McPherson USD 418 accepted the draft proposal of the Bullpup Scholars, a program that enhances the academic achievement and scholarship opportunities of high-performing students in the district.


McPherson USD 418 accepted the draft proposal of the Bullpup Scholars, a program that enhances the academic achievement and scholarship opportunities of high-performing students in the district.
This would be an optional program that would provide additional educational opportunities previously only offered to gifted students. Benefits would include materials, after-school programming, testing and events.
The draft designates a governing council made up of parents who would organize and raise funds for the program. The draft also lists requirements for entry and maintained eligibility for grades six through 12. Requirements for entry are a certain ACT score or GPA. Requirements for maintained eligibility are reading a certain number of books and  maintaining activity involvement.
Superintendent Dr. Randy Watson has been discussing the program with parents, who have given their input about how the program should operate.
“Everyone agrees there’s a need for it,” Julie Milleson said. “I see this as a great opportunity for the kids, but I see this as an excellent opportunity for the parents to have some additional information.”
Dawn Loving said the program is on target with the district.
“The positives are obvious, in that we find additional enrichment for our kids,” she said. “Along with this will come a greater awareness of how to prepare our kids for the future.”
The parents expressed concerns regarding the high GPA requirement, a high level of books to read and the difficulty of fundraising.
“If a kid doesn’t make it, they may brand themselves that they are not smart, and that is the last thing you want to tell a child,” Loving said.
The program is part of the C3 initiative and modeled after the Duke Gifted and Talented Program. Implementation is planned for the spring semester. About one-third of students would currently meet the criteria.