The Addis Ababa American School was established in 1959, at a location near Arat Kilo. The first "American" school finished at grade 9, and students took correspondence classes through the University of Nebraska if they continued beyond grade 9.

In April 1964, the Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie allowed the American Community School (ACS) to be established, by royal decree. The Emperor gave the school a 50 year lease on 15 acres of land in Addis Ababa.

ACS opened in August 1966 with 362 students in kindergarten through grade 12. The aerial photo shows the three classroom blocks, the small library with the outdoor amphitheater behind it, and the dirt track, baseball diamond and clay tennis courts. These facilities are all still in use, with the exception of the baseball diamond and tennis courts, which have been upgraded to a grass sports field and multipurpose sports pavilion, respectively.

The Abebe Bikila Gymnasium was inaugurated in 1970, and the Haile Gebrselassie Track in 2002. The middle and high school classroom block opened in 2006, replacing the faculty housing in the northeastern corner of campus, and the M-Building opened in 2017, adding 29 new classrooms to our facilities. Several smaller extensions to existing buildings have been added over the years and the school also leases two adjacent campuses, the Little Eagles Nest, for our early childhood program.

In the 1978-79 school year, the name of the school was changed to the International Community School (ICS) of Addis Ababa.