HOUSTON - Thousands of students went to school Monday for the first time this school year. HISD managed to open 268 of their 284 campuses two weeks after Harvey hit Houston.

“It ruined everything. Everything is ruined," said ten-year-old Madison Ratcliff. “The lights went out. That’s when we know. Cause our neighbor called us to get up cause the water started rising," Ratcliff said.

Ratcliff knows it’s a night she’ll never forget - the night her family of six slept in a car.

“It was just not comfortable not sleeping with no pillow or blanket, but we were okay in the car because the car, the water was to my knees," Ratcliff said.

Maddox Silva had to swim through a parking lot after his family was finally rescued.

“It was actually them. It was the FBI. They picked us up in the trucks, but my dad had to put me on his back, cause I couldn’t go through the water," Silva said.

And six-year-old Jeremiah Richard had to be hoisted to safety from the roof of his home into a helicopter.

“I was nervous to get in the basket," Richard said.

The kids are heading back to class to finally feel a sense of normalcy after weeks of tragedy.

“I'm happy. I'm enjoying my new friends," Ratcliff said.

But knowing back at home, their lives are still turned upside down. The children in this story are still being sheltered away from their homes, either with family or at a hotel. But each of them found a way to show up on their first day of school.