/Parent Newsletter

This year has been filled with learning!

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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.

Students

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.

Sincerely,
Michael B. Essenburg, head of school
Superintendent

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

May 30th, 2018|

Thank you!

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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

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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!

Athletes

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?

Campus

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)

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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 Jesus and impact the world for Him
Calendar • Contact • Donate • Facebook • Handbook • Newsletters • Prayer Guide • Typhoon

Superintendent

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.

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

April 13th, 2018|

Helping students prepare for college, career, and citizenship

OCSI Connections:

We want our students to be prepared for college, career, and citizenship. You might be wondering, “Well, how does OCSI prepare students for that?” Good question! Read on to find out.

College: For some of our students, college is the next step. Last year, for example, 90% of our graduates headed off to college. So, how do we help our students be prepared for college?

Books

Career: When God made the world, He commanded us to take care of it (Gen. 1:28). A key way we take care of God’s creation and impact it for Him is through our careers. Recognizing this, we want to prepare our students for their careers in the 21st Century. Ways we prepare students for career include…

  • Providing career resources.
  • Talking about careers.
  • Helping students achieve our expected student outcomes: understand, think, collaborate, communicate, and create.

Citizenship: We want our students to impact the world for Jesus, and one way they can do that is by being good citizens. So, how do we help our students be good citizens?

  • By helping students learn about history, economics, and government.
  • By encouraging students to be kind, respectful, hardworking, and self-controlled.
  • By giving students opportunities to use their learning to serve others.
  • By helping students improve their communication and collaboration skills.

Speak the Truth in Love

March 13-16 accreditation visit follow up: A team of 5 educators reviewed our accreditation report, visited classes, studied documents, held meetings (with students, parents/guardians, staff, and the board), and gave OCSI 7 major commendations and 5 major recommendations. OCSI is working to incorporate the 5 recommendations into our Schoolwide Action Plan.

Did you know that…?

Service Week

Key dates:

  • 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. Thanks for your patience and understanding with road construction. We are grateful for your cooperation, continue to monitor traffic patterns, and will keep you updated.

March 27th, 2018|

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|