« Back to compare
/ / School Profile
PK-8
Private
Denver, CO
Students enrolled: 212
Before care: Yes
After care: Yes

Contact this school

2040 South York Street
Denver, CO 80210

School website
(303) 871-2982
(303) 871-3197
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Ricks Center for Gifted Children address.

Profile Completeness

INTERMEDIATE

Want to improve this school’s profile? You can!

All schools on GreatSchools begin with BASIC completeness, which includes important information like contact details and test scores. It’s up to the school community to take the next steps. As a parent or community member, you can share what you know with other families by writing a review or answering a few questions about what the school offers. As a school leader, you can upload photos, describe school programs, and more with an Official school profile.

The completeness meter moves to INTERMEDIATE, then ADVANCED, and finally HONOR ROLL as you complete the following: 10 or more reviews, at least 1 photo, and 9 program questions parents find helpful.

Want to improve this school's profile?
for Parents
for Schools
 
December 19, 2014
We are currently in our fifth amazing year at Ricks. Each year the teachers have been truly outstanding and the program is exactly what our kids have needed. From our first day there, Ricks has been a great fit and we have been thrilled with the quality of the teachers and the program. Everything about the school is tailored to help gifted kids thrive. Now, no one school is perfect for all kids. We have been with many of the same kids and families for our entire time at Ricks, and the community has been strong and supportive. But sometimes it has just been the wrong fit for either the kids or the parents. The hard cases are where Ricks is clearly just what the kid needs but something is not working for the parents; one can only hope they find as good a fit for their children somewhere else. If you have a child that you think may be benefit from the approach they take at Ricks, I would strongly encourage you to visit the school and talk to some long-time parents. There are many of us there who have a hard time imaging what we would be doing with our kids if Ricks were not here.

- submitted by a parent
December 19, 2014
I have been a Ricks parent for the past 4 years. My wife and I are hyper-vigilant about the education our kids receive. I am satisfied that Ricks knows what it's mission is, is currently able to accomplish it, and is growing stronger under its new leadership. Recently, I picked up a book about gifted kids. I was struck that the majority of the book was given to helping the gifted child feel "ok" about themselves, and to strategies for finding a peer group. I put down the book, and felt relieved. My kids are thriving socially at Ricks. They do not view themselves as different at all, because at ricks they are normal. Before Ricks, my children struggled. Right now, both of my kids love to go to school, they are well above grade level in all subjects, and show evidence of education that is more than skills: they display thinking strategies that allow them to make subtle connections, social strategies that allow them to work in teams and resolve conflicts, and deep curiosity and engagement with the world. Ricks is a great fit for our family.

- submitted by a parent
December 18, 2014
This is our 7th year as Ricks parents; we have two children here. In that time, I have been amazed by the dedication, creativity and passion our teachers demonstrate year after year. It is a community in which teachers, administration and parents work together to create a place where students can be challenged and love learning. After a period of transition in leadership, I feel more strongly than ever that Ricks is a great place for my children. We ve felt consistently supported by both teachers and administration. Beyond the incredibly rich and engaging lessons the teachers work very hard to prepare; it's clear that they want to be there and sincerely care about their students. When challenges arise (academic or social), students learn to be problem-solvers and responsible, caring members of their school community. I see why my kids love school and don t want the school year to end, and I can t imagine being anywhere else.

- submitted by a parent
December 18, 2014
This is our fourth year at the school. Both my kids are considered 'twice exceptional' and no other academic program has given the importance to this issues as the Ricks Center has. Our teachers - all of them thus far - have been truly exceptional in their response to our special needs. My kids have never been so fulfilled emotionally and socially nor have they been as academically challenged as they have been at Ricks. I can't say enough good things about the overall 'big picture' experience the Ricks Center has provided to our family.

- submitted by a parent
December 17, 2014
Please beware the negative posts by parents on the way out for whatever reasons. Ricks has had leadership changes and the reasons behind them can be explained to those interested. The leadership in place now is strong, engaged, and actively improving administrative aspects of the school. Ricks' relationship with DU has many more positives than negatives, the dynamics of which can also be explained to those interested. Parents are involved, friendly, and active in a positive way. Ricks doesn't purport to be the right fit for all kids, but there are many families that find it to be an amazing place. If you're interested in learning more, please ask. There are many teachers, faculty, parents and kids that would be happy to speak with you.

- submitted by a parent
December 17, 2014
My two children have attended Ricks for five years and are very, very, happy there. Personally, I have found the fourteen teachers (and countless paraprofessionals, language teachers, art teachers, etc.) who have taught my kids to be professional, courteous, incredibly nurturing, and responsive to my kids' needs. I have chaperoned numerous field trips and classroom activities and continue to marvel at the degree to which Ricks kids are sweet, creative, funny, and engaged. Any social issues that have arisen have been handled quickly and proficiently by the teachers, usually in a way that engenders constructive conversation and encourages problem solving. One warning: if you are a parent with a strong preference for "drill and skill" learning, this is probably not the best place for you. These parents tend to struggle with the unique, nationally-acclaimed gifted learning model applied by the school (which emphasizes experiential learning through an emergent curriculum over worksheets). In my experience, the Ricks parents who remain tend to be very engaged, nice people who are committed to doing whatever they can to improve the school.

- submitted by a parent
December 16, 2014
I am a single mom, and frankly the idea of a school community intimidated me. I wasn't sure how I would be treated because I don't have the same kind of time to volunteer at school as other parents, and I was just insecure in general that parents and teachers would think I was disengaged when really I was just trying to survive. Ricks has been a godsend to me and my child. Not only have the Ricks teachers and staff helped me raise my awesome kid and given me 100% support while doing it, but the community is so cool. It's a diverse group, with lots of working moms and working dads, and also lots of stay at home moms and dads. People could not be kinder to me when I sheepishly slip them a $10 because I can't help plan a party, and I honestly feel like I have a community helping me raise my kid. I can't imagine being anywhere else.

- submitted by a parent
December 16, 2014
I have two children currently attending Ricks, and this is my 5th year as a Ricks parent. I think this school is fabulous. My children get lots of support and individual attention not only from the teachers, but also from the staff and administration. My children are thriving, learning, improving, and having fun. As a parent, I get many, many opportunities to participate in my children's classrooms in a variety of ways. I have helped classes with dissections, planting gardens, field trips, cooking classes, and reading. My whole family feels connected to this wonderful community.

- submitted by a parent
December 16, 2014
We are now in our 2nd year at Ricks and have two children attending. We looked at other private schools in the area and left feeling underwhelmed. We heard great tales of friendships formed by parents, but we were evaluating schools based on educational benefits and opportunities for our children and ultimately their future. When we found Ricks we knew it would be an ideal fit for our oldest child (our youngest was not in school yet). Feeling nervous about our decision and asking ourselves constantly, "Did we make the right choice? Are we 'those' parents that think our child is gifted? Are we setting her up to fail?" On the 3rd day of her first year, she was walking inside holding her younger sister's hand. With a slight skip and an excited smile on her face, I overheard her say, "This is an exciting place." A great wave of comfort and relief swept over me as I realized that even though I fail daily as a parent, I didn't mess this (school decision) up! We nailed it. If you are an engaged parent, want to be a part of the school community and plan to involve yourself with your child's education journey...then I encourage you to give Ricks an hour of your time and schedule a visit.

- submitted by a parent
December 16, 2014
We are in our third year of having two children attend Ricks. In those years we have seen many changes to both the school and our children. At all times, our children's progress has been substantial, and the care, dedication, expertise, and excitement shown by the teachers has meant everything to our family. Choosing a school, let alone a private school, is a difficult choice, especially when you find out your child may be in need of a tailored program. This is exactly what the program is, tailored for gifted learned. We have seen the support necessary for our children to learn the basics, and guidance for them to exceed the norm, and we are excited to continue down this road watching their achievement. As this is certainly a different school, we highly recommend new parents speaking with current parents to better understand these differences, and why this school is the right choice for gifted learners.

- submitted by a parent
December 16, 2014
A couple of things about Ricks. It doesn't sell itself on being a fancy prep school, and if you're a parent who expects special treatment for whatever reason, you may be disappointed. That being said, there is truly no replacement in Denver. My daughter's teachers truly know her and care about HER first and foremost. They have helped her identify her passions, and every kid at Ricks I meet has a similar depth to them that I do not think they would have but for Ricks. It is a highly unique learning environment for special kids where the teachers are truly independent and do what is best for each individual child. Anyone who tells you differently is, well, a parent who is better off in a prep school-type setting where they will have more authority to issue decrees to the school. In my view, if you get into a place where certain parents are calling the shots because they believe that is their entitlement, it's not good for the kids. On a related point, the idea that this school falls under the purview of DU is not surprising to anyone and is the entire point of Ricks. Look at the U. Chicago Lab Schools as another example of this type of model. P.S. - I love Director Dan!

- submitted by a parent
December 04, 2014
Stay away, at least for now. This formerly great school is spiraling downward quickly. Since the founder left in the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year, the school has rapidly fallen apart. Older reviews complain about bad communication with the staff and faculty. They weren't wrong; that's a challenge the school has faced for years. But now things are different. If you're considering Ricks, you MUST ask the following questions of the staff before committing: Ask who controls the school. Unlike other private schools, Ricks is run by DU (Morgridge College) with ZERO parental input. Unilateral fiscal decisions are made without consulting Ricks parents, teachers, or administration. Ask why Ricks is on its 4th director in 18 months (The director has no power at all DU makes the decisions). Ask why Ricks increased some class sizes by 40% while raising student-teacher ratios. Ask why so many families leave Ricks each year. Ask why the school is under capacity. Ask why DU laid off 1/3 of the staff this past summer. It's sad that such a great place has fallen apart so quickly. I hope they get it back together. But for now: run, don't walk, away from Ricks.

- submitted by a parent
December 04, 2014
Ricks no longer deserves your brilliant, gifted child (or your money). My child and both of us parents loved Ricks until recently. But they ve changed things for the worse this year. My child, who did great her first two years at Ricks, has completely stopped progressing this school year (2014-2015). She is literally doing the same work she did last year, repeated again. The shared concept of having 3rd-4th graders, and 1st-2nd graders together, works when the teachers are consistent and the class sizes small. This is no longer Ricks. Just imagine a school that doesn t allow parents in the classroom except when they need help throwing a party or a student performance. Imagine a school sneaky enough to require parents to sign contracts just a few days before the admission results are mailed from all other private schools to try to keep you from leaving. Imagine a school that pretends to solicit parent feedback and then literally ignores every request and suggestion. Worst of all, imagine paying $18K for a year of private school, and watching your friends kids learning more, enjoying school more, and getting more out of the public school you ve already paid for through your taxes.

- submitted by a parent
November 23, 2014
Ricks is under the directorship of an amazing leader who relates well to parents and, most importantly, students. This school is a haven for truly gifted kids and the results are magical - our children are so happy, challenged and engaged! We love our teachers and the admin team!!!!

- submitted by a parent
August 17, 2014
After several years, we have moved our kids. There is a lack of leadership and lack of integrity and respect throughout the Ricks community. Worse yet, there are glaring academic holes, we were left taking our kids to outside resources to learn math basics. We witnessed bullying among students which was continually swept under the rug. The administration fully acknowledged that bullying was occurring, but refused, or had no clue how, to hold students accountable for their actions. We witnessed bullying of teachers by the administration. Most good teachers leave. There is bias toward female students. It s frustrating to receive no communication and not knowing who is in charge. Communicating with unqualified directors (they are on their 3rd in one year) and unqualified administrators is equally frustrating. How does DU fit in to this, no one knows. There is a lack of respect for Ricks amongst peer institutions. Few 8th graders get into their high school of choice. Other schools privately spoke to us of Ricks kids not being prepared academically or socially for secondary schools. DU should fix or discontinue operation of this unhealthy and unsafe environment for children.

- submitted by a parent
July 15, 2014
Ricks is an amazing school. The teachers truly care about the students, there is a wonderful student to teacher ratio and, best of all, the students are actually taught to think at this school. It isn't all about learning just facts and figures (they learn these too) but it is more about engaging the student and teaching them how to think critically. This fosters a love of learning that is hard to come by (especially in the gifted and talented population). Our children have really blossomed in this community.

- submitted by a parent
March 23, 2014
The Ricks model of gifted education fosters critical thinking, creativity, effective communication, compassion and experiential learning to prepare kids for a lifetime of success. The teachers and administrators have one priority, and that is the success of each child; they go above and beyond their traditional roles to ensure every child is well-served. My oldest child graduated after spending preschool-8th grade at Ricks. In every subject, he started 9th grade in AP (Advanced Placement/college-level), Honors, and Concurrent-college courses; despite the "rigor" of his class load, he is not experiencing the meaningful learning he was accustom to at Ricks, nor are most of his high school peers capable of or interested in engaging in intelligent conversation as his Ricks friends are. His high school grades could not be any higher, but he is not learning and therefore not content. My youngest has also called Ricks home since preschool and is presently thriving in Upper School. There is no better investment than on that of my children's future of which Ricks is a vital component.

- submitted by a parent
February 14, 2014
I echo the sentiments of others who've posted a less than satisfactory review of Ricks. My child is currently in their first (and only) year there. We were thrilled about the prospect of what Ricks said to offer, even despite the ridiculous price tag - expected 2014 kindergarten tuition is $17,000. This does not include additional costs in the form of before/after hour care, fieldtrips, etc. Expectations from this administration are also that families commit additional amounts of time, money and resources. After speaking with administrators about my child s future there, it became apparent that Ricks was not as much concerned about my child s success and as they are about our money. I would advise anyone considering sending their child to Ricks to first assess other options before throwing your money at this school, especially given some reviews that suggest their children have come out of Ricks ill equipped.

- submitted by a parent
January 27, 2014
Our son has gone to The Ricks Center for the last 2 years , and he is thriving. Ricks is a very academic and loving school. The teachers here care deeply about the children, and the children continue on to do amazing things when they leave ( parents are invited once a year to "Life After Ricks", where alumni speak about their experiences). We plan on continuing our sons education at Ricks because of the wonderful teachers and nurturing environment at this school.

- submitted by a parent
January 15, 2014
This school has terrible administration that tries to help the students but ends up making problems. If I had the option to give no stars I would but unfortunately I am required to give it at least one star. This school used to be good but now it is not worth the money. The school is also sexist, The boys are always pulled in for bullying and such and when the boys complain that the girls don't get the same lecture they get pulled in and are told to report the boys if they bully. They also take bullying and make it so almost anything you do is bullying. They waste money on Smart Boards that don't work, TVs and security cameras they never check. I caution all parents looking to send there kids there because it is the worst school I ever went to.

- submitted by a community member
August 20, 2013
I attended the Ricks Center for Gifted Children for 11 years. Before that both of my brothers attended the school one for all 11 years and the other for 10. I have great memories, friendships, and lessons from this school and do not regret a single day of my education there. It is true that the education provided there is a little uneven in some of the subjects. Math and sciences are not the strength of this school and thus the transition into high school will be hard. However, Ricks gave me the tools to work with my teachers and work with the way I learn enough that I will be able to overcome the challenges I face in high school. I could not have asked for a better Language Arts program. I flourished in writing at Ricks and so did almost every single one of my classmates because of our teachers and their teaching methods. Languages at Ricks are not a particular strength either but I do feel prepared enough in my languages to progress into high school. On top of these positive things great things that Ricks provided me with included: Great Speech and Debate programs and skills, Self Advocacy, a wonderful Latin education, a broad knowledge of mythology, and priceless teacher bonds.

- submitted by a community member
May 06, 2013
Having had two children graduate from Ricks, and gone through the admission process again this year for a third, I am confident of the continuing quality of the program, the staff and faculty. My alumni children developed not only academically, but socially and emotionally as well. They were nurtured and supported, but also encouraged to be attentive to their responsibilities and obligations, and to advocate for themselves in the school setting. Their high school and other experiences have been smoother due to the academics and skills they acquired at Ricks.

- submitted by a parent
March 24, 2013
Although pleased at first with two kids at Ricks we are leaving due to lack of accountability on all fronts: administration, teachers, and perhaps most importantly, our own kids. While proud of our children being categorized as G&T, it became apparent that programming and grading was not nearly as rigorous as we had expected. Instead, the school is free-form, in terms of curriculum, expectations, and results reporting. The school relies upon its own self-appointed title of G&T, rather than earn it with a more vigorous education. Families need to be aware that Rick s doesn't use typical objective grading of students results, instead provides a written synopsis that uses boilerplates and incorrect cut & paste techniques used on multiple student reports. Ultimately, our middle school child was ill prepared for the next step in education despite obtaining "glowing marks" from Ricks. In addition, strong arm contract tactics to commit two months earlier then other schools admission process is just plain bullying on the administration part for families looking to make a possible change that's best for their children. Rather than earn our loyalty, Ricks forces it.

- submitted by a parent
September 01, 2012
My highly gifted son had an amazing all encompassing school that we called home for 8 years. His continued success, now in his second year at public high school, is owed almost entirely to Ricks. The creator, founder and leader of the school understands and has effectively implemented a unique curriculum that educates the "whole" child. Namely, my son developed not only academically, but socially and emotionally as well. Unless you've experienced the many distinct, endearing, frustrating and often quirky personality traits of an HGT child, the magnitude of the opportunity provided by Ricks may not be fully understood by every parent. Not only was my son educated to understand his gifts, but the teachers, administration and the closely knit community helped me to understand them as well. It is a non-traditional and well-reserached curriculum available to the appropriate child that teaches the love of learning (not just how to take a test), the gathering of like minded and behaving children (not just a pull-out program for driven students) and a safe community influenced environment (not just the neighborhood school) that fosters self-expression and individual growth.

- submitted by a parent
May 23, 2012
I had one child attend the Ricks Center and as my child graduated and went on into highschool, we realized that our student was not as qualified as Ricks had promised. Our Child went into honors math and science based on the recomendations of the school and this resulted in our student getting D's in both semesters. To me the Ricks Center seemed like a great place and promised great things but they never really followed through with any of those things. The administration was definitely the most frustrating part of our childs rick career. They always seemed to want to get money from us and amounts of money they were asking were mind blowing. If I had the option to go back and do k-8 over again, I would not send my child to Ricks.

- submitted by a parent
March 13, 2012
Ricks is not a school for everyone, but many of the negative comments posted are patently untrue. Ricks Center is the national model for education of the gifted with highly-qualified, highly-educated, passionate, caring and knowledgable teachers and administrators. The integrated curriculum suits the needs of gifted learners, challenging even the most advanced while instilling in all the desire to achieve their personal best in everything they undertake. These are valuable life lessons simply not measured by any standardized test. Ricks understands the asynchronous development of gifted children and makes accommodations so that each individual student has his or her needs met. Kids are among intellectual peers and are free to express themselves in a safe and nurturing environment, devoid of criticism or judgment. Many Ricks graduates could academically test and assimilate directly into college. They all leave Ricks with not only a sound academic profile, but poised with the confidence to approach a situation from a number of perspectives, come up with innovative solutions, unify a group, effectively communicate, and succeed in any endeavor they choose. What more could you ask for?

- submitted by a parent
March 03, 2012
I have a child at Ricks. There is no newspaper, no debate team, no band, no orchestra. These are offered sporadically FOR ADDITIONAL $$$ as after school activities: gymnastics, martial arts, track, yoga, rock climbing, dance, photography. The school does not have a library & you WILL end up buying books for your child in addition to tuition as your student gets older. There is an environment of bullying and exclusivity. Parents are NOT welcome in the classroom & the administration is very difficult to work with & has been for a very long time. Parents are there to give $$; Period. There is VERY little community service & what there is, is fairly empty of meaning. There are a FEW very good teachers here; most are mediocre at best. Science and math are both sorely lacking at all levels. We have a private tutor/mentor working with our child who is very gifted in math. You can NOT leave. The other private schools work together on registration dates. Ricks contract date is VERY early and it makes it impossible to leave with a back up ready for your child. Over the last few years this site has been seeded with comments. READ the older comments, really...

- submitted by a parent
February 27, 2012
After 3 frustrating years, we transferred to the local public school only to find that our children were behind in every subject. What's more, the administration at our new school anticipated this because it is common for students transferring from RIcks to be behind in at least one grade level in math, science and writing development. Such a shame because the underlying concept is fantastic, I just wish it was actually applied in the classrooms.

- submitted by a parent
July 30, 2011
I am a DU alumna and have two gifted children (confirmed with testing and academic performance). I have tried multiple times to contact the Admissions staff just to get more information about this program and to start the application process and have received zero follow-up. While we have no experience as enrolled parents/students of this school, it is my experience that such external communication are red flags for internal communication/operational breakdowns, as well. A school that does not communicate is not a school for us.

- submitted by a parent
March 12, 2011
The Ricks Center for Gifted Children at the University of Denver is an extraordinary educational experience for both child and parent. As a parent of two girls attending the school for six years; I have been witness to many remarkable achievements at every class level. I myself have learned and experienced things I never realized I would through my children or the school they attend. I sometimes feel as if I were attending school for the first time. The teachers share a passion for teaching and love of learning. They teach in a style thats fun and challenging, producing young human beings that can truly change the world they live in. The fulfillment of being a part of this community will be with us for our lifetimes.

- submitted by a parent
March 03, 2011
My experience with Ricks Center spans over 10 years, and I have never been anything other than pleased with the faculty and administration of the school. Any challenges that my child has experienced at school have been handled with empathy and professionalism. The school does have an administrative structure that is designed to address parent concerns in a timely manner, while at the same time leaving higher administrative levels for further appeal or consultation. As a parent, this means that I can address my concerns to my child s classroom teacher, but still know that there is somewhere to go if that answer does not match with my view of what is best for my child. That scenario has rarely occurred. And my interactions with the administration have been warm and friendly, demonstrating a sincere concern for my child and a familiarity with her that I and she appreciate. The environment is comfortable and easy, and I will greatly miss it when I am no longer a Ricks Center parent.

- submitted by a parent
February 24, 2011
I feel neutral about Ricks. It s a good school but not a great one. My children attended for 2 years and were happy but when we transferred to DPS s GT school they blossomed, learned much more, and we realized all that had been missing at Ricks. I believe the very small multi-aged classrooms limited the children s social and academic options and despite the window-dressing there was never any meaningful individualization even after multiple requests. We were disappointed in the behavior of teaching staff on a number of occasions. In my opinion the negative reviews of this school do offer accurate and valid criticisms, especially the comments about an uninvolved head of school and teacher quality being hit or miss. However, depending on your circumstances, values and available options this school may be a good choice for your child.

- submitted by a parent
January 20, 2011
Our 3 unique children at Ricks have vastly different learning styles and abilities. The choice to attend Ricks was easy after visiting other schools. Ricks was where our children were going to thrive. The teachers and staff provide a nurturing, expressive, safe fun environment. They immediately recognized our child's individual needs and addressed them thoughtfully. I have seen firsthand the administration s experience, compassion and just dealing shown towards our child s educational future. Each response has been equitable and reasonable, from teacher/class placement to homework. Not always the answer we wished to hear but not sugar coated. We are grateful Ricks teachers are educating our children. Our kids needed outside help beyond the Ricks Center's abilities. These concerns are our obligation not just the schools. As parents we cannot relieve ourselves of the responsibility and stewardship for our child's education. Ricks Center understands this partnership. The parent who recognizes these two roles and who shares responsibility for educating our amazing children will be rewarded with a most precious gift: a joyful, curious, spirited, respectful, thoughtful child.

- submitted by a parent
January 19, 2011
I really don't understand some of the comments made. We've been at Ricks for 5 years and are thrilled with our children's progress. Our children come bounding home everyday excited about school and eager to learn. They are filled with ideas, thoughts, and observations which are encouraged and nurtured by their teachers. Teachers, administration, and staff are always warm and friendly and whenever there is a concern it has always been addressed. This year we saw some changes in one of our children. Reading was getting slower and there was a problem with comprehension. The teachers were the ones who saw this very early on and after helping with ideas and resources we found out our child has some eye teaming problems and is now going through vision therapy. At any other school we would have been told how bright and creative our child is but is not working to capacity. We can only imagine what that potentially could have done to an academic career left untreated. We are pleased to say that vision therapy is on track and our child is soaring! We are truly thankful for Ricks and for two diligent and keenly observant teachers.

- submitted by a parent
January 09, 2011
I want to like this school but after 4 years of dealing with unqualified teachers (a majority with no education degree) and ongoing administrative drama, we decided to leave. The theory behind the school (integrated units and specialized learning) is fantastic. Unfortunately we found that the nuts and bolts (English, math and science) are non-existent. IEPs are not prepared for the children and there is no overall goal-setting to keep children on track. Our child went 3 weeks with no math lessons and no assigned reading books. The administration is difficult to deal with and ignores issues of bullying and inept teaching practices. Parents are strongly discouraged from spending time in the classroom and it seems that the only contact admin wants with parents is to request money. There is no computer lab, no library and limited gym facilities. Given the price of the school, I expected much more.

- submitted by a parent
January 03, 2011
I attended Ricks Center during my middle school years and absolutely LOVED IT!! I look back on that time, and remember how much the teahcers and staff cared about my development in all areas. The preparation that Ricks Center gave me for not only high school, but college as well was essential to my success and a young professional. Each holiday season, I look forward to returning to Colorado and visiting my family at the Ricks Center.

- submitted by a community member
December 23, 2010
If you are a parent of a gifted child or children, you will find no better place for them to attend school than Ricks Center for Gifted Children. The school provides a world class education for its students. The students have access to phenomenal opportunities. Ricks Center is an amazing place.

- submitted by a parent
December 02, 2010
"Bullies tend to weed themselves out." Not sure if I agree with this statement. However, what I can attest is that the school does work with student and teachers diligently on this issue. I can send my children to the Ricks knowing that they are in a safe, happy environment that gets them excited about learning.

- submitted by a parent
December 02, 2010
Ricks is an amazing school. All our children have attended since EEC and we couldn't be happier. My wife and I have extensive experience with private and public schools in Colorado and after significant research decided that Ricks was the best fit due to the strength of the administration, the talented teachers and the unique teaching philosophy. The leadership is solely focused on educating the gifted and talented and their passion filters to all aspects of the school. The teachers teach our children as individuals, not as a mass group. This customized approach has enabled them to flourish and gain confidence in their own ways... Something we find invaluable. Separately but equally importand is the fact that the school has garnered attention worldwide and has hosted teaching professionals from Canada, Australia and other countries who have interest in learning more about the Ricks approach. In our opinion the Ricks Center is the best PK-8 school in Colorado.

- submitted by a parent
December 02, 2010
You will not see a Ricks class drilling any child to be a machine that fills out worksheets all day long. Attending last year's middle school graduation ceremony solidified our decision to keep both of our girls through 8th grade. It was amazing to watch every one of them carries himself with such confidence and maturity. If a parent is making a decision with a short-term vision, such as year to year progress, s/he will not see the benefits of Ricks' integrated education can provide and thus, better off finding another place that will provide more traditional education that pacifies parents' needs rather than children's needs. Parents, who focus on well-rounded education with a long-term vision, tend to keep their children at Ricks and reap the benefits. On another note, people rarely talk about how kids are at schools. At the Ricks, the motto that has been drilled into our children's heads is " Care and Concern". My children have been at The Ricks for more than 5 years now. Teachers and Administrations take the issue very seriously. All in all, bullies tend to weed themselves out of the school.

- submitted by a parent
December 01, 2010
Ricks has been quite a disappointment. With one exception (a specials teacher no longer with the school) I have not seen evidence of excellence in teaching. Although Ricks faculty believe they are very unique and creative I have seen most of the units studied at the elementary level taught with more depth, breadth and accountability at other schools. My sense is that 7-10 years ago this was a great school but now they are just going through the motions. I am still often impressed when walking down the hall or reading the newsletters but my partner jokingly reminds me not to be taken in by the advertising and public relations experts. The parents who are happiest with Ricks have children attending Pre-K/K or have little inside knowledge of other schools.

- submitted by a parent
November 15, 2010
We are parents of three thriving Ricks Center students. Our children possess three distinctly different learning styles and the Ricks Center's teachers and administration have accommodated and adapted their attention to each of our children individually. As parents we are always concerned about our children's successes and failures. Our school has helped develop their confidence, interests, and talents while addressing their weaknesses. This is our strongest point. We want our children to maintain their curiousity for all school subjects, even if they find one or two difficult or challenging. We are grateful to the teachers, especially the one negatively mentioned below. That teacher's expectations are strict and reasonable. My child knows what he/she needs to do regarding homework. The same review calls the school's director "aloof". We find the director to be passionate about gifted learning and very accessable when we need to talk.

- submitted by a parent
November 08, 2010
We have two sons who have attended Ricks since EEC. We have extremely high expectations of our children's education and are involved, demanding and vocal. Almost without exception, we have found Ricks teachers AND adminstrators to be helpful and responsive to our inquiries, worries and frustrations. We have not always agreed with their answers, but we have found that they know our children well and view our children's education from a wholistic perspective. So while we may be demanding more scholarly rigor, they may be recommending that our children learn better teamwork skills or how to lighten up on themselves or be more organized. And, in the end, it will be the well-rounded gifted child who is happy and sucessful. With that said, our sons have been tested inside and outside Ricks and are scoring well beyond grade level, even in those "nuts and bolts" areas.

- submitted by a parent
October 18, 2010
In response to the parent comments posted August 29, 2010: I am pleased with my children s all-star third/fourth grade Ricks teacher who commits her boundless energy, creativity and love for her students to provide what may be the most positive and supportive school experience that my children will ever have. She is the teacher who will be forever etched in their memories as the one who helped them become avid learners. She provides challenging work to each individual with clear goals and constructive feedback in a caring and nurturing manner. The homework load is manageable as long as the student is devoted and organized. The three strikes system reinforces student responsibility and accountability. Receiving three strikes does not result in some draconian disciplinary action-rather, the student does not get to participate in the homework reward party which is the appropriate recognition and incentive enjoyed by the vast majority.

- submitted by a parent
October 07, 2010
I have three current Ricks students with a cumulative 20 years of Ricks education between them. I credit Ricks with developing my children with their individual interests, personalities and learning styles into engaged, passionate learners. Ricks greatest strengths are in the classroom where the children are challenged in a nurturing, inclusive, safe environment where their gifts, differences and quirks are largely insulated from the social distractions and risks that are more common in a main stream school. While I would not describe the administration as warm and fuzzy , I absolutely credit them with developing the curricula and enabling the excellent classroom environment in which my children are thriving. Over the years, my children have encountered their own occasional but inevitable educational or social challenges but I have always found the administration to be accessible, informed, responsive and supportive in helping us explore and resolve every issue fairly.

- submitted by a parent
August 29, 2010
Ricks is difficult, as a parent. The head of the school is so aloof, she rarely acknowledges parents. The rest of the administration is spotty. In terms of teachers, it's a mixed bag-last year, my had a teacher who was nearly militant in homework, and would use a strict 'strike system' if anyone forgot the least bit. This year, it seems as though we have a decent teacher who is both jovial and engaging, while having decent control over these preteens. The curriculum is spotty. For between $15-17,000 there is no music past preschool. Their math is spotty, foreign languages seem to be a selling point rather than a learning time. The integrated curriculum is a great concept, but tough to execute. For as much money as the tuition is, there have to be better options out there which challenge brighter kids, without making them feel entitled.

- submitted by a parent
August 29, 2010
As a Ricks alumni I'm completely disgruntled by the reviews I see below. Giftedness doesn't just mean you're smart, it's a special need, you view the world differently and if you're not somewhere where people understand you, you FEEL hopelessly different. I'm not going to pretend that Ricks was perfect. But I'll gladly sacrifice some of the complaints I see below for the unbelievably unique experience I got at Ricks. I'd much rather take the occasional missing "nuts and bolts" than have facts crammed down my throat for six hours a day. Ricks taught us how to think and live and grow. If you're having a problem with that, you're in the wrong school. And for those of you considering Ricks, take if from an alum who is now third in a class of 425 . In closing, I took music classes at Ricks through 8th grade.

- submitted by a community member
April 22, 2010
I have read through the previous reviews and I find that most of them are rather abhorring. Ricks Center was a fantastic school for both me and my sister. To say anything less about the school is ignorant. The super critical parents that write their scathing reviews about Ricks seem to be lashing out at Ricks for the child's ineptitude. The learning environment was outstanding. The relationships developed with the staff and the administration allow for the student to feel safe. Parents are usually disconnected from their child's day-to-day school life due to the complexity of the school. Children are not taught facts or fed information. They are shown how much fun it is to learn, by the teachers who enjoy their profession. It truly is an amazing school. I went to a elite college preparatory boarding for high school, and after ricks, it was a breeze. A Simply Amazing School

- submitted by a community member
March 13, 2010
I want to like this school. I have spent a lot of money with the hopes that this is the right school for my child. What I have found, over four years of my child attending, is an inconsistent model of education that is wrapped in a package of fun and adventure. My child loves it. It is a bit like going to camp everyday. Unfortunately, the nuts and bolts of education is often missing and the administration seems unconcerned and generally offended when parents raise concerns as to whether children's needs are being met in the areas of reading, writing and mathematics. Some teachers are great...but as a complete package, there are far too many holes. In addition, the continual drama that is prevalent in this school's environment is draining. This is our last year.

- submitted by a parent
February 02, 2010
Like most schools, it has its positives and negatives. In general, the kids are relatively nice and interested in learning. Everyone is bright, with some bellcurve intelligent. As was mentioned, the teachers are hit and miss. Some read the kids' papers over and over, while others return them weeks later. If your kid is in the top three percent of IQ testing (the general goal) and is a bit quirky for public schools, it's a good choice. If your kid is bright, but relatively normal (whatever that is, but hopefully you get the idea), save your considerable money for college. The school likes to boast about how well it's former students are doing, but it's hard to go wrong when you start with exceptionally bright kids.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 12, 2009
We have two children attending Rick s. I ve questioned whether Rick s was right for smart boys and their quirks. However, my oldest is flourishing. His experiential learning has been phenomenal. He would not do well only learning from a book. Rick s far exceeds this model through exceptional field trips and application of reading and math to interesting social and scientific topics in class. Also, the languages, technology, and music have been marvelous. My child is learning at a high school and college level! Our youngest s education has been outstanding, and we ve been pleased by the teachers. Regarding administration, they are responsible for the school s excellent curricula for gifted children. They ve struggled on the relational side with parents. It s clear they ve digested this feedback. They ve made changes, including being accepting of parental requests. They ve reached out to families and made meaningful connections. Kudos for being responsive to the need for change!

- submitted by a parent
April 07, 2009
Our daughter has attended Ricks Center for 5 years. We're extremely happy with the education she is receiving. Even though she's only in 2nd grade, she comes home talking about Greek architecture or the different social classes aboard the Titanic. She read the entire Harry Potter series this year. In a recent newsletter, I read how one Ricks class had just returned from a fieldtrip to Yellowstone. Another group of Ricks kids had made a presentation to Jane Goodall. And a third group had learned all about starting a business from scratch, including writing a business plan, securing a loan, marketing and advertising, producing a product and doing the accounting. You don't find this kind of education in public school. But the best part of Ricks is that gifted children get to hang out with other gifted children, so they just take their abilities for granted and feel normal.

- submitted by a parent
March 23, 2009
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
no rating February 24, 2009
My daugther attends the Ricks Center and consistently flourishs. She stepped out of her shell and became a happy, excited and social student. She is challenged intellectually and was encouraged to meet the challenge that the teachers presented. Teachers are careful to balance the intellectual with the social/emotional needs that she has. We feel confident going to the classroom teachers and administration over any concerns. We were greated and known by name and always feel welcome in the school. The amount of information that the teachers and administrators know in terms of educaitonal best practice and gifted education is outstanding. We have had many teachers during our years at Ricks and although styles are very different, every teacher is amazing. The projects, culminations, and units that the children study are truly excellent. We are pleased and happy with every dollar and hour spent at Ricks and highly reccomend the school.

- submitted by a parent
February 17, 2009
We left Ricks after two years and our second year nearly killed our child's love for school and learning. The quality of teachers ranges from wonderful to inept. The claim that the instruction is geared to gifted children is flat out wrong. Some teachers seem aware of current educational 'best practices' and others seem willing to just watch the children rather than teaching them. Parents worry that if they complain they will be told that their child isn't gifted enough for the school. The administration was never attentive to parent concerns. We didn't want perfection, we just wanted a place that put the needs of kids and their learning first. We found this wasn't the case at Ricks. It was a very strange place to send your child and a lot of your money.

- submitted by a parent
no rating December 20, 2008
I agree with the former post that all schools have their issues. My child attended Ricks for three years. We then enrolled him in a public DPS school. We still have some issues but we don't have the price tag attached. We have had very caring and competent teaches in public schools without the much unneeded drama. The administration in my son's current school has been kind and supportive - neither of which I could say about Ricks. The families certainly do not feel Stepford style to me, and my son, who is very bright, very vocal and sometimes quirky has been readily embraced and nurtured by teachers and the rest of his community. His academic needs are being met. This was often the scare tactic that was used at Ricks...that he would not be understood or 'fit in.' Not true...my son also loves to go to school...without the price

- submitted by a parent
December 18, 2008
I attended the Ricks Center for 10 amazing years. I recently made the transition from Ricks to high school and found myself highly prepared. The ten years I spent at Ricks fostered a love of learning and a comitment to self-excellence. By the end of my time at Ricks, I knew every student 4 to 5 grades below me, every single teacher, and the families of students as well. I was pushed individually to excel in math, athletics, music, and art. The concept of a well rounded student/person it the center of the 'Ricks philosophy.' I made friends who I will know for the rest of my life, and Ricks built a base for all future learning that is so unique and indivualized i can't imagine another education. Ricks allowed me to skip over some freshman classes when i entered high school and allowed my high school career to flourish.

- submitted by a student
December 06, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
no rating November 21, 2008
We are the Raabe's and have 2 daughters at Ricks' and, hopefully another child in a year or so. We can sum up our children's life at Ricks with one sentence. They are thriving! We looked at several schools before settling on Ricks. Just venturing a fairly educated guess, I would suspect that EVERY school has issues. NO school is perfect and if it were, I would be very leery. Stepford comes to mind!!! Life is not perfect and we should not expect the environment we place our children in to be perfect. Maybe the parents who are so disappointed ought to consider the positive side of things. The plus side of Ricks' far outweighs the minus side. We could go on but the fact we have two smiling children who demand we leave the house 'On time Dada!!' so they can get to school says it all! Happily submitted

- submitted by a parent
November 20, 2008
My name is Nick Gulotta. I have two daughters at the Ricks Center and we are now in our fifth year. I can t imagine my children at any other school. The most important thing about Ricks is it s all about the kids, as it should be. Everything else is secondary. Ricks has lived up to all our expectations and fulfilled every promise. Our family and friends can visually see the confidence and the foundation being built in our children and I couldn t be more proud. Success isn t measured only in ABC s and 123 s; it is measured in the happiness that the children can create for themselves. Thank you Ricks Center.

- submitted by a parent
August 31, 2008
Our neighborhood school is a DPS gifted school and I was highly disappointed to find that it was elitist and the parents cared more for the gifted label than whether or not the kids are truly gifted. We started thinking about new schools one month into our stay at that school, and found Ricks in our search for other schools. Understand that Ricks isn't a fit for everyone, but for our family, it provides challenging curricula and in depth exploration on each of the subjects that the teachers choose. More than anything I appreciate the fact that the method of learning is more about analyzing and synthesizing the information that is learned. The fact that critical thinking is taught is a huge plus for us. As a Black family I feel the school is as diverse as any in Denver, and as a parent I have always felt welcome.

- submitted by a parent
no rating June 01, 2008
My child enjoys school but my husband and I are concerned that she is missing some consistency in instruction. it feels a bit like summer camp at times - lots of fun but I'm not sure about the reading, writing and arithmetic portion of things. There is also an underlying weirdness to the place...a subversive type of feeling. Lots of quiet frustrated talk among parents in the hall but there seems to be a generally unspoken understanding that no one says anything openly about issues or concerns. There is also a huge and constant worry about whether or not children are normal or not. Everybody seems to be in some sort of therapy or tutoring. Don't quite understand this one. We are staying one more year and trying to figure out if the tuition (pretty steep) is actually worth it.

- submitted by a parent
March 16, 2008
We are leaving this year. A pretty package with too much craziness and drama for us - particularly in the area of administration.

- submitted by a parent
March 06, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a community member
February 26, 2008
My child is now in Upper School after having joined the Ricks Center as a three year old. She has flourished in the school with guidance and support from teachers, other students, families, administrators and the University. The curriculum is challenging and exciting to kid with varied interests, she has had opportunities that I could only have dreamed that she would get as a student. She loves to come to school each day and has formed warm, caring relationhips with many. Her teachers have been extraordinary people who have listened when we had concerns, celebrated her successes and helped us mourn in times of sadness. Administrators have always been available and while I many not always have gotten the results I would have hoped for, I understood the school's point of view and knew that they had the best interest of my child. I love the other famlies as well.

- submitted by a parent
no rating February 15, 2008
I am very pleased with the school and surprised at the reviews. School policy is a 24 hour response to parents and my meetings with admin have been scheduled in a reasonable time frame. I may not have always heard what I wanted to hear, but in the end understood the school's position. There are parent meetings at the start of school where cirriculum is presented and any and all questions are discussed. There are also mid-year meetings if your child is transitioning levels (e.g. K to 1st/2nd grade). Principal holds 4 or 5 meetings per year consisting of an open question/answer type session. Teachers and ciriculum are exceptional, e.g. my 7th grader will graduate completing Algebra I, II & Geometry. Diversity is far and above our local school district. Definitely visit the school!! See what's going on in the classrooms and discuss your questions with the admin.

- submitted by a parent
no rating January 10, 2008
Nice package but beware of the contents.

- submitted by a parent
October 25, 2007
Many of the teachers are exceptional, but the staff seems to experience a major amount of turn-over. This last year they lost the majority of their most revered teachers. The other reviewers are very accurate in their descriptions of the administration of the school. I have not ever been witness to so much unneeded drama and it stems from the incompetency of the administration. They discourage parent involvement and input- except, of course, when it comes to fund raising and field trip drivers. I would agree with other reviewers that, although my child really loves the school, I continue to be uncomfortable with its foundational pieces. Our family is strongly considering other options.

- submitted by a parent
October 13, 2007
I am a seventh grade student at Ricks, and my experience of six years has been amazing. I haven't had a teacher I didn't like except for one of my foreign language teachers, and at Ricks I feel more like I fit in. Everyone is right about the administration being lousy, but the curriculum, at least for me, is exceptional after you hit fifth grade. (In first through fourth grades, I wasn't challenged enough, but my fifth/sixth grade teacher and my seventh grade teachers are amazing.) I love the environment at Ricks--we are pushed to so our best but the teachers are open for us to talk to, provide fun classes and creative assignments, and try and help us whenever possible. I think this school isn't for everyone, but I love it. The assignments and the teachers are second-to-none.

- submitted by a student
July 15, 2007
I must agree with most of the other reviews. My child has spent six years at the school and his experience has been a hodge podge of good and bad. The school focuses on meeting the needs of the 'whole child' and this is done by 'integrated' units. What I have seen is a lot of emphasis on the social sciences with lots of engaging projects and in depth learning. But my child was never really taught to read or to do math. We have had to provide outside tutoring at a phenomenal expense to get him up to grade level in these. Once tutored, he was fine, so it wasn't like he had a huge issue. Just lack of teaching. And the rest of the reviews are right on about the administration. Very cold and uninvolved. I've heard stories fromt other parents that make me uncomfortable leaving my child there.

- submitted by a parent
June 12, 2007
The administration at this school is horrible. There is no communication between program directors and parents. The school principal seems very removed. Teachers are hit and miss - some of them are wonderful, some are absolute waste of your child's time and your money. There is music, art, sports and extracurricular activities available - but this can hardly make up for the poor science program. The parents are very involved but this involvement is mostly limited to various fund-raising activities.

- submitted by a parent
May 14, 2007
Our children found have a school home. They are understood, appreciated and inspired. The teachers and administration get the gifted child and all of their sensitivities and intensities. They teach children how to think, not what to think.

- submitted by a parent
April 01, 2007
Ricks has been a great school for my daughter. It has been a good fit for her. The school is not for everyone. I love the curriculum. The quality of education comes from the teacher. Some years you get a great teacher other years not so good. Not so different from other schools. As a parent you can participate a lot in the school or not so much. There is NO ethnic diversity. Majority of the kids come from rich, white families. School seems to have problems with boys with high energy. You meet and hang out with the families you like. There are some crazy parents who live through their kids. I just avoid them. I'd like to see ethnic diversity. I'd like to see more support for the middle class families. Extracurricular activities are outstanding. They lack in the area of social studies and science.

- submitted by a parent
April 21, 2006
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
February 21, 2006
I disagree with most of the other reviews. The education is great at Ricks. There is definitely some intellectual elitism (from parents as well as the staff), but generally the teachers and staff seem caring and interested in the overall well being of the children. Kids are definitely pushed academically, but there does seem to be a good balance between rote learning and experiential learning. The upside is that they do a very good job at the learning process, especially for very young kids. The down sides are that they do not encourage parent involvement (except when it comes to raising money), and they definitely believe that they have all the answers, no matter what you might think as a parent. Another down side for us was that this is about as far from a 'neighborhood school' as you can get - expect playdates all across the metro area.

- submitted by a parent
January 30, 2006
This school is only appropriate for children who are meek, quiet and completely conforming to the teachers expectations of perfect children. If you have a twice exceptional child or a child who needs emotional or social support, this school is not for you or your child. They do not practice what they preach. Academic program was exceptional in EEC, very remedial in EC. Teachers do not provide differentiated learning, nor do they work with children one on one. Extracurricular activities are wonderful. Level of parent involvement is exceptional. Communication from teachers and administrators is very poor - this is a closed door environment.

- submitted by a parent
November 17, 2005
The quality of the academic programs are hit and miss. If you have a great teacher, great. Not all teachers are that great. Music is fairly good, art and sports lacking. Foreign language very good. High level of parental involvement

- submitted by a parent
June 12, 2005
This school has wonderful teachers that are enthusiastic and appreciative of the eccentricities of the gifted population. However, the communication between teachers and families, administration and teachers and administration and families is quite poor. Best of these three seems to be the communication between teachers and families but only when solicited. The organization within the administration and planning needs to be improved upon with more timely notice for events and more thorough information given to families. All in all a good placement for our child who thrived there, but very frustrating for parents due to the poor communication and organization.

- submitted by a parent
April 16, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
Need help choosing a school? We can help »

Media Gallery

Media missing

Uh oh! No photos. This frame will look much better when you upload photos »


Facebook


Nearby homes for sale

     

Last modified: December 19, 2014

Sign up for email updates

Connect with us

Translate this web page

About GreatSchools

Our mission is to help millions of parents get a great education for their kids. GreatSchools.org is an independent nonprofit and the leading national source of school information for families.


GreatSchools.org 1999 Harrison Street, Suite 1100, Oakland, CA 94612

©1998-2014 GreatSchools.org All Rights Reserved. GreatSchools is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization | Ad Choices

Ricks Center for Gifted Children
2040 South York Street, Denver, CO  80210
(303) 871-2982
Last modified Ricks Center for Gifted Children is a Private school that serves grades PK-8
Ricks Center for Gifted Children Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 79 reviews. Top