DuSable High School

DuSable High School
DuSable HS Campus.jpg
4934 S. Wabash Avenue


United States
Coordinates41°48′17″N 87°37′30″W / 41°48′17″N 87°37′30″W / 41.80472; -87.62500

Jean Baptiste Point DuSable High School is a public 4–year high school campus located in the Bronzeville neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois, United States. DuSable is owned by the Chicago Public Schools district. The school was named after Chicago's first permanent non-native settler, Jean Baptiste Point Du Sable. Constructed between 1931–34, DuSable opened in February 1935. Since 2005, The school campus serves as home to two smaller schools; the Bronzeville Scholastic Institute and the Daniel Hale Williams Preparatory School of Medicine. Both of the schools use the DuSable name in an athletics context.[6] The DuSable Leadership Academy was housed at the location until it closed after the 2015–16 school year.[7] The school building was designated a Chicago Landmark on May 1, 2013.[8]


Work on the school began in February 1931, and was specifically constructed to accommodate the increasing population of Phillips High School.[9] Construction was delayed for financial reasons, and was completed with a public works grant.[9] The school opened on February 4, 1935, and was called New Wendell Phillips High School.[9] New Phillips was a part of a five high school expansion that included Lane Tech High School, Steinmetz High School, Senn High School, and Wells High School.[10] The building was designed by Paul Gerhardt, Sr., an architect for the Chicago Board of Education.[11]

On April 25, 1936, the school's name was changed to honor Jean Baptiste Point DuSable, the first non-native to settle the area; however there was a delay in implementing the name, as the exact spelling was in dispute.[12] During the 1940s on thru the 1960s, DuSable enrollment was more than 4,000 which prompted two graduation ceremonies (spring and summer). During this period, DuSable became notable for its music program: Captain Walter Dyett was the longtime music instructor at the school. By the late 1950s, DuSable was surrounded by the Robert Taylor Homes, a Chicago Housing Authority public housing project and approximately 80% of the student population were residents.[13] The Robert Taylor Homes project was demolished in stages between 1998 and 2007.

Renaissance 2010

With the demolition of the Robert Taylor Homes, student enrolment at DuSable had substantially declined. Because of this, in 2003, Chicago Public Schools decided to phase out DuSable: the history of poor academic performance was also a factor. In 2005, three schools were opened in the building as a part of the Renaissance 2010 program. The three new schools: Bronzeville Scholastic Institute, Daniel Hale Williams School of Medicine and DuSable Leadership Academy were created by DuSable staff members.[14] The DuSable Leadership Academy which was a part of the Betty Shabazz International Charter School was phased out due to poor academic performance and closed after the 2015–16 school year.

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