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Ricks Center for Gifted Children

Ricks Center

This is where we belong!


Ricks Center for Gifted Children is an innovative leader and model for gifted learning.

Ricks' mission is to empower intellectually gifted children to thrive and achieve their full potential. ​

​We purposefully uncover and tap into students' interests in order to spark and fuel the passion in their minds. ​

We nurture both the intellect and heart, opening new worlds for our students, and preparing them to do more and go further than they ever thought possible, both now and in the future.

This is Ricksfinity!

admissions update

We are currently accepting applications for the 2020-2021 school year for Preschool - 8th grade.  Please visit our admissions page, call 303-871-3715 or email [email protected] for more information or to schedule a tour.  

Important Dates:

Early Childhood applications - due January 17, 2020

Primary and Middle School applications - due January 10, 2020

Financial Aid applications -  due February 14, 2020

save the date for summer at ricks

Summer at Ricks

Summer at Ricks blends fun summer activities with rich learning experiences all while enjoying the benefits of the University of Denver Campus.  

Campers entering preschool to sixth grade will enjoy weekly themes and specialty camps ranging from Life Sized Games, Tiny Chef, Wild Wild West, Rocket Science, Play-Well Lego engineering camps, Cardboard Challenge, and more.

We are excited to announce our 2020 Summer at Ricks camp offerings!

Week long camps: June 15–Aug 7,  8:30am–3:30pm*

*Extended day available

For more information email Maggie Wright or to click here to register. 

ricks Rundown

Ricks Rundown

Congratulations to our newspaper/journalism elective "Ricks Rundown" staff on the publication of their first newspaper!

Special thanks to Ms. Aleah for all of her help and guidance and to Michelle Karas, editor of the Pikes Peak newspapers for coming to speak to our class.  To read more about Michelle's visit, please click here.  To view a copy of the latest Ricks Rundown, please click here.

Our Ricks Rundown truly exemplifies our Ricks Value below....MAKE YOUR MARK

We are innovators - eliminating boundaries and resolving challenges. We ask tough questions and bring new ideas. We leave a lasting impression, and make Ricks, and the world, a better place.

ricks center values 

Each month we are going to highlight a different Ricks Center value and share what it looks like at Ricks. This month, we are going to focus on Making Your Mark.

Eliminating Boundaries- Our students eliminate the boundaries of classroom walls by taking field trips to extend learning and problem-solve in a real-world context.

Resolving Challenges- After the 4th grade farm stand, students broke into small interest-based groups to dive deep into a project based in how they could resolve challenges around the school or in the environment. A couple of groups worked through challenges of sustainability and composting:

  • Sustainability - Students in this group worked to create a schedule for 3rd and 4th-grade helpers to assist in collecting and separating lunchtime waste into trash, recycling, and composting. After noticing all of the waste at lunch, this group of students has made it their mission to limit the amount of trash produced by the student body.
  • Composting- This group worked to gain a greater understanding of how composting supports our Ricks garden. They are planning to run the compost system for our school garden and help prepare the garden for winter and spring. Students are also planning to work with DU Sustainability because they believe we have more composting than we can use in our garden alone.

Bring New Ideas- The middle school innovation lab elective has students working on all different kinds of innovative and creative  projects. Several students in the elective are currently working on a "Ricks Student Chess Board," where they are taking 3D scans of themselves dressed as chess characters and printing them on our 3D printer to create chess pieces!

Lasting Impression- Unit culminations leave a lasting impression of integrated learning for students and families. A first grade student  mentioned, "I love unit. I like learning about things in the olden days, things that none of us knew. We learned so much, and we got to learn from each other's projects."

Make the World a Better Place- SPARK and middle school student council ran a toy/ gift drive benefitting the Denver Indian  Center, a local non-profit that serves over 200 tribes in the greater Denver area. Toys collected will directly help indigenous families in the greater Denver Metro area. 

Spotlight on gifted learning 

We are digging deep into gifted learning through our professional development here at Ricks, always striving to grow our practice as educators of gifted students. Each month we will use this space to share some of the topics we are engaged in that may be of interest to you, our parents and families of our gifted learners.

One of the topics we have recently engaged in is the subject of perfectionism , seeking to understand it more fully and how we can best support our students, and parents! Perfectionism is commonly associated with giftedness, being a component of their desire to do exceptional things and hold high standards. In its best manifestation, perfectionism entails a striving for excellence, and in this capacity serves to help people do remarkable things. Yet perfectionism can take a less healthy turn, when it causes underachievement or negative or self-image, because nothing is ever good enough.

There are many ways to shift perfectionistic tendencies toward one of healthy striving.
Some strategies include:
• Fostering a growth mindset, rather than a fixed mindset
• Helping students make reasonable goals
• Breaking goals into attainable parts
• Providing an environment of acceptance and love
• Focusing on process over outcome – effort rather than ability
• Address uncomfortable feelings like uncertainty and fear around risk taking
• Offer mentors, read biographies of eminent people who strove and failed in the process of developing their accomplishments -  Thomas Edison claimed , "The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps" as it took that many fails in the process.
Growth mindset


Faculty focus

Megan Ryan, 4th grade teacher

Megan was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska. She attended DU and loves being back on campus. After graduation, Megan spent four years in Houston, Texas where she taught 4th grade in public school. Megan holds her B.A. in History and Spanish, University of Denver and M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction, University of Denver.

Megan is passionate about project-based learning, loves teaching math, and is working towards her gifted endorsement. Megan is thrilled to be living in Colorado and loves skiing and enjoying the mountains. She also likes running with friends, trying new restaurants, exploring historical sites, and visiting her family in Alaska and Norway.

Faculty Focus: Megan Ryan

In their own words

"My favorite thing about Ricks Center is that you never have a day without doing something awesome."

 - Ella, age 8

"The teachers always find a way to get us interested and challenge us, so that we are always learning."

-Holden, Age 13

"They help me feel proud because they help me through the work that I need to do, and it just makes me feel proud of myself like I can do anything."

-Tilly, age 8