St John’s Lutheran School principal Karyn Bjelke-Petersen, flanked by current students at St John’s, is excited about the expansion of the school to Year 12 (Photo: SJLS)

September 6, 2021

St John’s Lutheran School in Kingaroy has cleared its final hurdle of approval and can now offer offer classes right through to Year 12.

Principal Karyn Bjelke-Petersen said the move had been a “long time in the planning”.

“We are delighted to be able to announce this week that a long-awaited expansion to Year 12 is now finally a reality for St John’s,” Mrs Bjelke-Petersen said.

“We have always strived to provide a quality education and expanding to senior will allow us to truly become a school of the 21st century.

“St John’s has always been a faith-based, caring school community, but we are very excited to be able to give South Burnett families a new choice for educating the young people in their care.”

St John’s Lutheran School was originally a primary school, established on ex-farmland at the then-end of Ivy Street in 1989.

Beginning with just 26 students, the school grew steadily through the 1990s and 2000s, then added a “middle school” in 2014 to extend to Year 9.

Mrs Bjelke-Petersen said she had received the same questions every year from parents since the middle school expansion: “When are you going to go all the way to Year 12?”

“We’ve had to be cautious with this decision because it’s a change of direction for the school and we’ve needed to jump through lots of hoops to get to this point,” she said.

“COVID, for all its disadvantages, actually demonstrated to us in 2020 that our system of lesson delivery for the older students is already tech-ready and it taps into what our existing students are gaining confidence in: self-directed learning.

“We know that society is changing quickly, and we want to be a school at the vanguard of that change, preparing young people for a world that isn’t in clear focus yet.”

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