/Parent Newsletter

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).

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


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.

Mega Sports Camp 18image00133802500_248332272382844_2401361930825498624_o

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!

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.

Megan Roe, elementary principal

May 30th, 2018|

OCSI continues toward excellence


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.

Jonathan Simburger, business manager



May 30th, 2018|

Students work together


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.


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!

Latasha Calvin, secondary principal


May 30th, 2018|

This year has been filled with learning!


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

I’m excited! I’m excited because this year has been filled with students learning about God and His world, thinking critically and Biblically, collaborating respectfully, communicating effectively and truthfully, and creating ideas and solutions. When students do these things, they get prepared to make a positive impact on God’s world.

OCSI.org Elementary

At OCSI, we’re excited to see…

  • PreK – kindergarteners identifying what part of a story doesn’t belong, working together to figure out how to reinforce bridges on train tracks with blocks, and reading to a partner during Daily 5.
  • Students in grades 1-2 understanding the importance of praying for others to create community, exploring the concept of symmetry through portrait drawing, and getting feedback from a partner before editing.
  • Students in grades 3-5 using decimals to the thousandths place, thinking about people and places that are important to them in order to write small moment narratives, working in groups on posters, and designing their own inventions on paper.
  • Students in grades 6-8 analyzing different soil samples in groups and collaborating to develop a list of characteristics for classifying them, debating human nature, and responding to a story by creating comics, slideshows, drawings, or inventions.
  • Students in grades 9-12 connecting music and Biblical themes, studying the commercial implications of Teflon,collaboratively writing a constitution, and programming an Arduino micro-controller.


It’s also exciting to see how OCSI has grown this year, including…

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Thank you for partnering with us as we equip students to walk with Jesus and impact the world for Him.

Michael B. Essenburg, head of school

P.S. Check out the other sections of our annual report: Elementary  Secondary • Business Office • Board

May 30th, 2018|

Thank you!


PTF Connections:

teacherappriciation1Hello, parents!

Thank you again for showing your appreciation to our teachers and staff in many ways in the last month! Teachers were moved by so many presents and heart-warming cards from the students. The potluck was filled with plenty of delicious food and sweets—more than ever! It was so great that the teachers and staff did not even know which food to start with.

Now, the school year is coming to the end. Every school year, PTF awards scholarships to 2 senior students. Application acceptance has started for this school year. The scholarships will be awarded to 2 students based on their essays. The winners are to be announced later. We also plan to prepare senior breakfast on graduation morning.

PTF’s Bible study classes are also being held every week.  In the Thursday morning class from 9:00 to 10:00, Mr. Roe breaks down the Old Testament with simple explanations. In the Friday afternoon class from 13:30 to 15:00, Mrs. Roe gives us guidance for parenting from a biblical perspective in English.  If you are interested, please come and join us!  (There is no Bible study class on Thursday, May 24.)

It has been wonderful for me to see so many parents help at recent school activities such as Kid City, Field Day, and Junior/Senior Banquet. Thank you for your support for your children and our school community!

Thank you to all the parents who have served as class parents and helped with classroom events throughout the school year! Thank you also to all the parents who helped for Holiday Market in November. The Holiday Market is a special event for our school community to come together and celebrate the unique talents in our school and island community. Your involvement in these events makes a difference in your child(ren)’s education, and we appreciate you!

teacherappriciation2Additionally, a very special thank you to our PTF Committee of 2017 – 2018!  These parents met regularly throughout the school year to plan and organize all the PTF events, and very little would have happened without their service and commitment. Thank you, Takako Manzaki, Carrie Young, Kiomi Novak, Ryoko Sharpe, Fumino Gosh, Mizuho Takanashi, Weiling Kline, and Jen Friebel! Thank you for the privilege of working with you to help our school community!

We are sad to announce that Mrs. Manzaki and Mrs. Young are leaving after this school year.  Mrs. Manzaki has served with PTF for 7 years, and she will be leaving as her daughter is graduating from OCSI this year. Mrs. Young  has served for 2 years, but it’s time for her family to PCS to Hawaii. THANK YOU, Mrs. Manzaki and Mrs. Young, for all your dedication and hard work over the years!

  • PTF is looking for parents and guardians to help with our activities for the next school year.
  • If you are interested, please contact us at ptf@ocsi.org.

Have a wonderful summer, and I look forward to seeing you next school year!

Yumi Horii
PTF Director

May 18th, 2018|

Helping students follow Jesus


OCSI Connections:

At OCSI, we want our students to follow Jesus and grow in their faith. We want them to walk with Jesus and to impact the world for Him. What’s our motivation? Because we love Jesus. Because He gave his life for us to save us from our sins. Because He helps us be a blessing to those around us, encourages us when we face difficulty, and keeps His promises.

How do we help students to follow Jesus and grow in their faith? Ways we do this include…

  • Asking questions.
  • Modeling following Jesus.
  • Providing daily devotions.
  • Teaching Biblical values.
  • Using stories.
  • Having students take Bible class.
  • Helping students connect Biblical principles with the part of God’s world they are studying.

At OCSI, we are excited about Jesus, and we want to share Him with those around us!


Did you know that…?

  • We have updated our Schoolwide Action Plan?
  • OCSI students have been accepted to a variety of colleges and universities? Check out this acceptance list.
  • Using the RAFT model can help you transition to a new setting?
  • Part of OCSI’s vision is students following Jesus?


Key dates:

  • 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 • Facebook • Handbook • Newsletters • Prayer Guide • Typhoon


April 25th, 2018|

Flea market, parenting seminar, cooking class, and more!

PTF Connections:

PTF Flea Market: On March 21, 2018, PTF held its first Flea Market filled with many visitors despite the change of location from the soccer field to the cathedral and hallway, due to the strong wind. We appreciate all the participants for joining us!

We had booths of games, face painting and nail art, and snacks and coffee, as well as some personal items sold by OCSI parents. Students enjoyed the event by selling items with their families, running the game booths, and making pompons.

Parenting Seminar: On April 13, 2018, a parenting seminar was held with the guest speaker, Mr. Koji Kaneko from Family Forum Japan. What is the most essential in parenting? In this seminar, Mr. Kaneko talked about the necessity for the parents to interact with their children as their coaches. We appreciate many parents for attending the seminar!

Nepali Cooking Class: OCSI parents, Shanti and Narayan showed the participants how to cook three kinds of Nepalese home-style cooking: Nepalese Salad, Chicken Biryani, and Shrimp Coconut Curry. All these dishes were cooked with a lot of spices, and the participants loved how delicious they were! Thank you, Shanti and Narayan, for showing us how to cook delicious Nepalese cuisine!

Teacher Appreciation Week: April 24 – 26, 2018, is Teacher Appreciation Week! This is an event to show our appreciation to the teachers and office staff for their daily hard work. On April 24, 2018, give them small gifts such as chocolates, drinks, or some stationery.  On April 25, 2018, give thank-you cards to your teachers. On April 26, 2018, bring a food dish for the teachers and office staff for their brunch. Salads and desserts would be great to bring as well as staple foods.

  • Foods purchased from grocery stores would be also wonderful. Please bring your dish to the office at any time from the morning until the afternoon. You can also send the food with your child(ren). In that case, please tell your child(ren) to bring it to the office.
  • The purpose of this event is to show our appreciation to the teachers and staff for their everyday work. You can participate in the event by doing whatever you feel comfortable with. You are not required to participate for the whole 3 days.
  • Thank you, teachers, for always loving our children!

Yumi Horii
PTF Director

April 20th, 2018|

Helping children follow Jesus and impact the world for Him

Elementary Connections:

Chapel 1OCSI desires to help each child follow Jesus and impact the world for Him. We are privileged to share the love of Jesus and help your children develop godly character everyday. Through Bible class, daily prayer time, and weekly chapel times with Mr. Roe, our students are learning not only the stories of the Bible, but also the importance of being kind, respectful, hardworking, and self-controlled.

Want to know more about how children at OCSI learn what it means to follow Jesus?

  • Our students read and listen to Bible stories.
  • Our students memorize Bible verses.
  • Our students sing songs about Jesus.
  • Our students follow Jesus’ example of being kind and caring to others.
  • Our students share needs and pray for one another.

One of the best ways to learn more about what it means to follow Jesus is to join a local church. If your family has never attended a church and would like to learn more, please contact Mr. Roe (andyroe@ocsi.org) or visit one of the amazing churches here in Okinawa.

Parents, you’re welcome to join your child’s chapel time. PreK3/4 chapel time is Thursdays at 8:30 a.m., grades K-2 chapel is Tuesday at 1:45, and grades 3-5 chapel is Tuesday at 2:20. Please sign in at the front office when you arrive on campus; chapels meet in the cafeteria.

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

April 13th, 2018|