Live Oak School’s demographics were the primary reason it was selected as the site for the pilot project. Seventy-six percent of students are eligible for free and reduced lunch and 64% are classified as English Learners, with Spanish being the primary language for 76% of the school’s families.
Live Oak is an unincorporated community and “Census Designated Place” located between the Cities of Santa Cruz and Capitola in Santa Cruz County. Despite the fact that the Live Oak community is only 3.2 square miles, the population is 17,400, around 5,400 people per square mile. Fifteen percent of the adults in the community have not earned a high school diploma, and there is a per capita income of $27,675. The Live Oak community has experienced significant change over the past 10 years, moving from a rural, agricultural area to a semi-urban environment with denser housing and increased population. This means that Live Oak faces many of the same challenges that urban areas have, but with significantly fewer resources and infrastructure.