/Parent Newsletter

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).

IMG-2572

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.).

Sincerely,
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|

Get involved through PTF!

PTF Connections:

Happy New Year! How was Christmas for everyone?  I hope all of you had a fun time with your family.

We thank many of you for attending the coffee morning on December 15!  It was an enjoyable coffee time with our guest speaker, Mr. Tony Novak, the chef from Mogu Mogu Cooking, who shared his cannoli, a traditional Italian pastry.

PTF is planning to continue to hold occasional events with morning coffee or afternoon tea and guest speakers. If you would like to recommend someone to be a guest speaker, please contact us at ptf@ocsi.org.

PTF’s popular class, Mother Read, starts in a few weeks.  This course will be taught by Mrs. Woolery.  Through this course, you can learn the joy of reading English books with your child(ren) at home and tips for making it even more enjoyable.  Mother Read welcomes all parents from PK3 to 2nd grade, including those who are not confident with their English levels and have been hesitant to attend.  This course is filled with fun and laughter, and everyone can enjoy it even if they cannot speak in English.

  • There will be 8 classes in this course, which will take place at Room 202 from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm on Thursdays.  Parents are welcome to participate in the classes at any time and whenever it’s convenient.
  • We look forward to seeing many of you in Mother Read classes!

PTF would also like to host cooking classes.  Would you like to volunteer to show other parents how to cook one or two dishes?  As OCSI parents come from various countries, we would like for you to share recipes of some cuisines of your own country.  If you are interested, please contact us at ptf@ocsi.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Yumi Horii
PTF Director

26804456_10155122715412374_2066139827215299989_n

January 16th, 2018|

In transition? Use a RAFT!

OCSI Connections:

Transitions are part of our lives, and they range in size. We transition from home to school. We transition from the school to spring vacation. We transition elementary to middle school. And upon graduation, we transition to college and career.

What are some big transitions you’ve experienced? Big transitions I’ve experienced include moving from Japan to the US in 1973, going off to college in 1981, and moving from the US to Japan in 1987. And as I look back on my transitions, I found that “[l]eaving right is a key to entering right.”

help-1276257_1280

You might be wondering, “What can help me or my student leave right?” One thing I’ve found that helps is the RAFT model. Here’s a quick summary:

  • Reconciliation: With whom do you need to reconcile?
  • Affirmation: To whom do you want to say thank you?
  • Farewell: To what people, places, and possessions do you want to say good-bye?
  • Think destination: How does your destination compare to your current situation?
We use the RAFT model with our seniors to help them transition to college and career. Here are some examples of how we do this:
College Career Resources

Another thing I’ve found that helps people leave right is doing personal reflection. Here are some questions that are designed to help you do some initial reflection:
  • What words come to mind when you think of “transition”?
  • What excites/concerns you about transition?
  • What do you think of the following statement? “Leaving right is a key to entering right.
  • What helps/hinders healthy transition?
  • How helpful is the RAFT model?
Remember, transitions are part of life, and “[l]eaving right is a key to entering right.” (If you found this helpful, you might like to read The Global Nomad’s Guide to University Transition.)

Sincerely,
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

Superintendent

P.S. Want to use the RAFT model to do some further reflection? Try the list of questions below!

Reconciliation (Ephesians 4:32):
  • What does “reconciliation” mean?
  • What’s comfortable/comfortable about reconciliation?
  • How can reconciliation help you leave well?
  • With whom do you need to reconcile before your leave?
  • What will you do?
Affirmation (I Thessalonians. 5:11):
  • What words come to mind when you think of “affirmation”?
  • How do you feel about giving affirmation?
  • How can affirmation help you leave well?
  • Whom do you want to affirm before you leave?
  • What will you do?
Farewell:
  • What words come to mind when you think of “farewell”?
  • What’s satisfying/unsatisfying about saying farewell?
  • How can saying farewell help you leave well?
  • What people, places, and possessions do you want to say farewell to?
  • What will you do?
Think destination:
  • What’s your destination like?
  • How do you feel about your destination?
  • How can thinking about your destination help you leave well?
  • How is your destination the same/different than your current setting?
  • What will help/hinder your adjustment to your destination?
  • What’s next?
January 16th, 2018|

Happy New Year!

OCSI Connections:

Happy New Year to you and your family! I trust you had a good holiday. My wife and I enjoyed visiting with family in the US.

Essenburg Family

Re-enrollment (re-registration) begins on Friday, January 5:

  • 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.

Key dates:

  • 1/5: Re-enrollment (re-registration) begins.
  • 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

Sincerely,
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

Superintendent

January 3rd, 2018|

Merry Christmas!

OCSI Connections:

Merry Christmas and happy New Year to you and your family! I want to thank you for the privilege of assisting you with the education of your children. I trust that you and your family will have a refreshing, relaxing holiday.

Screen Shot 2017-12-04 at 5.54.46 PM

We are already looking forward to serving you again next school year. Information about tuition and fees for next school year has been emailed and mailed. Re-enrollment (re-registration) begins on January 5. Please pay in the office during office hours (8:00-3:30), and please bring your re-enrollment form.

Screen Shot 2017-12-05 at 12.38.42 PM

Did you know that…?

  • Part of OCSI’s vision is students communicating truthfully and effectively?
  • OCSI is a member of the Child Safety and Protection Network?
  • OCSI has admissions priority groups? Group 1 is Christian worker families, which honors OCSI’s heritage. Group 2 is international families, which helps OCSI maintain diversity and English speakers. Group 3 is Japanese families, which helps us include our local community.
  • Our blog has entries on student learning, parent newsletters, prayer letters, and more?
  • Naviance provides college and SAT prep materials?

Screen Shot 2017-12-04 at 5.48.34 PM

Key dates:

  • 12/15: 12:30 dismissal
  • 12/16 – 1/3: Christmas vacation
  • 1/4: Classes resume
  • 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 that were mailed to you earlier this month.
  • 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

Screen Shot 2017-12-04 at 5.46.19 PM

Thanks again for partnering with us, and have a merry Christmas and happy New Year!

Sincerely,
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

Superintendent

Screen Shot 2017-12-04 at 5.53.22 PM

December 13th, 2017|

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.

IMG_7164

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

Sincerely,
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 students participate in events

Screen Shot 2017-12-08 at 10.46.03 AMDFS Okinawa Art Project Okinawa Christian School International’s high school art class and National Honor Society members painted a bird under the theme of “underwater castle”(震殿) for the DFS store. DFS Okinawa (Duty Free Shoppers Okinawa) will display the bird until Christmas!

Middle school and high school students were entertained by the US Air Force Band of the Pacific. These well accomplished musicians played a variety of music that had students and teachers singing along.

Just before the Thanksgiving break in November middle school students celebrated the holiday with their annual “Pie Day.” Students enjoyed several types of pies. The middle school students and teachers would like to thank everyone who donated pies!

The 7th grade students had a special event: they learned proper etiquette for formal dining events and had the chance to put those skills to use as they participated in a luncheon at Hotel Moon Beach.

Screen Shot 2017-12-08 at 10.46.28 AMSeveral middle and high school students performed in the Secondary Christmas Performance. The students did a great job and really seemed to enjoy the opportunity to perform in front of an audience.
December 8th, 2017|

Holiday Market update

PTF Connections:

cached1673579601Poster contest: We had so many wonderful posters for the poster contest at Holiday Market! Thank you so much!  It was really a hard decision to pick the winners. We finally managed to choose eight winners, one from each grade (PK3 – 5th grade).  We are so proud of all the elementary children who participated in the contest—they are so talented and creative.

Holiday Market: Thank you so much for visiting the Holiday Market on November 11. It was the first time for the Holiday Market to be joined with the Walkathon.  The weather was just perfect to walk or run, and many parents and students visited the Holiday Market after Walkathon. It was so much fun to see so many kinds of food and crafts in the vendors’ shops.

I appreciated it so much that we had new vendors from among OCSI students this year with their parents. Their booths were so popular because many students enjoyed crafting with friends at their booths. The youngest vendor was a 2nd grade student. After the event she donated her profits to OCSI. Thank you for joining Holiday Market with your families, and please join again as a vendor to use your gifts and creativity!

Many groups such as the OCSI Saipan Mission Trip Team, cheerleaders, the Junior Class, Service Club, and the 5th grade parents also joined as vendors for fundraising. PTF was able to raise ¥140,000 that will be used for elementary school supplies for recess time. We also had many donations for the raffle, and many PTF vendors helped on that day.

I also want to say thank you to the many parents, teachers, and students that helped this event happen… without their help it could not have happened!

Many classes will have a Christmas party next week, so be looking for information from your class parent or homeroom teacher. Helping with events is a great way to support our teachers and students, and it gives us opportunities to connect with other parents.

Thank you always for your support for our school community, and merry Christmas!

Yumi Horii
PTF Director

December 8th, 2017|

OCSI has grown over the past 3 years

OCSI Connections:

We value growth. We want our students to grow, we want our staff to grow, and we want OCSI to grow as an organization.

How has OCSI grown over the past 3 years? Things that come to mind include:

  • Refining our expected student outcomes: understand, think, collaborate, communicate, and create.
  • Implementing the Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA) for grades 1-2 and to the Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) for grades 3-8.
  • Further developing and refining our curriculum.
  • Upgrading our website.
  • Revising our mission, vision, and philosophy.
  • Streamlining re-registration.
  • Implementing a 5-year financial plan.
23754978_10155386052319514_1788145760118970716_n

As you may recall, OCSI is preparing for its March 2018 accreditation visit:
  • We sharpened our vision by reviewing who we are and what we want students to learn.
  • We assessed our practice by using materials from our accreditation agency and by using input from students, parents/guardians, and staff.
  • We are now identifying 2-3 overall strengths and 2-3 growth areas.
  • We will finalize our reports before the end of January. This report will be shared with you.

Our goal is to make OCSI an even better school. Thank you for partnering with us!

Sincerely,
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

Superintendent

November 27th, 2017|

Focusing on helping students collaborate effectively and respectfully

OCSI Connections:

OCSI focuses on collaboration. We focus on helping students collaborate effectively and respectfully. It’s good to see:

  • Kindergarteners reading to a partner during Daily 5.
  • First grade writers getting feedback from a partner before editing.
  • Fifth grade mathematician creating board games with a partner to reinforce math concepts.
  • Middle school geologists analyzing different soil samples in groups and collaborating to develop a list of characteristics for classifying them.
  • Middle school theologians working in teams to produce a short video identifying the major themes and lessons of the Nativity story in Matthew and Luke.
  • High school political scientists working together to write a constitution and answer questions related to criminal and civil cases.
  • High school physicists working on a group project involving force, energy, gravitation, and velocity.
171111_Walkathon_GK-36
It was also good to see our community collaborating for Walkathon and Holiday Market. Thank you to all who participated. OCSI was able to raise ¥1.3 million.
Screen Shot 2017-11-13 at 5.29.19 PM
Key dates:
  • 11/22: Professional Day – no school for students
  • 11/23-24: Thanksgiving vacation
  • 12/6: Christmas program, 12:30 dismissal
  • 12/15: 12:30 dismissal
  • 12/16 – 1/3: Christmas vacation

IMG_7227.HEIC

Did you know that…?

  • OCSI offers the ACT and SAT?
  • Part of OCSI’s vision is students collaborating with others and respecting them as God’s image bearers?
  • OCSI’s website provides links to our calendar, guidance resources, and athletics?
  • Our JV1 girls’ volleyball team was undefeated this season and that our JV2 team did a great job and improved with each game?

Volleyball

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

Sincerely,
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

Superintendent

November 17th, 2017|