The Early Years: A Year of Love and Faith
International Schools Group - Dammam, was founded in 1985 in the small town of Rahima. The school evolved as result of merging of two smaller schools: the Rahima Academy SAIS, a school for children of Aramco expatriates living outside Najmah, and the English Model School which was run by private educators in the same town.
The new Rahima Academy began its operation in the fall of 1985 with 140 students and 14 staff members. Classes from kindergarten to grade eight were conducted in a rented 3500 sq. meter labor camp. The early years of the new Rahima Academy were filled with challenges. Parent Volunteers and staff worked hand in hand for the improvement of the school facility. In spite of the limited facilities and resources, the school continued to provide quality education which was further enriched by special programs like the National Language courses and physical education. Co-curricular and extracurricular activities were offered with the regular school program. Staff was provided with continuous professional development programs for their growth and development. Dr. Daniel Tighe, who was then the Assistant to the Superintendent of SAIS was appointed as the Principal of Rahima Academy.
The Dream School
On April 30, 1995, Rahima Academy moved to a new campus. The brand new facility was built through hard work and effort of staff, parents, friends, and other organizations, the land donation of ARAMCO, support of the SAIS board, and the fund raising activities of the school. The new school had 48 classrooms, a spacious library, computer and science labs, a multipurpose room, a large courtyard, playgrounds, and a track and field. It was also at this time when the Teacher's Assistant Program was initiated.
Rahima Academy continued to grow and became well known in the eastern province. Eminent dignitaries from various parts of the world came and met with the students and the community.
Facing More Challenges
In 1998, due to unforeseen circumstances, Rahima Academy had to evacuate from the town of Rahima to a new facility in Dammam. An old reformatory was renovated and converted into a school facility. On January 23, 1999, after a record-breaking 40 days of moving everything from the old school to Dammam, Rahima Academy continued operation in its new home. It was also at the end of the 1998-99 school year when Dr. Tighe left the school to become the Assistant Superintendent of SAIS. Mr. Bert Bedford was appointed the next principal of the school.
The change in location did more positive results to the school than expected.
- Bigger and improved facilities enabled the school to accommodate the increasing student population.
- High School and Pre-School were offered.
- The school appointed three assistant principals.
- Student enrolment reached and exceeded the 1000th mark
In school year 2002-2003, the Ministry of Education formally changed the name Rahima Academy to International Schools Group - Dammam. ISG Dammam also had a new principal, Mr. Norman Edwards, at the start of the millennium. It was during his tenure when the school embarked on one of its biggest goals: Accreditation. For two long years, staff members and administrators worked hard reviewing, assessing, and reflecting on the school's programs and services.
Finally, on December 1, 2004 ISG - Dammam received its certificate of accreditation from the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, U.S.A. The news was received with joy and an indescribable feeling of pride and honor.
The Leopard Continues To Roar
With triumph comes more responsibility and challenges. A five-year action plan was designed by the school as part of its commitment to improve overall student performance and organizational effectiveness. Mr. Rick Barnhouse, joining the school as its principal in SY 2004-2005, spearheaded the implementation of the plans.
After 23 years, International Schools Group - Dammam has just begun. The school is looking at more years of serving the students, parents, and the community as a whole. True to its mission and vision, the school will continue to provide quality education towards the development of self-motivated and life-long learners.
The next big step for ISG - Dammam is building a new campus for the future that would have world class facilities to accommodate our 1,100 students.
The leopards continued to roar in midst of changes and challenges. The leopards took a roller coaster ride in the past 30 years and rooted itself as ISG Dammam on the Dammam Jubail highway on August 2015 in the new facility.