MONTICELLO, Ill. (WCIA) — It’s that time of year and the anticipation of school starting is looming.

That anticipation to an end in Monticello on Wednesday as students went back to school for the first day of the academic year. New superintendent Adam Clapp said he has a lot planned for the school year, but it’s just one day at a time now.

“In general, just that first day of school thing is where we are right now,” Clapp said. “It’s just that excitement of being back.”

Clapp also said that he wants to get the year started off on the right foot. But in order to do that, kids have to get to school safely. The start of school doesn’t just affect students and parents, but also drivers.

“Obviously, we have our crosswalks. We have crossing guards employed in the mornings. In the afternoons, we remind kids just to be aware of their surroundings,” Clapp said. “As far as bus is concerned, we have a great fleet of busses. And we just want to continue to have our community be aware of bus stops when when a safety arm is out, stop signs out.”

Monticello Police Chief John Carter said it is important to follow the signs and make sure people know what they mean.

“If they read the signs and most people say, ‘Oh well, you have to slow down the lights are blinking,’ that’s not true,” Carter said. “It does say on the sign, and in the statute, that if there are children present on school days, you need to slow down to 20.”

Carter said it is important to slow down in a school zone because drivers never know what is going to happen.

“There’s a playground, a ball could come flying out,” Carter said. “It could be a child that runs out trying to catch a ball that went before you saw it.”

Monticello wasn’t the only school district to start on Wednesday; Mahomet-Seymour also had its first day of school on that day. School starts in Champaign on Thursday and in Springfield on Monday.