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Distinguished Schools

Live Oak Elementary - Awarded In 2018 and 2020

Live Oak Elementary. We are the only elementary school in Santa Cruz County to receive the Distinguished School Award in 2018 and 2020. In 2019, our results on the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) assessment demonstrate that our students continue to significantly outscore both our county and state in ELA and Math and have shown a consistent increase in student achievement–approximately 20 percentage points in ELA and Math since 2014.  The data speaks for itself and distinguishes our school as a high-performing school.

In order to close the achievement gap, the Live Oak Elementary staff not only focuses on improving learning for all students, but we work to involve everyone in the improvement process. Our Cradle to Career Initiative (C2C), which began four years ago with preschool parents, is a unique example of how our school staff partners with parents and community agencies such as the East Cliff Health Center, First 5 of Santa Cruz County, the Live Oak Family Resource Center, our County Supervisor, and Cabrillo College to help all students to thrive. Together we strive to empower parents, embrace the cultural diversity within our community and provide resources and support to families in fostering the C2C goals of good health, good education, and good character.  One recent result of parents becoming more empowered is a petition generated by them to investigate a dual immersion program, which has resulted in the creation of a dual immersion program at Live Oak Elementary starting in August of 2020. 


The previous honor of being a 2018 Distinguished School recipient was validation of much hard work and dedication by teachers, students, parents, and community partners. It proved that our students are much more than the assumptions that some people would make based on demographic data.  Our school community was proud to receive this award and held several events to celebrate this accomplishment that was well-publicized in the local media. We also produced a video that played in local theaters this summer highlighting Live Oak Elementary as a Distinguished School and our district as a California Exemplary District. This fall, our school leadership, parents, and other members of the C2C Steering Committee were also honored by the Santa Cruz Board of Supervisors for our academic achievement as well as parent engagement efforts. We continue to strive to improve what we do in order to maintain a safe, healthy, and rigorous environment for our students to grow and reach their full potential.  

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