Plaza Academy Treatment For At-Risk Adolescents

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 students. Our school consists of teens who left or were expelled from their previous schools. All of the students share similar symptoms, including a history of substance use or abuse, mental health needs and academic failing, which is generalized negatively to their family stability and peer relationships. 

Students like this are at increased risk of drug abuse, mental health crisis and suicidal ideation. Our school-based substance abuse treatment is a critical program that allows Plaza Academy to provide drug and alcohol treatment to our students and their families year-round. 

The Plaza Academy's outpatient substance abuse program provides services for all of our 7th- 12th-grade students who are all at-risk for substance abuse due to their lack of success in their previous environment. Plaza Academy's therapeutic approach delivers a comprehensive treatment model for our students and their families throughout the entire year. The treatment model comprises Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and contingency management training, in addition to a variety of special education accommodations and interventions.

Plaza Academy provides therapeutic services to our students and their families by seamlessly integrating behavioral therapeutic services into the school day. Therapeutic services are delivered via family counseling, private individual therapy sessions, and adolescent group counseling. CBT strategies are based on the theory that maladaptive behavioral patterns like substance abuse, learning processes play a critical role. Individuals in CBT learn to identify and correct problematic behaviors by applying a range of different skills that can be used to stop drug abuse and address a range of other problems that often co-occur with it. 

Our therapeutic staff creates individual treatment plans with tasks that are designated to ensure care coordination, treatment and follow up care is provided for the student and their family. 

Contingency management therapy has been in use at Plaza Academy for over 40 years and continues to be an effective therapeutic intervention for our students and their families. Studies have shown that incentive-based interventions are highly effective in increasing treatment retention and promoting abstinence from drugs. Contingency management programs are designed to increase resilience and reduce risk factors, specifically to improve social competencies, school performance, and reduce drug and alcohol use, problem behaviors, and delinquency in high-risk children. Research has demonstrated the effectiveness of treatment approaches of contingency management principles.

Given the increased COVID-19 related mental health stress and substance abuse among our students, school based mental health services are now, more than ever, essential to the health and well-being of our adolescents.


Click on the window icon (upper right corner) of the map below to expand. List of all program locations is included with expanded view of map. Locations are also listed on this page below the map.

816-561-0770 •

2023 COMBAT Funding:

2023 Service Projection:
100 People

Areas Of Focus

The Plaza Academy, 3930 Broadway Blvd, Kansas City, MO 64111