At the top of the 2012-2013 school year, our staff of 54 educators at consisted of 54% White, 40% Black, and 6% Hispanic. 24% of staff members held Master's or Master's plus degrees. 22% of our educators are male. All of our classroom teachers are certified in the areas they are teaching. In addition, 39% of our staff community has been at LATCA over five years. Our school is part of a densely populated urban community in Kansas City, MO. The average household income in our community is about $22,000. The population is primarily African-American and mostly single. The average house value in our school community is about $55,000.
The last three years have brought changes and adjustments to our LATCA community. We are continuously growing and changing to accommodate the needs of our scholars. Because of low enrollment in our high school, stakeholders made the decision to close our 9-12th grade location, Tolbert Preparatory Academy. Our vision for having a high school was to add one grade per year to allow our veteran eighth grade scholars a good quality high school experience, without paying tuition costs. Our high school stayed in operation for four years, long enough to have one graduating class in 2011. Over 95% of our graduating seniors received scholarships and are now attending college. Far distance from our k-8 building and high crime location of our high school were also contributing factors to our high school's lack of success. Ideally, in the next three years, Lee A. Tolbert Community Academy will have a series of buildings to form a campus. It is an on-going challenge to locate a facility where growth can continue. In the meantime, efforts are in progress to partner, as a feeder, with high quality private and/or charter high schools.
Another change we have implemented is increasing our school support staff. With enrollment steadily increasing every year, we continuously try to support our teaching and learning by keeping class sizes conducive to optimal success in learning. With financial help from the government's stimulus package, we hired additional full-time educational assistants (EA) to assist with differentiated learning in the classrooms. We currently have one EA per grade level, K-4; and, one EA for every two grade levels 5-8. Also, in the last three years, LATCA has gone from 80% highly qualified teachers to 100% highly qualified.
Lee A. Tolbert Community Academy (LATCA) is located at 3400 Paseo in midtown Kansas City, Missouri. LATCA is mainly housed in the 24-classroom educational wing of Victorious Life Church. The location provides access to a main auditorium, a full-court gymnasium, a cafeteria and kitchen, and additional classrooms in the church annex. LATCA is located in an urban setting where we educate 532 students, grades Kindergarten through eight, who live within the Kansas City, Missouri school district boundaries. Our Title 1 funded school is 96% African-American, with about 80% of students eligible for free and reduced lunch. About 9% of our scholars receive Special Education services, and 1% of our scholars receive English Language Learner (ELL) services.
Missouri Charter Laws were legislated in 1998 and the first charter schools went into operation in Kansas City in 1999. Lee A. Tolbert Community Academy opened with 191 kindergarten through third grade students for the 1999-2000 school year. We had a principal, 11 classrooms and 14 teachers, 80% certified in accordance with Missouri's Charter Law. LATCA used the 20% non-certified rule as an opportunity to recruit African-American males into the profession, since the majority of students at the academy were male and African American. The non-certified teachers all held Bachelor's degrees, and were then encouraged to take education coursework and pass the Praxis in order to earn Missouri certification. The charter indicated that the academy would add a grade level each year up to grade eight. However, the second year, as a result of parent demand, we added 4th, 5th, and 6th grades and enrolled 401 students for the 2000-2001 school year. Third-sixth grades were housed at Metropolitan Baptist Church, 2310 E. Linwood Blvd., about one mile from our current location. Year three, the new educational wing, where our school is currently located, was made available and the 2001-2002 school year began with grades K-7 enrolled at the 3400 Paseo location.