/Expected Student Outcome: Communicate

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|

Focusing on helping students communicate truthfully and effectively

OCSI Connections:

OCSI focuses on communication. We focus on helping students communicate truthfully and effectively. It’s good to see:

  • Students listening to devotions on encouraging each other.
  • Pre-K students learning winter vocabulary words.
  • Second graders discussing how to communicate empathy and respect for each other.
  • Fifth graders creating original vocabulary sentences each week before the spelling test.
  • Sixth graders performing a skit based on the 12 resurrection appearances of Jesus.
  • Eighth graders debating human nature, using information from the Bible and The Pearl.
  • High schoolers creating documentaries, using academic vocabulary as they write in their math journals, and programming an Arduino micro-controller.

Computer Coding

Did you know…?


Key dates:

  • 1/26: Teacher work day – no school for students
  • 2/5: Open enrollment, with new students being given available seats
  • 2/19: Presidents’ Day – no school
  • 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


Please complete re-enrollment (re-registration) by Friday, February 2:

  • Please note that re-enrollment (re-registration) is earlier than last year. This is because we have several classes that are nearing capacity, and we want to help incoming families to be able to apply starting February 5 so they can make informed decisions before the Japanese school year starts in April.
  • Please reserve your seat by February 2 for next school year before new students are admitted (starting February 5). Please come to the office to make payment (8:00-3:30). Please bring your completed re-enrollment form. For further information, please see this lettertuition/fee schedule, and re-enrollment form, all of which were mailed and emailed to you in December.


Road construction: January 30 – mid March, the stretch of road from our front gate to the road at the top of the hill will be closed (see photo, yellow highlights).

  • Parents dropping off their children will need to (A) come up the hill from Route 6 to the front entrance (see blue highlights) or (B) use the back entrance (see blue highlights).
  • Our buses will be parked along the elementary playground. So 8:00 – 845AM, everyone should refrain from using the road between the front drop-off area and the elementary playground. OCSI will post orange cones and provide further directions.

Road Construction Map

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 God and impact the world for Him
Calendar • Contact • Donate • Handbook • Prayer Guide • Facebook • Typhoon


P.S. Check out photos of how students are communicating!




January 24th, 2018|

Helping students develop communication skills

Elementary Connections:

We all want our children to become effective and honest communicators, able to express their opinions and desires in kind and loving ways.
At OCSI we also want them to be proficient in writing, reading, listening, and speaking in English. This month has been full of opportunities for your children to develop their communication skills:

  • E9C5FCBF-AD1A-4E33-8CCA-C827A246AE5FChildren are learning winter vocabulary and played karuta (Japanese card game) with winter word cards during circle time (pre-K).

  • Children can receive “share passes” during Writer’s Workshop time, and they get to share their writing with the class and celebrate their progress together (kindergarten).

  • Children are always encouraged to say “please” and “thank you” and to use kind words all the time (kindergarten).

  • Children shared with each other about a special activity they did over Christmas break, and they were asked to use their senses (I saw, I heard, etc.) as they communicated in order to make it more effective (1st grade).

  • Children are consistently discussing how to communicate empathy and respect for each other, in the pursuit of becoming a better team (2nd grade).

  • Children create original vocabulary sentences each week before the spelling test and then get three friends to peer-edit them. They are also learning that being honest is being helpful (5th grade).


Next month, elementary will celebrate the Week of Reading with guest readers, a character parade, Dr. Seuss birthday parties, buddy reading, pajama day, and a 5th grade read-in. We are planning some fun and exciting reading activities for your children here at school, and we hope that you will come celebrate with us at Family Reading Night on March 1. More information about this special week coming soon!

If you’re a preK-2nd grade parent and you’d like to learn how to more effectively read and discuss books at home with your child, please join Mrs. Julie Woolery for her Mother Read class, starting January 25 (2-3 p.m.).

Megan Roe, elementary principal
Equipping students to walk with God and impact the world for Him
Calendar • Contact • Donate • Handbook • Prayer Guide • Facebook • Typhoon

Megan Roe

P.S. Check out the schedule for our Week of Reading and the reminder about re-enrollment (re-registration)!

Week of Reading26804456_10155122715412374_2066139827215299989_n

January 17th, 2018|

We want our students to communicate

chat-1294839_640At OCSI, we want our students to communicate. We want our students to communicate truthfully and effectively. So, we ask our students to…
  1. Use language and art to communicate about and through art.
  2. Read the Bible with attention to internal consistency, historical context, literary genre, and study helps.
  3. Follow directions, clearly express thoughts and needs, and speak the truth in love.
  4. Use accurate research, share Biblical teaching, and use language ethically and to serve others.
  5. Refine their reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills.
  6. Communicate in Japanese both effectively and truthfully.
  7. Interpret and use data accurately and ethically.
  8. Refine their music-related skills and effectively perform music that communicates truth about God, His world, and the human experience of living in it.
  9. Speak respectfully to teammates, opponents, and authority figures.
  10. Report accurately and effectively, based on quality research and responsible experimentation.
  11. Use accurate research, share Biblical teaching, participate effectively in civic discussion, and use their voices as citizens to promote peace and justice.
  12. Communicate information and ideas ethically and effectively to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats.
  13. Express and interpret information and ideas using woodworking vocabulary in ways that are appropriate to colleagues, customers, and employers.

Kindergarten Christmas Program

SuperintendentSays Michael Essenburg, head of school: “Our world needs truthful, effective communicators. Our world needs communicators who serve others. I’m glad our students are growing as communicators.”

January 3rd, 2018|

Elementary in action

Elementary Connections:

Merry Christmas! It was so wonderful to see all of your children performing in the Christmas program last week, and I’m looking forward to the PreK and kinder program this Friday. We really do have such talented students here at OCSI. We would like to say thank you for partnering with us in the education of your children. I am so grateful for a school community that supports each other and partners with teachers to do what’s best for student learning.


Want to see what a typical morning at school looks like for your child? On January 8, we would like to invite you to campus for Kite Day celebrations and to spend time observing in your child’s classroom.

We are excited to be able to offer after school clubs for our elementary students in kindergarten (K5) through 5th grade beginning from January 23. We know that providing extra-curricular opportunities are important to families, and we hope that you will find a club that interests your child. A big thank you to the teachers who have volunteered to lead these clubs!

1/5 – 2/2: Re-enrollment (re-registration) begins. Reserve your seat for next school year before new students are admitted. Please come to the office to make payment (8:00-3:30). Please bring your completed re-enrollment form. For further information, please see this letter and the tuition/fee schedule which were mailed home earlier this month.

Dates to remember:

  • 1/4: School resumes

  • 1/8 Kite Day & Parent Observation time

  • 1/15: Martin Luther King Jr. Day – no school

  • 1/26: Teacher work day – no school for students

  • 2/5: Open enrollment, with new students being given available seats

  • 2/19: Presidents’ Day – no school

Megan Roe, elementary principal
Equipping students to walk with God and impact the world for Him
Calendar • Contact • Donate • Handbook • Prayer Guide • Facebook • Typhoon

Megan Roe

P.S. Check out the video of the elementary Christmas program!

December 12th, 2017|

Secondary music students do radio theater

Secondary music students performed a radio-theater version of A Christmas Carol, complete with dramatic readings, sound effects, and songs like “We Need a Little Christmas, “Carol of the Bells,” and “You Are the Savior of the World.”

Said Don Reasoner, music teacher, “I am proud of how the students worked together to put on this production.”


December 1st, 2017|

Secondary students drop everything and read

Did you know that reading has the following 9 benefits?

  1. Builds knowledge
  2. Improves achievement
  3. Increases motivation
  4. Increases vocabulary
  5. Improves writing
  6. Builds background knowledge
  7. Improves understanding of text structures
  8. Develops empathy
  9. Develops personal identity

These 9 benefits are identified by the authors of Disrupting Thinking, and we want our students to gain all these benefits! So, Thursday afternoons secondary students are dropping everything and reading. They are spending 25 minutes of uninterrupted silent reading time with their homeroom teachers.

We kicked off our Drop Everything and Read program on Thursday—it went well!

  • Students and teachers were deeply engaged with books.
  • There were boxes of books or classroom libraries in each room, and activities to help students choose a book.
  • Said one 9th grade homeroom teacher, “I had kids who were so excited about certain books they had to janken over who got it. No apathy for reading in 9.1!”
  • A middle school homeroom teacher said, “My students all came with books already chosen. We didn’t even do any introductory activities, but just got right to reading.”

We’re looking forward to a lot of enjoyment as well as growth through reading this year!


August 25th, 2017|

Students celebrate learning at Authors’ Tea

At today’s Authors’ Tea at Sera En, 3rd grade reading fair winners were recognized, and 4th and 5th graders presented books they had written and published. The event, attended by parents, included a picnic lunch.



May 19th, 2017|

Culture Fair is a success!

OCSI’s elementary school had its Culture Fair Friday, March 17. Third, fourth, and fifth graders made group presentations to the kindergarteners and first and second graders who cycled through their classrooms.

Upper elementary students have been preparing for weeks. Each group of 4 students was assigned a country, and the groups collaborated to research their country, create displays, and communicate in their presentation. The displays included many hands-on models to engage the younger children, including games, musical instruments, money replicas, houses, clothing, and food.

Many thanks to everyone who helped to make the day a success!


Parents prepare a delicious lunch for students!

March 17th, 2017|

Students celebrate reading

Kindergarten and lower elementary students and teachers celebrated reading by dressing up as characters from books. They them made parade around campus, while parents, staff, and secondary students cheered them on!

2017-01-19 Character Day

January 19th, 2017|