/Parent Newsletter

Students develop skills related to creating

Elementary Connections:

The ability to create new ideas and philosophies, design and revise products, and think critically to find solutions to real world problems is what makes us as humans so uniquely and wonderfully created by God. In the changing world economy, these same skills are also increasingly in demand by employers. At OCSI, we start helping children develop these skills from a very young age:

  • IMG_1002Children are working together to figure out how far to move a box from a ramp in order to have their match box cars land in the box and how to reinforce bridges on train tracks with blocks (PreK).
  • Children created their own version of the famous pigeon book series and entitled it “Don’t Let the Pigeon Be the Teacher” (1st grade writing).
  • Children created mini ecosystems/biomes in science class (3rd grade science).
  • Children designed their own inventions on paper and then made them out of 3D materials (3rd grade art).
  • Children used Little Bits technology to create a display that read the classroom temperature to help them decide when to turn on the air conditioner and are now creating and designing their own droid (5th grade science).
  • Children are writing personal memoirs after analyzing the comings and goings, major points, themes, and connections in their own lives (5th grade writing).

Little Bits Droid Creators

We’re looking forward to the OCSI Elementary Week of Reading next week! We hope that your child will have fun as we celebrate and inspire a love of reading! We hope that you will join us for Family Reading Night as well on Thursday, March 1 from 5-6 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

February 22nd, 2018|

What encourages growth?

OCSI Connections:

At OCSI, we value growth:
  • We want students to grow. We want our students to increase their understanding of God, His world, and their place in it. We want our students to enhance their skills for thinking, collaborating, communicating, and creating.
  • We want staff to grow—staff are pursuing their own professional development goals, participating in book discussions, and reading publications from over 15 professional organizations.
  • We want OCSI to grow. Our Schoolwide Action Plan targets culture, communication, key performance indicators, curriculum, and organizational stability and sustainability.
One way we encourage growth is by participating in the board-mandated ongoing improvement process (B2.4.7) that includes accreditation (B2.4.8). The focus of the process has been on 3 key steps that encourage growth: sharpening vision, assessing practice, and planning growth:
  1. Sharpening our vision helps us know what our goal is. So, staff have been reviewing OCSI’s mission, vision, and expected student outcomes; and parent newsletters have included a focus on the expected student outcomes.
  2. Assessing practice helps us see what we currently do and how effective it is. So, students, parents/guardians, and staff completed surveys. Next, high school student council, a PTF Committee, and staff used survey data as they assessed how OCSI is doing on 8 accreditation standards.
  3. Planning for growth is based on our assessment of practice. ACSI requires that we use assessment results to identify (only) 2-3 strengths and 2-3 growth areas. The Steering Committee and Leadership Team identified key strengths and growth areas (which were then used to update the ongoing Schoolwide Action Plan).
To learn more about…
180129Bible-verse

What’s next? 
  • We are now preparing for the March 13-16 accreditation visit. A team of 5 educators will review our report, visit classes, study documents, hold meetings (with students, parents/guardians, staff, and the board), identify our strengths and growth areas, and report their findings to us and OCSI’s 2 accreditation agencies: the Association of Christian Schools International and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. We will use the team’s findings to refine our Schoolwide Action Plan.
  • We are working to further involve students and parent/guardians in our ongoing improvement process.
Did you know…?
  • The College Board provides college and SAT prep materials?
  • Part of OCSI’s vision is students using their learning to serve God and others?
  • OCSI started in 1957, used to be located in Urasoe, and moved to Yomitan in 1996?
  • That dates for next school year are posted on our community calendar? School begins on August 21, 2018 and ends on June 12, 2019. The schedule is similar to this school year, except that Christmas vacation is longer.
  • OCSI publishes a variety of informative blog posts each month?
Focus on others first

Key dates:
  • 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
  • 4/2-6: Spring vacation
  • 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.

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. Thank you for your patience and understanding with road construction. Road construction is scheduled to be finished in mid-March. Elementary parents, if you drop of your children by the elementary playground, please escort them from the car to the gate—thanks!

February 22nd, 2018|

Join in!

PTF Connections: 
Week of ReadingJoin the fun!
  • OCSI has received new indoor and outdoor recess supplies purchased by PTF for the elementary students. We hope that these supplies will make students’ recess time even more fun!
  • We appreciate applications from parents for the Mother Read class!  This fun class by Mrs. Woolery will be filled with laughter and help you enjoy reading with your child(ren) in English.
  • PTF will host a cooking class of Korean cuisine from 11:30 to 13:30 on Saturday, February 24.  Please email us at ptf@ocsi.org for application or inquiry.  We will accept 12 participants on a first come, first served basis. The application acceptance will start on February 10 at 9 a.m. We look forward to receiving your application!
  • Family Reading Night is scheduled to be held from 17:00 to 18:00 on March 1st, and PTF will also support this event.  Please join us in having a fun time with your child(ren)!
Would you like to share your opinion with our school? PTF will prepare questionnaires so you can share your thoughts about school events and other topics of the past 6 months of the school year.  Let’s share as many opinions as possible with the school to help OCSI continue growing!  The questionnaires will be sent in your elementary child’s Friday folder this week and available via Jupiter mail for secondary parents. Your cooperation will be appreciated!
March 21st is conference day, and PTF is planning to host a flea market that day. Last year, OCSI decided not to host Bazaar anymore. If you have any un-used items at home, why don’t you sell them at this event?  You can sell handmade products with your family, or hosting a game corner would be interesting, too. The details are to be announced later, so please stay tuned.
Please also check out PTF Facebook page for updated event information.
Yumi Horii
PTF Director

180129ServiceWeek

February 9th, 2018|

Middle school students are off to a great start

Middle School Happenings:

Middle school students are off to a great start!

  • Students were able to participate in some fun last month, as they took part in Spirit Week.
  • Each month, we are focusing on a particular character trait that we hope tosee reflected in our students’ actions. This month, we have been looking for examples of encouragement/positivity. This is a trait that we all need to have!
  • We are preparing to participate in Service Week from February 12 to 16. This is a great opportunity not only to experience serving others, but also to learn outside of the classroom. The teachers, the students, and those that are served are always blessed by this week!

As we continue into the 3rd quarter, students will need to remain focused. We are now halfway through the year!

February 9th, 2018|

Spirit Week goes well

High School Happenings:

Spirit Week 2018 was a fun celebration of OCSI spirit! The dress up days were a wonderful way to show class unity. At the pep rally, the seniors showed their spirit by cheering the loudest for the Spirit Stick. The class cheer performances were well done, exhibiting how well the classes worked together. Later that night at the Homecoming game, we saw the crowning of the homecoming king and queen, Samuel Calvin and Kaila McGinty.The week was topped off by the exciting boys’ basketball game where the Crusaders beat the Zion Lions 41-33.

February 9th, 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…?

Art

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

Woodshop

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.

Music

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.

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. Check out photos of how students are communicating!

FullSizeRender

Computer

HS_Science_BIology_1370

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).

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.”

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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|