Advertisement
Advertisement

No rating

GreatSchools Rating

Ricks Center for Gifted Children

Private | PK-8 | 232 students

 

Be sure to visit

Take along one of
our checklists:

 
Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 4 ratings
2013:
Based on 3 ratings
2012:
Based on 5 ratings
2011:
Based on 8 ratings

Sweep tile
No Purchase Necessary. Void where prohibited. Sweepstakes begins at 12:00:00 AM Pacific Time (PT) on April 1, 2014 and ends at 11:59:59 on April 30, 2014 (the “Promotion Period”). Open to legal residents of the U.S. and D.C., 13 years and older. Each school that receives a new, published review will get one (1) entry into the sweepstakes, up to ten (10) entries throughout the Promotion Period. See the Official Rules for details. Sponsor: GreatSchools, 1999 Harrison St., Suite 1100, Oakland, CA 94612.

Rate this school

Click on stars to rate
Please select a star rating for this school.
    Helpful reviews answer questions:
  • What do you think others should know?
  • What do you like?
  • How could your school improve?
    Review Guidelines
    GreatSchools won’t post reviews that contain:
  • Inappropriate language
  • Allegations of criminal conduct
  • Names of students, teachers or staff
1200 characters remaining
Please read and accept our Terms of Use to join GreatSchools.
Please indicate your relationship to the school.
Registration is required to post your anonymous review
We will not display your name, photo or email address with your review.
OR
Your email address will never be published or shared.
Indicates a required field

58 reviews of this school


Sort by:
Show reviews by:
Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted 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.


Posted 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.


Posted May 6, 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


Posted 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


Posted September 1, 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted March 3, 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted March 3, 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted January 9, 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


Posted January 3, 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.


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

We currently do not have any test score information for this school. Unlike public schools, private schools are not always required to report data about their schools or not required to take the same tests as public schools. Many private schools take different standardized tests; however, that information is often made available only to families of enrolled students. We strive to acquire additional private school data whenever available.

What is the GreatSchools Rating?

The GreatSchools rating is a simple tool for parents to compare schools based on test scores, student academic growth, and college readiness. It compares schools across the state, where the highest rated schools in the state are designated as “Above Average” and the lowest “Below Average.” It is designed to be a starting point to help parents make baseline comparisons. We always advise parents to visit the school and consider other information on school performance and programs, as well as consider their child's and family's needs as part of the school selection process.

 
 

Breaking down the GreatSchools Rating

Unfortunately, this school doesn't have sufficient data to generate an academic rating.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 93% 62%
Black 4% 5%
Hispanic 3% 29%
Asian 1% N/A
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 1%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% N/A
Two or more races 0% N/A
Source: NCES, 2009-2010

Teacher resources

Foreign languages spoken by school staff French
Spanish
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by a school official.

Let your school shine!

School leaders: Help your school shine on GreatSchools
by verifying community responses, adding program highlights
and more! Get started »

Special education / special needs

Specialized programs for specific types of special education students
  • Specific learning disabilities

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

School facilities
  • Computer lab

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Ceramics
  • Painting
Music
  • Band
  • Choir / Chorus
Performing and written arts
  • Drama

Language learning

Foreign languages taught
  • French
  • Latin
  • Spanish
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • French
  • Spanish

Gifted & talented

Instructional and/or curriculum models used
  • Gifted / high performing
School leaders can update this information here.

Let your school shine!

School leaders: Help your school shine on GreatSchools
by verifying community responses, adding program highlights
and more! Get started »

School basics

School start time
  • 8:30 a.m.
School end time
  • 3:30 p.m.
Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • After school
  • Before school
School Leader's name
  • Dr. Norma Lu Hafenstein
Gender
  • Coed
Affiliation
  • Nonsectarian
Associations
  • NAEYC
Fax number
  • (303) 871-3197

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • Gifted / high performing
Specialized programs for specific types of special education students
  • Specific learning disabilities
Foreign languages taught
  • French
  • Latin
  • Spanish

Resources

Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • French
  • Spanish
Transportation options
  • None
School facilities
  • Computer lab
  • Library
School leaders can update this information here.

Let your school shine!

School leaders: Help your school shine on GreatSchools
by verifying community responses, adding program highlights
and more! Get started »

Sports

Boys sports
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Soccer
Girls sports
  • Basketball
  • Soccer
  • Volleyball

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Ceramics
  • Painting
Music
  • Band
  • Choir / Chorus
Performing arts
  • Drama
School leaders can update this information here.

School culture

Dress Code
  • Neither uniforms nor dress code
School leaders can update this information here.

Apply

 

TIP: Don't forget to ask about documents required for enrollment, such as your child's birth certificate, proof of address, or a record of immunizations.

 
Apply now
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

2040 S. York Street
Denver, CO 80208
Website: Click here
Phone: (303) 871-2982

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Compare this school
to nearby schools

Compare schools »

Compare

Add this school to compare

Nearby schools







ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT