Nonpublic Schools

Educational Services

"I loved the fact that they were always there when I needed them most.”

- Parent at one of Seneca’s Unconditional Education partnership schools in Oakland

Topics
Maya Angelou Academy

Seneca’s Maya Angelou Academy is a non-public school provides special education services to students grades K-5 with a variety of emotional, behavioral and/or social needs. We provide individualized attention and direct instruction in core areas in order to help our students make adequate yearly progress on their Individualized Education Plan (IEP) goals while adhering to a general education standards-based curriculum. The goal of our specialized services is to address the behavioral, emotional and developmental challenges of each student in order to prepare them for a less restrictive educational setting. At the same time we provide a rich learning environment to foster pre-academic thinking and growth. To learn more on our school website, click here.  

Catalyst Academy

Seneca's Catalyst Academy is a Nonpublic School located in El Sobrante, California serving students in second through twelfth grade. Catalyst’s primary partnership is with West Contra Costa Unified School District but the school also serve students from neighboring districts. Catalyst Academy strives to deliver top quality, highly integrated therapeutic and special education services to students struggling with significant mental health and behavioral issues.  We aim to inspire our students with the joy of learning and to help them build the mindsets, skills and relationships necessary to succeed beyond our setting. Catalyst’s mission is to promote the social, emotional, behavioral and intellectual development of each student. We believe everyone has the ability to learn and deserves a safe, engaging environment to do so. With high standards for academic scholarship, as well as an emphasis on integrity, respect, and safety, Catalyst Academy students are empowered to make positive changes in their lives and contribute to their communities in meaningful ways. To learn more about Catalyst, contact us or click here

James Baldwin Academy

Seneca’s James Baldwin Academy serves up to 80 students in grades 3-12, providing special education services to students with a variety of mental health needs. In our seven small classrooms, we provide individualized attention and direct instruction in core areas in order to help our students make adequate yearly progress on their Individualized Education Plan (IEP) goals while adhering to a general education standards-based curriculum.  As a Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) accredited school, we pair a rigorous course of study with a therapeutic milieu and a behavioral program. To learn more on our school website, click here.

Uprising Academy

Seneca’s Uprising Academy has a mission to “teach the possibilities” by improving the educational experiences of our students by providing instruction that tailors to their individual needs. Uprising Academy serves students grades 6-12 in Brentwood, California. Every student meets with his/her therapist once a week. By building an alliance with student and continuously seeking their feedback and opinions, our therapists can tailor sessions to students' individual needs and preferences while accessing well-researched therapeutic modalities that align with Seneca's Unconditional Care model. With a 6 year WASC accreditation, Uprising Academy works towards its mission by actively implementing systems to mainstream students, giving them a voice through student government, and providing vocational opportunities to help students develop diverse skills that they may not receive elsewhere. To learn more about Uprising Academy, contact us or click here.

Pathfinder Academy

Seneca’s Pathfinder Academy is a Nonpublic School located in Union City, California serving students in seventh through twelfth grade.  Pathfinder partners with several school districts around the Bay Area from the East Bay, South Bay and the Peninsula. We believe students thrive when provided an education that humanizes youth and families, as well as provides space for students to heal and empower themselves. Pathfinder delivers a high-quality education with a culturally responsive lens and with highly integrated therapeutic and special education services to students who have significant mental health and behavioral health needs. We aim to inspire our students with the joy of learning and to help them build the mindsets, skills and relationships necessary to succeed beyond our setting and in mainstream educational environments. Overall, Pathfinder Academy promotes the social, emotional, behavioral and intellectual development of each student. We believe anyone has the ability to learn and deserves a safe, engaging environment to do so. With high standards for academic scholarship, as well as an emphasis on community, compassion and students investing in themselves, Pathfinder students are empowered to make positive changes in their lives and contribute to their communities in meaningful ways. To learn more about Pathfinder on our school website, click here

How can I enroll my child?

Seneca's nonpublic schools are tuition-free special education settings operating in concert with students' local schools and districts. Only district or school staff may refer students to a Seneca nonpublic school and all referrals occur through the IEP process. The goal of special education is to maintain a student in the least restrictive educational environment necessary. While Seneca's nonpublic schools provide wonderful services to students, not all students require this level of care. If you are interested in learning more about nonpublic school placements, please contact the Seneca school nearest you or your child's current special education case manager.


ROBIN DETTERMAN

Robin Detterman serves as Seneca’s Chief Program Officer of Educational Services where she provides leadership for the agency’s continuum of district and charter partnerships and five non-public schools, serving over 100 districts and schools in California and Washington State each year. Ms. Detterman started working at Seneca in 2005, and her experience asa special education teacher and administrator informs her current role. In this role, she supports Seneca’s education teams in the development and implementation of high quality, individualized services for students who need additional support at school while working to transform whole schools and school systems into places where all students are welcomed and can thrive. Ms. Detterman holds a MA degree in Special Education and is a graduate of Stanford University, where she earned a Masters degree in Education Policy and Organizational Leadership. She is the co-author of Unconditional Education: Supporting Schools to Serve All Students (Oxford University Press, 2019).


NATHANIEL FOSTER

Nathaniel Foster is the Chief Advancement Officer of Seneca Family of Agencies. His focus is on development, fundraising, venture philanthropy, marketing and branding for the whole organization. Nathaniel came to Seneca with a clarity and depth of fundraising knowledge that has accelerated our overall efforts. Nathaniel graduated from the University of Denver with a BS in business and also has his Master’s in Nonprofit Leadership from Seattle University. He has over a decade of experience in the non-profit development & management world, working with local, national, and international organizations. Previously Nathaniel was the Executive Director of Playworks, anonprofit that serves over 700,000 children every school day, concentrating on conflict resolution, leadership skills, emotional intelligence and increased physical activity for elementary schools throughout the country. Before that, he was the Chief Development & Marketing Officer at Lincoln, formerly Lincoln Child Center. He has spent his entire nonprofit career in development, fundraising, board development, venture philanthropy, and communications and is very excited to be working with an organization as wonderful as Seneca Family of Agencies. In addition, he was co-chair for the Oakland Quality Community Schools Committee, currently sits on two for-profit boards, and is a member of the San Francisco Chapter of the Private Asset Liaison Group


MICHAEL ALONSO

Michael Alonso is the Chief Information Officer for Seneca Family of Agencies. Since joining Seneca in 2003, he has provided leadership for all technology related operations throughout the organization. He is responsible for IT strategy and vision as well as oversight for the teams that create and maintain a robust information technology environment in addition to the teams that develop, deliver and support innovative applications specifically created for Seneca’s unique blend of services.Michael is passionate about designing and producing creatively unique solutions to increase efficiency and improve service delivery and is personally involved to a significant degree in Seneca’s application development process. In addition to internally-focused activities, Michael engages with organizations at the county, state and federal levels to represent the technology-related interests and perspective of both Seneca and the broader community of behavioral health providers. These organizations includecounties, other behavioral health providers, state advocacy groups and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONCHIT). Before coming to Seneca, Michael worked in the custom software industry, developing applications tailored for a wide variety of companies representing numerous industries such as healthcare, retail, technology, non-profit and more. During this time, he took an interest not just in the software development process, but also in the broader perspective of organization-wide information technology environments. Michael holds a B.S. in Computer Science from CSU Hayward (now CSU East Bay)

JANET BRIGGS

Janet Briggs, Chief Financial Officer of Seneca Family of Agencies, began her endeavor in finance by achieving her bachelors’ degree in Business Economics with an Accounting Emphasis from the University of California Santa Barbara. Janet began her career in Public Accounting working in various industries gaining extensive experience in accounting and business management and then specializing in providing audit and accounting services for various not for profit social service agencies as a CPA. Her in-depth understanding of accounting issues and regulations unique to not for profit agencies has distinguished Janet as a knowledgeable source and leader for this company. Since coming to Seneca in 2002, Janet has supervised and trained an ever-growing accounting staff on various accounting policies and procedures pertaining to Seneca programs. Not only does she review and monitor numerous county and state contracts, Janet also oversees all fiscal activity for over 150 programs in 20 different counties. Attending monthly fiscal program meetings, Janet is dedicated to effectively communicating with directors and managing the financial integrity of Seneca. In an effort to constantly improve practice and management skills, Janet regularly attends conferences and trainings specific to her role at Seneca. In addition to her successes here at Seneca Family of Agencies, Janet also is a mother to two wonderful boys.


KEN BERRICK

Ken Berrick is the founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Emeritus of Seneca Family of Agencies, a nonprofit agency dedicated to providing Unconditional Care to children and families through comprehensive mental health, education, juvenile justice, placement and permanency services. Since its founding in 1985, Seneca has developed innovative programs ranging from Wraparound and Intensive Treatment Foster Care, to integrated mental health services in schools, and a crisis continuum of care for youth and their families. Mr. Berrick is Governor-appointed Commissioner on the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission. He is also a Governor’s Appointee on the California Child Welfare Council, where he co-chairs the Behavioral Health Committee, tasked with developing best practice recommendations to guide policy and inform statewide efforts to effectively address the behavioral health needs of children involved in or at risk of involvement in the child welfare system. Mr. Berrick is a two-time former President of the California Alliance of Child and Family Services and serves on numerous policy planning groups in California at both the county and state-level. He is an elected member and Past-President of the Alameda County Board of Education, and Past-President of the California County Boards of Education. In 2014, he was recognized by California Mental Health Advocates for Children and Youth as Advocate of the Year. In 2017, he was a recipient of the James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award, and in 2021, a recipient of the Jefferson Bronze Award. He is co-author of the books, Unconditional Care: Relationship-Based, Behavioral Intervention with Vulnerable Children and Families (Oxford University Press, 2010), and Unconditional Education (Oxford University Press, 2019).

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LETICIA GALYEAN

Leticia Galyean is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Seneca Family of Agencies, a nonprofit agency dedicated to providing Unconditional Care to youth and their families throughout California and Washington State. She received both her Bachelor’s degree and Masters of Social Work from the University of California, Berkeley.

Leticia began her career with Seneca in 2001 as a Wraparound counselor inspired by the passionate belief that the effects of childhood trauma should be patiently and persistently supported in the context of family and community. Throughout her tenure at Seneca, Leticia has served as Program Director; Regional Executive Director; Executive Director of Data, Evaluation, and Strategic Initiatives; and Chief Operating Officer.

She has developed, led, and evaluated numerous programs across the Bay Area and Central Coast, assisting youth and their families to meet their behavioral health, academic, and permanency goals. Leticia is a frequent presenter at national conferences on Seneca’s Unconditional Care treatment model and behavioral health interventions. As CEO, Leticia oversees all aspects of Seneca including 150+ programs, with 1,400+ employees, serving 18,000+ youth and their families, annually.

She has served as a member of several policy development groups in California at both the county and state-level. Leticia also serves as an active member of the California Alliance for Child & Family Services, California Council of Community Behavioral Health Agencies, the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, and is a Board member of SOAR for Youth. From the time she was a counselor through her entire tenure at Seneca, Leticia has led with the vision to strengthen the larger systems of care for our most vulnerable youth and their families.