Make Malcolm X Shabazz High School Your #1 Choice


[NEWARK NJ, January 11, 2022] This is the first high school in a series featuring Newark’s six comprehensive high schools, as we enter into the final weeks of the Newark Enrolls process.

We are extremely excited about the high school redesign strategy. Over the past two years, higher education institutions, professional organizations, and magnet high schools have partnered with our comprehensive high schools in [re]designing premier academies to provide more high school options for all of our students in Newark.

“Today, we are excited to begin this series by featuring Malcolm X Shabazz High School, formerly known as South Side High School,” announced Superintendent Leon. “Malcolm X Shabazz High School has a rich history and is currently the home of an incredible student body poised to join such greatness,” he added.

At Malcolm X Shabazz High School, we believe education does not start or end in the classroom. True learning occurs at all times, when you succeed, when you fail, when you make mistakes, and when you accomplish your goals. We believe that as a school we are teaching all the time. Every hallway interaction, home visit, and family meeting communicates who we are, what we value, and why we are here. In the ever inspiring words of Malcolm X Shabazz himself, “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.”

"Amid a history that has tested a population's capacity and endurance for decades, resilience is our inherent signature,” stated Ambassador Shabazz; eldest daughter of Malcolm X Shabazz. She noted, “With a foundation of committed leaders, teachers, students, parents, alumni, and comrades, I am proud to formally add Malcolm X Shabazz High School to my portfolio as Provost, in honor of both, my Mother and Father's mandate to prepare, inspire and ensure healthy young men and women of the future, to fulfill their academic and social aspirations."

Principal Atiba Buckman took the helm of Malcolm X Shabazz High School in September 2021, after 25 years in education, most recently as the Principal of Newark’s Speedway Avenue School. Ms. Buckman often quotes the African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child,” and for that reason she has gathered a team of committed faculty and staff. In the spirit of high expectations and in the quest of excellence, every staff member participates in a multitude of trainings in student engagement, differentiated instruction, and social-emotional learning. Just as importantly, every staff member shares Ms. Buckman’s love and respect for each and every one of the students at Malcolm X Shabazz High School.

Dawn Haynes, President of the Newark Board of Education, is a proud graduate and strong supporter of Malcolm X Shabazz High School. “I have very fond memories of my high school years,” Ms. Haynes said, “and, we are committing more resources and supports to the school so it can continue to be a viable option for students in the South Ward and throughout the district.”

“There is no doubt that Malcolm X Shabazz is on the move and trending upwards,” said Ifeoluwa Adeyemi, senior at Shabazz. “I currently have a GPA of 4.429, and even though it has been difficult throughout this pandemic, I am happy to say that I have already been accepted to three universities on full scholarships, and awaiting response from the others. It is my hope to study and major in Business and Accounting,” she added.

Here is a focus on Malcolm X Shabazz High School:

Academics and College & Career Readiness

  • The school currently offers 4 Advanced Placement courses and 14 Honors classes.
  • The school partners with Rutgers-Newark and NJIT to offer dual enrollment courses where students attend college classes for college credit while still in high school.
  • All students are eligible to compete in MXS Games, which is the school’s new academic challenge program.
  • This is the only high school that competes in the national geology competition.
  • Approximately $1 Million in upgrades and renovations to the facility in the initial redesign phase.

Premier Academies

  • The Malcolm X Shabazz High School Engineering Academy, offered in partnership with NJIT, Stryker, and Technology High School, provides an outstanding opportunity for students to attain the skills to become society’s problem solvers. Biomedical engineering is an exciting and challenging field in which medical knowledge and scientific information are transformed into practical applications and medicines that help people to live longer and stay healthier. Courses include Introduction to Engineering Design, Principles of Engineering, and Engineering Design and Development.
  • The Madam C.J. Walker Natural Health and Beauty Science Academy, a state-approved cosmetology program, is named for one of the first American female self-made millionaires, who invented a line of African American hair products after suffering from a scalp ailment that resulted in her own hair loss. Students can become licensed after completing 1,000 hours of engaging hands-on training under the supervision of a licensed cosmetologist, salon owner, and certified cosmetology teacher. Cosmetology courses cover topics such as Hair Care, Barbering, Skin Care, Nail Care, Infection Control, and Business Skills.

Co-Curricular Programs

  • The nationally renowned Malcolm X Shabazz High School Marching Band has performed for several United States Presidents over the years and has performed throughout the nation.
  • Student government campaigns and service provide students with opportunities to gain professional skills such as effective communications, research, and presenting ideas.
  • In partnership with Seton Hall’s SOFT (Securing Our Future Today) program, Malcolm X Shabazz High School provides daily meal packs for families in the South Ward.
  • Book Club, Chess Club, Student Newspaper/ Writers Team, Dance Ensemble, Soccer Club, International Club, Robotics Club, Orator and Talent Club.
  • Girls Football; Boys Football; Girls Basketball; Boys Basketball; Cheerleaders; Volleyball; Baseball; Softball; Tennis; Cross Country; Track and Field; Soccer


  • College acceptances include Ivy League colleges, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, state and private higher education institutions, and technical institutes. The list includes Harvard, Shaw, Rutgers, and NJIT on full scholarships, to name a few.
  • Students are recognized monthly for academic, citizenship, and other awards.
  • Every marking period, students who demonstrate academic excellence are honored at the Principal’s Breakfast.

Social, Emotional, and Mental Health

  • All classrooms have a designated “Calming Corner” to accommodate students that need a tranquil space for themselves.
  • Teaching staff members have “intention time” for meetings with the school’s and district’s mental health counselors to improve student self-awareness.
  • Lessons focus on mindfulness to stimulate students’ mental, physical, and emotional processes.
  • Social workers and school counselors provide additional and more intensive support to students and families.


  • Malcolm X Shabazz High School has a rich history and an alumni association committed to assisting the district and the school.
  • Many South Side and Malcolm X Shabazz High School graduates have gone on to successful careers and major leadership roles. They include Board President Dawn Haynes, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Marion A. Bolden, Newark Mayor Sharpe James, NYC Mayor Edward I. Koch, and State Senator Ronald Rice.
  • Bernard Marcus, founder of Home Depot
  • Gloria Gaynor, singer, “I Will Survive”
  • Vanessa Watson, College Women’s Basketball Head Coach
  • A long list of incredible educators and athletes: Dr. Lawrence Lonnie Wright, Li’Za Donnell, Kathleen Witcher, David McCombs, Matee Ajevon, Anthony Avent, Rasheed Sheffield
  • And, a super long list of simply incredible people.