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Pinellas parents expected to speak against start times Tuesday



If the parents at Cypress Woods Elementary are any indication, Pinellas County School Board members are in for an earful during their 10 a.m. Tuesday meeting.

Parents upset over the board's June 15 vote to approve a new bell schedule for schools are urging one another to appeal the decision after feeling left out of the process.

"We are on a mission as parents," said Deanna Nasr, mother of two students at Cypress Woods, where the start time is moving an hour earlier to 7:35 a.m.

Nasr said that aside from writing school board members, she's been in touch with 50 parents at her school alone. She said other parents at the school have been mobilizing as well.

Dawn Zabroski, a parent of a child at Sutherland Elementary, created a Facebook page called "Change Pinellas School Start Times Back!!!" to try to garner parental support for overhauling the bell times.

A working mother, Zabroski worries the new bus schedule will require her and her husband to spend money on before-school care, which was unnecessary when the school started at 8:35 a.m.

But under the new plan, the first bell will ring at 9:20 a.m. -- the same time it will happen at 27 other elementary schools. See the complete be

ll schedule here.

Pinellas County PTA President Maria Kinzer said her organization is not expected to take a stand on the issue since neither the state nor the national group have an official position on school start times.

Rebecca Catalanello, Times staff writer

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