Malcolm Shabazz City High School

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Malcolm Shabazz City High School
1601 N Sherman Avenue


TypePublic secondary
School districtMadison Metropolitan School District
PrincipalAric Soderbloom
Number of students116 (2018)[1]

Malcolm Shabazz City High School is a four-year public alternative high school in Madison, Wisconsin. The school was named in honor of activist Malcolm X[2], also known as el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz or Malcolm Shabazz. It was founded as Malcolm Shabazz High School in 1971, changing its name after merging with City High School (founded 1972) in 1979.[3] The school is located in the same building as Madison's Sherman Middle School.

Shabazz is known for its informal atmosphere (students refer to teachers and the principal by their first names[2]) and emphasis on individuality and social and political activism.[3] According to former social studies teacher Gene Delacourt, "Shabazz was designed to be an alternative school for the sake of it being an alternative school, rather than it being a last chance for diploma completion or the last chance for kids who were falling through the cracks. When the school was founded, it was originally founded by students who were motivated to learn something other than what mainstream schools were teaching. Teachers responded to that by teaching their passion."[3]


Students must apply for admission to Shabazz, with new students being accepted at the beginning of each semester.[4]


Shabazz operates on a quarterly schedule. The school offers a varied selection of courses, including The First Amendment (Social Studies), Science of Global Warming, Rap as Poetry (English), and American Sign Language.[5] All new students are required to take an anti-discrimination Social Studies course called Mirrors.[2][5]

Students at Shabazz have dual enrollment with their "home school" (neighborhood school within the Madison Metropolitan School District) and are eligible to take courses at both schools.[4]

Service Learning[edit]

Shabazz is a National Demonstration Site for Service Learning[6] and is considered a "leader school" in the service-learning movement.[7] Service-learning projects are incorporated into courses such as Project Green Teen, "an environmental service learning class that addresses authentic environmental needs in multiple communities"[8], and Road to Indian Country, a social studies class on contemporary Native Americans that involves a week-long service trip to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.[9]


  1. ^ "Shabazz-City High School". US News Best High Schools. Retrieved 2019-04-26.
  2. ^ a b c Rickert, Chris (2019-01-06). "Shabazz strives for 'unschooled' safe space for students". The Wisconsin State Journal. Retrieved 2019-04-26.
  3. ^ a b c Emechebe, Ogechi (2015-10-21). "Charting their own path: Shabazz lets students take control of how they learn". The Capital Times. Retrieved 2019-04-26.
  4. ^ a b "Applying to Shabazz". Malcolm Shabazz City High School. Retrieved 2019-04-26.
  5. ^ a b "Course Descriptions". Malcolm Shabazz City High School. Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  6. ^ Campbell, Blue (2016-11-16). "Malcolm Shabazz City High School offers an alternative to Madison students". Northside News. Retrieved 2019-04-26.
  7. ^ Gabriel, Mary Ellen (2009-04-03). "Madison's schools are ahead of the curve with green and community programs". The Isthmus. Retrieved 2019-04-26.
  8. ^ "Project Green Teen". Malcolm Shabazz City High School. Retrieved 2019-04-26.
  9. ^ Emechebe, Ogechi (2015-10-31). "Hard living conditions of Pine Ridge Reservation are eye-opening to Shabazz students". The Capital Times. Retrieved 2019-04-28.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°07′04″N 89°21′47″W / 43.117756°N 89.362965°W / 43.117756; -89.362965