ROGERS -- The School Board this week tweaked its zones by which board members are elected, adjustments required because of 2020 census figures.
The board unanimously adopted one of two proposed zone maps created for the School District by the Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Commission. The planning commission did the work at no charge to the district, Superintendent Marlin Berry said.
The district is divided into five zones, each represented by one board member. The other two board members are at-large positions.
Under the new map, current board members remain in the zone to which they were elected. They will not have to run for election again until their term expires.
Adjustments had to be made because the population of one zone -- Zone 5 -- had grown in population far more over the past 10 years than the others. Zones must be roughly equal in population.
Zone 5, represented by Paige Sultemeier, covers the southwest portion of the district. It had 15,727 people as of the 2010 census, but as of 2020 it had grown to 23,786 people, about 5,000 more than the other zones had.
The new map takes a portion of Zone 5 surrounding the Interstate 49 interchange at West Pleasant Grove Road and shifts it to Zone 4. Another chunk of Zone 5, south of Walnut Street, is shifting to Zone 2. Zone 4, meanwhile, is giving up some territory on its east side to Zone 3.
The new zones range in population from 18,788 in Zone 1 to 20,291 in Zone 4, according to the planning commission -- a difference of 1,503.
The School District's total population is 97,748, a 20% increase from the 81,256 residents recorded in 2010, according to the planning commission.
There is variation among the zones in terms of demographics. Zones 2, 3 and 4 each consist of roughly 50% non-minority white residents, while Zones 1 and 5 are both about 72% non-minority white residents, planning commission data shows.
The only School Board seat up for election next year is the Zone 1 seat, now held by Rob Phillips. That election will be held in the spring.
Zones are changing now so residents know the exact boundaries and in which zone they will be voting next year, Berry said.
Board members serve five-year terms.