The School was founded in September 1988 by a group of Filipino parents. The founders named it as the Philippine Embassy School in Al-Khobar (PESA). PESA formally started its academic operation in June 1989 with a Temporary Permit No. 001 s. 1989 issued by the Philippine Department of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS) signed by Secretary Lourdes Quisumbing. On July 25, 1989, the Chief of the Philippine Mission in Riyadh, Dr. Mauyag Moh'd. Tamano sent a letter to the Saudi Government Officials assigned in the Eastern Province to inform them of the intent to put up a Philippine Embassy School in Al Khobar under the auspices of the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh. The School would follow the standard Philippine Education Curriculum. PESA was formally recognized by the Philippine Government after granting its Temporary Permit under DECS Recognition No. 01 s. 1995 signed by DECS Secretary Ricardo T. Gloria on January 31, 1995. The Ministry of Education (MOE) of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia formally recognized PESA as a Filipino Community School by granting its License No. 2/1937 dated 1415/12/29 [May 8, 1995]. In compliance with the permit issued by the Ministry of Education (MOE), where foreign schools should be named as International Schools in addition to the country of nationals served by the school, PESA was renamed in SY 1995-1996 to "International Philippine School in Al-Khobar (originally acronym "IPS Al-Khobar") and currently known to the Filipino Community in the Kingdom as "IPSA" (Member Saudi Arabian International Schools).
The seal of IPSA carries with it:
The Philippine Flag stands for the Filipino community: administration, faculty, staff, parents and students of which the School belongs.
The Scalloped Border represents the different regions of our country.
The Red and Yellow Backdrops. Red suggests love for truth, knowledge and people. Yellow symbolizes optimism and the promise of a bright future for the children.
The Arabic Transcription is the Arabic translation of the International Philippine School in Al-Khobar and Member: Saudi Arabian International School.