3400 Paseo Boulevard
Kansas City, MO 64109
Entire Kansas City Missouri School District
University of Missouri—Columbia
The MU Office of Charter School Operations monitors school operations throughout the year and provides an annual statement regarding how well a school is complying with its stated charter goals. These web pages provide information about the school, including
- Academic Performance
- Governance and Operations
Based on this and information gathered in other monitoring activities our office conducts, we provide the adjoining Sponsor Statement.
Lee A Tolbert Academy Sponsor Statement 2019
Lee A. Tolbert Community Academy (LATCA) was welcomed to the MU portfolio on December 1, 2018. LATCA, based in Kansas City, is an entrepreneurship focused K-8 public charter school. Previously under the sponsorship of UMKC, MU and LATCA’s Board have agreed to move forward with expectations set forth in the LATCA-UMKC Performance Contract. LATCA celebrated its 20th anniversary in the 2018-19 academic year and anticipates applying for the renewal of its charter in the 2020-21 academic year.
This report is structured by the expectations set forth in the Performance Contract with MU. LATCA appears to be generally compliant with the provisions of its Performance Contract except Academic Outcomes. Even though it has outperformed Kansas City Public Schools in English Language Arts and Math in prior years, LATCA’s state assessment scores have declined over the last three years and no longer outperform KCPS.
- The LATCA Board of Directors abides by all relevant laws and regulations regarding meetings and conducts business in accordance with accepted business and procurement practices. The board continues to receive monthly updates on school operations and, periodically, receives school leadership reports regarding academics and plans for improvement.
- LATCA continued to develop a more rigorous and fully collaborative data driven instruction model in 2018-19 which resulted in a more in-depth analysis of student performance throughout the course of the school year. Nonetheless, these efforts have not resulted in better academic outcomes. LATCA provides extensive wrap around services and implements a community-based program. LATCA’s leadership continues to seek out and identify partnerships and resources to increase academic progress as well as operational efficiencies. For example, it has partnered with the Kauffman Foundation to secure a grant for Discover Education and Cooperating School Districts of Greater Kansas City.
- While it appears that LATCA meets expectations regarding finances, MU has asked the Board to provide more standard and detailed monthly financial statements and to clarify variances between the annual ASBR and external audits. While the finance committee is working to clarify the variances, it appears that LATCA is enjoying a healthy fund balance of, at least, 30% or more. A finance committee which reports monthly to the Board reviews financials and the full Board authorizes the payment of monthly expenses.
- LATCA meets all federal and state reporting requirements in a timely manner. As a result of 2019 academic performance, LATCA has been identified per ESSA as Targeted for low growth and/or achievement in its Special Education subgroup.
- The 2019 Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) underwent significant changes in reporting that proves challenging when working to hold sponsored schools accountable to Performance Contracts tied to APR scores. While LATCA outperformed KCPS in ELA and Math in prior years, following a three year decline in performance they failed to meet this expectation in 2019. We expect to see continued and heightened focus on academic achievement and growth. LATCA’s Board has requested and leadership has developed and is implementing an improvement/accountability plan. Additionally, we are looking forward to LATCA’s leadership and stakeholders highly integrated review of its purpose, strategic and improvement goals in support of renewal in 2020-21.
Lee A Tolbert Community Academy is a public charter school in Kansas City, Missouri serving children from Kindergarten through 8th grade. LATCA has served the community since 1999.
The Mission of Lee A. Tolbert Community Academy is to prepare students for entrepreneurial leadership in the twenty-first century by providing a nurturing environment and rigorous learning experiences for successful competition in a global society.
By 2025, LATCA will improve urban education by:
1. providing students in the urban core with access to innovative technologies and rigorous learning experiences and programs to support their preparation for successful competition in a global society.
2. increasing the performance level of all students on state mandated and other standardized assessments.
3. supplying students with the knowledge and skills to communicate effectively, think critically, problem solve, be good team members and be resilient which are all necessary skills for successful entrepreneurs.