Name Change Questions & Answers

Why did School District 197 change the name of its high school?

The School District 197 School Board voted in December 2020 to change the name of the high school from Henry Sibley. One of the main reasons for the name change was because the name did not meet the district’s current naming policy.

What is the new name for the high school?

At the June 21, 2021, School District 197 School Board meeting, the school board approved changing the name to Two Rivers High School.

How did the school board decide on a new name?

The school district tasked a representative and diverse group of students, parents, staff, alumni, and community members with developing and forwarding up to three name options to the school board for consideration and action. This HIgh School Name Committee was facilitated by an external facilitator. The process included broad community input including name ideas submitted by community members in March and community feedback on a set of five name options being offered by the High School Name Committee via in-person and virtual meetings as well as an online survey. The school board created a Guiding Change Document to set parameters for the process and the committee’s work.  

The committee, after receiving and reviewing feedback on the five name options in May and June, refined the options and then presented them to the school board for consideration on June 21. The feedback includes a survey that is open to all community members, two community-wide feedback sessions, student and parent sessions by random-sample invitation, and staff sessions.

What does the name Two Rivers mean?

According to their June 21 school board presentation, the High School Name Change Committee defined Two Rivers as follows:

The name Two Rivers is representative of the actual union of two rivers in the area. The archetype of the river is rebirth and renewal. The name reflects the submissions that referenced the confluence and had strong support from community feedback. Symbolic significance: suggests the theme of unity, and the merging of past and future ideas about our identity as a district community. It is because of the confluence of these two rivers and their navigability that this area was inhabited—first by the Dakota, and later by the traders, farmers and military that settled here. The Duality of our narratives and unification... The name Two Rivers High School reminds us that we must find a way to move with the current instead of fighting to stand still. There is no shame in renaming our school. There is pride in learning to gracefully move with the river of time as it flows ever onward.

Where is the confluence of the Minnesota River and the Mississippi River?

The Minnesota River and the Mississippi River meet at a point within our school district that is northwest of the high school. The confluence is just over two miles from the high school.


What is the anticipated cost associated with the name change?

The following chart was presented to the School District 197 School Board at its January 19, 2021, meeting:


Now that the school board has approved the name change, when will it take place?

While the name change was official as of June 21, 2021, there are a number of steps the school district must take to complete the transition to the new name. The process has started, however, and the community will start to notice the change.