September 02, 2015
5 stars for K-2nd; 1 star for 3rd and 4th. Kindergarten through 2nd were exceptionally meaningful years. The teachers and staff were supportive of common quirks related to our kiddo. There were many parent/administration sponsored events addressing the different types and intensities of types of giftedness as well as related challenges. We were exposed to resources and met other families who had similar issues. We were understood and we could relate.
With that alone, I give Ricks 5 stars, but our 3rd and 4th years were emotionally stressful; some related to our child's development but mostly stemming from the teacher's seeming inability to accept emerging research on the giftedness.
While the school is geared for the gifted child, they do not support (read: understaffed with appropriately trained educators) the myriad of issues that may be intricately enmeshed with giftedness. Sensory issues were not tolerated; dyslexia was dismissed as not real, and our kiddo's heightened emotional awareness was relayed to us, in a round about conversation, as a condition that needed medication.
We were made to feel that the problem was easily resolved by studying more, by more discipline, by more therapy, and try medication. We were even told to test for ADHD, which we already did twice. Our child does not have ADHD.
To complement/mitigate the deteriorating classroom experience, we consulted weekly with a tutor and a psychologist; and, we frequently met with the lead teacher and administrators. Each time, we communicated the tutor's and the psychologist's contact information to teacher and administrator so that teacher could consult directly with our "team." Never once did either of our support people receive a call or an email from the lead teacher. Never. A direct order in our child's IEP was violated. While the mission statement is beautiful and meaningful and forward thinking, our classroom experience was a throwback to an archaic approach to giftedness. I encourage researching this school, but before you begin, be realistic about how you will support outside of school. If your child has dyslexia, you will need outside support; Ricks does not offer it. If you have an IEP, sensory issues, or anything else that needs support inside the classroom, visit issues frequently with the teachers and administrators. Best of luck to you.
- submitted by a parent