Family partnership is an essential component of Ricks Center's program. Parents and/or guardians cooperate with teachers in the educational planning for the child and are the stewards of their children's education. In working with the teachers, parents help children achieve their potential. This family partnership is critical to fostering growth.
Communication between home and school is vital to the success of each child. Teachers write detailed Friday letters, letting families know what has happened in the classroom during the week and reminding everyone of upcoming events. They often send individual emails, make phone calls, or write notes home to celebrate individual successes or discuss possible concerns. Formal parent/teacher conferences are held twice a year; teachers and parents may meet more often as needed throughout the year. Each week, an all school newsletter is sent home, updating families on school events, sharing highlights from classrooms at various levels, or reminding parents of important policies or procedures. Ricks Center also utilizes an all-school email list and the website to send out important information and reminders about school events.
In addition to supporting their individual student, Ricks Center parents support the
entire school community through their active engagement in the Ricks Center community
in a variety of ways, both formally and informally. They drive on field trips, volunteer
in the classroom or do at-home classroom support tasks. Family members with expertise
in specific fields may be guest speakers in classrooms or help guide student learning
during field experiences. They may also have formal roles in the Family School Organization
(FSO) or Ricks Center Advisory Board.
The Family School Organization was formed in 1991 and is comprised of parents and/or guardians of Ricks Center students and all teachers, administrators and staff at Ricks Center. Its mission is to foster and encourage participation in the school community. The FSO sponsors parent education nights and community events. These provide opportunities to engage in topics on a wide variety of issues related to parenting gifted children. Subjects include such focus areas as psychological aspects of giftedness; implementing an integrated curriculum model; parenting a gifted child; and general, topical parenting questions viewed through the lens of gifted characteristics. The FSO also organizes an annual fundraiser to support special projects and purchases for the school. Family members are encouraged to take an active role in the FSO.
Ricks Center Advisory Board is comprised of parent and community volunteer members. Parent member terms are for three years. Parents' roles on the Board include providing tangible support to Ricks Center, offering directional advice and counsel, and advocating for Ricks Center in the greater community.