/Parent Newsletter

We’re off to a great start!

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Secondary Connections:

We’re off to a great start! Thank you for allowing OCSI to partner with you in your child’s education! If you know others that might be interested in joining the OCSI family, please use the Referral Coupon for a possible tuition discount.

Today is progress report day. Please check your student’s grades online through Jupiter, as paper report cards will no longer be sent home. If you have any issues with your Jupiter login, please let me know.

Our College and Career Counselors, Mr. Suzuki and Mrs. Lopez, have been meeting with student to help them in meeting their post-high school goals. We have already had several universities visit and share with our students. If you are interested in attended college information sessions, please refer to the OCSI calendar for dates.

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Dress code is always an issue for students, and I want clarify a couple of things:

  • Skirts/shorts should reach mid-thigh in front and back.
  • Ripped jeans are acceptable as long as no skin is showing. For example: there are tights under them or a patch has been sewn to cover the hole. 3) Skinny jeans, for both boys and girls, must fit in a modest manner. Administration reserves the right to determine if pants are too tight and need to be changed.

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There have been a few questions about attendance:

  • If your child needs to leave campus early for any reason, please come to the office and let them know you will be taking your child. The office staff will contact your child’s class and have them sent to the office. Please allow at least 10 minutes for your child to make it to the office after your arrival. Students must check-out in the office, with a parent, before leaving campus. Please keep your student informed, as much as possible, so they can communicate with their teachers about missing class.
  • Students may only miss 7 periods of any class, each quarter, to receive credit. These are any absences that are not school related (excused/unexcused). If your child will be absent for an extended period, please notify the office ahead of time so we are aware and teachers can prepare classwork for you child before leaving. In cases of 8 or more absences, extenuating circumstances will be considered.
  • Please remember that morning supervision does not begin until 8:00 am. In addition, students should be off campus by 3:30 pm.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to contact me. Have a fantastic weekend!

Sincerely,
Brynn Childers, secondary principal
Equipping students to walk with Jesus and impact the world for Him
Calendar • Contact • Donate • Handbook • Prayer Guide • Facebook • Typhoon

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September 21st, 2018|

It’s a privilege to partner with you

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OCSI Connections:

We count it a privilege to assist you with the education of your children by providing Christian education (Deuteronomy 6:1-7). We partner with you to help your child grow and reach his/her potential.

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We also partner with you by communicating about what’s happening at OCSI. We post grades online, email newsletters, have open house, and have conferences twice a year. We also share good things that are happening, for example:

  • PreK-kindergarten students are mastering daily routines.
  • 2nd grader writers are adding details to help the reader make a mental picture.
  • 4th grade scientists are soaking up our new science curriculum and showing much excitement through Tuesday “investigation days.”
  • 8th grade social scientists are practicing discussion skills, and our 8th grade mathematicians worked in groups to solve 2-step equations.
  • High school media designers are making a virtual yearbook that will come to life through video.
  • 11th grade Bible scholars are analyzing passages in Genesis.

To learn more about what’s happening at OCSI, check us out on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) and check out PTF on Facebook.

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Another way we partner with you is through PTF. We are excited about PTF’s plans for Holiday Market on Saturday, November 17. While plans are not yet finalized, there will be good vendors, good food, good fellowship, and more—see you there! (Last year, Holiday Market was combined with Walkathon. This year Walkthon will not be held. This Leadership Team decision followed a review of staff and parent input, an assessment of Walkathon results and staff workload, and PTF’s decision to focus on Holiday Market and to not take on Walkathon.)

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Key dates:

  • 10/8: Professional Development Day—no school for students
  • 11/2: Parent/Teacher Conferences—no school for students
  • 11/12: OCSI Holiday — no school for students, office closed
  • 11/17: Holiday Market
  • 11/21: Professional Development Day—no school for students
  • 11/22-23: Thanksgiving Vacation—office closed

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Thanks again for the privilege of assisting you with the education of your student(s). If you have questions or concerns, please contact the appropriate staff member.

Sincerely,
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

Superintendent

P.S. Please share how much you love OCSI with your friends who might be looking for a school (see the Referral Coupon for details).

September 20th, 2018|

Greetings from the PTF!

PTF Connections:

Welcome to a new year at OCSI! The PTF (Parent Teacher Fellowship) is here for YOU. It is a great way to be a part of your student’s life at OCSI. The purpose of the PTF is to connect with other parents, support our teachers and staff, and strengthen our school community. These connections are made by participating in classroom events like field trips and field day and/or PTF events like the Holiday Market, Teacher Appreciation Week, and the Flea Market. Therefore, please join us for an exciting year!!

We would like to thank the parents who attended the general meeting on 7th September and brought such a great amount of treats that we were able to share not only among ourselves but the staff as well. It is so encouraging to see such an impressive amount of our parents so willing to dedicate their time. We are blessed to have such support and look forward to making this year better than the last.

We also appreciate that many parents already submitted the volunteer sign-up sheet. Keep a lookout for emails about upcoming volunteer opportunities to connect, as we are sorting through an amazing amount of responses from the volunteer forms. So, thank you for taking the time and effort to fill out these forms.

This month, on September 24th, there will be a Japanese college guidance meeting, in which Mr. Suguki will be sharing important information concerning Japanese colleges. Then starting September 26th, Mr. Roe will be hosting an English conversation class every Wednesday from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm. In addition, every Friday from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm Mrs. Roe will also be hosting a parenting class. This a great opportunity to improve and develop English language skills while also gaining insights into Biblical parenting values.

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Please continue to check our Facebook, LINE, or the OCSI website for updates. And, don’t forget to check out our PTF “mini store,” selling PTF T-shirts and OCSI towels, in the office corner.

If you have any questions, suggestions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to email us at ptf@ocsi.org.

PTF Director,
Yumi Horii

September 14th, 2018|

We are off to a good start!

It's great to see students using our new playground equipment.

It’s great to see our students using the new playground equipment.

OCSI Connections:

Classes started on August 21, and things are going well:

  • We have over 425 students—thanks for continuing to recommend OCSI!
  • PreK-grade 5 students are enjoying the new playground equipment.
  • Bus monitors are serving on morning and afternoon routes on all buses.
  • New sidewalks make it easier to get from the parking lot to the classroom building and gym.
  • Our new food service is providing almost 200 meals each day. Thank you to all those who completed our food service survey during the summer!
Mr. Novak and Ms. Miyagi discuss meal distribute while students enjoy their lunches.

Mr. Novak and Ms. Miyagi discuss meal distribution while students enjoy their lunches.

What else is going well?

  • As part of our Keep Each Other Safe program, students are reviewing emergency drills and the importance of being kind, respectful, and self-controlled.
  • Volleyball and cross-country teams are practicing. Be sure to come and watch our athletes bump, set, spike, and run!
  • Parent/guardians attended open houses on August 17 and 24. A big thank you to all who came!
  • The PTF Committee held its first meeting on August 29. To learn more about PTF, check out PTF’s Facebook page.
Good to see so many smiles on the first days of classes!

Good to see so many smiles on the first days of classes!

We really appreciate your involvement at OCSI events. In addition to parent/teacher conferences, we encourage you to participate in a variety of events, including:

  • PreK and kindergarten: sports day, Christmas program, character parade, and picnic.
  • Grades 1-5: learning trips, Christmas program, kid city, culture fair, and authors’ tea.
  • Grades 6-8: sports events, science fair, and concerts.
  • Grades 9-12: sports events, homecoming, science fair, concerts, and speech contest.
Parent talk with staff at the August 24 Open House.

Parent talk with staff at the August 24 Open House.

Key dates:

  • 9/3: Labor Day – no school
  • 9/17: Professional Development Day—no school for students
  • 10/8: Professional Development Day—no school for students
  • 11/2: Parent/Teacher Conferences—no school for students
Middle schoolers listen as Ms.Robbins tells a story.

Middle schoolers listen as Ms.Robbins tells a story.

Thank you for the privilege of assisting you with the education of your student(s). Please continue to partner with us by…

  • Keeping your contact information current in Jupiter.
  • Contacting appropriate staff with your questions and concerns. Please contact teachers about attendance, the principals about curriculum and policies, the business manager about operations, and the chaplains about personal counseling.
  • Praying for OCSI. Try using our prayer guide and/or our monthly prayer letters.

Sincerely,
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

Superintendent

August 30th, 2018|

Thank you for partnering with us

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Elementary Connections:

Thank you, families, for partnering with us to equip your children to walk with God and impact the world for Him. This school year brings with it numerous exciting changes that will help your child grow and learn more. I hope this school year brings more opportunities to deepen the partnerships between our school, our families, and our community.

Some of the exciting new things in elementary include…

  • New science curriculum (K-5) that encourages a hands-on approach to learning and investigation; for more information about FOSS kits and the Next Generation Science Standards, please go to https://www.fossweb.com/what-is-foss
  • Standards based report cards that help families know how to best support their children.
  • Playground structures and campus improvements to increase safety and student enjoyment.
  • New lunch program that meets the individual needs and preferences of students.

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Ways you can partner with us…

  • Do you have an idea for a learning trip? We’d love to hear it!
  • Volunteer with PTF to help in the classroom, with special events, and more.
  • Help support our students and classrooms with supplies from the Elementary Wish List.
  • Share how much you love OCSI with your friends that might be looking for a school (see the Referral Coupon for details).

We look forward to seeing you around campus, and please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions, concerns, or to request more information.

  • Questions or information about bus, lunch, or billing: info@ocsi.org
  • Questions or information about academic topics: classroom teacher or elementaryprincipal@ocsi.org
  • Questions or information about PTF events and volunteer opportunities: ptf@ocsi.org
  • Questions or information about new student admissions: admissions@ocsi.org

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

August 28th, 2018|

Students will soon be back at OCSI!

Meet 3 of our new teachers (left to right): Andrew Logan (grade 3), Anna Lyons (grade 2), and Lindi Barkman (grade 4).

Meet 3 of our new teachers (left to right): Andrew Logan (grade 3), Anna Lyons (grade 2), and Lindi Barkman (grade 4).

OCSI Connections:

I’m excited about having students back at OCSI! We count it a privilege to assist you with the education of your student(s). Through our accredited, Christ-centered K-12 program, we will work to equip your student(s) to:

  • Understand God, His world, and their place in it.
  • Think critically and Biblically.
  • Collaborate with others, respecting them as God’s image bearers.
  • Communicate truthfully and effectively.
  • Create ideas, products, and solutions.
New playground equipment has been installed!

New playground equipment has been installed!

I’m also excited about good things that happened over the summer, including:

  • Students being involved in our summer reading program.
  • New lights being installed in classrooms, the gym roof being painted, playground equipment being installed, and 2 sidewalks being added.
  • Students attending daily vacation Bible school.
  • New instructional materials arriving, for example, new science materials for elementary.
Visit our college and career corner (in the office).

Visit our college and career corner (in the office).

Classes start on Tuesday, August 21, and we invite you to help us get off to a good start by…

  1. Keep Each Other Safe LogoReviewing our safety-related policies, for example: TyphoonBullying PolicyChild Protection PolicyBehavior Management (Elementary and Kindergarten), Behavior Management (Secondary), and Grievances, Whistleblowing, and Complaints Policy.
  2. Remembering that while parents/guardians are responsible for students in situations away from school, continued public disregard for the school’s standards will result in administrative intervention and possible expulsion (Board Policy B2.3.5.1).
  3. Contacting appropriate staff with your questions and concerns. Please contact teachers about attendance, the principals about curriculum and policies, the business manager about finances, and the chaplains about personal counseling.
  4. Praying for OCSI. Try using our prayer guide and/or our monthly prayer letters.
Staff reflect on student safety.

Staff reflect on student safety.

Key dates:

  • 8/17: Back-to-School Night for pre-K and kindergarten
  • 8/21: Classes begin
  • 8/24: Back-to-School Night for grades 1-12 (not for kindergarten)
  • 9/3: Labor Day – no school
  • 9/17: Professional Development Day – no school for students
  • 10/8: Professional Development Day – no school for students

Thanks again for the privilege of assisting you with the education of your student(s).

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

August 16th, 2018|

Summer is almost here

Elementary Connections:

Summer is almost here! It’s been a great school year here at Okinawa Christian School International and we’re looking forward to welcoming you all back in August for the start of the 2018-2019 school year. The Summer Packet with information about next school year will come to you via your Jupiter mail this July, thank you for your attention to this important mail and for helping us save paper by going digital.

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Summer can be a great time for children to be outside and having fun, but it’s also a great opportunity to join one of the great children’s programs at one of Okinawa’s local churches. If you’re looking for an exciting, safe, and fun opportunity for your child this summer- check out any of the events below:

  • Neighborhood Church Okinawa Mega Sports Camp: July 23-27, to register: http://bit.ly/NCOMSC2018
  • Koza Baptist Church VBS: July 30-August 3, to register: http://kozabaptistchurch.org/
  • Calvary Chapel Okinawa VBS: August 6-10, to register: http://www.calvaryokinawa.com/vbs.html

Want to help your child continue making progress? Make reading a priority this summer… take your child to the library, take them to the beach to read, beat the heat and head to a coffee shop with a book. Need more books? Our library will be open from 8:30-11:30 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday as well as Thursday evening from 7:30-8:30 p.m., during the summer school term (June 21-July 17).

This year we say goodbye to Mrs. Cleek and her family! We have been so blessed by her time here at OCSI, please join us as we wish her well as she moves back to the United States.

We’re so blessed to have amazing teachers here at OCSI and three new teachers will be joining us in elementary which means there will be some shifting around.

  • Mrs. Anna Lyons is from the United States and is a graduate of Moody Bible Institute; she will be joining us in Okinawa with her husband.
  • Mr. Andrew Logan is from the United States as well, but has been living in the Kobe area for several years; he will be joining us here in Okinawa with his wife and 1 year old daughter.
  • Ms. Lindi Barkman is joining us from Wheaton College in the United States but grew up in Japan and graduated high school from Christian Academy of Japan in Tokyo.

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2018-2019 Elementary Classroom Teachers

  • PreK – Mrs. Pallmann, Mrs. Rulida, Mrs. Cruzado
  • Kindergarten – Mr. Carpenter, Mrs. Ikehara
  • 1st Grade – Mrs. Fox, Ms. Turner
  • 2nd Grade – Mrs. Lyons, Ms. Guiles
  • 3rd Grade – Mr. Logan, Ms. Engbers
  • 4th Grade – Ms. Sorley, Ms. Barkman
  • 5th Grade – Mr. Doerksen, Mr. Fox

Have a great summer!

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

June 6th, 2018|

Let’s celebrate growth!

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Annual Report 2018: Elementary (Head of School  Secondary • Business Manager • Board)

I’m thankful to be a part of this school community and excited to share all of the growth we made in the elementary program this year. Thank you parents and guardians for all you do to support the school and for partnering with us as we equip students to walk with Jesus and impact the world for Him.

  • We continue to develop and improve our curriculum so it is in line with best practice and research, including new Daily 5 classroom libraries, a Writer’s Workshop program, new social studies resources, and a robotics unit in 5th grade.  
  • Through partnership with the Parent Teacher Fellowship (PTF) we’ve been able to provide parent Bible studies, cooking classes, a Culture Fair luncheon, Week of Reading, and provide new recess toys for the students.
  • In response to parent feedback, we were excited to be able to offer six elementary after school clubs this year- cooking, STEM, crafts/puppets, basketball, soccer, and running.
  • Elementary and Kindergarten Christmas programs highlighted the talents and energy of even our youngest students.

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The OCSI elementary program recognizes that students are our future. They are full of potential, are responsible for their learning, and are responsible for using it to serve God and others. This school year has proved to be a time of growth not only for our school, but growth for the individual children in our classrooms as well.  Let’s celebrate their growth!

  • PreK students worked together to problem solve while playing and daily circle times encouraged participation and oral communication.
  • Kindergarten students worked together to explore their world through fun, hands-on activities and are reading on their own through our Daily 5 program.
  • 1st grade students are sharing their original stories and informational writing with peers in order to get feedback and make edits.
  • 2nd grade students have worked hard to develop a community where all students feel valued and can pray for each other and study mentor texts in order to become better readers and writers.
  • 3rd grade students developed their writing and continue to improve their reading comprehension and math fluency.
  • 4th grade students have developed research skills so they can publish informational reports and continue to work on improving their reading and writing skills daily.
  • 5th grade students worked hard in their literature circles, read and wrote biographies, and explored the world of robotics to create their own droid.

Sincerely,
Megan Roe, elementary principal

May 30th, 2018|

OCSI continues toward excellence

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Annual Report 2018: Business Manager (Head of School  Elementary  Secondary • Board)

I am glad to report that the 2017-2018 school year was a year in which our school continued to move in the direction of excellence:

  • Support staff displayed great commitment to making OCSI an even better school. Over the course of the school year, they spent countless hours gathering data, planning improvements, and training in new software. I’m grateful to God for placing these faithful people here and for their hard work.
  • We acquired new software for admissions, billing, and accounting. Transitioning to the new software is creating opportunities for us simplify our business office processes. We are excited that it is making it possible for us to serve families better.
  • We began accelerating the renewal of classroom technology, equipment, and fixtures. New iMacs in the computer lab, teachers equipped with convertible chromebooks, old classroom air conditioning units being replaced, and some new student desks and chairs in elementary. More asset renewal and upgrading is expected for the 2018-2019 school year.
  • Several improvements to our gymnasium were completed just before the beginning of the school year. The outside walls of the building were sealed and painted, and exterior LED lighting was installed. More improvements to our campus are currently being planned for this summer.

Thanks to our parents, students, staff, and board members for playing a role in this truly amazing work that God is doing at OCSI.

Sincerely,
Jonathan Simburger, business manager

Campus

 

May 30th, 2018|

Students work together

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Annual Report 2018: Secondary (Head of School  Elementary  Business Manager  Board)

It has been a great year of seeing the students working together in and outside of the classroom. The Bible reminds us that by joining together we can achieve much. Ecclesiastes 4:9 states, “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor.” This year the middle and high school students were blessed to be able to work together in a variety of ways.

Service Week

The middle and high school students worked together by serving others through our 4th year of Service Week. They also learned and worked together through hands on learning activities such as science labs and creating websites. The 7th grade English class also created their own Okinawa magazine!  Students have also grown in their leadership skills and worked as a team through participation in sports, National Honor Society, spirit week activities, and the middle school robotics club. OCSI also became approved members of the National Association for College Admission Counseling. We continue to improve our facilities by renovating the secondary computer lab in order to assist with more hands on learning activities and student collaboration.

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This year all middle and high school students as well as teachers also increased their love of learning through reading. Every Thursday afternoon, secondary students Dropped Everything And Read (DEAR) material of their choice for a sustained, silent 25 minutes. The DEAR program supports many positive outcomes—from vocabulary growth, better writing, and understanding of the world, to mental health and the ability to focus, to increased empathy. It has been great to see students and teachers enjoying a good book together.

Woodshop

We will end the school year of celebrating our students by honoring them at the high school graduation on Friday, June 8th at 7:30 pm at the Yomitan Cultural Center and at the the 8th grade graduation on Wednesday, June 13th at 6:00 pm at Sera-en). Thank you to the parents, students, teachers, and staff for a great school year!

Blessings,
Latasha Calvin, secondary principal

 

May 30th, 2018|