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LPSS Announces New SOAR Program

Tara Walker

Names Tara Walker as Program Administrator

A new program geared toward the social-emotional needs of students will open this fall. The new SOAR program, which stands for Success, Opportunities, Achievement, and Re-Engage, will be housed on the former Prairie Elementary School campus and will serve as the district’s alternative site for K-5 grade students in need of short-term reassignment due to behavioral issues. 

The program is designed to be another layer of support for young learners. “With the relocation of Prairie Elementary School, we realized a golden opportunity to implement this program we have been discussing for quite some time. By separating elementary students from middle and high school students, we are creating learning environments that allow us to dive deeper into the issues affecting students, connect with them on an individual level, and ensure they have the necessary support and resources in place to flourish in their regular classroom setting.” states Janine LaFleur, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction. 

Equipped with a sensory room for students with special needs and a full-time social worker, students will continue to work on mastering academic content standards while learning skills that will help them be successful upon their return to school. 

“We want to provide stability and give students a new outlook on school,” says LaFleur. To achieve this goal, parents will work in collaboration with Ms. Tara Walker, SOAR’s newly appointed program administrator. “Tara is the perfect person to lead this new program. She has the ability to maintain high standards and hold students accountable for their actions, because her compassion and love for students shines through in the work she does each day.” 

Spending the last nine years as assistant principal of Prairie Elementary School, Walker understands the impact a positive school culture can have on a student’s educational journey and is committed to supporting at-risk students to make positive changes in their young lives. “Building relationships and trust within the school community and with our families is crucial for our long-term success. Our goal is to effectively communicate with base schools and re-engage students once they are showing success.“ states Walker. “I am honored to serve as SOAR’s program administrator and look forward to building and growing this program.” 

About Ms. Walker

Ms. Tara Walker holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She began her teaching career in St. Bernard Parish in 2005. She then taught at Youngsville Middle School for seven years before becoming a lead teacher at N.P. Moss Preparatory School. In 2014, she became assistant principal of Prairie Elementary School and has held that position until this most recent appointment to program administrator of the SOAR program. 

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