Changing the Outcomes

Ricks Center for Gifted Children (Ricks) was developed in 1984 by Dr. Norma Lu Hafenstein as a doctoral project with the goal to create a school to address the specific needs of children. A lot has changed in 35 years, but the mission of Ricks remains the same; to provide a dynamic and challenging education environment that anticipates and responds to children who are gifted learners.

Ricks, a model pre-K-8 school located on the University of Denver (DU) campus, continues to strive for excellence in education. Over this year, Ricks updated its strategic plan to reflect education in an ever-changing climate and address new trends in gifted education.

New Ricks director, Dr. Craig Harrer, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies ‘19, is up for the challenge and excited to move the school forward.

“It is an exciting time at Ricks as we continue to foster the gifted child and our national reputation for gifted learning,” he said. “In the days and months ahead, the Ricks community and staff will be implementing and monitoring our goals within the strategic plan while focusing on DU and Morgridge College of Education (MCE) goals around diversity, equity, and the whole child.”

As part of MCE, Harrer is able to access faculty, staff, and institute resources to bring the Ricks strategic plan to life.

“Our teachers will be undergoing intensive coaching and professional development intended to mesh the goals of 21st century learning with best practices within our classrooms.”

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