I have had the pleasure of seeing four of my children pass through Monroe and my fifth is currently in 2nd grade. I can only speak for the teachers my children have had and I cannot speak more positively than about Ms. Lisa Noble and Barney Peterson. As a principal. Mr. Holzman has one concern. The safety of the children. He may be a little militants for some but he does not judge and he appears to know almost every child's name. Sometimes I forget my own children's names! Since the new school was built just three years ago and the facilities and grounds have improved dramatically. Couldn't be happier.
After starting my daughter out at Jefferson for K & 1st we were very disappointed to not get my son's K variance approved & moved the kids to our home school of James Monroe. While my sons Kindergarten teacher was awesome, my daughter's 2nd grade teacher was not as impressive. Both my kids excel in reading, however my daughter struggled with the new math program introduced. Her teacher stated the teachers were basically learning it along with the kids. So while my daughters teacher tried to get the hang of it, my daughter fell farther behind & became more frustrated. It seemed like there was an attitude of "she'll just have to figure it out". Didn't inspire confidence. The other issue I have is how the children are released at the end of the day. For a school so bent on security, children flood out into the main entrance while tons of parents wait to find their kids. Again, from being at Jefferson, I find their system much safer & more streamlined. The teachers bring kids out in class lines, then they are released one by one to their parent/guardian via a couple of staff members. It is nothing like the free for all at Monroe. Just not overall impressed with this school.
During our 5 years at James Monroe we've met some wonderful teachers and staff. Unfortunately it is hard for staff and PTA to escape the umbrella of control and negativity the principal casts on the programs. He micromanages, thus squanders much of the efforts of the PTA, staff and students. There extra curricular and even basic programs suffer due to his inability to allow input from parents, staff and students. Knowing how oppressing it's been without fun, variety and a sense of community at James Monroe we've enrolled our 1st grade at View Ridge Elementary where the sense of community is strong, the programs are fun and there is variety and support for the staff and the students.
My wife and I were disppointed with James Monroe Elementary and have moved our children to another school. The teachers do an extraordinary job with the resources they are given, but they are hamstrung by poor leadership from the principal. The principal does not challenge students and does not encourages the teachers to do this either. When we've complimented teachers on challenging things they've done in class they've indicated that it is in spite of the principal. This non-challenging environment permeates through the school and it helps none of the students, but especially hinders the average and above average as they fall behind their peers. An example is that the principal told us parents at a conference that we shouldn't do math flashcards with our kids. We ignored his recommendation, and only after doing such did our children make progress in math. As mentioned, we moved our children to another school. They started out behind their peers, but are now performing well and enjoying school again. I cannot recommend James Monroe Elementary as a great school until there is a new principal or the learning environment changes.
Our children have attended this school for over 15 years now! With our oldest now in college. You could not ask for a better principal or caring staff. James Monroe is not just a school it is a wonderful, caring community of people. We love it!
Wonderful school with great variety of programs. Fantastic music lessons and PE classes. My kids love this school. Also very personal and the school principal know every kids by name. Lots of para ed teachers and plenty of aids and assistance for those in need. A real caring and supportive school community. Hard to find and unique.
Wonderful school and caring community. Music, pe, para, math, art and spansih programs provide lots of varied opportunities to learn new skills and gain confidence as a kid and have fun. Teachers work as a team and are friendly and happy. Lots of para ed for kids with special needs. Principal always knows what 's going on and keeps it a safe place to be.