Image credit: "Henry Barnard" by uwdigitalcollections is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

We value our roots.

Founded in 1898 as The Observation School of Rhode Island Normal School (later Rhode Island College), our school has always been dedicated to research-grounded pedagogy. In 1920, the school was renamed in honor of Henry Barnard (1811-1900), Rhode Island’s first commissioner of public schools and the nation’s first commissioner of education. Barnard believed firmly in “the cause of true education — of the complete education of every human being without regard to the accidents of birth or fortune.”

As RIC grew, HBS nurtured generations of learners as a vibrant lab for future teachers. With a staff of highly credentialed teachers who were also on the faculty at RIC, students at HBS benefited from cutting-edge practice and frequent visits from student-teachers and practicum students in the classroom.

In 2020, the Henry Barnard School formed as its own entity independent of Rhode Island College.

We’re so excited about this next chapter. While some details are still emerging, we know we are well-poised to continue the legacy of Henry Barnard.