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In September 1964, St. John’s International School opened its doors to 114 Elementary School students from Grade 1–8, in an eight classroom facility in central Brussels. The school was founded by the Faithful Companions of Jesus (FCJ), as an annex to their other school—the Institute Montjoie. This was at the request of a number of American businessmen who were looking for an English-speaking school which had a religious dimension. The school grew quickly with the influx of American companies to Belgium, necessitating a change of location to a purpose-built facility in Waterloo.

St. John’s as we know it today was opened in Waterloo in September 1969 with 420 students and 30 teachers. Between 1971 and 1973, the facilities were extended to include a High School and our 11 seniors graduated in June 1974. In 1979, St. John’s introduced the International Baccalaureate (IB) and was one of the early adopters of this curriculum. In 1986, the school restructured itself by creating a separate Middle School along with the Elementary and High Schools, an educational structure which has remained with us until today.

Our past is as important as our future.

March 1995 saw the opening of the new Middle School wing and the art studios/gallery. Timbertops, our pre-primary facility, opened before the Millennium. The next stage of our development program started in 2002 with the creation of a new sports arena, cafeteria, science wing, chapel, computer lab and foyer. This was followed in the spring of 2005 with the opening of the Performing Arts Center, our prestigious “state-of-the-art” theater and support facilities.

From those early days back in 1964, the school has continued to grow and invest in the facilities and education of its students. We have come a long way over the years!

If you would like to read a more detailed account of the history of St. John’s, please refer to the pdf documents per decade below:

Decade 1, Decade 2, Decade 3, Decade 4, Decade 5.

This article about our 50th anniversary appeared in International Schools (IS) Magazine.