SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The South Dakota Board of Educational Standards is set to hold its first of four public hearings concerning the new proposed over 120-page social studies standards.

The meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. Monday at the Dakota Event Center in Aberdeen. Anybody interested in public comment for this meeting had to register by Friday afternoon. There is also an opportunity for people to submit written comments online, which includes hundreds of comments to be considered at Monday’s meeting.

For the public hearings, people can provide comment in person, via Zoom or telephone conference call. Up to 90 minutes for proponents and 90 minutes for opponents will be allowed, and each speaker will have up to four minutes, according to the meeting agenda. Any remaining registered testifiers who were not able to speak will be placed on the registration for the next hearing, which will be held in Sioux Falls on November 21.

Shaun Nielsen, a middle school social studies teacher in Rapid City, served on the 2021 group and the 2022 group crafting the new standards. He says now is the time for public comment.

“I think it’s important that the public knows some of these things and maybe my speaking out or my experience, explain might encourage someone else to go to a public meeting or comment publicly or if nothing else, just look at current standards that are in place today and the proposed standards, and then think about, can your child do this? Is your child capable of doing this?” he said.

Kristi Desaulniers and Ryan Decker are both teachers within the Tea School District. Desaulniers teaches fourth grade, while Decker teaches high school social sciences.

“There are a number of meetings coming up, so if you can attend the meeting, you can submit comments. Talk to your educators. Talk to your classroom teacher. Talk to administrators. There are lots of people that are wanting to get accurate information out so that the best opportunities are presented for children,” Desaulniers said.

“Speak to those teachers. Have a conversation with them and get a real sense of where that is, because I think we would agree that your community members who are teaching, they all have your kid’s best interests in heart. You have your kid’s best interests at heart, and together I think we can come to an understanding of really what needs to be done moving forward,” Decker said.

KELOLAND News will be in Aberdeen Monday at the public hearing. You can stay updated with our coverage on air and online.