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1601 N. Sherman Avenue

Madison, WI  53704

Main # (608)204-2440

Who We Serve

Students in grades 9-12, from all areas of Madison, with interests in being prepared for college and/or career readiness.  

What We Do


Shabazz emphasizes non-traditional school activities to promote engagement and rich learning experiences.

  • Community-based experiential education

  • Outdoor adventure education

  • Project-based learning 

  • Service learning opportunities

Shabazz's schedule provides students unique educational experiences which meet MMSD graduation requirements while preparing students for post-secondary educational and career opportunities.

  • Interdisciplinary classes allowing for credit attainment in more than one content area

  • Multi-age classes

  • Many elective course offerings alongside traditional core subject areas, PE/health, and the visual arts

Grading & Reporting

  • Shabazz offers semester-long classes in fall of 21-22

  • Grading and reporting is “Pass” and “No-Credit” at report card time.

  • Since students do not receive a GPA due to no letter grades, teachers write in-depth evaluations for each class to identify skill development and growth overtime.

Completion Criteria

Completion of 22 required credits as outlined by MMSD.

Diploma granted by home high school (East, West, La Follette, Memorial)

Supports Available

Case management for students with disabilities. Bilingual Resource Teacher and Bilingual Resource Specialist. Full time School Counselor, School Social Worker, and  School Psychologist. 

What Students Say

“Shabazz is different. My teachers would say ‘the assignment is late’ or ‘you’re so behind’. Shabazz teachers say ‘how can I help’ or ‘what can I do to support?’.”


“It is nice here. It is like a small community that you miss out on at the other schools. You have the opportunity to get to know people here, even if you don’t agree with them.”


“I am actually liking learning. The work is still hard, but the teachers help. They keep coming back to give more help, rather than meeting with me one time and then leaving me to figure it all out by myself. Plus teachers keep talking about the big ideas and topics to help reinforce.” 


“My education was what I made it. High school was where I learned a deeper understanding of independence, setting intentions, and the power of doing.”


“Now more than ever, in these uncertain times when world pandemics are forcing social distancing, people are drawn toward social media and less human interaction. I believe hands-on-learning and experiential education in nature will be more important than ever for the next generations of youth.”


“In general, I’m not much of a community type person but I really developed bonds with my classmates.” 

What Parents Say

(My student) good at science and she is now pursuing a college track to major in biology or marine biology. She always enjoyed science in school but did not feel like her teachers believed in her (she is shy and introverted). The remarkable Shabazz staff and the hands-on connection to the outdoors that (Shabazz) provides has changed everything.”


“(My student) told us the best thing about it was that the students and the teachers were all on the same team. No us vs. them.”


“(My student) has made incredible progress personally. At the start of the year, she had a lot of anxiety about future trips, but after the first quarter of (class), she literally could not wait for the spring trip and she grew so much during it. She is much more confident and understanding dealing with her peers”


“The teachers and staff at Shabazz provided (my student) with the support and sense of community that was lacking at their home school.”


“The students not only learned how to rise to the occasion and meet the challenges, they learned how to support and hold each other up so that everyone felt empowered to meet these challenges. It was amazing to see how much (Shabazz) was really helping (my student) push herself past situations that made her anxious, how much others supported her and she them. They learned through..experience to be not only strong individuals, but part of a strong community.”

What Staff Says

“I think our small class sizes and commitment to community makes us different.”


“A place of strong interconnection, where every student is known and heard.”


“Deep respect for students. (Not the “earn respect” model).”


“Belief that every day is a new day and a chance to start over/create something new.”

Application and Entry Process

Applications are accepted prior to each semester through the simple online application form. Parents/guardians, students, or staff can submit it.

For all students who meet the minimum eligibility requirements:

  • An Intake Team staff member will contact the family/student to set up an informational meeting. 

  • Unless a student is 18, a parent/guardian must also attend the 30-45 minute meeting.

  • During COVID-19, all meetings will be virtual. 

  • At the meeting, students will be scheduled to participate in a Shadow Day, in which the applicant spends the day attending classes with a Shabazz student. During COVID-19, applicants are invited to take a Virtual Tour of Shabazz and visit our Virtual Student Center 

  • Our Intake Team will offer a spot to eligible students based on the completion of all steps of the application process and interest of the student.

  • In the event of limited spots, admissions will be based on a lottery system.

Eligibility Criteria

All applicants' individual school records will be reviewed to determine if students are eligible for an informational meeting. The following minimum requirements are taken into consideration during the initial evaluation. 

  • Demonstrating an ability to meet the behavioral expectations. A pattern of documented conflict or aggression will be reviewed by the admissions committee to determine eligibility on a case by case basis;

  • Demonstrated ability to comprehend grade level text with accommodations if needed. This will be evaluated through test scores, grades, and types of credits earned. May require completion of reading assessment if we don't have enough information to make this determination;

  • On track to graduate on time or with an additional year of work.  

Point of Contact


  • Main Office (608)204-2446

  • School Counselor:  Elizabeth Long

  • School Psychologist:  Aaron Geiger

  • Social Worker:  Susan Kaye

  • School Secretary:  Hannah Shafer

  • Clerk:  Lynn Pauly

  • BRS Especialista de Recursos Bilingue: Arsenio Cicero

(608)712 2823