By the close of the 19th century, a vast number of Canadians had migrated to the mill town of Woonsocket, RI. The Franco-American clergy of the area cherished the dream of assisting these immigrant families by educating the young, preserving the language and enkindling the Catholic faith. Monsignor Charles Dauray, Pastor of Precious Blood Parish took the initiative and laid the foundation for educational institutions that would serve his parishioners. He invited the Brothers of the Sacred Heart to form part of this dream by staffing a school.
Mount Saint Charles Academy was incorporated in 1919 and opened its doors on September 14, 1924 to both boarders and commuting students. Br. Josephus SC served as the first principal. The school ownership was transferred to the Brothers of the Sacred Heart in the 1930s and was one of many schools owned or staffed by the Brothers in New England.
Each step taken by the Academy is a further realization of that initial dream of Msgr. Dauray and Brother Josephus. From a boys boarding and day school to a co-educational junior-senior high school, the Academy has grown and prospered with the times. In the spirit of Brother Josephus, each succeeding principal has improved the school and its extra-curricular programs.
Three years after the completion of the school a gymnasium, the largest in New England at the time, was added. The boys could choose from a wide variety of courses to sharpen their intellects as well as a selection of sports to assure their physical development. In 1963, the Br. Adelard Ice Arena, named after the Father of Schoolboy Hockey and the first built to serve a particular school, was added to the campus.
In 1972, the boarding facility was closed and the Academy was transformed into a Grades 7 - 12, co-educational, day school. New programs were added and the facilities refurbished to address this change. The old boarding facilities on the fourth floor became the home of the 7th and 8th grade; the Brothers’ Residence was established in areas that used to be dormitories and the Infirmary. Additionally, in a desire to better serve the individual needs of each student, the Academy established the Teacher-Counselor program to ensure that each student has an adult advocate to monitor progress, and serve as a liaison between home and school.
The first significant addition to the main building since 1927 was completed in 2000 with the opening of the Physical Education/Health Education and Performing Arts Centers. The original gymnasium, with a corridor added to its northern side, was refurbished into health classrooms, locker-shower rooms, and aerobics/dance classroom, the Bell Tower Theater, and the Music Suite. A new gymnasium, with two regulation-sized basketball courts, a practice, track, and climbing walls, was added to the western end of the building and connects by a two-story lobby.
Much of the east wing was renovated in 2003 and five science classrooms and laboratories were created. The West Wing Project began in the summer of 2004 and the third floor now boasts a state-of-the art Technology Center, the Academic Support Center, a faculty work room, and two refurbished classrooms. In 2008, a new stairwell was added to the western end of the building and a new computer research center was added to the Library/Media Center.
Additional classroom renovations on the third floor were completed in 2012 and will continue throughout the building. Each renovated classroom includes state-of-the-art technology including LCD projectors and Smart Boards. Renovations and improvements to Adelard Arena have started and will progress over the next several years. In December of 2012, construction began on new on-campus tennis courts which were completed in the Fall of 2013. Additional athletic fields are being pursued to complement the lower soccer field and the upper baseball/softball field.
The addition of grade 6 to the Academy in the fall of 2015 has aligned the Academy's grade structure with schools in nearby communities.