We haven't just learned facts and figures or reasoning skills here. We have learned the value of friendship, loyalty, and love.

- Ricks Center graduate

I need my teacher today. I'm starting a new story, and she's the only one who knows how to help me get out the story inside my head.

- 5-year-old Ricks Center student

A child is not an empty vessel waiting to be filled with a body of knowledge. Each child is already full, full of questions, full of knowledge, full of theories, and full of beliefs.

- Cadwell, L.B. (Conversations with Children)

This quote from Cadwell embodies the view the faculty and administration have of each child at Ricks Center. Each child is intelligent, curious, beautiful, capable, driven, sensitive, imaginative, persistent, magical, creative, and intense in his/her own way. Characteristics often attributed to gifted children include extreme curiosity, a high activity level, an excellent sense of humor, high verbal ability, advanced ability with puzzles or numbers, advanced comprehension, and an ability to generate original ideas and solutions. A gifted child may exhibit some of these characteristics more intensely than others or at different times in his/her young life.

The faculty and administration of Ricks Center acknowledge these traits in each child and the impact these characteristics have on learning. The overall program is designed with these characteristics in mind. Children are provided with blocks of time to discover and learn about a concept through an integrated unit; they guide the curriculum with their questions, curiosity and prior knowledge. Teachers encourage depth of understanding and higher level thinking. Students are challenged to go beyond the obvious and delve into a topic's complexity, find the connections between content, and strive for a personal best.

Perhaps the best measure of a school's success is its student body.  The student body at Ricks Center is both diverse and exceptional.  In the 2009-2010 year, 24 percent of the student body represented ethnic minorities and almost 30 percent of students receive some form of financial assistance from the school. Students of all ages display their talents, strengths, and exceptional abilities through opportunities such as art exhibits, community relationships, World Affairs Challenge, and small group and classroom activities.