/Parent Newsletter

Help us get off to a good start!

OCSI Connections:

On behalf of the Leadership Team, I want to thank you for the privilege of assisting you with the education of your child(ren). And we invite you to help us get off to a good start. Five key ways you can do this are:
  1. Keep Each Other Safe LogoBy continuing to encourage your child(ren) to focus on learning, to respect others, to speak the truth in love, and to keep others safe.
  2. By reviewing our safety-related policies, for example: TyphoonBullying PolicyChild Protection PolicyBehavior Management (Elementary and Kindergarten), Behavior Management (Secondary), and Grievances, Whistleblowing, and Complaints Policy.
  3. By submitting all forms by August 11, including summer packet forms and (for 5th and 9th graders) tuberculosis forms.
  4. By 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.
  5. By praying for OCSI. Try using our prayer guide and/or our monthly prayer letters.

Did you know that…?

  • The new road on the back side of campus is under construction during August? (You can still enter from Route 6 by Sera-en, but you cannot go further up the road.)
  • Criteria for developing our school calendar include having 180 days, addressing Japanese and US holidays, and staying in sync with DoDDs schools?
  • Students and parents can use Naviance for applying to colleges?
  • OCSI is having its 6-year accreditation visit in the spring of 2018?
  • We are welcoming new staff? photo row 1: Angela Doerksen (HS English), Deena Vardhini (HS science), Mattie Daniel (grade 4), and Morgan Rusnak (K5); row 2: Tyler Maskiewicz (HS science), Jerry Doerksen (grade 5), Brynn Childers (HS social studies), and Julie Woolery (elementary literacy).
2017-08 New Staff
Key dates:
  • 8/22: Classes begin
  • 8/22-25: K3 and K4 half-day classes
  • 9/1: Open House for grades 1-12 (not for kindergarten)
  • 9/4: Labor Day – no school
  • 9/9: ACT testing
  • 9/18: Professional Development Day – no school for students
  • 9/22: Progress reports, Kindergarten Family Sports Day, Friendship Friday for secondary

Thanks again for the privilege of assisting you with the education of your child(ren).

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


P.S. Be sure to check out OCSI’s Instagram account to see more photos!

2017-08 Instagram

August 9th, 2017|

Looking forward to school year 2017-2018

OCSI Connections:

We’re looking forward to assisting you with the education of your child(ren). As we do this, we are guided by our philosophy of education. So that we can continue working together effectively, I want to review that philosophy with you:

  • The purpose of Christian education is equipping students to walk with God and impact the world for Him.
  • Parents are responsible for their children’s education. Okinawa Christian School International partners with parents by providing Christian education.
  • Students are God’s image bearers scarred by sin, can learn, and are responsible for their learning. We value student diversity seen in learning styles, abilities, and cultural backgrounds.
  • Staff (the living curriculum) are Christians who model Biblical thinking and living, build Christ-centered community, focus on OCSI’s mission, empower others, use best practice, and grow professionally.
  • Our program addresses the whole person, is communicated in English, and uses an American-style approach. It is Biblically based, recognizes all truth is God’s truth, emphasizes sharing the Gospel and discipleship, and encourages Biblical thinking and living.

2017 Annual Report0906

Did you know that…?

  • OCSI started in 1957 and used to be located in Urasoe, before moving to Yomitan in 1996?
  • You can contact the business manager with your questions about finance?
  • OCSI values Christ-centered community, focus on mission, and empowering others?
  • We are welcoming new staff? Morgan Rusnak (K5), Mattie Daniel (grade 4), Jerry Doerksen (grade 5), Julie Woolery (literacy), Tyler Maskiewicz (science), Angela Doerksen (HS English), and Brynn Childers (HS social studies)
  • Increased tuition helps OCSI provide new social studies texts, upgrade the gym, and improve technology?
  • The Guidance Office provides information for high school students to develop a 4-year plan
  • The Summer Packet is being mailed out? Forms should be submitted to the office by Friday, August 11.

2017 Annual Report0344

Important dates:

  • 8/4: All students entering grade 5 and grade 9 must submit a satisfactory tuberculosis screening (skin test or x-ray), unless they submitted a satisfactory tuberculosis screening when entering grade 4 or grade 8
  • 8/11: Summer Packet forms should be submitted to the office.
  • 8/18: K3-K5 Orientation, New ES Family Orientation, Grade 6 and New MS Student Orientation, Grade 9 and New HS Student Orientation
  • 8:22: School begins
  • 9/1: Open house for grades 1-12

Thank you for the privilege of assisting you with the education of your child(ren). 

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


July 21st, 2017|

We’re getting ready for next school year

OCSI Connections:

We are celebrating all the good things that happened last school year, and we are already preparing for next school year:
  • New textbooks are being processed.
  • Student schedules are being developed.
  • The summer packet is being prepared and will be sent out in late July. (Please return your forms by Friday, August 11.)
2017-06 Gym

Did you know that…?
  • Work being done on the gym (see above photo) so that our students can enjoy more years of play? We are sealing the roof and painting part of the exterior.
  • You can contact principals with your questions about policy and curriculum?
  • OCSI’s mission is to equip students to walk with God and impact the world for Him?
  • OCSI is moving to MAP testing for grades 3-8 next school year? MAP testing fits more with what we teach, is less disruptive to the teaching schedule, and provides more useful data reports for parents/guardians and teachers. For additional information, please see the parent guide.
  • All students entering grade 5 and grade 9 must submit a satisfactory tuberculosis screening (skin test or x-ray), unless they submitted a satisfactory tuberculosis screening when entering grade 4 or grade 8?
  • Parent/guardian survey results have been reviewed by the Leadership Team and Steering Committee and that they are already being used to help OCSI get ready for its spring 2018 accreditation visit? (In response to survey feedback, this “Did you know that…?” section is being added to OCSI Connections. This section is designed to provide parents/guardians with helpful information.)
Please keep the following dates in mind:
  • 7/4: Independence Day observed – no school, office closed
  • 7/13: Summer School ends
  • 7/14-21: Office closed

Thank you for being part of our school community and for the privilege of assisting you with the education of your child(ren). 

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

June 22nd, 2017|

It’s been a great year

PTF Connections:

Hello, OCSI Parents!

I can’t believe the 2016-2017 school year is almost finished! It has been a great year for our school, and I am proud of the many ways you and our Parent Teacher Fellowship (PTF) have helped support our teachers and school community.

This year PTF funds (which come from the activity fee and Holiday Market fundraiser) were used for:
PTF provided refreshments and assistance at many school events: Elementary Math Night, Elementary Reading Night, New Parent Information Meeting, Prospective Family Open House, and the Faculty/Staff Christmas Party. Parents connected through the Motheread class and ESL Bible study, which are sponsored and led by PTF committee members.

Thank you to all the parents who have served as class parents and helped with classroom events throughout the year!
Thank you also to all the parents who helped with the Holiday Market in November. The Holiday Market is a special time 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’s education, and we appreciate you!

And a very special thank you to our PTF Committee for 2016-2017! 
These parents met regularly throughout the year to plan and organize all the PTF events, and very little would happen without their service and commitment. Thank you Yumi Horii, Takako Manzaki, Carrie Young, and Kiomi Novak.  We are also happy to announce that Mrs. Yumi Horii will serve as our PTF Director for the 2017-2018 school year! Mrs. Horii has been very involved in PTF since her family came to OCSI, and we are excited that she is willing to serve in this position.

Thank you for the privilege of working together to help our school community
.  Have a wonderful summer, and I look forward to seeing you next school year!
Julie Woolery
PTF Director

May 31st, 2017|

What’s been happening in middle school?

Middle School Happenings: 

Good things have been happening in middle school!

  • 6th graders started adolescence classes, where they discuss the many important changes that will occur over the next several years.
  • 7th grade math class created “math mobiles” to represent geometric shapes.
  • 8th grade science students had the chance to dissect grasshoppers and frogs.
May 11th, 2017|

What’s been happening in high school?

High School Happenings:

Good things have been happening in high school!

  • The Junior Class honored and celebrated the Senior Class at the 2017 Junior/Senior Banquet.  Check out the video of all of the fun!
  • The high school health class enjoyed a visit from the local fire department who taught them CPR and first aid skills.
  • Biology students enjoyed their final lab of the year by dissecting fetal pigs.
  • Several students took the following AP exams: AP English Language and Composition, AP Statistics, and AP Japanese.
  • US History students learned about World War II and took a field trip to the Haebaru Underground Army Hospital.
May 11th, 2017|

Thank you!

PTF Connections:

Hello, Parents! Thank you again for the many ways you showed appreciation to our teachers and staff last month!

May is filled with events as we look forward to summer vacation.
It is wonderful to see so many parents helping at recent school activities like Kid City, Field Day, and the Junior/Senior Banquet. Thank you for your support of your children and our school community!


This spring, PTF hosted a 7-week Motheread class for parents.
Motheread is a program that uses children’s books to practice English and discuss parenting issues.  We also have an ongoing ESL parenting class that meets on Friday afternoons. Please email ptf@ocsi.org if you would like information about this class.

Thank you for helping our teachers and class parents with special end of the year activities.  I love seeing our whole community involved in celebrating everything our students have accomplished this year.

Julie Woolery
PTF Director

P.S. Annual Survey: OCSI needs our help. We can help by completing OCSI’s online survey. OCSI will send the link on Friday, May 19. OCSI asks that we complete the survey by Tuesday, May 30.

May 4th, 2017|

What good things happened this year?

OCSI Connections:

We want our students to understand God, His world, and their place in it; we also want our students to use their learning to serve. Here are some of the ways this has happened this past year!

  • Students presented their artwork to a group and received feedback from their peers.
  • Students built a greeter stand for Keystone Church.
  • Students used accurate research to examine different perspectives on the Civil War. This led into discussing our rights and roles as citizens.
  • Students prayed for their families.
  • Several students ministered on worship teams in local churches.

As you may recall, we are doing our Spring Packet differently this year. In the past, we asked for forms as part of re-registration. However, this year we moved re-registration earlier and asked parents/guardians to submit forms by Friday, April 28. Some of these forms were sent home, while other forms were posted online (Lunch Request Form for K3-Grade 5Referral Coupon, and Tuition and Annual Fee Payment Plan Selection). Please…

  1. Download and print the appropriate forms. (You can stop by the office to pick up a printed copy, or you can ask your child to pick up a copy.)
  2. Remember that all families must submit the Tuition and Annual Fee Payment Plan Selection form.
  3. Complete the appropriate forms. Please check the forms to be sure you have provided all necessary information.
  4. Submit the appropriate forms to the office by Friday, April 28.

Please note that we will be sending out our annual survey in May. We value your input, and your input will be used to help us more effectively equip your child(ren).

And please keep the following important dates in mind:

  • 4/28: Spring Packet forms due
  • 5/4: Progress reports
  • 5/5: Children’s Day – no school
  • 5/29: Memorial Day – no school
  • 6/9: 2nd semester ends (12:30 dismissal for students)

Thank you for the privilege of assisting you with the education of your child(ren)!

2017-04-20 Fence

P.S. We have extended the fence on the elementary playground. This will help our students PlaySafely. We invite you to give a gift to PlaySafely Campaign in Japan or the US to help cover installation costs.

April 27th, 2017|

Thank you!

PTF Connections:

Thank you to all our parents and students who brought gifts for our teachers and staff this last week for Teacher Appreciation Week! I am so thankful to be part of a community that recognizes the hard work and service given every day to our students.  Thank you for your generosity!

OCSI is hosting a track tournament on Saturday, April 22 (staring at 9:00 a.m.), at the track in Kadena Town.  We are in need of parents to volunteer that day.  Please email ptf@ocsi.org or athleticdirector@ocsi.org if you are able to help.

Julie Woolery
PTF Director
April 13th, 2017|

Thank you!

Check out more photos on Instagram!

OCSI Connections:

2017-03 ElementaryThank you for the privilege of assisting you with the education of your students. Through our Christ-centered program, we are working to help each student reach his/her potential. And we are excited that students are achieving the expected student outcomes
Students are…
  • Understanding God, His world, and their place in it.
  • Thinking critically and Biblically.
  • Collaborating with others, respecting them as God’s image bearers.
  • Communicating truthfully and effectively.
  • Creating ideas, products, and solutions.
Check out these blog posts which include examples of what students are learning!

Each spring we ask parents/guardians to update information. While some of the information forms are being sent home this week with the oldest child, other forms are available online:
  • Please review our Spring Packet. Next, please download, fill out, and return appropriate forms to the office by Friday, April 28. For example, please download the Tuition and Annual Fee Payment Plan Selection.
  • Please note that students entering grades 5 and 9 next year need to download and submit a satisfactory Tuberculosis Screening Form by Friday, August 4, unless they submitted a satisfactory TB screening when entering grade 4 or grade 8.

Please keep in mind the following important dates:

  • 4/3-7: Spring Break – no school, office closed
  • 4/14: 12:30 dismissal for students, professional development for teachers in the afternoon
  • 4/21: 1st and 2nd grade Kid City
  • 4/28: Elementary Field Day, Jr/Sr Banquet, Spring Packet forms due
  • 5/4: Progress reports
  • 5/5: Children’s Day – no school
  • 5/29: Memorial Day – no school

Please note that the date for opening the new road has been moved back. We will let you know when you can use the new road to get to school

And please celebrate with us that poles and netting have been installed on our playing field! This will help our students PlaySafely. We invite you to give a gift to PlaySafely Campaign in Japan or the US to help cover installation costs.

2017-03 Poles and Nets

March 31st, 2017|