreditation by the Kansas City School District has increased the volume of families seeking our services. Virtually all of these families are from economically disadvantaged households and one hundred percent of these families are clinically and educationally under served. Kansas City School District's loss of accreditation has created additional stressors on this institution in our efforts to meet the needs of families who require special education from an accredited high school. This increased number of families present additional institutional challenges because of the demands they place on our treatment model. By the time they arrive here, the family has greatly diminished quality of life caused by chronic worry about and adolescents history of school failure. This is compounded by the families' lack of confidence in there local school districts ability to prepare their adolescents for post secondary high school endeavors.

Accreditations

North Central Association of Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement - Accreditation

External Reviews

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

PLAZA ACADEMY
Fiscal year: Aug 01-Jul 31

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  • Board Chair, Board Co-Chair and Board Members
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

The Plaza Academy

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone and website
  • Forms 990 for 2014, 2013 and 2013
  • Board Chair, Board Co-Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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Principal Officer

Mr. Ward Hugh Worley

BIO

Mr. Worley is a native of Kansas City, MO and a 1985 graduate of the Plaza Academy. Mr. Worley obtained a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science in 1990, from the University of Missouri. Upon graduation Mr. Worley worked for a diverse group of politicians including United States Senator Christopher S. "Kit" Bond and Kansas City, Missouri Mayor Emanuel Cleaver. Mr.. Worley was also the founder and president of a successful mortgage brokerage, before embarking on his current career in social service. Mr. Worley graduated with a Master of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology from St. Edward's University in Austin, Texas in 2006. Upon graduation Mr. Worley spent over three years in community mental health at Swope Health Services before joining the Plaza Academy in 2010. Mr. Worley was appointed Executive Director by the board in January 2013.

STATEMENT FROM THE Principal Officer

"At the University of Kansas' Institute for Research in Learning Disabilities our task was to develop learning strategies that would teach special education teenagers self-management skills in academic and social behaviors. In order to methodologically isolate the components of an empirical research design it was necessary to control familial, social, and pedagogical variables. Thus, the curriculum components of individual and family therapy, daily reports home, a school-wide individual, group, and home based contingency management system, a classroom instruction protocol, and careful management of the social milieu were combined to form a comprehensive treatment model. We sought to isolate the three categories of school failure: rebellion, academic disability and academic deficits. Once these variables were isolated we then delivered therapeutic care, learning strategies, and other curriculum components which we monitored daily within an empirical research design. This research paradigm allowed us to adjust treatment, expand and add programs, and report outcomes to those people responsible for our teen's welfare. The Plaza Academy's motto: civilitas philologus, "civility and scholarship", is the guiding principle of our social mission. Our first students were tough and streetwise whether they were gifted or learning disabled. In order to gain instructional and therapeutic control over these teens it was important to establish a firm but loving social environment. This was done, initially, through self-defense training, and, on alternate days a therapeutic group meeting. These curriculum components provided the foundation for our student's sense of respect, gratitude, belonging, and institutional ownership. Today, our legacy is further supported by three decades of communication with parents, our incentive systems, and the good peer models presented by our teenagers"

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Mr. Robert W Million

PUMA FC Founder, Executive Director

Term: Jan 2013 - Dec 2016

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

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RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?