GATE Welcome

  • Dear Students and Families,

    Welcome to McMillan Magnet School- Home of the Monarchs. My name is John Costanzo and I am the Gifted/Talented (GATE) Facilitator at McMillan Magnet. I look forward to communicating with you throughout the school year. McMillan Magnet School has maintained an outstanding record of academic excellence. Students who attend McMillan are well prepared to meet the academic rigors of high school. Our mission is to provide a rigorous academic experience that is based on research and best practices and enables all students to achieve their highest potential. The goal of the Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) program is to identify gifted and exceptionally talented students within the Omaha Public Schools, nurture their social/emotional development and enhance their curriculum experience so these unique individuals may reach their fullest potential. At McMillan Magnet the program is designed to address student needs through a combination of the following methods: o Classroom Differentiation o Honors and Advanced Classes o Contests/Competitions o Enrichment Activities and Clubs

    Our Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) Program at McMillan is based on the Omaha Public Schools “Best Practices”. We want to support your high ability learner. We will be making sure our courses are differentiated. We will support staff through collaboration and professional development and by planning and providing opportunities for your child. Should you have any questions throughout the year, contact me at (531) 299-2440 ext. 879-1173 or A strong partnership between school and home is vital to the success of our students. Thank you for supporting your student academically/socially/emotionally, which will result in his or her success.


    John Costanzo

    GATE Facilitator

    7th & 8th Grade Honors Special Projects

    McMillan Magnet School


  • McMillan offers many academic courses and activities to enrich the curriculum established by the Omaha Public Schools.  Our Gifted & Talented (GT) program is designed for students who wish to be challenged through academic competition, honors courses, special activities, and programs.  We believe that all students need high expectations and challenges based on individual needs.  Our classroom teachers use differentiated instruction in their lessons to meet the needs and interest of all levels of learners.  Students are expected 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.


  • The Omaha Public Schools’ method of identifying gifted and talented students is modeled after the NAGC (National Association of Gifted Children). Identification criteria includes meeting any three of the following indicators: performance at 130 or above on IQ assessments, achieving 95% or above on MAP or NSCAS tests, carrying a GPA at 3.5 or above for a semester or by receiving a qualifying referral letter by a teacher or guardian.

    Identification encompasses the following three areas: Creativity, Leadership, and Motivation. Middle school is an opportunity for students to self-select areas that allow them to explore and capitalize on their strengths, display their talents, and excel. Whether it is found in their coursework, a competition, a contest, or an extracurricular activity, a student’s giftedness and/or talents can blossom and develop at McMillan Magnet.

GATE District Events

  • Coordinated by the Office of Gifted and Talented

    Academic Pentathlon: The newest program of the United States Academic Decathlon for middle school students was created to provide opportunities to experience the challenges of a rigorous team and individual competition in five events: Language and Literature, Mathematics, Music, Science, and Social Studies. The Pentathlon theme parallels that of the high school Academic Decathlon program. (currently optional for a school to participate)

    Book Blasters: Book Blasters is a district-wide competition that involves a team of students who are responsible for reading approximately 12 selected novels. Teams then compete to see who reigns supreme in knowledge of the novels’ content.

    Poetry SLAMS: Each fall and spring student poets from each middle school take the stage and share their writing with their peers. SLAMS provide an outlet to express feelings, thoughts and ideas with an audience that yearns for student expression.

    Quiz Bowl: Quiz Bowl is an academic competition. A four-member team competes against the clock answering questions from various disciplines. Skills, such as teamwork, cooperative group discussion, problem solving, and reaction time, are enhanced through practices and competitions.

    Think Tank: Think Tank is a competitive problem-solving event for 7th and 8th graders held on the UNO campus. This day long event features a game that involves creative problem solving.

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