A new private school offering an old style of education will move into the building that Riverview Charter School currently uses.
Holy Trinity Classical Christian School, sponsored by the Parish Church of St. Helena, will lease the 22,800-square-foot facility on Burroughs Avenue from the Beaufort County School District for three years. It will pay about $181,420 per year.
The school will have an option to extend the lease for another two years, district chief of operations Phyllis White said.
Discussions with the district began shortly after Riverview decided to move into the Shell Point Elementary building after it is vacated this year.
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The Rev. Chad Lawrence, headmaster at Holy Trinity, said the school plans a classical education for students in preschool through fifth grade when it opens Aug. 20. Lawrence said the school can accept about 130 students, and each class should have about 14 students.
Classical education focuses on the seven traditional liberal arts: grammar, logic, rhetoric, arithmetic, geometry, astronomy and music, Lawrence said. The school also will teach biology, chemistry and other sciences. Christianity will be blended into the curriculum.
"It's the way that children were educated for hundreds of years up until the last century," Lawrence said. "This is the way the Founding Fathers were educated. It's teaching not just knowledge, but how to think."
Lawrence, who was a teacher in California before entering the clergy, said that when he researched classical education he realized it was in tune with his ideals as an educator.
The school will add a grade each year, ultimately expanding to 12th grade. In elementary school, students will learn the basics. In middle school, students will learn to think critically and build arguments. By high school, students are learning to communicate their views on the subjects they've learned.
"With the classical style of education, you see the payoff in high school," Lawrence said.