Schools in the Southern Tier are getting back in session this week.

Bob Joseph/WNBF News

Some districts like Binghamton, Union Endicott and Chenango Valley begin classes September 4 while other districts including Chenango Forks, Vestal and Maine Endwell don’t start the school year until September 5.

Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News (file)

Officials are reminding motorists to be on the lookout for children who may not be paying attention due to the excitement of the return to classes and to be aware of school zones and buses. Districts in our area last year reported almost daily incidents of cars illegally passing stopped school buses. One of the most famous is in the Norwich City School District, which is continuing to get play on national news broadcasts.  That video from inside the school bus shows the driver grabbing a student by the back of his shirt to stop him from exiting the bus into the path of a car illegally speeding past the school vehicle with its stop lights activated.

Students are also reminded to pay attention to traffic rules and bus safety.

The American Red Cross says it’s also wise to know the emergency plan at your child’s school in case there is ever a disaster or unforeseen event.  Families should develop their own emergency plan so everyone will know who to contact or where to go if something happens while a child is at school and parents at work.  Information can be found at www.redcross.org/prepare.