The Knoxville Police Department is kicking it into high gear for back to school.

Officers issued nearly 60 citations to drivers in school zones Monday on the first day of classes for Knox County Schools.

"Every year, we place officers in the school zones to try to remind people to slow down," said Knoxville Police Department Traffic Supervisor Lt. Brian Evans.

It's the same set up each year.

"The school zones don't change, the times don't change," said Evans. "People just get preoccupied."

But drivers still get ticketed quite a bit, KPD issued 58 school zone citations Monday.

"The first two weeks of the school year we do enhanced enforcement outside the school where we'll take our traffic officers, place them in school zones around the city, and we'll rotate those around," said Evans.

MORE: Schools, police focus on student and driver safety in school zones

Evans said more enforcement is needed because a lot of kids are distracted as they leave school.

"It's not to slow people down to make them late for work or things like that, it's for the safety of the kids," said Evans.

But before they leave, it's the teachers' job to make sure students stay safe and learn as much as they can.

"We want the students to feel special, and we want the parents to know that we're taking care of them," said Amherst Elementary School Principal Sharon Yarbrough.

Yarbrough and her staff prepared for another school year early Monday morning, before hundreds of students stepped through the door.

"They think that we have the summers off, and we don't," said Amherst third grade teacher Staci Campbell.

Campbell has been working hard throughout the summer.

"We're constantly trying to improve our instructional strategies by going to workshops, we're making new things, we're researching. We're looking for the better ways to do things - to teach reading, to teach math," said Campbell.

Making the first day of school safe and full of learning.