Our child has been attending HBS for 5 years (since Kindergarten). There are so many things to love about this school. Our daughter loves attending school so much that she cries when there's a snow day! All of her her homeroom teachers have been great, and they've recently replaced the spanish and music teachers which now are on par with the tech ed, library, and art teachers who are all excellent. I will say that if your child is struggling, they will notice that and find someone to work directly with them one-on-one, but if your child is excelling, you will have to advocate to get special work for them. In general, I would say that the school is run a lot like a great public school (except they don't have to "teach to the test" which is a plus). The faculty all are seriously committed to their work and often present at conferences about their pedagogy, and there's a great community of parents and children. The homework has always been well-designed and manageable (and something the child can do on their own, which I greatly approve of). It is true, as some have noted here, that the tuition has risen quite a bit since we started looking at HBS, but the administration has been able to cap increases at 5% which is closer to standard private school increases. Overall, I've found the school to be a great value.
My two children are currently enrolled at Henry Barnard (both in the lower school) and they love to school each day. I like it, too! Their teachers are dynamic, engaging, and supportive. In particular, their STEAM-based approach to learning with Tech Ed is great, and a real selling point for the school. I only wish for clearer and more timely communication about tuition each year.
My daughter had always dreaded school, even though we started her out with the gentlest Montessori preschool, but it wasn't until she ended up at HBS (in 3rd grade) through an unforeseen turn of events that she was truly happy. Kind teachers, variety of curriculum, socially responsible learning. The math sometimes lags behind my daughter's capacities, but the rest is stellar, including science and creative writing.
This was one of the best options for local families in the Providence area in need of a small class size and well rounded educational experience. Recently the tuition has been moving up each year (according to principal due to state funding cuts) at a rapid rate. Discussions around this issue for families enrolled and unable to meet new tuition hikes is not supportive. Over the last three years it has almost doubled and the expectation is it will continue to go up. The school is a business and the leadership believes it can continue to survive with increased cost and not change in programming. The education is good and should be what a quality public school should resemble. The school has missed the demographic is serves and will continue to loose many families if it continues to raise the tuition. Little to no financial aide is provided.
Henry Barnard School - RI College - Providence, RI My daughter attended Henry Barnard school several years ago from grades K-2. I had actually intended to have her attend through 5th grade, but I had to take her out because she wasn't learning anything. This school was a total waste of time - with no structured learning - they let everyone "figure it out for themselves." The "innovative educational practices" referenced in the comments below translate into "total chaos." I am certain that there are some students who can learn in an unstructured environment, but most cannot. The place was total chaos - no-one took attendance; there was no directed teaching; the students wandered around and did whatever they wanted. No formal rules or procedures were ever disseminated to the parents, and there was very little discipline or follow through. My daughter was seriously injured three times at Henry Barnard; and in all instances it was by other students with out-of-control behavior. None of the students (or their parents) were ever reprimanded or held accountable. In second grade, my daughter was absent for a week and her teacher didn't even know she wasn't there - a waste of money.