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Students return to school (w/video)

By Carolina Astrain
Jan. 6, 2014 at 7 p.m.
Updated Jan. 5, 2014 at 7:06 p.m.

From left, Jared Sanchez, 11, shows his brother, Noe Sanchez, 6; mom, Eunice Sanchez, 33; and pup, Xavi, a book on tsunamis at their dining room table in their home in Victoria.

Eunice Sanchez was up before dawn trying to persuade her daughter to dress warmly on her first day back at school.

"I tried to pull a sweater on over her," Sanchez, 33, said. "But sweaters aren't really her thing."

Sanchez's three children - Karina Sanchez, 9; Noe Sanchez, 6; and Jared Sanchez, 11 - had been anxiously awaiting the end of winter break, their mother said.

"She was so excited this morning," Sanchez said.

Although winter break is over, the first semester officially ends Jan. 17, said Diane Boyett, VISD communications director.

Over the next couple of weeks, students will be reviewing their course materials and preparing for final exams, Boyett said.

Among one of the concerns for the district, Boyett said, is poor attendance the first few days back because of the flu and other winter-related illness.

"Our rule is that if you are running fever of at least 100 degrees, don't come, and work with your teacher to get the assignments," Boyett said. "It's not worth risking your health or the health of other people."

Sanchez, who was sick with the flu over the holidays, said she's glad her children had been able to remain healthy throughout the break.

Monday afternoon, Karina snacked on cheese puffs while reading a book about leopards at her family's kitchen table.

On her first day back, Karina said, her fourth-grade class visited the library, went over math concepts and prepared for an upcoming social studies exam.

Above all, Karina said, she wants to get better at math.

Next to her, her brother, Noe, a kindergartner, served himself some cereal.

The oldest, Jared, talked to his mother about the work they had accomplished on their first day back in fifth grade.

"My first day back was awesome," Jared said. "I learned lots of stuff today, and I got to re-do a test."



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