• Lewis and Clark Middle School has maintained an outstanding record of academic excellence. Students who attend Lewis and Clark are well prepared to meet the academic rigors of high school. Our mission is to provide a rigorous, varied academic experience, based on best practices, that enables all students to achieve at their highest potential.

    Lewis and Clark offers many academic courses and activities to enrich the curriculum established by the Omaha Public Schools.  Our Gifted & Talented (GATE) 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.

    At Lewis and Clark Middle School, in addition to participation in advanced and honors classes, GATE students are eligible to participate in a number of extension and enrichment opportunities throughout the school year. These include opportunities pertaining to reading, writing, history, science, math, problem solving, and more. GATE opportunities at Lewis and Clark are explained more below.



  • Identification

    The Omaha Public Schools’ method of identifying gifted and talented students is modeled after the NAGC (National Association of Gifted Children).  Identification includes performance at 130 or above on IQ assessments and 95% or above on any sub-tests of the California Achievement Tests.  

    Selection for the Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) program at Lewis and Clark can also be determined by a student’s performance in certain courses.  Identification encompasses the following five areas: Intellectual, Academic, Creative, Leadership, and Visual/Performing Arts. 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 Lewis and Clark Middle School.

GATE Opportunities @ Lewis & Clark Middle School

  • GATE Facilitator Contact Information

    Kristi Bryant


    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. Contact Katherine Kisby (Katherine.Kisby@ops.org) for more information.

    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. Contact Phil LaFleur (Philip.LaFleur@ops.org) or Kristi Bryant (Kristi.Bryant@ops.org) for more information.

    Book Blasters

    Book Blasters is a district-wide competition involving a team of students responsible for reading about 12 selected novels. Teams then compete to see who reigns supreme in knowledge of the novels’ content. Contact Kristi Bryant (Kristi.Bryant@ops.org) for more information.

    Writing Club

    Students involved in Writing Club learn more about expressing themselves through the written word. This group meets approximately every other week after school to write and share their own pieces. They also can participate in Writing Retreats, Poetry Slams, and special speaker events throughout the year. Contact Kristi Bryant (Kristi.Bryant@ops.org) for more information.


    National Junior Honor Society

    National Junior Honor Society is open to 7th and 8th grade students with a 3.75 cumulative grade point average or higher. Acceptance is based on scholarship, leadership, service, and character. Induction of new members takes place in the spring. Contact Kelly LaFleur (Kelly.LaFleur@ops.org) for more information.


    Science Olympiad

    Science Olympiad is a competition in which students compete in events about various scientific disciplines, including earth science, biology, chemistry, physics, and engineering. Contact George Mihai (George.Mihai@ops.org) for more information.


    Spelling Bee

    The Spelling Bee is sponsored by the Omaha World-Herald. All Lewis and Clark students take a written spelling test to determine the field of eligible candidates. Contact Alexis Dinoff (Alexis.Dinoff@ops.org) for more information.


    Student Council

    Student Council members meet after school regularly and participate in projects designed to improve our school. Contact Esmeralda Tinajero Gonzalez (Esmeralda.TinajeroGonzalez@ops.org) or Richard Powers (Richard.Powers1@ops.org) for more information.

    Extracurricular Performing Arts

    Lewis and Clark offers high quality Performing Arts, Choir, Strings, and Band Programs for our students. Students can choose to take part in one of our music programs, audition for a play, and/or participate in theater and music clubs. For more information, contact Sarah Short (Sarah.Short@ops.org) regarding instrumental music, Garret Jackson (Garret.Jackson@ops.org) regarding vocal music, and Kate Wiig (Barbara.Wiig@ops.org) regarding theater.

    History Day

    Each year, National History Day frames students’ research within a historical theme. The theme is chosen for its broad application to world, national, or state history and its relevance to ancient history or to the more recent past. Each year, NHD decides on a theme and student contestants create projects surrounding the theme. Contact Katie Thessen (Katelyn.Thessen@ops.org) for more information.

    Fermi Math League

    FERMI Math takes students through the problem-solving process and use of metacognition skills to solve what seem to be unsolvable math problems. Students work in grade level teams of 2-5. The league goes on all year. Their team receives math problems every few weeks and must work together to come up with the best solution and prove their thinking. The solution, written in a PowerPoint, then gets sent off to the judges for feedback and points. Earn enough points, and their team gets to attend the Extreme Math Day at the end of the school year. Contact Toni Ridley (Toni.Ridley@ops.org) for more information.


    Math Counts/ Math Competitions

    Math Counts is a national middle school coaching and competitive mathematics program that promotes mathematics achievement through a series of fun and engaging “bee” style contests. It is supported by the National Society of Professional Engineers at the state and local levels.

    Other math competitions and contests are available to all grade levels throughout the year. Students are selected to participate by classroom performance and teacher nomination. Contact Kelly LaFleur (Kelly.LaFleur@ops.org) or Keri Witherell (Keri.Witherell@ops.org) for more information.