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So far OCSI Connect has created 268 blog entries.

Students develop skills related to creating

Elementary Connections:

The ability to create new ideas and philosophies, design and revise products, and think critically to find solutions to real world problems is what makes us as humans so uniquely and wonderfully created by God. In the changing world economy, these same skills are also increasingly in demand by employers. At OCSI, we start helping children develop these skills from a very young age:

  • IMG_1002Children are working together to figure out how far to move a box from a ramp in order to have their match box cars land in the box and how to reinforce bridges on train tracks with blocks (PreK).
  • Children created their own version of the famous pigeon book series and entitled it “Don’t Let the Pigeon Be the Teacher” (1st grade writing).
  • Children created mini ecosystems/biomes in science class (3rd grade science).
  • Children designed their own inventions on paper and then made them out of 3D materials (3rd grade art).
  • Children used Little Bits technology to create a display that read the classroom temperature to help them decide when to turn on the air conditioner and are now creating and designing their own droid (5th grade science).
  • Children are writing personal memoirs after analyzing the comings and goings, major points, themes, and connections in their own lives (5th grade writing).

Little Bits Droid Creators

We’re looking forward to the OCSI Elementary Week of Reading next week! We hope that your child will have fun as we celebrate and inspire a love of reading! We hope that you will join us for Family Reading Night as well on Thursday, March 1 from 5-6 p.m.

Megan Roe, elementary principal
Equipping students to walk with God and impact the world for Him
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Megan Roe

February 22nd, 2018|

What encourages growth?

OCSI Connections:

At OCSI, we value growth:
  • We want students to grow. We want our students to increase their understanding of God, His world, and their place in it. We want our students to enhance their skills for thinking, collaborating, communicating, and creating.
  • We want staff to grow—staff are pursuing their own professional development goals, participating in book discussions, and reading publications from over 15 professional organizations.
  • We want OCSI to grow. Our Schoolwide Action Plan targets culture, communication, key performance indicators, curriculum, and organizational stability and sustainability.
One way we encourage growth is by participating in the board-mandated ongoing improvement process (B2.4.7) that includes accreditation (B2.4.8). The focus of the process has been on 3 key steps that encourage growth: sharpening vision, assessing practice, and planning growth:
  1. Sharpening our vision helps us know what our goal is. So, staff have been reviewing OCSI’s mission, vision, and expected student outcomes; and parent newsletters have included a focus on the expected student outcomes.
  2. Assessing practice helps us see what we currently do and how effective it is. So, students, parents/guardians, and staff completed surveys. Next, high school student council, a PTF Committee, and staff used survey data as they assessed how OCSI is doing on 8 accreditation standards.
  3. Planning for growth is based on our assessment of practice. ACSI requires that we use assessment results to identify (only) 2-3 strengths and 2-3 growth areas. The Steering Committee and Leadership Team identified key strengths and growth areas (which were then used to update the ongoing Schoolwide Action Plan).
To learn more about…

What’s next? 
  • We are now preparing for the March 13-16 accreditation visit. A team of 5 educators will review our report, visit classes, study documents, hold meetings (with students, parents/guardians, staff, and the board), identify our strengths and growth areas, and report their findings to us and OCSI’s 2 accreditation agencies: the Association of Christian Schools International and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. We will use the team’s findings to refine our Schoolwide Action Plan.
  • We are working to further involve students and parent/guardians in our ongoing improvement process.
Did you know…?
  • The College Board provides college and SAT prep materials?
  • Part of OCSI’s vision is students using their learning to serve God and others?
  • OCSI started in 1957, used to be located in Urasoe, and moved to Yomitan in 1996?
  • That dates for next school year are posted on our community calendar? School begins on August 21, 2018 and ends on June 12, 2019. The schedule is similar to this school year, except that Christmas vacation is longer.
  • OCSI publishes a variety of informative blog posts each month?
Focus on others first

Key dates:
  • 3/13-16: Accreditation visit: A team of 5 educators (led by Dr. Mohler of ACSI) will read our accreditation report, visit classrooms, look at documents, hold meetings, and identify OCSI’s overall strengths and growth areas.
  • 3/21: Conferences
  • 4/2-6: Spring vacation
  • 5/4: Golden Week Holiday – no school
  • 5/28: Memorial Day – no school
  • 6/13: Last day of classes
  • 6/21: Summer school begins
  • 7/4: Independence Day – no school
  • 7/17: Summer school ends
  • 8/21: Classes begin (see the community calendar for key dates for next school year)

Thank you for the privilege of assisting you with the education of your child(ren)! Please contact us with your questions and concerns.

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


P.S. Thank you for your patience and understanding with road construction. Road construction is scheduled to be finished in mid-March. Elementary parents, if you drop of your children by the elementary playground, please escort them from the car to the gate—thanks!

February 22nd, 2018|

Check out the view

February 22nd, 2018|

Students serve others

February 19th, 2018|

Thanks for being involved in God’s work in Okinawa

Through daily devotions, we’ve been encouraging our students to focus on others first. To put this into action, our students were involved in service projects:

  • Ministering to homeless people by providing food and fellowship.
  • Using the arts (drama, music, art, and dance) to present the Gospel at 5 different locations.
  • Cleaning up local beaches and a local zoo.
  • Supporting the outreach of a church in Saipan.
  • Visiting several nursing homes, where they met the residents and played games with them.
  • Doing odd jobs for 2 churches.


Please continue to pray for God’s work in Okinawa, Japan:

  • Praise God for providing opportunities for students to use their learning to serve others.
  • Praise God for providing an elementary teacher for next year.
  • Ask God to provide 3 bus drivers and 5 bus monitors.
  • Ask God for the health, energy, and wisdom staff need as they serve at OCSI.

Thanks for being involved in God’s work in Okinawa, Japan!

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


Feb Prayer Letter

February 16th, 2018|

Join in!

PTF Connections: 
Week of ReadingJoin the fun!
  • OCSI has received new indoor and outdoor recess supplies purchased by PTF for the elementary students. We hope that these supplies will make students’ recess time even more fun!
  • We appreciate applications from parents for the Mother Read class!  This fun class by Mrs. Woolery will be filled with laughter and help you enjoy reading with your child(ren) in English.
  • PTF will host a cooking class of Korean cuisine from 11:30 to 13:30 on Saturday, February 24.  Please email us at ptf@ocsi.org for application or inquiry.  We will accept 12 participants on a first come, first served basis. The application acceptance will start on February 10 at 9 a.m. We look forward to receiving your application!
  • Family Reading Night is scheduled to be held from 17:00 to 18:00 on March 1st, and PTF will also support this event.  Please join us in having a fun time with your child(ren)!
Would you like to share your opinion with our school? PTF will prepare questionnaires so you can share your thoughts about school events and other topics of the past 6 months of the school year.  Let’s share as many opinions as possible with the school to help OCSI continue growing!  The questionnaires will be sent in your elementary child’s Friday folder this week and available via Jupiter mail for secondary parents. Your cooperation will be appreciated!
March 21st is conference day, and PTF is planning to host a flea market that day. Last year, OCSI decided not to host Bazaar anymore. If you have any un-used items at home, why don’t you sell them at this event?  You can sell handmade products with your family, or hosting a game corner would be interesting, too. The details are to be announced later, so please stay tuned.
Please also check out PTF Facebook page for updated event information.
Yumi Horii
PTF Director


February 9th, 2018|

Middle school students are off to a great start

Middle School Happenings:

Middle school students are off to a great start!

  • Students were able to participate in some fun last month, as they took part in Spirit Week.
  • Each month, we are focusing on a particular character trait that we hope tosee reflected in our students’ actions. This month, we have been looking for examples of encouragement/positivity. This is a trait that we all need to have!
  • We are preparing to participate in Service Week from February 12 to 16. This is a great opportunity not only to experience serving others, but also to learn outside of the classroom. The teachers, the students, and those that are served are always blessed by this week!

As we continue into the 3rd quarter, students will need to remain focused. We are now halfway through the year!

February 9th, 2018|

Spirit Week goes well

High School Happenings:

Spirit Week 2018 was a fun celebration of OCSI spirit! The dress up days were a wonderful way to show class unity. At the pep rally, the seniors showed their spirit by cheering the loudest for the Spirit Stick. The class cheer performances were well done, exhibiting how well the classes worked together. Later that night at the Homecoming game, we saw the crowning of the homecoming king and queen, Samuel Calvin and Kaila McGinty.The week was topped off by the exciting boys’ basketball game where the Crusaders beat the Zion Lions 41-33.

February 9th, 2018|

We want our students to create

At OCSI, we want our students to create. We want our students to serve others by creating ideas, products, and solutions. So, we ask our students to…
  1. cartoon-1294877_640Create and refine artworks in both conventional and innovative ways.
  2. Combine ideas.
  3. Create solutions to social problems.
  4. Produce writing.
  5. Present speeches.
  6. Produce plans, strategies, plays, and routines.
  7. Develop solutions to problems of design, production, and workplace interactions and ethics.

We also involve our students in service activities. Check out this video from last year’s Service Week:

SuperintendentSays Michael Essenburg, head of school: “Our world needs creators. Our world needs creators who serve God and others by creating ideas, products, and solutions. I’m glad our students are growing as creators.”


January 31st, 2018|

We want students to communicate truthfully and effectively

At OCSI, we want students to communicate truthfully and effectively. What do I mean?
  • “Communicate” includes how we receive (listening, reading) and send (speaking, writing) communication.
  • “Truthfully” includes integrity, accuracy, and alignment with what God has revealed about Himself, His creation, and how He intended for us to relate to Him and to His creation.
  • “Effectively” includes clarity, beauty, and persuasiveness, accomplishing the goal.

Here are some ways middle school students are growing toward this goal:
  • Woodworkers are not allowed to advance on their projects without using woodshop vocabulary to describe what they are doing and why.
  • 6th grade Bible students created and performed a skit based on one of 12 resurrection appearances of Jesus. 
  • 7th grade scientists are practicing using data as a method of truthful communication as they learn how tables of numerical data convey information.
  • 7th grade geographers discussed in small groups the question “How does geography influence the way of life for people?” Students were able to communicate their ideas in a safe environment.
  • 7th grade mathematicians wrote journals using academic vocabulary (discounts, retain, wholesale, etc.) answering the prompt “Do stores lose money when they have a sale? Explain with details and examples.” 
  • 8th grade Bible students read scripture and look for (1) the speaker, (2) the audience, (3) the main characters, (4) the big idea, (5) the enduring truth. 
  • 8th grade readers debated human nature with information from The Pearl and the Bible, focusing on listening to understand and on responding rather than reacting.
  • Middle school readers participated in our Drop Everything and Read Program on Thursdays.

Here are some ways high school students are growing toward this goal:
  • 9th grade writers composed news articles incorporating multiple perspectives and avoiding bias.
  • 10th grade Bible students submitted anonymous questions, then dialogued these openly within the classroom. This was done in a respectful, helpful way.
  • 11th grade historians worked in teams to research and create a documentary.
  • High school mathematicians worked on projects in partners and then presented those projects to the class. They prepared their presentation according to a rubric of communication expectations.
  • High school PE students have learned to communicate effectively on the field during games of ultimate frisbee. They’ve experienced that communication helps them score, referee themselves, and encourage each other.
  • High school artists give verbal critiques of one another’s artwork on a regular basis. They discuss in advance how to construct thoughtful, helpful, meaningful critique comments, and the students are required to make a minimum number of verbal comments and encouraged to make additional comments.
  • High school computer scientists worked in peer programing teams.
  • High school readers participated in our Drop Everything and Read Program on Thursdays.
Kim Essenburg, curriculum coordinator
Equipping students to walk with God and impact the world for Him
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January 25th, 2018|