James Monroe Elementary School is located at 3015 Francis Ave (corner of 30th St and Hickman Ave) in the Beaverdale Neighborhood of Des Moines, Iowa.

In the 2018-2019 school year, Monroe has approximately 500 students enrolled and we take pride in a diverse community with at least 4 out of every 10 children being English Language Learners, 9 out of 10 whose families qualify for the Free/Reduced Lunch Program, and about 1 in 10 students served by our Special Education Professionals.

In 1918, the first temporary Monroe Elementary School was built and was named after James Monroe, fifth president of the United States. He proved to be a quiet, dependable and honest man. At twenty-five he was the youngest member of the Constitutional Congress, but he was fifty-nine before becoming president.

With an enrollment of 87 in 1923, a brand new 4-room building was erected. The 2-room “Old Shack” temporary building was still in use when, by 1940, enrollment “soared” to 183. Two more rooms were added, and in 1944 the “Old Shack” was connected to the main building.  By 1950, the new addition to the main building of nine classrooms, an auditorium, and gymnasium was completed. At that time, the school board bought enough additional ground for our present five acres. Still another addition of 10 classrooms was built in 1959, and the Old Shack finally put to rest. That year, the sixth graders went to Franklin while the building was in progress.

In 2018-2019, Monroe is continuing within an extended School Improvement Grant to support the engagement of all stakeholders in the implementation of tiered intervention supports, coaching for all staff, increased learning time, enriching climate and culture, and family and community involvement.