The International Community School of Addis Ababa (ICS Addis), founded in 1964, is an independent, co-educational day school that teaches students of all nationalities in early childhood through grade 12 and is located in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The school was founded as the American Community School, but changed to its current name in the 1978–1979 school year.
In the first year of the school’s existence there were a few students and teachers. Today we serve approximately 780 students from over 60 countries. There are 100 professional staff members now, including teachers, administrators and others. There are 40 teaching assistants. There are also 110 support staff members in maintenance, the business office, transportation, etc. In May 2012, 60 of our staff, including 35 TAs and other support staff members, completed an MSc degree from SUNY Buffalo!
The Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools accredits the school; ICS Addis has maintained continuous accreditation since 1992. The next accreditation self-study and visit will take place in 2013–2014. The International Baccalaureate Organization has also authorized ICS Addis to offer the IB Diploma Programme since 1982. The most recent reauthorization was in 2011.
The school has been located on a 15-acre hillside tract in the southern part of Addis Ababa since 1966. In the early days of the school there was a main classroom block, the Abebe Bekele Gymnasium, a small library and an outdoor amphitheater. Purpose-built early childhood and elementary classrooms were soon added, and other construction followed to accommodate growth.
The gymnasium is used daily for volleyball, basketball and other indoor sports, games and assemblies; it includes a fitness center as well. A new classroom block built at the bottom of the campus in 2005 (where teacher apartments used to be located) includes modern middle/high school science labs and classrooms.
Other facilities now include elementary/secondary libraries, a cafeteria, two computer labs, two outdoor basketball courts, four clay tennis courts, a softball field, an 80-m soccer pitch, outdoor amphitheater and the only rubberized track in Ethiopia. The libraries include over 30,000 volumes.
In 2010, ICS Addis began implementing a 1-to-1 laptop program in the middle and high school, the first international school in sub-Saharan Africa to do so. Wifi is available throughout the campus for student, staff and parent use.
Early childhood and elementary classrooms have been recently renovated, and the adjoining play areas were expanded. There are now over 45 classrooms on campus, including several temporary buildings erected in 2011. For many years the campus was relatively open to the neighborhood, with low fences and shrubs. However, in the early part of this century that changed, and a high perimeter wall and several gates were added to improve security. In August, 2012, the school will open a temporary satellite campus next to the school’s main gate. This renovated house and its outbuildings will serve as a Modern Language Center for the middle and high school.
The original deed in 1964 for the school’s property was based on a 50-year lease agreement from the Emperor. Additional property at the bottom of the campus was deeded in the 1970s by the Derg government. In March of 2012, ICS Addis acquired a new Title Deed and 90-year lease agreement for all of the properties together, from the Addis Ababa City Land Administration. This new lease agreement will allow the school to proceed with major new building projects.
In the fall of 2012, the school plans to begin construction for 21 new classrooms. This G+3 building will be at the bottom of the campus in the “Stinky Creek” area. Classrooms that used to abut the gymnasium were renovated into a student cafeteria in 2006. This will also be renovated in 2012 to create a two-story kitchen/dining facility that will seat 400+ students.
Further plans to develop the campus into a facility for 1200 students are in the works. You can read more about these plans on our Facilities “Campus Master Plan” page.