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So far OCSI Connect has created 174 blog entries.

Kid City helps elementary students learn about community

Each year our gym is transformed into Kid City, a simulation for 1st and 2nd graders that helps them understand how a community works. Students run a variety of services, and when they are not busy offering a service, students take on the role of customer. They are issued play money which they use at the various services.

Thanks, parents and teachers, for making Kid City a success!

2017 Kid City

April 27th, 2017|

What good things happened this year?

OCSI Connections:

We want our students to understand God, His world, and their place in it; we also want our students to use their learning to serve. Here are some of the ways this has happened this past year!

  • Students presented their artwork to a group and received feedback from their peers.
  • Students built a greeter stand for Keystone Church.
  • Students used accurate research to examine different perspectives on the Civil War. This led into discussing our rights and roles as citizens.
  • Students prayed for their families.
  • Several students ministered on worship teams in local churches.

As you may recall, we are doing our Spring Packet differently this year. In the past, we asked for forms as part of re-registration. However, this year we moved re-registration earlier and asked parents/guardians to submit forms by Friday, April 28. Some of these forms were sent home, while other forms were posted online (Lunch Request Form for K3-Grade 5Referral Coupon, and Tuition and Annual Fee Payment Plan Selection). Please…

  1. Download and print the appropriate forms. (You can stop by the office to pick up a printed copy, or you can ask your child to pick up a copy.)
  2. Remember that all families must submit the Tuition and Annual Fee Payment Plan Selection form.
  3. Complete the appropriate forms. Please check the forms to be sure you have provided all necessary information.
  4. Submit the appropriate forms to the office by Friday, April 28.

Please note that we will be sending out our annual survey in May. We value your input, and your input will be used to help us more effectively equip your child(ren).

And please keep the following important dates in mind:

  • 4/28: Spring Packet forms due
  • 5/4: Progress reports
  • 5/5: Children’s Day – no school
  • 5/29: Memorial Day – no school
  • 6/9: 2nd semester ends (12:30 dismissal for students)

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

2017-04-20 Fence

P.S. We have extended the fence on the elementary playground. This will help our students PlaySafely. We invite you to give a gift to PlaySafely Campaign in Japan or the US to help cover installation costs.

April 27th, 2017|

I’m excited about physical education and health at OCSI

I’m excited that our students…

  • Mastered kicking a ball (kindergarten).
  • Students work together in teams toward a specific goal, for example, to collect and shoot as many basketball as possible (elementary school).
  •  Students work collaboratively in groups of 3 to create a tumbling routine and present the routine to the class (middle school).
  • Students learn about how their bodies are created from cells to make tissue, organs, and systems. Students also learn how to steward their bodies to better serve God in His world (high school).

I’m also excited that OCSI teaches physical education from the perspective of the Bible’s overarching story of creation-fall-redemption-restoration:

  • Creation (What’s God’s purpose?): God created us as whole people (physical as well as spiritual) in a physical creation, declared it all very good, and set a pattern alternating work with rest. He did this so we could enjoy and care for the physical life of ourselves and our neighbors, in gratitude to God for all His good gifts.
  • Fall (What’s wrong?): Because of sin we idolize or fail to appreciate and care for the physical life of ourselves and our neighbors.
  • Redemption (What difference does Jesus make?): In becoming human, Jesus affirmed the goodness of physical life. In dying and rising again, He freed us from the power of sin so that we could enjoy and care for the physical life of ourselves and our neighbors, in gratitude to God for all His good gifts.
  • Restoration (What will you do?): The PE/Health Department equips students to walk with God and impact the world for Him. To do this, we help students to develop skill in movement, to appreciate and steward the health and fitness of the body God has given them, and to collaborate with others.
April 21st, 2017|

I’m excited about Japanese language at OCSI

I’m excited that our students…

  • Expand their Japanese vocabulary so that can talk with others in Japanese.
  • Master hiragana, katakana, and kanji.
  • Learn that language is a tool for communicating across cultures and that language should be used to serve God and others.
  • Think about the relationship between language and culture.
  • Work productively in groups.
  • Give speeches on current events.
  • Understand the differences between honorific expressions and extra modest expressions, which will help them when they start a job so they know how to communicate respectfully.

I’m also excited that OCSI teaches Japanese from the perspective of the Bible’s overarching story of creation-fall-redemption-restoration:

  • Creation (What’s God’s purpose?): God created language for power (how He created the earth), connection (how He communicated with people and people with each other), and truth (Jesus is the Word—God’s clearest communication of His truth to humans). People, as His image bearers, continue to use language to develop the potential of God’s creation.
  • Fall (What’s wrong?): After the fall people used language to assert human power over God’s power (Genesis 11), to separate people, and to deceive others.
  • Redemption (What difference does Jesus make?): Jesus embodies how far God will go to re-establish communication. Jesus became human, sacrificed Himself to reconcile us to God, and rose from the dead so we could desire to be reconciled to others. He also sent His Spirit, and at Pentecost the Holy Spirit enabled all to hear the Gospel in their own language, thus showing us God’s vision of unity that will include people from every language praising Him in heaven.
  • Restoration (What will you do?): The Japanese Language Department equips students to walk with God and impact the world for Him. To do this, we help students speak, read, and write Japanese language, and understand Japanese culture. We do this so that students will be gracious hosts and/or guests, appreciate the unity in diversity that people have developed as God’s image bearers, and appreciate the interconnection of language and culture. And we do this so that students can, in humility, love their neighbors and communicate the Gospel to them.

2017-04-14 Japanese class field trip

April 19th, 2017|

Enjoying today’s view

April 19th, 2017|

Thank you!

PTF Connections:

Thank you to all our parents and students who brought gifts for our teachers and staff this last week for Teacher Appreciation Week! I am so thankful to be part of a community that recognizes the hard work and service given every day to our students.  Thank you for your generosity!

OCSI is hosting a track tournament on Saturday, April 22 (staring at 9:00 a.m.), at the track in Kadena Town.  We are in need of parents to volunteer that day.  Please email ptf@ocsi.org or athleticdirector@ocsi.org if you are able to help.

Sincerely,
Julie Woolery
PTF Director
April 13th, 2017|

I’m excited about kindergarten at OCSI

I’m excited that our kindergarteners…

  • Learn their letters and how to read.
  • Explore numbers, putting them in order, representing them with objects, etc.
  • Persist to solve problems by trying different configurations when building with blocks.
  • Classify things.
  • Apply Biblical principles to what they learn. For example, since God made all things, we should be thankful and use what God made the way God wants.
  • Develop social-emotional skills that prepare them for citizenship.

I’m also excited that OCSI teaches kindergarten from the perspective of the Bible’s overarching story of creation-fall-redemption-restoration:

  • Creation (What’s God’s purpose?): Because God created people in His image, even the smallest child deserves respect and love. They are creative, communicative meaning-makers and truth seekers. They have gifts, and they are able to learn. 
  • Fall (What’s wrong?): Because of sin, society can neglect or misuse children, or simply fail to support their flourishing. Children may face physical, social, emotional, and learning challenges. Children themselves can misuse or abdicate responsibility for their own and their peers’ gifts.
  • Redemption (What difference does Jesus make?): Because Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me,” we follow His example of valuing children in their whole beings—physical, social, emotional, spiritual, and intellectual—and we introduce them to Jesus. Because Jesus died and rose again to free them from the power of sin, they are free to build meaning in the world God has given them, with the gifts God has given them, in the communities God has placed them, with gratitude to God and love for their neighbors.
  • Restoration (What will you do?): Kindergarten equips students to walk with God and impact the world for Him. To do this, we seek to meet each child where he/she is, support their flourishing as whole beings, ignite their God-given gifts and curiosity, and prepare them to effectively and joyfully rise to the challenges of a formal education.

2017-04-12 Kindergarten B

April 13th, 2017|

Please continue to pray for OCSI

Good things are happening at OCSI:

  • The elementary’s Culture Fair was a success.
  • 6th grade science students studied Newton’s laws of motion.
  • High school computer scientists created lighting while learning about electricity and programming micro-controllers.
  • Teachers discussed effective instructional strategies.
  • New staff focused on OCSI’s mission, vision, and philosophy.

Please continue to pray for OCSI:

  • Ask God to give staff the wisdom and discernment they need as they interact with students and families from different cultural backgrounds. 
  • Pray that our students will use their learning to serve God and others.
  • Praise the Lord for His grace, mercy, and bountiful provision.

Sincerely,
Michael B. Essenburg, superintendent
Equipping students to walk with God and impact the world for Him
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2017-04-10 Field

P.S. Road construction along the far end of the playing field is finished, and poles and nets have been installed. Through our PlaySafely Campaign, we are raising funds to cover these costs. We invite you to give a gift in Japan or the US.

April 11th, 2017|

I’m excited about Bible at OCSI

I’m excited that our Bible scholars…

  • Learn about who made them (kindergarten).
  • Explore the miracles of Jesus and how they can grow in the fruit of the Spirit  (elementary).
  • Focus on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, how the early Church started, and how the Gospel has spread (middle school).
  • Apply Biblical principles to finances and compare creationism and evolution (high school).

I’m also excited that OCSI teaches Bible from the perspective of the overarching story of creation-fall-redemption-restoration:

  • Creation (What’s God’s purpose?): God created all things very good for His own glory. Adam and Eve lived in right relationship with God, creation, each other, and themselves—they glorified and enjoyed God, cared for and developed creation, nurtured flourishing community with each other, and experienced psychological and emotional wholeness.
  • Fall (What’s wrong?): Because of sin, our relationships with God, creation, each other, and ourselves are broken. We worship false gods, abuse creation, hurt and fail each other, and experience psychological and emotional brokenness.
  • Redemption (What difference does Jesus make?): Jesus lived life as God intended it to be lived—sinlessly and for God’s glory. Jesus died and rose again to free us from the power of sin. All who believe in Jesus are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, restored to right relationship with God, and empowered to live as Jesus did—in healthy relationship with creation, others, and self.
  • Restoration (What will you do?): The Bible Department equips students to walk with God and impact the world for Him. To do this, we emphasize sharing the Gospel and discipleship by meeting students where they are spiritually and by helping them (a) to read the Bible, (b) to develop Biblical literacy and a Christian worldview, (c) to think Biblically, and (d) to make and live out an informed commitment to Jesus.
April 11th, 2017|

Teachers discuss effective instructional strategies

Fourteen teachers participated in a 6-week book discussion of Better Learning Through Structured Teaching: A Framework for the Gradual Release of Responsibility by Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey. During the discussions, teachers talked about focused instruction, guided instruction, collaborative learning, and independent learning. At the end of each discussion, each teacher identified action steps, which they reported on at the next discussion.

Say Kim Essenburg, book discussion facilitator, “It was exciting to hear people talking about how they used what they had learned during book discussions to help students learn even more during class!”
April 1st, 2017|