Thank you for being part of OCSI’s 60th year! Since 1957, OCSI has had the privilege of assisting parents/guardians with the education of their children. We’re grateful for everyone’s support, for the spirit of unity on campus, and for the opportunity to offer a Christ-centered K-12 program that equips students to walk with God and impact the world for Him.
Many good things have happened this school year, and I’m especially excited about seeing OCSI’s vision in action! For example, this year students learned about God, His world, and their place in it:
- Kindergarteners learned to compare height, length, weight, and capacity; mastered kicking a ball; identified letter combinations sh, ch, and th; and learned that God made them.
- Elementary students took surveys and used the data, grew in effective work habits, explored how to grow in the fruit of the Spirit, and thought critically about Renaissance personalities.
- Middle schoolers applied percentages to marketing, mastered keyboarding, sketched their shoes to demonstrate proportion and texture, and studied the life and resurrection of Jesus.
- High schoolers debated the nature of truth, crafted puzzles, mastered Japanese verb conjugations, and analyzed how an author uses content and style to communicate theme.
What else did students learn about God, His world, and their place in it? Check out these examples in art, Bible, English, Japanese, math, music, PE, science, social studies, technology, and woodshop.
Additional examples of OCSI’s vision in action include:
- Students participating in Service Week and helping each other in the classroom and on the playground.
- Seniors being accepted to colleges and universities such as Toccoa Falls, Sophia, UC San Diego, Waseda, Wellesley, and Keio.
- Students getting baptized, praying for their families, and getting increasingly interested in following Jesus.
- Students inviting classmates to church, helping with ushering, and leading music during worship.
To support student learning, we upgraded our website. We also put the handbook online, sent parent newsletters more frequently, and raised funds through Walkathon.
Thanks again for being part of OCSI’s 60th year!
Michael B. Essenburg, superintendent
This school year has been exciting from the very first day! Our overall goal is to equip students to walk with God and impact the world for Him, and I’m pleased to report that we have grown in 3 key areas: student learning, teacher learning, and parent connections.
Student learning: Our students learned more about God, His world, and their place in it:
- Through our new math curriculum, students increased their knowledge and skills.
- In music, students learned about instruments (recorders, xylophones, drums, and bells), singing, and performing, for example, in the Christmas program.
- Students expanded their writing with Culture Fair (grades 3-5), Author’s Tea (grades 4-5), Book Fair (grade 3), famous people reports (grade 5), human body reports (grade 4), Kid City (grades 1-2), and explorers reports (grade 3).
- And students celebrated reading with Character Parade (K-2)—reading in kindergarten, lower elementary, and upper elementary is at the heart of our elementary program at OCSI!
: Teachers deepened their understanding their of our new math program
, of using more formative (day to day) assessments to support learning needs, and of the power of aligning curriculum in math and reading. Many of our teachers attended two book studies during the year on Better Learning
and Essential Questions
- Parents connected with staff and students through Walkathon, service projects, parent-teacher conferences, student-led conferences, an ADHD evening seminar, math night, reading night, movie night, Christmas concert, 3 open houses, Kite Day, field days, and field trips.
- Our Parent-Teacher Fellowship (PTF) was very active and provided opportunities for parents to connect, for example, Holiday Market, open houses, and reading and math nights. Thanks, PTF!
- We have attempted to gain more connections and insights from parents by conducting surveys each year. We want to improve in our ability to serve your children. We also know that partnering with parents is essential for us to best help your child.
We look forward to working together with our families so that our students can become college and career ready.
Brad Jernberg, elementary principal
It has been an honor working with you and your child this year! We have enjoyed learning together and building relationships with each other, both inside and outside of the classroom.
It has been a blessing to see OCSI’s vision in action through our teachers and students. We have witnessed this through…
Our teachers have continued to gain knowledge and cast the OCSI vision as well! Secondary teachers spent time throughout the year observing each other through peer evaluations and participating in book studies, as well as improving their content areas through use of our new curriculum mapping software. Eighth grade and high school science teachers explored more hands on learning through increasing student dissections of everything from grasshoppers, to turtles, to fetal pigs.
We will end the school year of celebrating our students by honoring them at the high school graduation on Friday, June 2nd at 7:30 pm at the Yomitan Cultural Center and at the 8th grade graduation on Friday, June 9th at 6:00 pm at Sera En. We would be honored if you could join us!
Latasha Calvin, secondary principal
Over the course of 60 years, OCSI has built a legacy in Okinawa. I am honored to be a part of this long and storied history and to serve alongside the wonderful staff whom God has placed here.
Parents, thank you for your support. Meeting many of you this year has been a pleasure. I am especially thankful for the efforts of the Parent Teacher Fellowship (PTF), which plays a significant role here at OCSI. In February, we refurbished the campus guest room for PTF to use as a new meeting place. I look forward to the continued help that they will be to OCSI.
Our PlaySafely Campaign took big strides this year. We installed nets on the south end of the soccer field so that students can safely play soccer and other sports on the field. At the bus drop-off area near the elementary playground, we installed a new fence and gate to keep students at a safe distance from traffic. And in the coming weeks, there will be padding installed on the north end of the gymnasium which will help keep players on the court safe.
We finished the fiscal year with our operating income (¥345,029,164) exceeding operating expenses (¥322,928,736) by ¥22 million. OCSI continues to take steps forward in increasing the quality of student, parent, and staff experience and also in securing its financial future.
Jon Simburger, business manager
Meet OCSI’s board (left to right): Mr. Siangco, Mr. Duggan, Mr. Woolery, Mr. Kuba, Mr. Essenburg, Mr. Aoki, Mrs. Sneller, and Mr. Horii.
This year has been an amazing time of growth for me personally, and I have enjoyed working with the board to see the mission and vision accomplished here at OCSI.
OCSI’s staff and board took significant steps this year to help OCSI accomplish its mission and vision:
- To develop its values-based culture, OCSI trained staff, documented value-based behaviors, and assessed how effectively staff are living out the values.
- To enhance communication, OCSI upgraded its website, sent parent newsletters more frequently, posted on social media, and put the handbook online.
- To refine its curriculum, OCSI upgraded its curriculum standards, worked on subject area guides, and further mapped curriculum units.
- To increase effectiveness, OCSI expanded its use of data to modify instruction, to assess and carry out board policy, and to determine how effectively OCSI carries out its mission.
- To increase financial stability and sustainability, OCSI raised funds through the PlaySafely Campaign, held open houses to increase enrollment, and researched new financial software. For the past fiscal year (April 1, 2016 – March 31, 2017) operating income (¥345,029,164) exceeded operating expenses (¥322,928,736) by ¥22 million. The 2016-2017 fiscal year’s audit (completed by Gentetsu Shiroma Licensed Tax Accountant Office) states: “In our opinion, the Financial Statements of the Gakko Hojin Okinawa Christian School properly display the financial position as of March 31, 2017, in all important points in conformity with the Standard of the School Corporation Accounting Principles generally accepted as fair and appropriate in our country as of March, 2017.”
- To maintain and increase effectiveness, the board (1) worked to ensure that board policies and bylaws are clearly and explicitly aligned with the Articles of Incorporation, (2) improved communication with the council through monthly reports, and (3) hired a new elementary principal (Mrs. Roe) to replace Mr. Jernberg who is moving back to the US—we are so grateful for Mr. Jernberg and everything he accomplished during his tenure here.
I want to say thank you to two very important members of our team that we are losing, Mrs. Lacar (auditor) and Mrs. Sneller (board member). Their contributions to the team and to OCSI have made an impact and for that we are truly grateful.
On behalf of the board, I am looking forward to next school year!
Christian Siangco, board chairman