Curriculum at ICS

The International Community School of Addis Ababa, accredited in the United States, develops the talents and intellects of a multicultural student body using learner-centered, holistic instructional methods, empowering each student to contribute in an evolving world.

To accomplish our mission of empowering each student to contribute in an evolving world, ICS has adopted standards and benchmarks in all curricular areas. These standards and benchmarks guide the teacher's planning, assessment, and materials selection. The standards have been selected from a variety of sources. Some are from American professional organizations, such as the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) or the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Others were developed by international teachers, such as our social studies standards which reflect a more international perspective than those developed from a particular national perspective.

Each teacher designs a curriculum map to ensure that the instructional activities and their assessments align with the standards and benchmarks. The curriculum maps are revised and refined yearly.

One of the objectives of the strategic plan at ICS is to monitor and assess individual student learning. The curriculum at ICS is dynamic and able to be adjusted to meet the needs of individual students. Teachers meet frequently in grade level or subject area teams and in committees comprised of teachers from Kindergarten through Grade 12 to evaluate, articulate, and refine the instruction delivered to the students at ICS.

Field Experiences

ICS believes in the importance of supplementing in-class learning with field experiences, taking advantage of the many educational opportunities available in Ethiopia. Elementary students may visit a local farm, a weaving studio or a coffee plantation. Secondary students take overnight trips to different locations in Ethiopia, including the Bale Mountains, the Historical Circuit and Harar, for in-depth studies of science, history and culture.


The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme is recognized as the flagship of the high school academic program. Students in grades 11 and 12 are encouraged to participate in the IB program, which challenges students to master content knowledge and to acquire advanced critical thinking skills. Students are expected to use their creativity, to be actively involved in community service, to demonstrate proficiency in conducting independent research, and to be reflective through a balanced interdisciplinary approach to learning.

The IB is an acclaimed, two-year university preparatory program which is based not on the curriculum of a single country but which amalgamates the best elements of many national curricula. The IB contains features common to US high school curricula, English A-Levels and the French Baccalaureate, to name a few educational systems. The IB Diploma programme is offered by more than 1,600 national and international high schools around the world. Students who meet the requirements of the program receive an internationally recognized IB Diploma. Although recognition varies from country to country, the Diploma in most cases assures students’ access to universities worldwide and university course-credit or sophomore status at many selective American colleges.
Click here for more information on IB.
After ICS
During grades 11 and 12, extensive guidance and support is provided for students exploring options in higher education. PSAT and SAT prep are offered, as well as assistance in researching university options and organizing applications. Almost all ICS graduates attend competitive colleges and universities throughout the world immediately after graduation. In recent years, over $3 million in financial aid was offered to ICS graduates.


Student Support Services

Learning Support 

The ICS resource teachers provide limited support to students with special needs. Families with children who are or have been receiving support must submit documentation of that support along with the application materials, to assist the resource team in assessing our ability to support the child.

English as an Additional Language (EAL)

EAL teachers are available at the elementary and secondary school level. Extensive support is available for elementary students learning English. Limited support is available for middle school students. High school students are expected to be able to read, write and speak English at or near grade level and EAL support is minimal.



Three counselors are available on campus to serve the elementary and secondary schools. The counselors support families transitioning into or out of ICS and provide confidential counseling services to students. The elementary counselor conducts classroom visits, provides leadership opportunities and team-building activities. The middle school counselor supports student social-emotional needs and team building in grades 6-8. The high school counselor provides college and academic counseling and facilitates the college admissions process.