Thousands of students are headed back to school Thursday morning

Drivers should plan extra time on the roads

CPS Back to school first day of classes

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Thursday marked Columbia Public School District's first day back to school for first through 12th grade students.

Drivers can expect to see a lot more traffic on the roads.

Columbia Police Department spokesperson Jeff Pitts said officers will be patrolling the districts' school zones.

"The traffic unit will be present in school zones for traffic violations," Pitts said.

CPD wants to remind drivers to drive the speed limit, watch for kids crossing the streets and to keep your eyes on the road.

"A vehicle should always yield to school buses with flashing yellow or red lights," Pitts said.

CPS spokeswoman Michelle Baumstark said drivers should be cautious of new drivers on the road at 4:05 p.m. when high school students get out of school.

Superintendent Peter Stiepleman said everyone should expect delays on the first day back.

"Two-hundred and twelve buses, over 300 square miles in our school district, so please remember to please slow down and also be patient because also the buses don't always come on time on the first day because we're just trying to figure out the system and stuff like that," Stiepleman said.

Kindergartners will start school on Monday.

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