Blog Posts

Enjoying this afternoon’s view

New staff are preparing for school!

New staff are preparing for the upcoming school year. They are working in their classrooms, and they are reflecting on OCSI’s philosophy by focusing on 6 questions:
  1. What’s your perspective?
  2. What’s true?
  3. What’s the Bible about?
  4. What’s distinctive about Christian education?
  5. How does OCSI compare?
  6. How does understanding our students’ perspective help?

Comments Kim Essenburg, curriculum coordinator, “We’re off to a good start. I’m enjoying getting to know our new staff. They are very engaged and funny!” (see photo)


Help us get off to a good start!

OCSI Connections:

On behalf of the Leadership Team, I want to thank you for the privilege of assisting you with the education of your child(ren). And we invite you to help us get off to a good start. Five key ways you can do this are:
  1. Keep Each Other Safe LogoBy continuing to encourage your child(ren) to focus on learning, to respect others, to speak the truth in love, and to keep others safe.
  2. By reviewing our safety-related policies, for example: TyphoonBullying PolicyChild Protection PolicyBehavior Management (Elementary and Kindergarten), Behavior Management (Secondary), and Grievances, Whistleblowing, and Complaints Policy.
  3. By submitting all forms by August 11, including summer packet forms and (for 5th and 9th graders) tuberculosis forms.
  4. By contacting appropriate staff with your questions and concerns. Please contact teachers about attendance, the principals about curriculum and policies, the business manager about finances, and the chaplains about personal counseling.
  5. By praying for OCSI. Try using our prayer guide and/or our monthly prayer letters.

Did you know that…?

  • The new road on the back side of campus is under construction during August? (You can still enter from Route 6 by Sera-en, but you cannot go further up the road.)
  • Criteria for developing our school calendar include having 180 days, addressing Japanese and US holidays, and staying in sync with DoDDs schools?
  • Students and parents can use Naviance for applying to colleges?
  • OCSI is having its 6-year accreditation visit in the spring of 2018?
  • We are welcoming new staff? photo row 1: Angela Doerksen (HS English), Deena Vardhini (HS science), Mattie Daniel (grade 4), and Morgan Rusnak (K5); row 2: Tyler Maskiewicz (HS science), Jerry Doerksen (grade 5), Brynn Childers (HS social studies), and Julie Woolery (elementary literacy).
2017-08 New Staff
Key dates:
  • 8/22: Classes begin
  • 8/22-25: K3 and K4 half-day classes
  • 9/1: Open House for grades 1-12 (not for kindergarten)
  • 9/4: Labor Day – no school
  • 9/9: ACT testing
  • 9/18: Professional Development Day – no school for students
  • 9/22: Progress reports, Kindergarten Family Sports Day, Friendship Friday for secondary

Thanks again for the privilege of assisting you with the education of your child(ren).

Michael B. Essenburg, superintendent
Equipping students to walk with God and impact the world for Him
Calendar • Contact • Donate • Handbook • Prayer Guide • Facebook • Typhoon


P.S. Be sure to check out OCSI’s Instagram account to see more photos!

2017-08 Instagram

Pray for OCSI

Being safe—it’s something everyone wants. And we all have many ways we work to keep ourselves and our loved ones as safe as possible: homeowner’s insurance, fire alarms, retirement investments, seatbelts, and shisa. Wait—shisa? What are shisa?

Shisa are mythical creatures somewhere between a dog and a lion, recognizable by their curly manes. They represent Okinawans’ desire for safety, as they are supposed to guard the place they are posted. As I walk around my neighborhood, I see them everywhere—on rooftops, gateposts, and vending machines; in front of the Starbucks and the gas station; and on terra-cotta tiles adorning the entry to the local elementary school and the local fishing port.

My neighbors worry about the usual threats to safety—and a few more: tsunamis, earthquakes, and typhoons. In my neighborhood, there are signs pointing to tsunami evacuation routes and signs designating emergency shelters.

Keep Each Other Safe LogoAt OCSI, we want our students to be safe physically. So, for example, we have earthquake drills, where everyone shelters under a desk or a table to protect their head from falling objects. We have typhoon procedures to close school and to secure the campus against the strong wind and heavy rain.

We also want our students to be safe spiritually—to find shelter in Jesus. In a country where less than 1% know Jesus, we have the opportunity to teach our students not only math and English, but also how to find spiritual safety!

Please continue to pray for OCSI:

  • Ask God to work in the hearts of our over 400 K-12 students. Ask God to keep them safe in Jesus.
  • Praise God that new staff are making a good transition to OCSI.

Thanks for being involved in God’s work in Japan.

Michael B. Essenburg, superintendent
Equipping students to walk with God and impact the world for Him
Calendar • Contact • Donate • Handbook • Prayer Guide • Facebook • Typhoon


Looking forward to school year 2017-2018

OCSI Connections:

We’re looking forward to assisting you with the education of your child(ren). As we do this, we are guided by our philosophy of education. So that we can continue working together effectively, I want to review that philosophy with you:

  • The purpose of Christian education is equipping students to walk with God and impact the world for Him.
  • Parents are responsible for their children’s education. Okinawa Christian School International partners with parents by providing Christian education.
  • Students are God’s image bearers scarred by sin, can learn, and are responsible for their learning. We value student diversity seen in learning styles, abilities, and cultural backgrounds.
  • Staff (the living curriculum) are Christians who model Biblical thinking and living, build Christ-centered community, focus on OCSI’s mission, empower others, use best practice, and grow professionally.
  • Our program addresses the whole person, is communicated in English, and uses an American-style approach. It is Biblically based, recognizes all truth is God’s truth, emphasizes sharing the Gospel and discipleship, and encourages Biblical thinking and living.

2017 Annual Report0906

Did you know that…?

  • OCSI started in 1957 and used to be located in Urasoe, before moving to Yomitan in 1996?
  • You can contact the business manager with your questions about finance?
  • OCSI values Christ-centered community, focus on mission, and empowering others?
  • We are welcoming new staff? Morgan Rusnak (K5), Mattie Daniel (grade 4), Jerry Doerksen (grade 5), Julie Woolery (literacy), Tyler Maskiewicz (science), Angela Doerksen (HS English), and Brynn Childers (HS social studies)
  • Increased tuition helps OCSI provide new social studies texts, upgrade the gym, and improve technology?
  • The Guidance Office provides information for high school students to develop a 4-year plan
  • The Summer Packet is being mailed out? Forms should be submitted to the office by Friday, August 11.

2017 Annual Report0344

Important dates:

  • 8/4: All students entering grade 5 and grade 9 must submit a satisfactory tuberculosis screening (skin test or x-ray), unless they submitted a satisfactory tuberculosis screening when entering grade 4 or grade 8
  • 8/11: Summer Packet forms should be submitted to the office.
  • 8/18: K3-K5 Orientation, New ES Family Orientation, Grade 6 and New MS Student Orientation, Grade 9 and New HS Student Orientation
  • 8:22: School begins
  • 9/1: Open house for grades 1-12

Thank you for the privilege of assisting you with the education of your child(ren). 

Michael B. Essenburg, superintendent
Equipping students to walk with God and impact the world for Him
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