Weeks after Bill Barnes was chosen as Howard County schools’ new superintendent, the system announced that more changes in leadership are coming.

The Howard County Public School System will reorganize six divisions, each led by a chief or executive who will be hired “as soon as possible,” according to a Wednesday news release.

It’s all part of a realignment, Barnes said at a school board meeting last week, that will “focus on encouraging instructional excellence, removing barriers for students, and ensuring every student will graduate with their dreams intact.”

The leadership changes come in a time of transition for the school system, which just finished a tumultuous budget season and remains in negotiations on teacher pay.

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Barnes said several new positions were created and some have been eliminated.

No one is losing their job, said Brian Basset, a spokesperson for the school system. If their role was eliminated, the staff member can interview for one of the open positions, or they will be placed elsewhere.

“Change is a natural part of a new administration, but that doesn’t make the change less difficult,” Barnes said.

The new organizational structure will help to prioritize reading by grade three, middle school mathematics proficiency, college and career readiness, attendance and effective discipline practices, he said.

The school system is accepting applications for cabinet members including chief schools officer, chief academic officer, chief operations officer, chief equity and innovation officer, chief financial officer and human resource officer.

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Many of the current cabinet members have an “acting” title. After his Thursday presentation to the school board, Barnes said he would start working with office leaders and staff to help them transition.

There will be six new positions under the chief of schools officer: executive director of elementary schools, two directors of elementary schools, executive director of secondary schools, director of high schools and director of middle schools.

Barnes said he hopes the new structure will encourage more collaboration “that will bust barriers that have isolated departments in the past.”

During his report last week, which typically would have included school-based administrative promotions and transfers, he said he intentionally has not finalized those yet.

“I wanted to make sure I had a clear picture of which vacancies might exist as a result of this reorganization, and I want to avoid placing a new principal in a school only to have to make a change if a principal were to earn one of these open positions,” Barnes said.

In Wednesday’s email announcement that the positions are open for applications, Barnes encouraged candidates to apply as soon as possible because most of the positions will close on June 18.