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The Henry Barnard School History

Since 1898, The Henry Barnard Laboratory School has served Rhode Island College and the people of Rhode Island as a non-public, independent, elementary school. Our learners, most of whom live in the greater Providence metro area, range in age from preschool through grade five. Our school is a department of RIC’s Feinstein School of Education and Human Development, and is located in the heart of the College campus.

We ignite a passion for learning in Rhode Island College's youngest students. Our faculty will inspire your child to learn, succeed, and grow.

The mission of the Henry Barnard School is to provide a joyful, exceptional, educational experience that empowers each child to become a confident, accomplished and innovative learner.

Of course, our mission and our identity stem from five classic functions of laboratory schools through the years. Those functions include:

  • Clinical Teaching Experience
  • Research
  • Experimentation
  • Curriculum Development
  • Staff Development

Clinical Teaching Experience: To provide for observation and participation in a setting of quality educational practice including the provision of a higher level experience for selected education majors who are in need of advanced, more rigorous experience prior to certification.

Research: To provide a setting for a variety of investigations that can be conducted by professors, graduate students and others.

Experimentation: To provide a laboratory of human resources to engage in the trial, development and refinement of innovations based on research and/or experience.

Curriculum Development: To provide a setting to create, test, pilot, and evaluate new curriculum materials and strategies to facilitate learning.

Staff Development: To provide a site conducive to educational staff development for the diversity of personnel found in schools.

The Henry Barnard Laboratory School is an active member of the International Association of Laboratory and University Affiliated Schools. For more information about IALS, we encourage you to visit their website.

As an exemplary laboratory school, Henry Barnard is guided by eight principles:

  1. We promote equality of opportunity and excellence of achievement.
  2. We optimize the total cognitive and emotional development of each learner of each child.
  3. We provide a diverse environment necessary to learn and the resources to foster innovative learning.
  4. We promote continuity between the life of the learner at home and in school.
  5. We prepare our learners experientially and holistically to make a positive contribution within any society as an intelligent responsible human-being.
  6. We provide a vibrant educational environment for our future educators in training to be cultivated, polished and enhanced for any career opportunity because of the HBS experience.
  7. We engage all stakeholders in developing life-long relationships with a commitment of remaining connected through all of the Henry Barnard School activities and events.
  8. We will maintain an endowment that would provide the sustainability needed to bridge the operational gaps while preserving the vitality and vibrancy of the Henry Barnard School through its leadership.
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