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OK, on the bus! Tips for getting kids ready for the new school year

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Thousands of kids in Minnesota are waking up today, eating breakfast and getting dressed, then excitedly (or begrudgingly) throwing their backpack over their shoulders and heading out to the bus stop.

And a lot more will be doing the same thing in the coming weeks.

Minneapolis first-through-12th graders have their first day of class Monday. (But in the other Twin City, St. Paul children have until Sept. 8 before they're back.) Some Marshall students are also among those rolling in Monday.

If Aug. 24 feels early, that's because it kind of is.

According to KARE 11, Minnesota law actually requires schools to get a waiver from the state if they want to start before Labor Day.

KSTP reported earlier this year Minneapolis, Bloomington (Sept. 1), Richfield (Sept. 2), Stillwater (Aug. 31), St. Cloud (Aug. 31) and Eden Valley-Watkins (Aug. 31) were among those given the go-ahead for 2015.

Kids are increasingly being asked to return to the classroom with extra supplies too.

The Star Tribune details some of the requests – an iTunes gift card, a check for activity fees, pencils, markers, cleaning supplies – and notes the total dollar amount for these requested items seems to be going upward.

But even with that, teachers still feel like they don't have nearly enough resources, the paper says.

Back-to-school tips

Today put together a list of 16 tips "to calm back-to-school jitters." They suggest being open about what to expect, and also making sure you stay positive for kids heading into the always-awkward middle-school years.

Also: Make your morning goodbye quick – but remember it's OK to cry.

MinnesotaParent suggests establishing routines and focusing on sleep – click here to see the full list.

Check out the Department of Education's list for more suggestions.

ABC 7, based in Los Angeles, put together some "hacks" to get your child's school year going quickly.

So for example, the station suggests creating a designated cozy homework spot for kids to go. Also, get everyone back on a solid sleep routine, and make sure kids get a good breakfast before heading out the door.

The Minnesota Safety Council put together tips for being safe while returning to school, everything from planning the safest walking route (look for a direct route with few street crossings) to safe behavior around a bus.

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