Mrs. Panyoua N. Yang
Gifted & Talented Education Facilitator

District-Wide GATE Information

  Click Here

Novel Competition

Book Blasters

Book List

Book Descriptions



Summer Opportunities

Welcome to Gifted and Talented

Dear Students and Families,

Welcome to R.M. Marrs Magnet Center. My name is Panyoua N. Yang and I am the Gifted/Talented (GT) Facilitator. I look forward to communicating with you throughout the school year.

Marrs Magnet School has maintained an outstanding record of academic excellence. Students who attend Marrs are well prepared to meet the academic challenges 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. Students are identified based on an annual evaluation of standardized tests, or on IQ or CogAt assessments. At Marrs Magnet School the program is designed to address student needs through a combination of the following methods:

      o   Classroom Differentiation
      o   Honors and Advanced Classes
      o   Contest/Competitions
      o   Enrichment Activities and Clubs

Competition and enrichment groups are open to all interested students: they must maintain high grades in their classes.

Our Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) Program at Marrs Magnet School 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, please contact me at 531-299-8759 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 their sterling success.

Panyoua N. Yang
GATE Facilitator
R.M. Marrs Magnet Center



The goal of the Gifted and Talented program is to offer a differentiated rigorous curriculum by providing curricular and instructional adaptations that address the unique needs of high ability learners. At Marrs Middle School, the program is organized to address these needs through a combination of the following methods:

o   Differentiation

o   Advanced Classes

o   Contest/Competitions

o   Enrichment Activities and Clubs



The Omaha Public Schools’ method of identifying gifted and talented students is modeled after the NAGC (National Association of Gifted Children). To be identified for these services a student must have met at least 3 of the 4 criteria listed below:


COGNITIVE – Top 5% at the school or national level on an intelligence/cognitive test

ACHIEVEMENT – Top 5% at the school or national level on a grade-level achievement test

MOTIVATION/PERFORMANCE – “A” or Advanced (ADV) in 60% or more courses on the most recent grade report, 3.5 G.P.A. equivalent, OR a qualifying recommendation for Motivation/Performance as verified from the Second Grade Classroom Teacher Input Form OR Parent/Guardian/Student/Staff Recommendation Form

CREATIVITY/LEADERSHIP – Qualifying recommendation for Creativity/Leadership as verified from the Second Grade Classroom Teacher Input Form OR Parent/Guardian/Student/Staff Recommendation Form

For my NEW GATE Parents/Guardians:

District GATE Brochure - Coming soon
Marrs GATE Brochure 2016-17

Gifted and Talented Education (GATE)

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.

Duke Talent Identification Program (Duke TIP):
The 7th grade talent search through Duke University provides an opportunity for high ability students to pursue an above-level testing experience. 

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. 

Academic Pentathlon
Book Blasters
Contests in Math, Writing, Speech, and Technology
Geography Bee
Poetry Slams
Spelling Bee
Think Tank
Quiz Bowls


Freedom Excite Snack Fundraiser

14 Beveridge Quiz Bowl

17 Open House - Spring Break Trip Meeting and Meet your GATE Facilitator (meant for new GATE students/families)

24-26 (TBA) OPS Quiz Bowl Quad


NJHS Spirit Fundraiser

5 Norris Quiz Bowl

17 Middle School Conferences - NJHS Bake Sale

TBA LAUNCH Leadership Workshop

26 McMillan Quiz Bowl

26 South HS Robotics


NJHS Spirit Fundraiser

2 Brownell or Norris Robotics

TBA KSTM Science Competition

9 Marrs Robotics VRC

9 Bryan MS/HS Quiz Bowl

14 4th Grade Math Competition

16 Mary Our Queen IQ Robotics Tourney

23 Marrs Robotics IQ

23 LAUNCH Leadership Workshop

25 Poetry Slam Workshop


7 Davis Quiz Bowl

7 Elkhorn MS Robotics VRC & Jr. Jackets IQ Tourney

10 Think Tank

11 Spelling Bee

13 Geography Bee

13/14 North HS Robotics

17 (Tentative) Academic Pentathlon Practice Competition

23-3 Winter Break


10/11 Benson HS Robotics

14-17 Ohio Robotics Signature Event

18 McMillan Robotics

25 Concordia MS/HS Quiz Bowl

25 Davis Robotics

29 (Tentative) Academic Pentathlon Regional Essay Competition


1, 2 OPS All-City Music Festival/African American History Challenge/Metro Science Bowl

1 Beveridge Robotics

6 OPS Spelling Bee

8 Duke Tip - ACT Test (various locations on Saturday)

8 Robotics Signature Event Puerto Rico

14/15 State Robotics

19 (Tentative) Academic Pentathlon Regional Competition

21 Academic Pentathlon Regional Competition

22 Norris Quiz Bowl

27 Middle School Conferences - NJHS Bake Sale

29 Brownell Talbot Quiz Bowl

TBA Regional Science Olympiad Competition              


Yankee Candle Fundraiser

NJHS Spirit Fundraiser

3 OPS Book Blasters Competition

4 Academic Pentathlon State Essay Competition

6 History Day

9-13 Spring Break

8-10 Spring Break St. Louis, MO Trip


28 Destination Imagination - State (UNK)

TBA Metro Science and Engineer Fair


NJHS Spirit Fundraiser

2 (Tentative) Academic Pentathlon State Competition

2-4 Robotics US Open

9 Academic Pentathlon SUPER QUIZ

11 SMP Competition

18 LAUNCH Leadership Workshop

18 State Science Fair

20 Science Olympiad

30 Poetry Slam

30 NJHS Induction, 6:45 PM


6 GATE End of the Year Celebration

7 (Tentative) Honors Night

9 NJHS End of the Year Celebration (Worlds of Fun)

TBA Academic Pentathlon Nationals

TBA Destination Imagination Globals


NJHS Chapter Advisors:
Panyoua N. Yang (Library), Jocelyn Masasi (Rm. 151), Leann May-Burr (Rm. 144)

NJHS Chapter Officers:
Hannah & Clarissa (Co-Presidents), Evanny (Secretary), Taylor
(Sergeant at Arms)

**Please, note...

Feb 27 Conferences/Bake Sale

Feb/Mar -- Yankee Candle Fundraiser (will get items in time for Mother's Day)

Mar/Apr NJHS Spirit Fundraisers

Mar 20 NJHS Applications Go Out

Mar 27 NJHS Applications Due

Apr 3 NJHS Congratulatory Letters Out

Apr 30 NJHS Induction, 6:45 PM

May 9 End of the Year Celebration (Worlds of Fun)

By-Laws Spanish
Chapter Officer Teacher Recommendation
NJHS Service Log


During Spring Break, we will take an educational and fun trip. Last year, we went to Chicago, IL. This year we will go to St. Louis, MO.

Trip Dates: March 8-10, 2020

Cost: $579 (35 participants), $539 (40 participants)

We are going to St. Louis!

$200 - Due October 31, 2019

$200 - Due November 22, 2019

$179 - Due January 15, 2020

(If you would like to go, I still have a handful of spots. Get your enrollment and first deposit turned in now! Thank you!)


Old News: Come to Open House on September 17, 2019, and attend a meeting in the Cafetorium from 6:15-6:45 PM. Hope to see you there.



Marrs GATE Calendar of Events



GATETrailer Event