Welcome to ICS Addis

Starting School in 2020-21


Path 2 allows families to choose between an on campus and an online experience for the start of the 2020-21 school year. At this time, the online option will be available through December only. On campus learning will remain an option provided that the Ethiopian Government opens schools in the country and our health team and advisors deem it safe to do so. A decision by the Ethiopian Government is expected around the beginning of September.

Links to ICS Addis plans for re-opening on 21 September 2020:

2020-21 Calendar

​Start of the 2020-21 School Year

Campus Playbook Overview

Detailed Campus Playbook​

Quarantine in Ethiopia

Individuals who have proof of a negative COVID-19 test five (5) days before their arrival in Addis, will be permitted to quarantine in their personal residence. Students will need to complete their 14-day quarantine before being able to come onto the ICS campus.


Face masks are required in public in Ethiopia and ICS will require anyone coming onto the ICS campus to wear a mask. Therefore we are asking all families to ensure that you have a minimum of 5 reusable and washable cloth masks per child and that you begin getting your children used to wearing a mask properly and regularly.

New Family Orientations

Early Years 2-5: 21-22 September 2020

Early years educators will spend 21 and 22 September assisting families and children in a meaningful transition to school. All early years students will start classes on Wednesday 23 September.

In order to minimize the health risks created by the adult / child interaction through preparing lunch for our youngest learners, Early Years 3 and 4 will start the school year with half-days only. For the first month of school, until 23 October, there will be no full day option for EY3 and EY4. We will monitor and assess in October to see if we need to extend the half days longer or if we can move to full days for EY3 and EY4. Tuition will be modified to reflect a half-day experience.

Grades 1-5: Sunday 20 September 2020

Grades 6-12: Friday and Saturday, 18-19 September 2020

Please plan to be out of quarantine by 17 September 2020, to participate in counselor meetings and orientation events prior to the start of school. More details will be shared in the coming months.

First Day of School for Grades 1-12: Monday 21 September 2020

Click HERE to see previous emails sent to new and prospective families by the Admissions Office.

ICS Magazine: Addis Zena

Starting School during the School Year

If you are unable to start school at the beginning of the semester (August or January), please keep us updated on your expected arrival date. While we do want your child to start school as soon as possible, it is important to give the child sufficient time to recover from travel, to see the campus and to take care of any remaining formalities or assessments, before the child starts school.

Please contact the Admissions Office via email or phone to set up an appointment to visit and/or to start school. Early years students and families meet with their teachers before starting classes; older students and families are also encouraged to visit before starting classes.

On your child's first day of school, please arrive at ICS by 7:30 AM and come to the reception desk. We can then escort you and your child to class. Student in elementary school will need a snack. We will assist you in organizing lunch purchases, if you wish.

What to Bring:

  • Final school reports, if not yet submitted, and any outstanding documents for Admissions

  • Local cash (birr) for lunch deposits with Amole (prices HERE)

  • G6-12 students taking band: 1000 birr instrument rental fee

  • G6-10 students: local cash for PE kit (approximately 500 birr for one tshirt/short set)

  • G6-8 students: 3000 birr laptop deposit (G8 may bring their own laptop)

  • G9-12 students: bring your laptop to get it set up on the ICS network


  • Early years and elementary school students must bring a healthy snack; parents should send a home lunch or deposit money with Amole for school lunch

  • Grade 6-12 students may bring lunch and snack from home or purchase from the snack bar and cafeteria (cash or Amole deposit)

To Do List: Before and After Your Arrival in Addis

Before Arriving in Addis

  • Submit Enrollment Contract (issued upon acceptance, through the OpenApply system)

  • MS/HS students: purchase any school supplies not available in Addis. Many items are available in the ICS school store. The supply lists are available in the MS and HS sections of this website.

  • For MS/HS students, submit all course requests to Admissions Office and schedule any needed assessments. Admissions will provide further information.

  • Submit final report cards and/or official transcripts (for high school students); documents can be emailed directly from your current school

After Arriving in Addis

The following items can be completed at orientation, during the Registration Fair.

  • Submit Family Contact Update Form or provide one or more local contact numbers to the Admissions Office if the form cannot yet be fully completed.

  • Come to reception to have your photo taken for your parent ID card, if not done during orientation

  • Submit ID form and police clearance for household staff (driver, nanny, etc)

  • For MS/HS students, purchase physical education (PE) uniform at school store

  • Students using school laptops (grades 6, 7 and some of grade 8) must deposit 3000 birr with the cashier. Students using their own laptops (some of grade 8 and all high school students) must bring their laptops to register on the ICS network.

  • Students in grades 5 and up who are in band must pay a 1000 birr instrument rental fee to use an ICS instrument.

After Starting School

  • Make tuition payment (generally due two weeks after student begins school): tuition information is available HERE.

  • Access the ICS wifi network (GuestNet) - username and password are posted in the Community Commons and the cafeteria

  • Get involved! Meet the Parent Community Link (PCL) and Booster Club, come to parent and student events, spend time on our beautiful campus.

Essential All School Information

ICS Addis follows an August to June school year calendar. The 2020-21 school year calendar is available HERE.

The first day of the 2020-21 school year is 21 September 2020.

School Hours

  • All students attend school Monday through Friday. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday school hours are from 8:00 AM to 3:20 PM for early years 5 (EY5) to grade 12.

  • Wednesdays are an early dismissal day, with students in early years 5 (EY5) to grade 12 finishing at 2:00 PM.

  • Students in early childhood (EY2, EY3 and EY4) attend from 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM, Monday through Friday. EY3 and EY4 families may choose full day, following the same hours as early years 5 (EY5) to grade 12. In the 2020-21 school year, there will not be a full day option for the first month of school due to the coronavirus; this will be re-evaluated after one month.


  • ICS has an on-campus cafeteria for students in early years 5 (EY5) to grade 12.

  • Students may purchase school lunch or bring home lunch. Menus are sent in the weekly newsletter; students and families may decide on a daily basis whether to purchase lunch.

  • Elementary school students may choose from the buffets (western-style food and Ethiopian food) or salad bar, and must use their ICS ID to purchase food. Middle and high school students may also order a la carte items at the snack bar, and are encourage to use their IDs for purchasing.

  • More information about the prepaid accounts for lunch and snack purchases is available HERE.

  • Parents are welcome to purchase snacks, lunch and drinks throughout the day.

After School Activities

  • After school activities (ASAs) are available for students in grade 1 through grade 12 and include clubs, activities and athletics. EY5 students may have limited ASA options later in the school year.

  • Registration for ASAs is online and new families will receive an email from SchoolsBuddy, our ASA system, to sign up and request to join activities. You will receive this after your child starts school.

  • Season 1 ASAs start in early September with indoor activities, at the end of the rainy season, Season 2 starts in November and Season 3 starts in March. More information on ASAs, click HERE.

  • Students fluent in a language other than English may be able to join our Mother Tongue Maintenance Program, which runs for one hour on Wednesday afternoons. Mother tongue groups are run by parent volunteers, and we usually have about 20 different groups.

  • Private music tutors are available, with a list of options HERE.

Technology and the 1:1 Laptop Program

  • ICS has a 1:1 laptop program for students in grades 6 to 12.

  • Students in grades 6 and 7 must use the school laptop; there is a 3,000 Ethiopian birr deposit for the laptop that must be paid before your child can take the laptop home. Students in grade 8 may choose to bring their own laptop, if they prefer.

  • New students entering grades 9-12 must bring their own laptop.

  • Laptop specifications are available HERE.

Key Terms:

  • EY is Early Years (EY2, EY3, EY4, EY5): for 2-6 year olds

  • EY5: Early Years 5 is the equivalent to an American kindergarten, for 5-6 year olds

  • ES is Elementary School, and includes the early years and grades 1-5

  • MS is Middle School: grades 6-8

  • HS is High School: grades 9-12

  • PYP is the Primary Years Program: curricular framework in ES

  • IBDP or IB is the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program: two year diploma program completed in grades 11 and 12

Summer Reading Challenge

Our 2020 summer reading challenge, "Imagine your Story", will begin on Saturday 30 May and run until Sunday 20 September. Students are highly encouraged to relax, read and keep a reading log during this extra long summer break. Students can print off the reading log which is attached or they may keep track of their reading in any other way, too! Take photos of books read, post book titles on Twitter, etc. We have put together recommended ebook and audiobook lists for different grade levels to help everyone find some great reading material below. These lists are not required reading, they are just a great place to find good books if you don't already have something you want to read. Small prizes and certificates of participation will be awarded to everybody who brings in proof of their summer reading to the library staff once school reopens in September.

ES Suggested Titles of Ebooks and Audiobooks for Summer Reading Challenge

MS Suggested Reading List Summer Reading Challenge + special MS Math Focused List, too!

HS Suggested Reading List Summer Reading Challenge

Click HERE for ES MS HS Reading Log