/Parent Newsletter

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.
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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.

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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

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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?

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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|

Elementary students collaborate

Elementary Connections:

When we hear the word collaborate, we often think of students working on a group project or helping each other in class. In reality, however, collaboration can be so much more than that. Collaboration means that each student brings his or her strengths to help the group solve problems and tackle real issues. The ability to collaborate well with others is a skill that will not only help our children be successful in school, but also in life and work.

Screen Shot 2017-11-07 at 2.58.22 PMAt OCSI elementary we provide our students with opportunities everyday to develop their collaboration skills. It’s a blessing to see them learn from one another and grow as a team. Some of the ways we encourage collaboration include:

  • Circle times that encourage participation and group sharing (PreK).
  • Reading to a partner during Daily 5 (kindergarten)
  • Sharing our writing with a partner to get feedback before editing (1st grade).
  • Creating board games with a partner to reinforce math concepts (5th grade).
  • Designing group posters to share the setting, characters, and plot of a novel (literacy class).

Want to help your child become a better collaborator? Encourage them to listen and make eye contact during conversations, allow for unstructured play time and opportunities to be creative, and model using encouraging words so they can become an encourager as well.

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. Just a reminder—the elementary chaplain (Mr. Roe) is available to provide personal counseling for students.

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November 9th, 2017|

Poster contest, Holiday Market, and more!

PTF Connections:

Poster Contest: Thank you for encouraging your children to join the second annual Christmas poster contest.  The titles of the posters this year are “It’s Christmastime!” (for PreK through grade 2) and “The Meaning of Christmas”  (for grades 3 to 5). All of the posters will be posted on the wall in the gym for Holiday Market and will be returned to the students later. Raffle tickets will also be given to the students who turn in the posters. The winner from each grade will receive a prize at the Holiday Market. If your child hasn’t submitted theirs yet, don’t worry. Please turn it in at the office by Wednesday, November 8.

Holiday Market: Thank you to all the parents who have already been helping with preparations and for signing up to be a PTF vendor staff at the Holiday Market.  We still have flyers at the reception table at OCSI. Please give one to your friends and invite them to join us at the Holiday Market.

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We are still collecting prizes for our raffle table. Please ask your favorite restaurant or bakery if they would be willing to donate a gift certificate. Please email to ptf@ocsi.org if you have any questions and visit our Facebook page. You can also find out more about events that are going on in the OCSI PTF Facebook page.

Sincerely,
Yumi Horii
PTF Director
Equipping students to walk with God and impact the world for Him
OCSI • Calendar • Contact • Handbook • Prayer • Facebook • Instagram • Pinterest • Twitter Typhoon
November 2nd, 2017|

Focusing on increasing student thinking

OCSI Connections:

brain-1294854_640OCSI focuses on thinking. We focus on increasing students’ ability to think both critically and Biblically. It’s good to see…

  • PreK students working together to figure out new and creative ways to build structures from blocks.
  • 1st grade artists exploring the concept of symmetry through portrait drawing.

  • 3rd grade writers thinking about people and places that are important to them in order to write small moment narratives.

  • 4th and 5th grade students thinking deeply about purpose and values in Bible class and at camp.

  • 7th grade scientists considering the question, “How are these molecules the same, and how are they different?”

  • 11th grade AP English students constructing argument essays, researched both sides of their chosen issue.

  • High school woodworkers, completing technical drawings and beginning construction of their scroll saw puzzles, learned to problem solve when issues arrive on a project or in life. Often, projects run longer than expected or errors occur. Students (woodworkers) then have to think critically to solve these issues. With strong critical thinking skills, students (woodworkers) can use their planned details with logic to not only solve problems, but even to foresee them before they occur, and avoid them.

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It’s also good to see staff thinking about how to help OCSI be an even better school. On the October 9 professional day, for example, staff used rubrics to assess how OCSI is doing on governance, home/community relations, personnel, instructional program, student care, and values/character formation.

Additionally, the School Improvement Steering Committee has been meeting weekly to review input from students, parents/guardians, and staff; and to write reports on how OCSI is doing. These reports will be published and made available to you before our accreditation visit in March 2018.

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As you think about upcoming events, please keep the following in mind:

  • 11/3: Parent-teacher conferences – no school for students
  • 11/11: Walkathon and PTF’s Holiday Market—see you there!
  • 11/13: OCSI Holiday – no school
  • 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

Walkathon

Did you know that…?

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

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

Superintendent

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Meet our elementary staff! They love your kids, and they love learning.

October 19th, 2017|

Students are thinking!

Elementary Connections:

It has been such a joy to see our elementary students asking questions and thinking critically in the classroom, on learning trips, at camp, during chapel, or even at recess. I am always impressed by how well our students question, think deeply, apply a Biblical perspective, and solve problems. Here are some of the ways I’ve seen this so far…

  • brain-1294854_640PreK students working together to figure out new and creative ways to build structures from blocks.

  • Kindergarten students exploring their five senses through an apple investigation and reflecting on how happy they were that God created them with five senses to explore His world .

  • 1st grade artists exploring the concept of symmetry through portrait drawing.

  • 1st and 2nd grade students sharing prayer requests and learning they can pray for anything.

  • 3rd grade writers thinking about people and places that are important to them in order to write small moment narratives.

  • 4th and 5th grade students thinking deeply about purpose and values in Bible class and at camp.

  • 5th grade scientists asking questions and making predictions about the chemical reactions between sugar in watermelon and yeast.

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Thinking critically about the world around us and looking at this world through the lens of a Biblical perspective are skills that we all want to cultivate and grow in our children. Developing these from a young age means that children will be better at making decisions, seeing patterns, and classifying information. Want to know more about how to encourage critical thinking in your child? Check out this article.

Upcoming dates to remember:

  • Saturday, 11/11: Walkathon & Holiday Market

  • Monday, 11/13: No school (OCSI Holiday)

  • Wednesday, 11/22-24-: No school (Thanksgiving Break)

  • Wednesday, 12/6: Christmas Program (grades 1-5), 12:30 dismissal

  • Friday, 12/15: PreK & Kindergarten Christmas Program, 12:30 dismissal

Thank you for the privilege of educating your children!

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. Join our annual giving campaign. One way you can do this is by coming to our Holiday Market.

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October 12th, 2017|

Bible study goes well, Holiday Market help needed

PTF Connections:

We had a wonderful time for Bible study with Mr. Roe this Thursday.  I found out many parents wonder what their kids study in Bible class—we got the answers at the Bible class with Mr. Roe.

PTF also has a Friday Bible study where we learn about parenting from a Biblical perspective.  We are going to study about how to discipline our children and how to help them when they’re angry.  If you are interested in, check it out on Friday afternoon from 1:30-3:00.

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If you have children in elementary, you will notice a PTF flyer in your Friday folder this weekend.  We would like more Holiday Market vendors, so we would like to open our booths to OCSI parents and teachers.  If you want to join us, please contact ptf@ocsi.org.  We will give you more details and we are happy to work with you on November 11, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

We also need your creative hands to decorate the gym for Holiday Market and to make crafts on October 19, October 26, November 2, and November 9 from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.  It’s going to be a fun time to get to know parents and make crafts. Let’s work together to make it happen to let all children smile on Holiday Market Day! If you have any questions, email ptf@ocsi.org.

Please visit our Facebook page and share it with your friends!

Sincerely,
Yumi Horii, PTF director
Equipping students to walk with God and impact the world for Him
OCSI • Calendar • Contact • Handbook • Prayer • Facebook • Instagram • Pinterest • Twitter Typhoon

 

October 6th, 2017|

Middle schoolers get to know each other

Middle School Happenings:

Fall can be a stressful time for students as they cope with new teachers, new classrooms and new classmates. One way we try to ease this stress is through some activities designed to help students get to know each other.

One fun event for all middle schoolers was our Friendship Friday, which was held on September 22. Most students were able to attend and could enjoy the games, the food and getting to meet new students. Although it did “rain out” part of our activities, we were able to remain flexible and move our activities inside the gym. It was certainly a lot of fun!

School is not all “fun and games,” however. September also saw our first MAP tests. Results will be sent home soon, but these tests will be quite useful for teachers to gauge where our students are at, and where we want them to be.

Coming soon will be our middle school camp. Camp will again be at Eco-Park this year from October 18-20. You should have already received some information and a permission slip for this event.

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October 3rd, 2017|

High school students are well into the school year

High School Happenings:

High school students are well into the school year. As they analyze primary documents in history, set up experiments in science, and evaluate characters’ motivations in literature, they are learning to think critically and Biblically. As they grow in their ability to juggle tests, projects, assignments, and extracurricular activities, they are developing valuable focus and planning skills. These skills will not only help students in school, but will also also help them in life–to become functioning members of society.

During Friendship Friday, students were able to celebrate the students new to OCSI as they participated in various games and activities. This is a great time to build lasting friendships to carry them throughout this year and the years to come.

As October is here, 9th-11th graders are getting prepared to take the PSAT on Wednesday, October 11. This gives students an opportunity to prepare for the SAT and to assess where they are in their learning for their grade level.

High school camp is coming soon!  We will be going to camp at the Itoman Youth Center in southern Okinawa.  Camp is from Wednesday, October 25 – Friday, October 27.  All students need to report to school at their normal time on Wednesday, October 25,  and need to report to the cafeteria by 8:25am.  On Friday, October 27, students who live locally may be picked up from camp. Please note that if students are being picked up from camp, they must be picked up by their parents. Students will not be allowed to leave on their own or to leave with a friend.

Permission forms were sent home last week and need to be signed and returned by Thursday, October 5.  If you would like to pick up your student from camp, please be sure to also fill out the Pick Up Permission Slip.

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October 3rd, 2017|

Focusing on increasing student understanding

OCSI Connections:

OCSI focuses on learning. We focus on increasing student understanding of God, His world, and their place in it. It’s exciting to see students grow in their understanding of things like…

  • Story sequence by identifying what part of a story doesn’t belong (kindergarten).
  • The importance of praying for others to create community (2nd grade).
  • Place value of decimals to the thousandths place (5th grade).
  • The value of reading (grades 6-8), as part of our Drop Everything and Read Program.
  • Commercial implications of chemistry in the invention of Teflon (high school).
  • How we can extrapolate principles from the Bible that are applicable today in spite of all the ways life has changed in the thousands of years since it was written (high school Bible).

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It’s also exciting to see staff increasing their understanding as they participate in professional development on student safety, engaging instruction, and differentiation. It’s exciting to learn that staff are reading books like All Things Bright and BeautifulThe Advantage, Visit the Sick, Third Culture Kids, and The Bronze Bow.

We know that our parents/guardians want to increase their understanding about what is happening at OCSI. So, we provide an online handbook, send emails, post on our blog and social media, use Jupiter, post board minutes and policy, and post key dates on our calendar, including:

  • 10/9: Professional Development Day – no school for students
  • 11/3: Parent-teacher conferences – no school for students
  • 11/11: Walkathon and PTF’s Holiday Market—see you there!
  • 11/13: OCSI Holiday – no school for students

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Check your understanding: Did you know that…?

  • OCSI’s chaplains (Mr. Roe and Mr. Reasoner) provide counseling to elementary and secondary students?
  • Last year’s college-bound seniors received US$1,339,116 in college scholarships and grants?
  • OCSI’s guidance counseling supports the college application process. To learn more, click here.
  • In situations away from school, parents/guardians are responsible for their children’s behavior, but continued public disregard for the school’s standards will result in administrative involvement?
  • OCSI provides a list of virtual tours for Japanese colleges?
  • PTF is starting a parenting Bible study on October 6.
  • OCSI’s website provides links to previous parent newsletters and to local churches?
  • OCSI has 5 expected student outcomes, one of which is “understanding God, His world, and their place in it”?

On behalf of the Leadership Team, I want to thank you for the privilege of assisting your with the education of your child(ren)! Please feel free to contact appropriate staff with your questions and concerns.

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

Superintendent

Staff on School Improvement

P.S. OCSI has its 6-year accreditation visit in March 2018. Staff are preparing for the visit by analyzing how OCSI is doing in 8 areas. Staff are using data (including data from surveys: secondary studentsparents/guardianssupport staffteaching staff) to assess current practice and to determine growth areas. September 7-8, Dr. Mohler of ACSI visited OCSI to check on our progress and gave us a good report.

September 28th, 2017|

Elementary is off to a great start

Elementary Connections:

reader-310398_640What a great start to the school year! One of our goals for our elementary students here at OCSI is to understand God, His world, and their place in it. I’ve already seen our students grow in their understanding of things like…

  • How God made each child unique through the song “I Am Special” (pre-K).
  • Story sequence by identifying what part of a story doesn’t belong (kindergarten).
  • God as Creator of this world and worthy of praise (1st grade).
  • The joy of reading to others during Daily 5 (2nd grade).
  • The importance of praying for others to create community (2nd grade).
  • How our individual gifts and talents help us work together and help one another (2nd grade).
  • Steps of the writing process, starting with brainstorming (3rd grade).
  • The impact of Jesus’ short life here on Earth through the book Who Is This Man (5th grade).
  • Place value of decimals to the thousandths place (5th grade).

As students grow in their understanding of the world God has made for us, I hope it will encourage them to keep reading and learning. Parents, you can support your child at home by reading to them and by encouraging them to ask questions and learn more about topics they’re interested in. Need some ideas?

Thanks for helping us get off to a great start!

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

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September 7th, 2017|