Contact Us

Dr. Beth Maloney
Teaching and Learning Consultant for
Gifted and Talented Education - GATE


Lindsay Corbin
(531) 299-4241


Middle Level Save the Date!

Click on Image for details

Services Middle Level

Gifted and Talented Education in the Omaha Public Schools is committed to developing students through a curriculum framework focused on:

  • Problem Solving
  • Critical Thinking
  • Inquiry
  • Cultural profiency
  • Meta-cognition (self-reflection) and
  • Affective skills (Positive and healthy habits for working independently and with others).

Honors Special Projects is a course middle schools may offer that aligns to the GATE framework and provides learning experiences for students that focus on the process of learning through a variety of content options.


Honors Courses

Classroom teachers meet the needs of high ability learners on a daily basis through classroom differentiation.  Additionally, all OPS middle schools offer honors courses in English Language Arts, Mathematics and Science.  These courses enhance and enrich learning experiences for students by differentiating through Pace (accelerating the instructional practices), Depth (deepening the discipline knowledge and practice) and Complexity (Using sophisticated levels of advanced thinking).

All OPS middle schools offer:

  • Honors Language Arts 7
  • Honors Language Arts 8
  • Honors Physical Science (Grade 8)
  • Honors Pre-Algebra 1-2
  • Honors Algebra 1-2
  • Honors Geometry 1-2

Placement in honors and advanced courses is determined by standardized assessments, classroom performance and other established criteria.

In some cases, students may require academic course offerings not available at the middle school.  Students and families may work with the school’s GATE Facilitator to complete an acceleration agreement that may involve such options as distance learning or high school placement.  Grade-level acceleration or grade-skipping can also be considered through a process involving an Iowa Acceleration Scale (IAS).

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





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.
Events and opportunities
The following events are sponsored by GATE:
  • Academic Pentathlon (USAD)
  • Think Tank
  • Poetry Slams (Fall and Spring)
  • Academic Quiz Bowls
  • Book Blasters
  • Scholars Program

Students have additional opportunities to be challenged through clubs, events, competitions and performances offered at
their middle school.  These opportunities may include but are not limited to:

  • African American History Challenge
  • Future City
  • Geography Bee
  • History Day
  • Junior National Honor Society
  • Math Team/Math Counts
  • Music and Drama Performances
  • Robotics
  • Science Bowl and/or Olympiad
  • Science and Engineering Fairs
  • Speech and Debate
  • Spelling Bee
  • Student Government


Click on the links below to view opportunities available at each middle level school.
  Note: Talent opportunities may vary by school.
 Beveridge Magnet
 King Science Magnet
McMillan Magnet
Nathan Hale Middle
Bryan Jr. Middle
Lewis & Clark Middle
Monroe Middle
 Norris Middle
 Buffet Magnet
 Marrs Magnet
Morton Magnet School  Alfonza W. Davis Middle

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
Download Middle Level GATE Brochure

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

Beveridge Magnet
Bryan Middle
 Buffet Magnet
 Nathan Hale
King Science Magnet
 Lewis & Clark
 Marrs Magnet
 McMillan Magnet
 Monroe Middle
 Morton  Norris
Spanish PDF File
 Alonzo W. Davis

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