This time of year is ordinarily filled with back-to-school activities, new teachers, new friends and new books.

This year, though, the school year starts with uncertainty for the many kids who evacuated southeast Texas to avoid Harvey.

“We couldn’t really be in the water like that because it was contaminated, people we’re just screaming asking for help saying get out the water,” said 18-year-old Shannon Barre.

Crews rescued Barre and his family from Port Arthur. It’s just like the rescue that saved his family from Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Instead of preparing for class, this would-be senior is among the 2,000 staying at the Dallas convention center.

For parents of little kids, there’s a lot of help and activities to keep them sharp.

“They read books to them -- coloring books, baby books, work books,” said evacuee Lloynisha Daniels.

For teens, it's about getting them back into school.

“I guess I have to start fresh, and make new friends,” said evacuee Jay Cinta.

Port Arthur Independent Schools are closed until further notice. It could be another two to three weeks before they’re back open, so some of the kids will go to school in Dallas.

“I just want to be somebody in life, have a good job a good place to stay at,” said Barre.

“Get my education, because without education you can’t get [anywhere],” said Cinta.

For these seniors, the year ahead will be critical as they learn about life post-Harvey.

In Houston, 218,000 students are expected to begin classes on Sept. 11. Dallas ISD is collecting school supplies and uniforms for students enrolling in class here.