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DEPARTMENTS   »   Curriculum and Instruction Support   »   Gifted and Talented   »   Services   »   Middle School

Gifted Middle Level


The gifted and talented curriculum and the grade level curriculum align, reflecting our commitment to the differentiation of instruction. Teachers adapt the curriculum and instruction to address the needs of all learners. By using pre assessments, the classroom teachers identify their students’ ability and readiness levels.

Modifications consist of adjusting the pace of instruction and adding rigor and choice. Rigor is added to curriculum by increasing breadth (looking at the discipline from a broader viewpoint), depth (allowing students to dig deeper into a current area of study), and complexity (broadening students understanding of an area of study by making relationships and associations between and across disciplines).

Academic rigor engages students in multiple, complex, thought provoking tests that challenge their thinking and feelings.

 Beveridge Magnet School  King Science Magnet School McMillan Magnet School Nathan Hale Middle School
 Bryan Jr. Middle School  Lewis & Clark Middle School Monroe Middle School  Norris Middle School
 Buffet Magnet School  Marrs Magnet School Morton Magnet School  Alfonza W. Davis Middle School


Transition to Middle Level
Moving from elementary to the middle level is an exciting and challenging time. Students are leaving an atmosphere in which their world is structured around a single teacher into an environment where five to eight teachers is a possibility. This change can be a daunting experience as we strive to encourage students to develop into an independent learner.

With independence comes choice both within the classroom and beyond. Behind classroom doors teachers differentiate content, process and product based on a student's academic readiness as well as their learning style or interests. Beyond the classroom student's have the opportunity to be challenged through a variety of special events, contests and clubs; competition to participate is keen.

Gifted and Talented services are another transitional change. Students are no longer pulled from the classroom for specialized instruction; instead, instruction takes place within the classroom. The Gifted and Talented Facilitator has a key role in supporting the classroom teacher to differentiate instruction to meet the unique needs of the high ability learner.

Another important difference at the middle level is the rigor of coursework . Placement in advanced classes is determined by student performance and other established criteria. Flexible and performance grouping through pre-assessment, allows students to move through corresponding levels of learning at their individual interest and pace. Students are encouraged to develop self discipline by meeting deadlines, asking questions, and acquiring organizational and study skills as they strive to become both independent and successful at the middle level and beyond.

Talent opportunities in each of the five areas of giftedness exist outside the classroom.
Student involvement is based upon interest and selection.
Leaders have high expectations for themselves and others. They are self-confident and show good judgment in decision making.
  • Leadership Teams
  • Student Government
  • Club Leadership
  • Student Ambassadors
  • Yearbook

Visual and Performing Arts
Students who display talents in visual and performing arts exhibit an exceptional ability to express feelings, moods, etc. through art, dance, drama, and music.
  • Jazz Band 
  • Chorus 
  • School Play Productions
  • Classic Film Club
  • Nebraska Visual Arts Competition
  • Drama Club
  • Speech Contests 

Creative thinkers are independent, have a sense of humor, and often generate several solutions to a given problem.
  • Celebrate Creativity                       
  • Art Competitions                               
  • Pen & Ink
  • Writing Contests
  • Art Club
  • Future City


  • National Junior Honor Society
  • Book Blasters
  • Math Club
  • International Language Club
  • African American History
  • Geography Bee
  • Quiz Bowl
  • Challenge
  • Math Competitions
  • Industrial Technology Competition
  • Duke University Talent Identification Program
  • Think Tank
  • Knowledge Masters
  • National History Day
  • Robofest
  • Spelling Bee
  • African American History Challenge
  • Science Fairs
  • Greater Nebraska Science and Engineering Fair 


Middle Level Events
Sponsored by the Office of Gifted and Talented

Book Blasters
Calling all readers!! Students prepare for this competition by reading as many books as they can from a list of 17-20 young adult titles. Teams then test their knowledge of the books with questions phrased so that the title of the book is the answer. Extra points are given for knowledge of the authors. Each middle school may send two four-person teams to the Book Blaster competition. The tournament is a double-elimination format. Click here for the current book list. 

Leadership Team
The purpose of the Middle School Leadership Team is to provide opportunities for a select group of students in grades 7th and 8th to experience and develop leadership, teamwork, and service through activities conducted at the district and campus levels over a two-year period. Although selection criteria varies by school, qualities such as the following are used to select the team:

•above average grades
•strong work ethic
• cooperation
• creativity
• self-motivation
• assertiveness

Activities are designed to build upon existing leadership skills and increase awareness of community leadership opportunities. Events sponsored by the Office of Gifted and Talented include:

7th Grade:
Leadership Seminar - students learn more about problem-solving, team building, leadership styles and more at this half-day workshop organized and facilitated by their gifted and talented facilitators
Team Challenge - students travel to Gifford Farm to experience a day of physical and mental challenges designed to build cooperation, problem-solving, and creativity in an outdoor environment.

8th Grade:
Youth Volunteer Day - students learn more about community service as representatives from a variety of agencies share information about volunteer opportunities, in the metro area, available to middle school students.
Tour of Omaha - students learn the impact  past and current leaders have had on Omaha, as students take an extended bus tour to visit sites that are important to the history and future of our great city.

Optional Activities (vary by campus) include service projects, curriculum from The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, community guest speakers, and Teen Success activities.
The Scholars is a selective group of students  from each middle school who strive to learn more about themselves, support one another, and achieve success at school. Students qualify for The Scholars program through selected critieria. The Scholars set realistic and attainable goals, volunteer in their community, learn and practice social skills and interview techniques, and socialize with their peers.
Students have the opportunity to discover their strengths (Gallup Clifton strength finder), visit college campuses, explore career fields, visit elementary schools as mentors and readers, participate in community service projects, and meet monthly with peers for topic talks and a book club. Specific events include taking:  the Cliffton strengthfinder assessment @ Gallup in seventh grade and  the ACT at both 7th and 8th grade to strengthen character and knowledge as they prepare for senior high.

Think Tank
A Problem-Solving CompetitionToday’s students are tomorrow’s problem-solvers! In this problem-solving competition, middle school students are given the opportunity to simulate a real-life think tank, where the world’s problems are solved. Each year an issue is selected and students delve into all sides of the topic through in-depth research.

TIP (Talent Identification Program) Test Prep
The Talent Search is the largest program of its kind in the nation, representing participation from 6,061 junior high and middle schools in the Duke TIP 16-state region. Over 1.5 million students have completed the Talent Search since its inception in 1980. The Talent Search identifies academically talented 7th graders based on standardized test scores achieved while attending elementary or middle school. Candidates are identified and invited to complete either the SAT Reasoning Test or the ACT Assessment college entrance examination. Duke TIP then provides the participants with comparative information concerning their academic abilities and resources for unique educational opportunities.  Our gifted and talented facilitators support this program and provide test prep session prior to testing dates.

Quiz Bowl Quads and Competition Finale
Academic competition where a 4 member team competes against the clock answering questions from various disciplines (math, language arts, language, science and the arts).  Skills such as team work, cooperative group discussion, problem solving and quickness are enhanced through practices and competition.  QUADS allow each middle school 3-4 opportunities to practice before the compeition finale in May. This competition serves as a springboard to high school Academic Decathlon.

Pentathlon competition
Pentathlon is an Academic Decathlon competition at the middle level. Students study the same theme and compete in a district and national competition via online.

Poetry Slams
Twice each year, spring and fall, poetry comes alive as students perform original writings in a forum of collaboration and celebration.  Students gather at the Pizza Shoppe in Benson on stage to share their creations.  Seasoned  metro area poets join and model slam protocol.


For other Middle Level Events - see each school's brochure/flyer for specific offerings


Each middle school varies in the services that are provided for their gifted and talented students  Downloadable PDF brochures are available to communicate detailed information about the offerings and specialized curriculum at each school. 

Middle Level Service Brochures

Click on a school to download information regarding specific offerings and specialized programs.

Beveridge Magnet School

Bryan Middle School

Buffet Magnet School

Nathan Hale Middle School

King Science Magnet Middle School

Lewis & Clark Middle School

Marrs Magnet Middle School

McMillan Magnet Middle School

Monroe Middle School

Morton Middle School

Norris Middle School
English  PDF File
Spanish  PDF File

Alonza W. Davis Middle School

Gifted and Talented programs are differentiated according to the unique goals and opportunities at each middle school location.