Alliance Piera BarbagliaShaheen Health Services Academy

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School Overview

Alliance Piera Barbaglia Shaheen Health Services Academy (PBS-HSA) High School is a free public charter school developed and operated by Alliance College-Ready Public Schools and authorized by the Los Angeles Unified School District. Opened in August 2009, PBS-HSA employs the theme of health care to provide students with rigorous college-preparatory instruction and application-based curriculum. The school’s mission is to equip students in South Los Angeles with the tools necessary to excel in high school, to prepare them to enter and succeed in college, and to motivate them to select health care related majors and careers – areas where minority students like those in the school community are grossly underrepresented.


Characteristics: As part of the small high-performance model shared by all Alliance schools, PBS-HSA is committed to the following core values: high expectations for all students, small and personalized school and classrooms, increased instructional time, highly qualified principals and teachers, and parents as partners.

In order to successfully transition students into health care related college majors and careers, a key component of the PBS-HSA model includes a dynamic Work-Based Learning Program that provides opportunities for students to advance knowledge and skills through practical experience, research and service. The program follows a progressive path from 9th through 12th grade and includes: laboratory and medical science classes; medical training and certification in first aid, CPR and HIPAA; job skills training; service learning projects; health related field trips; guest speakers from health service professions; mentorships provided by local college, university and medical students; job-shadowing; and on-site internships with universities and non-profit/for-profit health service organizations.

Partners: All aspects of PBS-HSA are being developed in collaboration with key partners throughout the medical and health care communities. Key partners helping to provide curriculum development, access to labs and equipment, mentors, speakers, internships, site visits, and other resources have included: Asian Pacific American Legal Center, California Community Clinic Association, California Health Professions Consortium, California Health Workforce Alliance, California School Based Health Centers Association, the California Wellness Foundation, Charles Drew University, Connect Ed, CSU Los Angeles, CSUN Music Therapy and Wellness Clinic, Department of Health and Human Services, David Geffen School of Medicine, Curtis R. Tucker Health Center, Health and Science Pipeline Initiative, San Diego, Kaiser Permanente, L.A. Chamber of Commerce, L.A. Southwest College, Office of Supervisor Mark-Ridley Thomas, Peer Health Exchange, St. John's Well Child & Family Center, UC Long Beach, UC San Diego Moores Cancer Research Center, UC Santa Barbara, UCLA ALD|PES Honors Society, UCLA Clinical and Translational Science Institute, UCLA School of Public Health, UCLA Simulation Center, UCLA Students of Color for Public Health, UCLA/CDU Latino Medical Student Association, UCSB Hermada Unidas, UniHealth Foundation, US Department of Health and Human Services, USC + LAC Hospital, USC Center for Black Cultural & Student Affairs, West Coast Sports Medicine Foundation, Westside Family Center, to name just a few.  Click here for a full list of partners and partnership opportunities.

Community: Based in South Los Angeles,PBS-HSA is located in Los Angeles County’s Service Planning Area (SPA) 6. Evidence shows that SPA 6 ranks as one of the most disadvantaged and under-resourced communities in the nation, particularly in medical services. In our mission to create students that will have an impact on the medical field, maintaining community partnerships and collaboration is key.

Enrollment: 2017-2018 is PBS-HSA's ninth year.  The class of 2017 was the school's fifth graduating class.  The school includes full 9th - 12th grade classes, which together consist of over 450 students drawn from local community middle schools in South Los Angeles.  PBS-HSA is a neighborhood school and is open to all students. The school does not have a selective admissions policy.

Student Demographics:  As of the 2017-2018 school year, the PBS-HSA student body comprised of 84% Latino and 13% African-American students, and over 86% of our families qualify for free or reduced lunch. Approximately 10% of PBS-HSA students received special education services.

Location: For the first three years, PBS-HSA was co-located with Henry Clay Middle School at 12226 South Western Avenue in South Los Angeles through a Prop 39 Agreement with LAUSD.   In its fourth year, PBS-HSA remained on this campus, in a co-location with Animo Middle School #3 and Animo Middle School #4.  The school moved to 10616 S. Western, on the site of the former LAUSD Local District 7 office in 2015. Prior to the LAUSD office, the building was utilized as a medical facility. In January 2018, the PBS-HSA Wolves moved into their permanent location at 8515 Kansas Ave.  The site is a new facility that was constructed on the site of a former car wash.

Leadership: The PBS-HSA leadership team brings a wealth of successful experiences serving students in the local Los Angeles area.  Principal

Performance: As a result of the instructional model and the dedication of its staff and partners, HSA is already making significant strides:

  • PBS-HSA's first class of students came to the school with an incoming aggregate student API score (from grade 8) of 511, the lowest of any Alliance high school.  After just one year of hard work at HSA, their score went up to 667.
  • With a second year score of 683, PBS-HSA met and exceeded its 2010-11 growth target on a schoolwide level and within all designated student groups. 
  • For the last year of API reporting, the score was 717

Early Impact on Students: By introducing students to the health services field, HSA is already helping to shape their futures. Alumna Jamie had always dreamed of being an OB/GYN, but didn't think it would be possible. In her second year at HSA, Jamie had this to say. "Health Services Academy impacts me to further think outside my boundaries and go into the career of my dreams,". Aldair, also a recent graduate, had told his Medical Science Teacher throughout his 9th grade year that he just wanted to work with computers and had no interest in medicine. By the end of the year, he had decided to pursue a career in bioengineering. After a visit to the UCLA Simulation Center during our first school year, one HSA freshman said of the experience, "I seriously know what I want to do with my life now that I've had that special opportunity to experience first hand what doctors do. That totally set off a lightbulb in my head."

Long-term Impact: Research has shown health care workers from underrepresented minority groups are more likely to care for minority patients and serve in underserved communities. Based in a community in need of additional resources in the medical services, graduates ofPBS-HSA will eventually fill the need for community-based health care professionals.PBS-HSA’s curriculum and programs will work to promote diversity in the health professions and help reduce the current health care disparities.

School Vision


We exist in our community so that students who have been historically disadvantaged or traditionally denied access to a high quality educational experience achieve academic and personal success through their exploration of the health services and health careers. Through a focus on experiential learning, community building, and wellness, we bridge the systemic gaps seen in academic achievement, community health and economic stability. We prepare emotionally intelligent members of society committed to being the voice of change in college and beyond.



We achieve our personal best by embodying a growth mindset in our pursuit of excellence. We develop a strong moral compass and deliberately advocate for equity and a safe, supportive, learning community.