Students return to school (w/video)

William Wood Elementary School students, Karina Sanchez and Jared Sanchez, talk about their first day back at school after the winter break.
  • DATES TO REMEMBER

  • Here is a list of district holidays for the rest of the Victoria school district's 2013-14 school year.

    • Martin Luther King Jr. Day - Jan. 20

    • President's Day - Feb. 17

    • Spring break - March 10-14

    • Good Friday ...

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  • DATES TO REMEMBER

    Here is a list of district holidays for the rest of the Victoria school district's 2013-14 school year.

    • Martin Luther King Jr. Day - Jan. 20

    • President's Day - Feb. 17

    • Spring break - March 10-14

    • Good Friday - April 18

    • Memorial Day - May 26

    Source: Victoria school district

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."