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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 have limited spaces available for the 2019-2020 school year. Please contact the admissions office to learn more. 

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.  

spotlight on curriculum

A Ricks Shark Tank at DU Daniels College of Business!

On Friday, November 1st, the 7th-grade civics class participated in an event where students proposed their businesses ideas they worked on in their economics unit. Over the past six weeks, students developed business models to introduce in a shark tank to persuade judges to invest in their company. All teams did an outstanding job presenting their businesses to a panel of judges that included DU Daniels College of Business professors Dr. Stephen Haag and Mr. Tom Rankin, Ricks Director Craig Harrer, and parents Afshin Safavi and Walter Weinig. The entire Ricks Center Middle School was in the audience and thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to visit a DU lecture hall and watch the groups present. A 5th grader mentioned, "It was so coordinated, and everyone knew what to say. It seemed professional because everyone knew their lines. [The winning presentation] was also great because I was able to relate to it."

The Shark Tank Businesses included:
• "Magnetub"- Magnetic plastic container lids for food storage
• "Paper Garden"- Recyclable and eco-friendly flowers for decoration
• "Sugar Infusion"- Allergy-friendly bakery that customizes their products to your allergy needs

Congratulations to the winning group "Magnetub." The winners will be awarded a banner with their names
and business that will hang in Mr. Steve's classroom.

"[The experience] was really fun and challenging, and the professors were really helpful," says one of the winning participants. There were some challenges like working in a group and working out disagreements, but overall it was fun to work with the group. Before we did it, we thought it would be more intense and intimidating, but then when we actually got there and started presenting, it was fun!"

To read the full story from the Daniels College of Business, please click here.

Shark Tank group

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