Welcome to Henry Barnard Laboratory School!

If you’ve found your way to this page, you are most likely a member of the Henry Barnard School community. Our community—students, parents, families, faculty, staff, Feinstein professors, Henry Barnard School alumni, and Rhode Island College alumni who have served as our co-teachers, pre-service teachers, and Explorations teachers—are the heart and soul of HBS. We are indebted to each of you for the outpouring of love and support we have received.

As you most likely know, 2020-2021 is slated to be HBS’ final year in operation. For us, this moment is bittersweet. We are grateful to be in school together after COVID-19 separated our student body last spring. Every moment seems to carry a new weight. While the Henry Barnard Laboratory School will be closing at the end of this school year, a group of dedicated parents and community leaders is opening a private, independent school. If you are interested in learning more about or supporting this effort, you can find more information at Henrybarnard.org.

The final moments of HBS are both firsts and lasts. We embarked on the 2020-2021 school year in the midst of change at the local, state, and national levels. This academic year has brought the announcement of HBS’ closure; health and safety adjustments required by COVID-19 that have trickled into myriad instructional changes; retirements and transitions in faculty roles; and the reinvention of our daily habits and procedures.

Around us, as ground is broken for new construction projects, we find ourselves venturing into beautiful undiscovered grassy areas on campus. We are relearning how to teach in specialist/classroom teacher teams and are, as one teacher remarked, writing the book on simultaneous in-person and online instructional methods. Though this watershed of change, we are so proud of the resilience of our students and faculty as they learn to do old things in new ways and continue to smile at each other through their masks.

This, I believe, is the legacy of HBS. We are a community in transition, and yet that sense of community is palpable.

Over the course of this school year, we will be looking for ways to memorialize Henry Barnard Laboratory School’s 120 year history. We’d love for you to contribute your memories of Henry Barnard School to our archive. You can email pictures, reflections, and ideas to HBSLegacy@henrybarnardschool.org.

To reach us in the main office, call 401-456-8127 or email shess@ric.edu or cmessina@ric.edu.


Sarah Hess, MAT, M.Ed.
Interim Principal/Associate Professor
Henry Barnard Laboratory School
Rhode Island College