The Plaza Academy
3930 Broadway Boulevard
Kansas City MO 64111
Web and Phone Contact
Telephone (816) 561-0770
Fax 816- 561-2530
Mission Statement
Plaza Academy's mission is to provide academic, therapeutic, and civic education to an ownership-based environment that empowers our non-traditional learners to graduate high school and become successful young adults. 
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Ward Hugh Worley MA, LPC
Board Chair Ms. Zola Gordy
Board Chair Company Affiliation Metropolitian Community Colleges
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 1977
Former Names
The New School for Human Education
Volunteer Opportunities
Ways to donate, support, or volunteer

Each year the Plaza Academy underwrites in excess of $250,000 in private tuition for families with demonstrated needs. Our students who were dealt unfortunate circumstances and simply want the opportunity to learn and grow in a safe environment are the reason why we work tirelessly to fundraise year-round. Our annual fundraiser and all other donations are critical to continuing our ability to serve our bright students!

We accept help in every form - through checks, credit cards, in-kind donations, and volunteering. We hold a yearly fundraiser in November, that includes silent and live auctions, and concentrate on getting private donations during this time.
Throughout the year we constantly work on grant opportunities that are crucial to the continuation of our school.  We also welcome all materials donations, especially for our arts programming, as well as volunteers that work to tutor and mentor our students, and help on our yearly fundraiser. 
The Plaza Academy would not exist without the tireless help and dedication and generosity from our staff, volunteers, donors and supporters!
Financial Summary
Revenue Expense Area Graph

Comparing revenue to expenses shows how the organizations finances fluctuate over time.

Source: IRS Form 990

Net Gain/Loss:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.
Mission Statement Plaza Academy's mission is to provide academic, therapeutic, and civic education to an ownership-based environment that empowers our non-traditional learners to graduate high school and become successful young adults. 
Background Statement

The Plaza Academy was founded in 1974 as an alternative high school with an emphasis on addressing the academic, psychological, and social development of the adolescent. We are a school in which our licensed mental health professionals and state licensed teachers, students, and parents work together to achieve academic, social, and familial success for teenagers who have been unsuccessful at traditional schools. As a Missouri Approved Private Agency as well as North Central Association/Advanced ED accredited high school, we offer rigorous college preparatory academics in an environment that encourages critical and creative thinking through both verbal and written expression. The Plaza Academy designs curricula to meet the needs of teenagers and their families as we prepare students for college and other post-high school environments. Our civic education model and therapeutic curriculum teaches our students to take control and have ownership over their own livelihood. The Plaza Academy prepares our non-traditional learners for their type of adult success whether they matriculate to college and/or enter the workforce directly to begin providing for themselves.

Impact Statement

Our unique building, purchased and renovated in spring of 2017, has increased our capacity to work with more at-risk youth in Kansas City. Our new building has provided our students and their families new opportunities, more services and a sense of permanence that we didn't have before. Our annual fundraiser is another source of pride for us at Plaza Academy. With the help of a very active fundraising committee, our annual fundraiser has grown over the last five years from $7,500 to an over $200,000 annual event last year.

Thanks to generosity from our local civic foundations and individual donors including the Kauffman Foundation, Hall Family Foundation, Margaret H. Silva Foundation, Marion and Henry Bloch Family Foundation, the William and Laura Frick Foundation, American Century Investments, Bank of America Trusts and Jackson County COMBAT, the Marion and Henry Bloch Family Foundation, Stanley H. Durwood Foundation, the Keith and Margie Webber Foundation, the Atterbury Family Foundation, the Gary Dickinson Family Foundation, as well as our many generous individual donors, we have been able to accomplish the following:
  • Over the past two years Plaza Academy has 96% staff retention rate.
  • Plaza Academy added a music program called the Beat Academy where our full-time instructors teach songwriting, beat creation, sound mixing, vocals, instruments, producing, as well as marketing/branding. This past year our students created their own album, including album art, and performed it in front of a live audience twice.
  • Two full-time therapists employed to ensure students mental health needs are being served.
  • Three full-time special education teachers employed one of which serves as special education coordinator to ensure all special education services are being administered to best serve our students and their families.
  • Formalize and expand our after-school tutoring and extended school year programming.
  • Full-time principal with over 20 years experience  
  • Formed our first-ever Parent Teacher Organization.
  • Plaza Academy has full-time communications and arts position, who manages our website, digital newsletters, community outreach and alumni programming, yearbook as well as the school’s arts education curriculum.
  • Ability to offer staff healthcare benefits as well as employer matched simple IRA.
Needs Statement
Due to accomplishing our previous needs and goals over the past five years by purchasing and completely renovating our first-ever, very own building after renting for 42 years, we are now at a place where we are flourishing and will be at full capacity before the end of the 2019-2020 school year. Our program is unique and highly effective in changing our students and their entire families lives thanks to our mandatory policy to keep class sizes small (10 students or less) and having a 6-1 student-staff ratio.
With that said, we have two main goals this year:
1) We need to hire and train two additional teachers for our 2019-20 school year. Salary and Benefits cost for two teachers is over $90,000.
2) Now that we have been in our building for over a year and have had every corner of it renovated and customized to meet our students needs, we want to pay our $320,000 mortgage in full. 
In addition to our two main goals for the year, we also have our recurring yearly needs: 
  • Academic Scholarships– We cover $250,000 a year in scholarships for students who were dealt unfortunate circumstances, who simply want the opportunity to learn and grow in a safe environment. 
  • Mental Health Services–The Plaza Academy delivers a comprehensive treatment model to our students and their families throughout the entire year. The cost for our mental health staff and services is $100,000 a year. 
  • Summer School–The Plaza Academy is unique in that it offers both academic support as well as psychological support throughout the summer months. The cost to run this program is $50,000 a year.
  • Supplies–The cost for school supplies, including science and arts materials, is $5,000 per year.
Service Categories
Special Education
Mental Health Treatment
Youth Development-Citizenship
Areas of Service
MO - Jackson County
MO - Clay County
MO - Platte County
KS - Wyandotte County
KS - Johnson County
MO - Eastern Jackson Co
MO - Jackson County Urban Core
KS - Wyandotte County Urban Core
MO - Cass County
CEO/Executive Director/Board Chair Statement

As a graduate of the Plaza Academy myself, it was always my dream to come back and work at the place that saved my life. I believe that it is my life’s mission to help Kansas City’s at-risk youth via the hard work we do at the Plaza Academy.  I am proud of the Plaza Academy’s significant accomplishments since I took over as Executive Director seven years ago. We have taken our annual fundraiser from a $7,500 annual event to an over $200,000 event, and increased our partnerships with local school districts, from 1 contract to 10, that allow us to enroll and graduate students that other school districts can no longer help.

Our most significant accomplishment in the last seven years has been the purchase and remodel of our own building. Our complete customization of our building, including brightly colored walls, a student designed mural, full recording studio, new technology in every classroom, a community garden, a large community space with school reptiles and a large sky light - has taken us to a big moment in our 45 year history. This is a critical year at Plaza Academy as we reach full capacity for the first time!
We have also been fortunate over the last seven years in deepening our support in the community. Seven years ago we were successful in obtaining two grants that we applied for this past year we were successful in submitting and obtaining ten grants. Seven years ago, our tuition revenue was $100,000, this fiscal year it will be over $400,000. Our successes have allowed us to pay our teachers a more competitive wage and offer benefits, such as a simple IRA and healthcare benefits, that we could not provide seven years ago. None of our success would have been possible without the support of our many generous local foundations, individual donors, fundraising committee, our advisory committee and our Board of Directors.  
Our college preparatory curriculum is delivered to our students by a professional, state certified staff all of whom have undergone specialized training.


  • 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, 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 8 local school districts as well as implement IEPs for parents from the general public.
Category Education, General/Other Educational Delivery
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years)
Short-Term Success
  1. Students and parents stop blaming each other for lack of success in school and familial dysfunction.
  2. Students go to class on time, follow teachers instruction, and refrain for classroom disruption on a daily basis. 
  3. Students feel a sense of ownership and belonging which contributes to their success in school. 
  4. Students achieve academic success.
Long-Term Success
  1. To ensure a quality education to all special education, underserved adolescents to prepare them for universities and other post high school environments. 
  2. Energize and heal relationships within families who have children with specialized needs.
Program Success Monitored By Single subject design methodology is used to assess the effects of our treatment model daily. Each student is awarded 24 points a day for attendance, punctuality, lesson completion, and a measure civil behavior in the classroom. This measurement system is sent home with the teenager daily and is kept as a permanent part of the institutional record. From there, incentives at both school and in the home are provided based on this measurement system and these empirical measures are used to monitor the effects of our comprehensive treatment model.
Examples of Program Success All of the students who attend Plaza Academy have been failing in their previous environment.  Our treatment model has been proven effective, turning these teens' lives around. Students who once thought they were going to fail or drop out of high school are now graduating high school and enrolling in college, joining the military, or beginning a vocation. Our graduation rates and matriculation to college approach 90% for the last 10 years. We award up to 3 college scholarships through the Metropolitan Community Colleges. Our graduates attend colleges and universities across the country many of whom attend graduate schools.
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Mr. Ward Hugh Worley MA, LPC
Term Start Mar 2010
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.    
Former CEOs
Dr. Gary Ogle SeabaughAug 1973 - Dec 2012
Paid Full-Time Staff 12
Paid Contractors 1
Volunteers 5
Retention Rate 96%
Staff Diversity (Ethnicity)
African American/Black 4
Caucasian 5
Hispanic/Latino 1
Staff Diversity (Gender)
Female 5
Male 5
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Bi-Annually
Plans & Policies
Organization Has a Fundraising Plan Yes
Organization Has a Strategic Plan Yes
Management Succession Plan Yes
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Collaboration partners include:
  • Kansas City Missouri Public Schools,
  • Raytown School District,
  • Ft. Osage School District,
  • North Kansas City School District,
  • Center School District,
  • Raymore-Pecular School District,
  • Belton School District,
  • Holden School District,
Several charter schools including:
  • Crossroads Academy,
  • Lee A. Tolbert Academy,
  • Frontier Schools,

Through our contracts with other schools we have been able to implement some of their students’ Individual Education Plans. 

Other collaborative partners include local community mental health centers, including Swope Health Services and Truman Behavioral Health. We have also partnered with UMKC, Rockhurst University and Avila University to provide their students with supervision while the seek their licensure.   
External Assessment and Accreditations
North Central Association of Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement - Accreditation2016
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the government? Yes
Board Chair
Board Chair Ms. Zola Gordy
Company Affiliation Metropolitian Community Colleges
Term Jan 2017 to Dec 2020
Board Members
Mr. Jeff CoppakenCoppaken Law Firm
Ms. Zola GordyEducator
Mr. Steve MarzulloWorkday
Mr. Grant RamseyJD
Mr. Terry M. RileyTransformation Consultants Founder, President
Ms. Celia RodriguezUS Postal Service
Ms. Margaret H SilvaFounder of Grand Arts
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 5
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 4
Female 3
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 3
Board Meeting Attendance % 90%
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 40%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 60%
Constituency Includes Client Representation No
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 10
Standing Committees
Advisory Board / Advisory Council
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Advisory Board Members
Michael BellAmerican Century
Mr. Nick Bloch
Bill FrickLockton Companies
Dr. Patricia Henley
John Petrow
Don Wagner
Dr. William H Worley
CEO Comments The Plaza Academy is proud to have the support of a very active Board of Directors, who has had the vision and leadership to get us to where we are today. We are also thankful for the tireless work and generosity of our fundraising committee which turned a $7,500 annual event into an over $200,000 event last year.  
Fiscal Year Start Aug 01, 2019
Fiscal Year End July 31, 2020
Projected Revenue $919,000
Projected Expenses $850,000
Foundation Comments
  • FYE 7/31/2018, 2017, 2016: Financial data reported using IRS Form 990.   
  • Foundation/corporate revenue line item may include contributions from individuals.
Detailed Financials
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201820172016
Program Expense$697,419$488,471$481,541
Administration Expense$130,766$116,041$90,289
Fundraising Expense$43,589$38,680$30,097
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.161.780.97
Program Expense/Total Expenses80%76%80%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue------
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201820172016
Total Assets$1,163,212$1,034,035$118,723
Current Assets$299,184$152,695$110,282
Long-Term Liabilities$333,741$350,000$0
Current Liabilities$65,180$61,242$0
Total Net Assets$764,291$622,793$118,723
Short-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201820172016
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities4.592.49--
Long-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201820172016
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets29%34%0%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201820172016
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- --Margaret H. Silva Foundation $347,000
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- --Hall Family Foundation $100,000
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- --Kauffman Foundation $50,000
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? Yes
Campaign Purpose Pay off mortgage
Goal $350,000.00
Dates Aug 2019 to July 2020
Amount Raised to Date as of Aug
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years Yes
Organization Comments The Plaza Academy is very excited that after 44 years we have been able to purchase our own building and solidify our place in the community. Three years ago, our Board of Directors and leadership team started the process of looking for our own building. Finally,  the vision is complete and we have moved into our new building at 3930 Broadway Boulevard. The Plaza Academy staff and students are very excited about our new building and the many opportunities this new building will give us to serve more youth in the Kansas City area.  Our financials are a little skewed on our 2016 990's as approximately $500,000.00 of our revenue last fiscal year went to the purchase and remodel of our building. This will allow us to serve more students for many years to come.  
Other Documents
Spring Newsletter2016View
Summer Newsletter2016View
Organization Name The Plaza Academy
Address 3930 Broadway Boulevard
Kansas City, MO 64111
Primary Phone (816) 561-0770
Contact Email
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Ward Hugh Worley MA, LPC
Board Chair Ms. Zola Gordy
Board Chair Company Affiliation Metropolitian Community Colleges
Year of Incorporation 1977
Former Names
The New School for Human Education