Save your tuition dollars and send your student to public school. Despite being a "gifted" school, the Ricks curriculum neither addresses nor exploits the student's giftedness. High school placement exams clearly demonstrate educational gaps stemming from Ricks curriculum and teaching approach.
We visited a number of schools for our child who will be entering middle school and is gifted. He is accelerated by two years in math and reads at a high school level. Other schools said they would try to give him more difficult questions; Ricks is placing him with both age and intellectual peers. We are thrilled and happy to be staying here.
DO NOT SEND YOUR GIFTED CHILD HERE. This school has become GIFTED-HOSTILE. Highly gifted children get a substandard education here because of changes mandated by the Dean of the School of Education at DU. There is no parental board to fix this - DU has absolute unfettered control of the school. To cement this, they just dissolved the closest thing the school has to a board - the powerless advisory board that attempted to be a voice of parents and students to DU.
If you are considering Ricks, PLEASE ask the administrators these questions BEFORE YOU SIGN YOUR CONTRACT:
Ask why there is no oversight by a board of stakeholders at the school.
Ask why they have moved to Common Core.
Ask what happens to a GIFTED CHILD who excels beyond grade level in a subject. (The answer USED TO BE that they accommodated them in the classroom with other kids at that level. Now, they send them to a classroom a grade ahead (for that subject only) and screw up their schedules and their other subjects.
Ricks started as a great school for gifted kids. It's turning into the last place you should send a gifted kid. Common Core and gifted education do not mix. It can still be fixed, but I'm skeptical that it can be at this point.
Leadership is one person. There is no oversight board of stakeholders. The Dean of the DU College of Education rules the school autocratically and is never there to see the effects her edicts have on the students.
If leadership were effective, the school with GIFTED in its name wouldn't be teaching toward COMMON CORE.
As a former public school teacher who wanted deeply to send our child to our neighborhood public school, it was difficult to make the jump to a private school. But the Ricks Center has been a blessing for our family, especially our child. She is a completely different person now that she's stimulated and supported at her level. Not only is the work academically rigorous, but she is given the social/emotional skills to tackle this new, rigorous learning environment. We couldn't imagine sending her anyplace else.