What about Latin? The students at St. Charles will learn Latin, starting in kindergarten. The study of one or more of the classical languages, Greek or Latin, is a hallmark of classical schools. Soler will teach the students Latin himself, having an extensive background in Latin himself, studying the language for 10 years both in Argentina and in Rome.
Schlaich said that compared to a typical secular, modern school, the focus of a classical school is on "cultivating wisdom and virtue." The school does this by "teaching the students Latin, exposing them to high quality literature, and focusing on appreciation of beauty, goodness, and truth."
After the change was announced in the spring of 2020, those in the school community had many questions.
"I have had a lot of positive feedback, [but] there is anxiety in some people, I would say, because it is a change, and there is anxiety with any change," Soler noted.
Priest and principal met with families to explain the changes, and while many families are supportive, some have decided to move to neighboring schools.
Heather Morrisson, a parent of St. Charles' students said she is excited for the change in curriculum. "I love that we are integrating religion into every aspect of the curriculum and I like that we are encouraging critical thinking in the students."
Schlaich said the response from teachers has also been enthusiastic.
"Our teachers are very loyal," she said. "They are excited we are going to be digging deeper, looking at deeper meanings."
Soler said he is looking forward to the adventure of undertaking this change.
"We will be the only Catholic school in the area – not in the state because we have St. Monica on Mercer Island, and there are other schools in the Seattle area looking to make the change – but we will be the only one in the area to make the change."
Looking to the future, both Soler and Schlaich are hopeful about the transition.
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"We are excited," Fr. Soler said. "It is a challenge, but overall, I think it will be good. I think it will attract families who are not served by Catholic schools now. The school is part of the life of the parish. The mission of the parish, like every Catholic parish, is to evangelize. I hope the school will help bring the students to a deeper knowledge of Christ."