Breaking News
More () »

Getting kids ready for back to school

The day after Labor Day is the start of a new school year for many Minnesota kids.

MINNEAPOLIS — Hopefully your kids have their backpacks packed, their new shoes laced up and their alarm clocks set for Tuesday morning and the start of a brand-new school year. 

On Tuesday, Sept. 6, many kids across the state, including the thousands of students in Minneapolis, St. Paul and Anoka-Hennepin school districts. 

This year promises to be more "normal" than the past few. The three largest school districts won't have required masking, social distancing or remote learning for all students. 

But some of what the districts have adopted during COVID will stay around, including cleaning processes and the ability to reach and engage kids who are out of the classroom for extended periods, according to superintendents at both Wayzata and Anoka-Hennepin schools. 

"We know differently now than we did two and a half years ago, the importance of attending to taking care of each other and taking care of ourselves so that we can engage fully in our caretaking profession around education," said Dr. Kate Maguire, interim superintendent at Anoka-Hennepin school district.

RELATED: BCA releases back-to-school online safety guidelines

While the school year may feel more "normal" for students this fall, there is another difference you may notice at you children's school: staffing shortages. 

Education, like many other industries, is dealing with educators and other staff members leaving the profession in record numbers. 

In Minneapolis, at one point this summer the district had 280 openings for licensed staff members. As of Monday morning, it isn't known how many of those positions are still unfilled. 

District leaders acknowledge that they're fighting an uphill battle in a tough labor market. 

"The hardest part would be the staffing," said Nafeesah Muhammad, a teacher at Henry High School in Minneapolis . "Because what do educators do? We roll up our sleeves, and get to work, and fill in the gaps where we have to. But that doesn't mean we don't have a breaking point." 

Minneapolis Public schools said they are working to move people through the hiring process as quickly as possible. 

If your kids are heading back to Minneapolis Public Schools, St. Paul Public Schools or Anoka-Hennepin Schools, you can find all the last minute need-to-know info including school supply lists, busing schedules and more on the district's websites. 

RELATED: Cool gadgets for kids returning to school

Watch more KARE11 Sunrise:

Watch the latest coverage from the KARE11 Sunrise in our YouTube playlist:

Before You Leave, Check This Out