SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– With the school year starting back up, drivers can expect more foot traffic as students make their way to and from school.

But this year, organizations are struggling to find enough crossing guards to keep them safe.

“The staffing issues are number one,” said crossing guard John Allen.

Allen is also a supervisor with Cross Safe, a Springfield company that has been helping throughout the county to keep students safe while crossing.

Allen said since the Springfield School District buses began serving a smaller area, more students are traveling by foot to school than in previous years.

“At Carver Middle School this morning, I had 43 (students), which is, that’s really high for a morning. Afternoon, I get 130 to 100, 150 right now,” Allen said. “There’s a lot of kids walking a mile, mile and a half, two miles, back and forth to school every day.”

Allen also said the police department has been stepping in if they’re unable to cover all areas.

“If we’re not covering a shift the police officers have to cover, which takes police officers off the street.”

The Battlefield intersection just in front of Carver Middle School is one of the busiest when schools let out, and cars driving by can quickly turn into a very dangerous situation.

Reneee Goodwin, a parent who’s student attends Carver, said she wouldn’t feel safe without the crossing guards there.

“We need the crossing guards here because it’s a matter of safety for the kids and the parents, too,” Goodwin said.

Allen said he is hoping to fill the open positions soon, but asks that kids keep their eyes on the road and off their phones while crossing the street, and to remember to always look both ways.