Providence Country Day School Partnership

Providence Country Day School maintains a 30-acre campus in East Providence..

A legendary partnership built on two historic foundations.

The new, independent Henry Barnard School and Providence Country Day School (PCD) will joined together to offer an extraordinary opportunity for education in Rhode Island. The passionate and dedicated efforts of HBS parents and alumni to save the beloved school, facing closure at the end of this school year, have come to fruition. HBS will continue its 122-year legacy of exceptional early and elementary education through a historic partnership with the Providence Country Day School, an independent school in East Providence, R.I. with its own 98-year legacy educating students in middle and high school.

For many years, both schools have offered cohesive, high quality, personalized, hands-on instruction, providing a solid foundation for students’ success. This approach to education combined with a commitment to small class sizes and building diversity at all levels made the two schools a natural fit.

The 2021-2022 school year is the beginning of the journey as united schools offering a continuous PreK-12 educational experience.

"Opportunities like this do not present themselves often. This is a chance for two institutions with strong, century-old legacies of educating young people to come together to enhance and expand the incredible education each provides."

-Kevin Folan, PCD Head of School

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the reason for this partnership?

This was a fantastic opportunity for a historic school with a 122-year legacy as a pioneer for elementary education to secure its future by merging with a similarly historic independent school known for exceptional college preparatory education for middle and high school students since 1923. This partnership will create a continuous experience PreK-12, offering high quality academics with an emphasis on small class size, close student-teacher ratios, and personalized instruction that prepares students for future success.

Are the missions and philosophies of both PCD and HBS aligned?

This merger is a natural fit because of the two schools’ philosophical alignment and common fundamental beliefs and practices. Both schools have been beloved by families for the personalized instruction, strong sense of community, and exceptional academics. We see this as two great schools joining together to build a shared future, where the combined result is greater than the sum of the two independently.

What is the timeline for this partnership?

The partnership will take effect after the end of the 2020-2021 school year. There will be increasing opportunities for the two school communities to get to know each other in the months ahead, and some administrative responsibilities related to planning for the 2021-2022 school year will be shared.

What are the logistical changes for both schools? Where will the students be?

For the 2021-2022 school year, there will be a smooth transition for families with few changes on either campus. HBS will continue PreK-5 elementary classes in their existing building, and PCD classes will continue in their existing space. As plans are made for HBS to move onto PCD’s campus in the years ahead, families from both communities will be engaged.

What are the organizational changes?

Kevin Folan will be Head of School for the whole school, PreK-12, and a new Head of Elementary School will lead HBS, reporting to Folan and working laterally with PCD’s Head of Middle School and Head of Upper School. A transition committee will be formed that will include representatives from both schools. It will guide the process to ensure continuity of HBS’s legacy while working together with PCD’s existing team to build trust and confidence for the future of the school community.

What are the financial considerations?

PCD will assume financial responsibility for HBS operations. This includes the expected lease costs to Rhode Island College and faculty & staff salaries. It is the intention for tuition revenue and donations for HBS to cover the operating expenses for the elementary school.

Why is Henry Barnard School retaining its name?

The reputation that HBS has earned over the past 122 years for its pioneering educational model and the loyalty among its alumni deserves to be celebrated and recognized. It is that reputation as a leader in early childhood education, and PCD’s reputation for the same in middle and high school, that make this merger a natural fit. Retaining the name is part of continuing that legacy. Henry Barnard School will be the elementary school for Providence Country Day School.

What about pending applications and acceptances?

If you received an acceptance letter from either PCD or HBS already, you are welcome to enroll for 2021-2022 to join us for the inaugural year of this exciting partnership. Applications are still being accepted and considered on a rolling basis as space allows. This partnership offers additional benefits for current and future HBS students, including the opportunity to matriculate to PCD for middle school and high school.

Is this the same school I love? How will this impact school traditions?

Yes, these are the same schools that have educated generations of future leaders. Together we carry on the legacies of both our institutions, and cherish our histories and traditions. Just as we seek to celebrate the individuality of our students, so too do we honor the legacies of PCD and HBS. Our shared future is one built on two historic foundations, and together we seek to learn from each other to celebrate beloved traditions that are important to each school community as we move forward together.

How do we apply for 2021-2022?

To apply to HBS for PreK-grade 5, click here.

To apply to PCD for grade 5-12, click here.

Press Release

Read the full press release from the March 9 announcement here.