Originally, Rota Elementary School was part of David Farragut Dependent School which opened in 1954 and was then known as David Glasgow Farragut Elementary School. The original school was a kindergarten through twelve school with twenty-eight students. The school was named in honor of David Glasgow Farragut, the first rear admiral, vice admiral, and full admiral of the United States Navy. James Farragut was the son of a Spanish immigrant to the United States. After the death of his father, Farragut was adopted by a family friend, US Navy Captain David Porter, who wanted to give James the benefit of an education and the opportunities of a naval career. Later, James changed his name to David to honor his adoptive father. David Glasgow Farragut was the first senior officer in the United States Navy during the American Civil War.
In September 1958, the school was relocated from a fishing village to the housing area of the Rota Naval Station on the Bay of Cadiz on the southern coast of Spain. Adjacent to the naval base is the town of Rota and a few kilometers away is the town of Puerto de Santa Maria. The 1958 school complex consisted of separate one-story buildings.
From the initial twenty-eight students in a one-room school the enrollment grew to a peak of approximately 1,300 students in kindergarten through sixth grade.
For the 1960-61 school year there were 330 students enrolled in grades kindergarten through six. There were sixteen elementary teachers, and the principal was Helen Watts. Jack Brown was the superintendent for the two schools in Rota. The enrollment remained the same in the elementary school until the 1964-65 school year when the number of students in grades one through six was over 700. There were two administrators for the elementary school for the 1965-66 school year, Mrs. Viola Wright and Mr. Leslie West.
In 1981-82 there were 835 students in grades K–6 with half-day kindergarten classes. The staff consisted of twenty-eight classroom teachers, twelve specialists, and two administrators. By the 1993-94 school year, the enrollment was 1,000 students. There were thirty-four classroom teachers and twenty-one specialists including compensatory education.
Even though the official DoDEA name of the school is Rota Elementary School, the name in the Rota community has always been David Glasgow Farragut Elementary School.
In August 2004, the elementary school moved into a new modern school facility. The sixth graders were moved to the Middle/High school for the 2014-2015 school year.
In 2021-22 the school had grades Sure Start through five, with 428 students enrolled. The current principal is Kenneth Kirk.