At Okinawa Christian School International we know what a privilege it is to care for your children each day. We know that each and every child was created uniquely and in God’s image and we desire to make this school a place where children feel welcome, loved, cared for, and supported. As a member of the Child Safety and Protection Network (CSPN), we are always working to ensure that the students feel safe and that our staff and faculty are well-trained. Already this year all of our teachers and staff have received CPR and First Aid training from the on-base fire department as well as training on Child Safety and Reporting from TELL Japan. Last month, we also completed a school-wide fire and earthquake drill in which all students and staff were evacuated and accounted for in under six minutes.
This month during elementary classes and secondary life groups, we took the time to train our students on what it means to be a mandated reporter. Being a mandated reporter is an important job; it means that students have a responsibility to tell an adult if they suspect or know that another student is unsafe. On our website there is a reporting form that all students and parents can use to report unsafe behaviors. Each and every report is examined by a member of the OCSI Child Safety Team, comprised of several teachers, administrators, and the chaplain. We would like to encourage all parents to please check out the Child Protection policies and reporting form on the OCSI website; click on Resources → Downloads→ Parents Quick Links.
Thank you for partnering with us to help keep kids safe!
Consider the hopes, dreams, and expectations you have for your child. What hopes, dreams, and expectations do they have for themselves? At OCSI, we have a vision for our students and we desire to partner with parents to help us make this vision a reality in each and every one of your children’s futures.
OCSI Vision Statement
“Students achieve the expected student outcomes; use their learning to serve God and others; are prepared for college, career, and citizenship; follow Jesus and participate in the local church”.
Over the last week, I spent time in various classrooms and I saw so many ways the students here at OCSI are working toward this vision
2nd grade scientists observed the metamorphosis of a caterpillar to a butterfly.
4th grader writers created their own personalized writing notebooks.
5th grade musicians worked together to create music with cups and basketballs.
7th grade writers learned what it meant to narrate a story from different perspectives.
8th grade mathematicians evaluated multiple ways to solve an equation.
High school Bible students examined at the cultural context of an Old Testament event.
High school scientists measured water and made conversions.
The teachers and principals here at OCSI are dedicated to helping teachers and families support our learners to achieve this vision. If your family or child would benefit from additional support such as college and career guidance or assistance finding a local church to attend, please don’t hesitate to ask.
Want to know more about your child’s principal?
Sarah Turner- Elementary Principal (PK-5)
Ms. Turner is a Third Culture Kid, who was born in Florida but grew up in Tokyo, Japan. Before becoming the Elementary Principal this year, she taught 1st grade at OCSI for 7 years. Her favorite part of teaching is to read aloud picture books, so she’s excited to read to all the elementary classes in an effort to teach important social emotional skills such as kindness and respect through the lens of picture books.
Brynn Childers- Secondary Principal (6-12)
Ms. Childers is excited to begin her third year at OCSI. She hears over and over again, “Your students are so nice,” and she knows that’s true. She is reminded daily that we have great students and that we also have an amazing staff that love kids and want to do all they can to help them succeed. She is humbled to be part of such a great team.
Growth! When I think of this school year, I think of growth—student growth, staff growth, and organizational growth:
PreK and kindergarten students made letter-sound connections for reading and writing, deepened their understanding of Jesus’ parables, and solved addition and subtraction problems.
Elementary students wrote poems and presented them at a poetry slam, gave team presentations to students and parents at Culture Fair, studied the effects of magnetism, properly formatted Google Docs, played guitar, and used correct stroke order for writing in Japanese.
Middle school students did 3D printing, learned about Ryukyu Kingdom history, increased their understanding of Jesus and His ministry, participated in a variety of athletic teams, and connected how temperature, pressure, and density affect weather.
High school students analyzed diet plans to determine if they are healthy and sustainable, used spreadsheets to complete research projects in math, studied Biblical principles on stewardship, and developed speeches that take into account occasion, audience, and purpose.
Staff participated in book discussions on The New Art and Science of Teaching, Setting the Standard for Projected Based Learning, and How to Differentiate Instruction in Academically Diverse Classrooms; attended training for child safety, MAP testing, mentoring, and social and emotional learning; and interacted with resources from the 17 professional memberships OCSI holds.
Organizationally, OCSI upgraded a variety of things, including playground equipment, bus service, food service, and instructional materials for science.
And though OCSI has until 2024 to accomplish the 5 recommendations left by the visiting accreditation team in March 2018, we have already accomplished 3 recommendations by…
Re-evaluating compensation and benefits.
Providing additional support staff to meet the growing needs.
Establishing clear guidelines and deadlines for the completion of curriculum maps.
Thank you for partnering with us as we equip students to walk with Jesus and impact the world for Him. On a personal note, I’m grateful to have been part of the OCSI community over the past 4 years. I will miss being part of OCSI as I head to the US, and I am confident that OCSI will continue to grow.
Reflection is an important aspect of both a good education and a successful life. It’s important to remember where we started from and the progress we’ve made, and to look forward with goals and hope in mind. Over the past year, OCSI elementary has worked each day to equip students to walk with Jesus and impact the world for him by working toward our expected student outcomes. We’ve made progress as a school, and I know your child has made progress as well.
Reflecting on this year is a great way to celebrate all of the progress we’ve made and helps us make goals for the future:
Understand God, His world, and their place in it:
Students learned about God and His world at camp.
Students learned about Biblical character traits during Service Week through Athletes in Action and Kids’ Club activities.
Think critically and Biblically:
New science curriculum (FOSS) challenged students to think critically.
Weekly chapel services encouraged students to grow in their spiritual walk.
Collaborate with others, respecting them as God’s image bearers:
Students worked together to share music and drama at the Christmas concerts.
After-school clubs taught students new skills in soccer, basketball, crafts, cooking, and literacy.
New playground equipment engaged students in play-based learning.
Communicate truthfully and effectively:
Elementary report cards are now standards-based to give parents more information.
Families celebrated reading during the Week of Reading and Family Reading Night.
Older and younger students enjoyed being reading buddies.
Create ideas, products, and solutions:
Students created items for the Culture Fair, Author’s Tea, Book Fair, and Kid City.
Project-based learning curriculum and classroom furnishings were added in Pre-K.
We’re excited about all of the progress that was made this year and are looking forward to more growth next year! In 2019-2020, OCSI elementary will be implementing social-emotional learning and a new Bible curriculum, and will benefit from increased technology in an upgraded elementary computer lab and with 1:1 chromebooks in grades 4 and 5.
I’m so excited to look back over a year of growth, both inside and outside the classroom. I’m thankful to be a part of OCSI and the amazing people that make it what it is. As we remember that learning is a journey with a constantly moving target, we are focused on growing all aspects of our students as we equip them to walk with Jesus and impact the world for him.
During their time at camp, we had several students commit to follow Jesus. We celebrate their decision and commit to walk alongside them as they continue to grow with him.
As always, Service Week (see video) provided an opportunity for our students to love of Jesus all over the island and in a variety of settings.
Our students attend our International College Fair in March.
We continued to use MAP testing in grades 3-9 to monitor student growth in key academic areas. Next year we will extend the use of this tool through 11th grade.
Middle school English students had multiple opportunities to show off their products and grow in their written work and presentation skills.
Students in chemistry club have been meeting every Friday during their lunch to further explore God’s creation by investigating concepts of chemistry.
OCSI held its first college fair with guest professors speaking to students.
Several high school students participated in an exchange with Ishikawa High School allowing them to grow new friendships and cultural understandings. Our students enjoyed having them on our campus and then visiting their new friends on their campus.
Several clubs were added this year to meet the needs and interests of our students. No matter the content of the club, students have been meeting in small groups and connecting with other students and their club sponsors.
Secondary students perform during their December 7 Christmas program.
Sports and Fine Arts
It is always a wonderful thing to watch as our athletic teams grow in skill and character from the first game of the season to the last.
The Secondary Christmas Program was a great opportunity to see how our students have developed an grown in the performing arts.
The USAF Band of the Pacific performed for an outdoor concert for our students.