The Pine Bluff School District is moving — on up, that is.

The Pine Bluff School District is moving — on up, that is.

Superintendent Jerry Payne said the district is mapping a journey “from good to great” with a five-year strategic plan that was unveiled in a Saturday community forum at First United Methodist Church in Pine Bluff.

“The board, superintendent and all staff would like to assure the entire Pine Bluff community that we will aspire to a rigorous quality of services for the children and community that we serve,” Payne said in kicking off the event. “During the upcoming school year, educators of all assignments and classifications will work together to perfect their skills through use of best practices when engaging students in the learning process.”

Kelvin Gragg, chairman of the district’s Strategic Planning Task Force, thanked the educators, parents and other community members for their work with the group.

Gragg said the panel pinpointed core values and beliefs that include:

• Students, faculty, staff and parents must commit to personal excellence.

• Community involvement is vital to success.

• Integrity is a building block for healthy relationships.

• Academic success occurs best in a safe and caring environment.

• Collaboration and communication are key components of an effective partnership.

• Respect each other.

• Provide professional growth to educators.

• Revamp public perception.

• Hold stakeholders responsible.

• Ensure/increase technology updates.

Gragg stressed that the focus on teachers’ professional advances will be inclusive of their personal development.

“Students don’t care about what a teacher knows as much as how they treat students,” Gragg said.

Gragg said that in addition to enhancing campus safety with security cameras, metal detectors and school resource officers, a stronger education-business partnership will improve students’ opportunities to learn. He called on business representatives to visit classes and then arrange for students to come to their businesses as a means of strengthening commerce by helping to better prepare a future workforce.

Saturday’s gathering also featured break-out sessions on such topics as curriculum and instruction, student achievement, parent and community involvement, transportation, declining enrollment, recruitment and retention of faculty and staff, facilities, technology, and fiscal stability.