Safe, Authentic, Engaging
December 2017 - January 2018
Message from Principal Aric Soderbloom
Greetings families, students, and Shabazz community members,
In a recent podcast, I heard a researcher in the science of complexity describe intelligence as the process of reducing the uncertainty of reaching a specific outcome or goal. According to the researcher, when we act intelligently, we reduce the uncertainty of reaching a goal. From this perspective, nothing is assured or guaranteed. We cannot be sure we will reach our goal or our desired outcome--outcomes are never a given, they are probabilities. However, we can reduce the uncertainty, or make it more likely that we will reach our goal through intelligent action. In fact, we know we are acting intelligently when we increase the likelihood that we reach our goal.

Of course, reducing uncertainty can be fraught with challenges. For one, if we are unclear of what our goal is, it will be a real challenge to act intelligently. Finding the proverbial needle in a haystack is not so challenging as long as you know which haystack and that you are looking for a needle. For example, we can burn the haystack and use a magnet to find the needle in the ashes. However, if we are unclear about what we are trying to find and where, then it becomes an impossible task. In this context, clarity of a goal, is not just helpful, it is a necessity.

Another challenge in reducing uncertainty is in the very nature of determining if we are taking actions that increase the likelihood of reaching our goal. Sometimes it is really hard to determine if the actions we are taking are having the desired impact and are moving us toward our goal. It is really helpful if there is clear feedback to guide our progress. For example, a compass can guide us in maintaining a specific direction, we know when we are moving off course. Without this guidance, it is easy to wander in the wilderness, never reaching a destination. If we are to reduce uncertainty, it is helpful to have evidence and data that can guide us in knowing if we are taking the right action. 

At Shabazz, who is teaching whom?
The History of Education course at Shabazz asked students to learn about the MMSD teaching tool which is used by administrators to gather data about teaching practices at their schools. In this class students were responsible for designing and teaching three lessons based on the tool. They collectively chose to teach lessons focused around a) government philosophy, b) different teaching philosophies, and c) the theme of controversial arts.

"By the end of the quarter, student ability to deliver coherent lessons grew significantly, in fact, their final lessons were so engaging and well crafted, I would sometimes forget I was the "teacher of the class", said Aaron Kaio.

Pictured here is student Katie Fernandez who used what she learned to present to Shabazz staff at a Professional Development day. Read more about this exciting experience here .
Students Learn About Controlling Invasive Species
Shabazz students enrolled in Ecology and the Outdoors and Advanced Ecology partnered up this quarter to investigate various strategies to eradicate invasive Buckthorn species at  Lake View Hill Park  - just up the road from Shabazz. Under the expert mentorship of long-time community partner Nelson Eisman,​ students created various test plots to explore whether manual removal, herbicide, girdling, or fire is the most effect method to control invasive species growth in local forests. Nelson Eisman volunteers with Madison Parks on conservation projects in addition to leading  environmentalist field study programs  through MSCR for Madison school groups.

Recently students got a chance to participate in a controlled burn in addition to spreading seeds of native plant species to continue in the restoration efforts to reinstate sustainable native forest ecosystems in our local parks. Ecology and conservation in action!
Shabazz Is On the Air - La Movida Radio Station
The radio show "¿Qué pasa en nuestras escuelas?" - "What is happening in our schools?"  is dedicating two hours of radio space to showcase Shabazz City High School to the Spanish speaking radio audience of Madison and surrounding areas.

This radio program is sponsored by the MMSD Office of Multilingual and Global Education, airs in La Movida radio station, and is intended to offer Spanish speaking families educational information that will enhance their active participation in their children's education and the opportunity to interact with school staff who have different expertise.

Principal Aric Soderbloom will talk about our school's history and vision and give an overview of Shabazz. Aric will be joined by current staff, students, and parents to give their points of view about the Shabazz experience.

Thursday, December 21 from 9 - 11 am. Tune in to stations 14.80 AM or 94.5 FM
Saint A's Toy Drive
The Community Activism class is collaborating with Saint A Foster Care during the holiday season by collecting new/gently used toys to provide a toy for everyone. Their goal is to deliver as many toys as possible by December 16. Whatever you can donate will be greatly appreciated.
2018 Youth Apprenticeship Info Meeting
Attention Shabazz Sophomores and Juniors ! The Youth Apprenticeship Program is a rigorous one- or two-year elective program for juniors and seniors, that combines academic and technical classroom instruction with mentored, on-the-job training to provide students with industry-established occupational and employability skills. Want to know more? Come to one of our December information meetings!

  • December 4, 2017 - West High School - 5:30 - 6:30 pm
  • December 5, 2017 - Memorial High School - 5:30 - 6:30 pm
  • December 12, 2017 - La Follette High School - 5:30 - 6:30 pm
  • December 14, 2017 - East High School - 5:30 - 6:30 pm

RSVP by completing this Google form . Talk with Sarah Drake if you have any questions or want to know more. Hope to see you there!
Madison College Offers Information Event for Students with Disabilities
On December 6, 2017 , Scott Ritter, director of Madison College's disability Resource Services will hold an informational meeting for students with disabilities and their parents. This meeting is especially important for seniors and their parents/guardians, but students from all grade levels are also encouraged to attend.

Follow Shabazz on Social Media
We do our best to keep our families informed about events, important information, and good news through a variety of platforms. Among them are our monthly e-newsletter, School Messenger emails/texts/phone calls, our website, and our new Constant Contact communication program.

But you can add to your involvement by following Shabazz on Facebook and Twitter . Visit our pages and either "Like" or "Follow" us and you will receive notices and news about our day to day happenings. Also check our website regularly for news and info.
Where in the World Are Our Shabazz Grads?
Shabazz alums are special, and you all hold a special place in the hearts of the entire Shabazz community. 

Fill out the  Where in the World  form and submit it so we can share information about you with fellow Shabazz grads and families. Your stories will be shared in our monthly Family Newsletter. 
Shabazz Winter Dance
Shabazz is holding a Winter Dance! There will be pizza, dancing, games, quiet spaces, a photo booth, and more! Tickets are available in the Main Office for $3.
Friday, December 15, 2017 - 7:00 - 9:00 pm
Two Art Presentations at Shabazz in January
There will be two art shows in January which may be of interest to Shabazz families. The Gallery Art Show is an exhibit that culminates the work that our Shabazz students have done this second quarter. This quarter's mixed media show will feature the work of comic class, animation class, painting class, and art activism.

Gallery Show - Tuesday Jan. 16, 2017 - 3:30 pm - 4:00 pm in the Gallery, just outside the art room

The Shabazz Animation Film Festival will feature the work of students in animation class. Families are welcome to attend.

Shabazz Animation Film Festival - Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2017 - 1:25 - 2:15 pm in the Shabazz Library

Friday, December 8
NO SCHOOL - Staff Development Day

Wednesday, December 13
6:30 pm in LMC

Shabazz Winter Dance
Friday, December 15
7:00 - 9:00 pm

Friday, December 22 - Tuesday, January 2
School Closed
Winter Break


Wednesday, January 3

Wednesday, January 10
Parent Dress Rehearsal Play Performance
6:00 pm

Parent Meeting
6:30 pm in LMC

Monday, January 15
Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Tuesday, January 16
Gallery Show
3:30 - 4:00 pm

Wednesday, January 17
Shabazz Animation Film Festival
5th Hour - 1:25 - 2:15 pm

Thursday, January 18 - Friday January 19
Staff Evaluation Days

Monday, January 22
New Student Orientation Day

Tuesday, January 23
First Day of Quarter 3
All School Gathering
8:45 am

Shabazz City High School
1601 Sherman Avenue
Madison WI 53704