Portland’s school board has scheduled a workshop for Oct. 17 to address concerns from parents and staff members about the location and features of the Bayside Learning Community, a downtown school serving K-12 students with behavioral and emotional issues.

Bayside is at 28 Portland St., in the same building as the district administration, across the street from the Preble Street Resource Center. This summer, Portland police statistics showed that calls for service to the Bayside area have increased 70 percent within the last 10 years.

Speaking at the board meeting Tuesday night, Superintendent Xavier Botana said the workshop will include a discussion of concerns, and what the district has done to address the concerns.

“This is not something that has been ignored. We have some things we’ve done and it’s important for everyone to understand those,” he said. The workshop is “an opportunity to talk about what has been done, what are continuing to be the challenges and get suggestions on how to improve our programming.”

Some staff and parents also have questioned the lack of a playground, cafeteria and gym at Bayside, as well as the school’s air quality and lack of windows and natural light.

Program Director Jennifer Searway addressed those concerns Tuesday by saying that the school uses nearby public spaces and facilities such as the YMCA, the Boys and Girls Club, and Deering Oaks park.

Noel K. Gallagher can be contacted at 791-6387 or at:

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