About ICS

Founded in 1964 as the American Community School of Addis Ababa, the International Community School (ICS Addis) is an independent, coeducational day school currently serving 840+ students from over 60 nations from early childhood (3-year-olds) through grade 12. Its student body is drawn primarily from expatriate families living in Ethiopia due to employment with UN agencies, the Economic Commission for Africa, the African Union, NGOs, businesses and many diplomatic missions.

The school is located on a beautifully landscaped 15-acre campus (about 6 hectares) in Old Airport, a pleasant residential neighborhood of Addis Ababa. The kindergarten classes are separated physically from other classroom areas and includes their own age-appropriate play spaces. Grades 1–5 are at one side of the campus – physically close but separated from the new two-story middle (grades 6–8) and high school (grades 9–12) building that was opened in January 2005. In 2012 the school rented a temporary satellite campus to accommodate more students; the “Secondary Extended Campus” (SEC) for middle and high school students is near the main gate of the campus. In August 2013 a new satellite campus for our early childhood program opened directly across from the SEC. “The Little Eagles Nest” has two EC3 sections and three EC4 sections in a quiet, safe compound.

Our educational program is based on an American college-preparatory curriculum with the option of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme in grades 11 and 12. The gym, library and open-air theater occupy the center of the campus. The campus boasts a track facility (the only rubberized track in Ethiopia), basketball and tennis courts, playgrounds and sports fields.

ICS’s professional staff of 110 teachers comes from fifteen countries (70% are North American). A majority of the faculty members have a Master’s degree and all hold valid teaching certificates. Forty Ethiopian teaching assistants complete our teaching staff, all of whom have college degrees and teaching certificates. The student-to-teacher ratio is 8:1.

The school is governed by a nine-person Board of Governors. One member is appointed by the US Ambassador, one is appointed by the Board itself, and the other seven are elected parents of ICS students. Elected members serve two-year terms.

These are four “foundational documents” that guide decision making and planning at ICS Addis.

Mission Statement

The International Community School of Addis Ababa, accredited in the United States, develops the talents and intellects of a diverse, multicultural student body through a learner-centered holistic program, empowering each student to contribute and excel in the 21st century.

Board of Governors’ Vision

ICS Addis will be a premier international school in Africa preparing students to succeed in the 21st century.

  • We will support an exemplary 21st century education that emphasizes technology, creativity, communication and collaboration skills, cultural and environmental sensitivity, and more in an already rigorous academic program.
  • We will be prepared for the growth of the international community in Addis Ababa, attracting and retaining a world-class staff, while improving and providing first-class facilities.
  • We will be responsibly inclusive as we grow.


A Statement of Understanding About 21st Century Learning

In the 21st century…

  • ICS students embody the traits of the IB Learner Profile. They are fluent in current media, information resources, technology skills and key global concepts as part of a strong academic core.
  • We facilitate access for our learning community to a broad range of unique, local, global and virtual opportunities. We innovate with flexible learning times, schedules and other resources.
  • Our curriculum and instructional methods continuously evolve to reflect best practices and internationally recognized standards.
  • Educators act as coaches to enable students to attain agreed upon learning goals using instructional tools that are appropriate for individual learning needs and styles.
  • Facilities provide a variety of flexible learning spaces that support the anticipated and unforeseen needs of a 21st century educational environment.


The ICS Learner Profile

The aim of all programs at ICS Addis is to develop internationally minded people who, recognizing their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet help to create a better and more peaceful world. As ICS learners, we strive to be:

Inquirers: We nurture our curiosity, developing skills for inquiry and research. We know how to learn independently and with others. We learn with enthusiasm and sustain our love of learning throughout life.

Knowledgeable: We develop and use conceptual understanding, exploring knowledge across a range of disciplines. We engage with issues and ideas that have local and global significance.

Thinkers: We use critical and creative thinking skills to analyze and take responsible action on complex problems. We exercise initiative in making reasoned, ethical decisions.

Communicators: We express ourselves confidently and creatively in more than one language and in many ways. We collaborate effectively, listening carefully to the perspectives of other individuals and groups.

Principled We act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness and justice, and with respect for the dignity and rights of people everywhere. We take responsibility for our actions and their consequences.

Open-Minded: We critically appreciate our own cultures and personal histories, as well as the values and traditions of others. We seek and evaluate a range of points of view, and we are willing to grow from the experience.

Caring: We show empathy, compassion and respect. We have a commitment to service, and we act to make a positive difference in the lives of others and in the world around us.

Courageous: We approach uncertainty with forethought and determination; we work independently and cooperatively to explore new ideas and innovative strategies. We are resourceful and resilient in the face of challenges and change.

Balanced: We understand the importance of balancing different aspects of our lives—intellectual, physical, and emotional—to achieve well-being for ourselves and others. We recognize our interdependence with other people and with the world in which we live.

Reflective: We thoughtfully consider the world and our own ideas and experience. We work to understand our strengths and weaknesses in order to support our learning and personal development.

*The ICS Learner Profile (based on the IB learner profile © International Baccalaureate Organization 2013).