Providence Country Day School Partnership
A legendary partnership built on two historic foundations.
The new, independent Henry Barnard School and Providence Country Day School (PCD) 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.
"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 organizational changes?
Kevin Folan will be Head of School for the whole school, PreK-12, and a new Head of Lower 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 lower school for Providence Country Day 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.