Greetings from the Principal's Office!
Dear Friend or Soon-to-be-Friend,
Welcome to the Henry Barnard Laboratory School website. We’re honored that you decided to take a moment to investigate our site. In a world with so many websites competing for your attention, we appreciate that you’ve invested the time to stop by ours.
Henry Barnard Laboratory School – or HBS, as we refer to it – is a unique and exciting place! Located at the intersection of great learning, great friendships, and great personal growth – whether that be for our young learners (the ones most call "students") or for our older ones (that most call "teachers" and "parents") – Henry Barnard is a place where each of us can come, engage in dialogue, share ideas, learn new skills, and master new information in an atmosphere that is safe and welcoming. (Though we may not agree on everything, we’re committed to disagreeing agreeably when we don’t.) When you come visit us in person, we believe that you’ll experience a warmth and hospitality that is genuine, and that makes you feel quickly like part of our HBS family.
Were I you right now, I know I’d have a list of questions that I’d be looking to have answered. If it’s okay with you, I’ll offer mine as a starter to our conversation, and if you’ve got others, I encourage you to send them along. Who knows? Maybe they’ll wind up on this page because they’re about important things that I missed.
- What’s the size of HBS? We’re people-sized. Our current enrollment is just below 300, and we’re projecting growth to about 350 over the next few years. That’s about all we can handle comfortably while keeping our class sizes reasonable.
Speaking of reasonable class sizes, these are the limits we place on enrollment: Preschool: 16 per class with two teachers; Kindergarten: 18 per class with one teacher; Grades 1-5: no more than 25 per class with one teacher. (K-5 also have Associate Teacher interaction.)
Currently, we have fifteen classroom specialists in PK-5, six discipline-specific specialists who interact with art, music, Spanish language, physical education, technology education and library & media sciences, and two Intervention specialists who work with learners who may need additional help or additional challenges. Additionally, we have a full-time school counselor and full-time nurse on campus, and five associate teachers (fully licensed professionals) who work with classroom specialists for a number of hours per week.
- Where is HBS located? Our school is sited at the heart of the Rhode Island College Campus, right at the top of the hill between Mount Pleasant and Fruit Hill Avenues. RIC is the state’s premier and oldest teacher preparation school, and HBS is proud to have been part of the College for 114 years now. Because of our unique affiliation, our faculty – who are also all College faculty – has the ability to regularly interact with their colleagues in RIC’s Feinstein School of Education and Human Development, for purposes of research, sharing strategies, and pioneering cutting-edge educational curriculum and practices. We also regularly host RIC Education majors who ovserve in our classrooms, do small-group instruction under the direction of their faculty, and student-teach in the new "co-teaching" model pioneered at RIC in 2011-2102. The result of these interactions is a curriculum rich in innovation and engagement which empowers our learners to start to take control of their own learning. As I said before, it’s an exciting place to be!
- Who comes to HBS? And where do they go when they leave? The demographics of our school are excellent. We purposely enroll about equal numbers of males and females, and work to keep our classes gender-balanced over the years. About 35%-40% of our population are minorities, and our SES ranges from children from families in need to those with abundance. HBS learners represent a wide spectrum of learning abilities and learning styles, for whom we do our best to differentiate – and when necessary, to intervene with appropriate assistance or advanced challenges. Geographically, most of our learners come from central to northern RI and the greater Providence metro area, though some do travel from nearby Massachusetts each day. For RI learners, transportation is available via the City of Providence or Statewide Transportation.
When they leave HBS, our rising sixth graders go virtually anywhere they choose. HBS is represented in all the region’s private schools, many parochial middle and high schools, and in most the state’s school district middle and high schools.
- How do HBS learners do academically? In a word, "well." Results from NECAP testing support that HBS learners, on average, are in the top stanine of learners in the state, often earning scores in the very high 80th to mid 90th percentile. Admissions to other schools in the area reinforce that our learners leave here prepared to excel wherever they go, and comments from teachers who have worked with HBS alumni/ae indicate that they find our learners to be strong critical thinkers, active learners, and citizens of good character.
- How do you view parent interaction? We’re serious about our mission of supporting you in the education of your child, and we assign your input great value. Our faculty understands our partnership with families, and all of us endeavor to keep lines of communication open. Faculty and administration are available to meet with you by appointment, to respond to your e-mail, and to take your phone call. You’ll find a listing of our e-mail addresses and phone contact information in the Family Handbook, which is accessible by clicking on the box in the right sidebar of all our web pages. Parents are also encouraged to become active in the life of the school by volunteering, by serving as room parents, and especially by being active in our great partner organization, the Henry Barnard School Parents’ Association. You can find out more about the HBSPA by visiting their website.
- Can my family afford HBS? Yes. We’re one of the last great educational bargains in the state, really, with tuition rates significantly lower than those of other non-public, independent schools. In fact, your investment in your child’s learning will go farther here at HBS than it will just about anywhere else, and will yield a great return! For those who qualify, limited scholarships are available. For minority children residing in Providence, some or all of the tuition may be paid by the City of Providence through the Providence-Barnard Plan.
- How can I find out more? Obviously, the best way to get to know us better is to visit us in person. We’d be glad to set a time with you to do just that if you’ll call our office and speak with my associate, Mr. Haven Starr. You can reach him by phone at 401.456.8624. If you’re more internet oriented, feel free to e-mail to ask for an appointment. Private tours are normally conducted between 9:00-11:00am most school days. You are also welcome to contact me directly with your questions. I typically respond to e-mails within twenty-four hours of receipt on weekdays.
I hope that your time here has been informative and enjoyable. Of course, there's plenty more good information embedded throughout this site, so feel free to explore widely! And don't hesitate to call or e-mail if you'd like more information about our school.
Lou Lloyd-Zannini, Ph.D.