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The Merrimack Valley Program (MVP)
The Pike School’s commitment to the Merrimack Valley Program is an important component of living out one of the values of our mission: "by recognizing, respecting, sharing, and appreciating our similarities and differences, we grow and flourish.” This is especially important in our increasingly diverse global community. The Merrimack Valley Program is a community outreach program that advances inclusion throughout The Pike School.
Each academic year, Pike admits two new students from the Merrimack Valley to whom it provides need-based financial aid through the MVP. The Pike Director of Admission collaborates with area early childhood programs to identify families who are deeply committed to the education of their children and who may be unaware of the opportunity of enrollment at Pike School. MVP students represent a range of racial, economic, and cultural diversity that is reflective of the greater Merrimack Valley population. Participants experience the advantages of Pike’s strong academic program, small student-to-teacher ratio, unique enrichment opportunities, and inclusive community spirit. In return, MVP students and their families enrich the Pike community.
The Program's History
The Merrimack Valley Program (MVP) began at The Pike School in 1986. The objective of the program was to provide a Pike School education to qualified public school students from the Merrimack Valley. Families who qualify either speak in English in the home or are bi-lingual, are educationally focused, demonstrate financial need, and are committed to providing the structure at home to support their children’s education.
From 1986 to 1997, thirteen students joined the Sixth Grade class. Those students were recruited with the help and recommendations of guidance counselors and teachers in the Lawrence public school system. In 1998 the entry point was changed to Third Grade so that the children would be able to solidify their academic foundation, make new friends, and feel secure in the Pike environment before they faced the many challenges all adolescent children face in Upper School. Teachers in the public school system and the director of the Lawrence Latch Key Program were again helpful in identifying appropriate candidates.
In the academic year 2002-2003, The Pike School Board of Trustees made the financial commitment to give the MVP students the full advantage of a Kindergarten through Ninth Grade education with all the social and academic advantages this continuum would provide. Contacts were made and relationships begun with the directors of the YMCA’s Early Childhood Center and the Head Start Program, all in the greater Lawrence area. Since 2002-2003, Pike has admitted twenty students to join the Kindergarten class.
Thus far, eighteen MVP students have been graduated from Pike and have gone on to matriculate at independent secondary schools, including Pingree School, Noble and Greenough School, Phillips Academy, Williston Northampton School, Brewster Academy, Brooks School, Commonwealth School, and Kimball Union Academy. MVP students have also gone on to parochial schools in the area, including Presentation of Mary and Central Catholic.
Additionally, our MVP graduates have attended the following colleges: Endicott College, Barnard College, Emerson College, Boston University, Bentley College, Trinity College, George Washington University, University of Massachusetts, Simmons College, Reed College, Wharton, University of New England, Brown University, Suffolk University, Tufts University, and community colleges. There are sixteen MVP students currently enrolled at Pike in Kindergarten through Eighth Grade.
Meet Some of Our MVP Graduates
Jasmin Polanco '93
Peter Ly '05
Rosa Valentin '05
Eliana Castro Martinez '00