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.
There is clearly a concerted campaign to push negative comments as far down as possible, so be sure to read more than just the top posts here.
The conversion of Ricks from a school for gifted kids to a standard, public school style GT program continues. The all-new school admin staff enforce the change. Long-term, dedicated teachers are deeply discouraged and families are leaving.
Hard to imagine them finding enough students to keep the doors open for much longer.
We cannot express how thankful we are to have this school. It's a school where gifted kids can be themselves. It's not about academically pushing bright kids until they snap, it is about growing and extending gifted learners with care. It is about the whole child and Ricks really seems to be setting the kids up to succeed in life, not just to get into the right college - although that also seems to be a byproduct!
Director Anne is extremely effective, professional and experienced. She is on top of things - the little stuff and the big stuff. We are very impressed with her and so grateful to have at our school. Our Associate Director, Angela, is so in tune with the school community - it really is a winning team!
Ricks has been a great place for our now PreK kiddo and our PreSchooler just starting this year. The teachers are really amazing and the entire staff is focused on helping each and every kiddo to reach their potential. Our son has learned so much already in 2 years at school and loves learning. The current administration (new this year) is really doing a great job.