/Parent Newsletter

Good things happened during first quarter

OCSI Connections:

First quarter is already over, and it was filled with good things, including:

  • Students learning about God, His world, and their place in it.
  • Students considering key questions like “What does it mean to be healthy?” and “How are we connected?”
  • Parents attending PTF information meetings, Math Night, and sports events.
  • A great view from campus.
  • logo_playsafely_500Safety during typhoon season.
  • Events like Kindergarten Sports Day, secondary Friendship Friday, camps (4th and 5th, middle school, high school), cross-country meets and volleyball games, and high school students taking the PSAT.
  • Staff further developing our curriculum.
  • Launching our new website (complete with virtual tours) and launching our PlaySafely Campaign.
As we start 2nd quarter, please keep the following in mind:
(1) Walkathon is on Saturday, November 12. It’s going to be a great day, complete with fun with family and friends, a Walkathon T-shirt for all participants, celebrating 60 years (1957-2017) by walking a 6-kilometer course, a drink and a snack at the finish (instead of lunch), and games at the OCSI campus. Proceeds will go toward helping us put in poles and netting between the playing field and the new road. You might be wondering…
  • What’s the registration deadline? You may register through November 12. If you would like to have your Walkathon T-shirt in time for Walkathon, please register by Friday, October 28. Forms are on our Walkathon page.
  • Are we going to race? The main focus this year is fun, fellowship, and fundraising. Participants are free to go at their own pace.

(2) School Hours and Expectations: Please help us by remembering that students are not supervised before 8:00 a.m. or after school. Consequently, we expect parents to arrange to have their children arrive on campus no earlier than 8:00 a.m. and to have them leave the campus not later than 3:30.

(3) Quick links: Do you or your students need to find something on our website? Try our parent quick links and student quick links.

(4) PTF Holiday Market is on Saturday, November 19.

Parents, thank you for the privilege of assisting you with the education of your child(ren)—see you at Walkathon on November 12!

Sincerely,
Michael B. Essenburg, superintendent
Equipping students to walk with God and impact the world for Him
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MichaelEssenburg

P.S. Please keep the following key dates in mind:

  • 11/3: Parent-teacher conferences
  • 11/12: Walkathon
  • 11/14: School Holiday—no classes for students
  • 11/19: Holiday Market
  • 11/23: Professional Day—no classes for students
  • 11/24-25: Thanksgiving vacation
  • 12/2: Christmas program
  • 12/16: 12:30 dismissal for students, Christmas vacation begins
  • 1/4: Classes start

walkathon

October 27th, 2016|

Math Night and camp go well

OCSI Elementary Connections:

Our Parent Math Night was a rich experience! Parents were able to see the various math resources available to them on their computers. The parents were able to get on computers and access games, songs, tutorials and practice sheets. We spent some time going over frequently asked questions and interacting together about the new My Math resources.

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Great times were had at camp this year, including:

  • Students learning about God’s creation and spent time jumping in the waves at the beach.
  • 14 parents coming up and helped with our meal preparation—thank you!
  • Students learning different aspects of outdoor education and ecology.
  • Students having chances to build strong relationships with games, devotions, and crafts.

Parent-teacher conferences are on November 3. This is a time to make connections with your child’s teacher. Questions you might ask include: Where are my child’s strengths? How can I better support them at home? What areas of learning do they need to spend more time practicing?  How are they doing at building friendships? What events are coming up this next quarter?

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logo_playsafely_500Walkathon is on Saturday, November 12—join us!  We need you to help us with our Play Safely Campaign. We need to build a 10-meter fence on our property as a barrier to a new public road. Walkathon proceeds will help fund this project so students and athletes can enjoy a safe play zone on our campus. You might be wondering:

(1) What’s the registration deadline? You may register through November 12. If you would like to have your Walkathon T-shirt in time for Walkathon, please register by Friday, October 28. Forms are on our Walkathon page.

(2) If my student is in kindergarten, 1st grade, or 2nd grade, what do I need to keep in mind? Please make sure there is an adult walking with your student, and please pay ¥3500 for that person also.

(3) What about young children (2 and under)? They may “walk” the course, provided they are carried by an adult or provided they are in a stroller. Young children (2 and under) may register, but are not required to register—unregistered participants do not receive a T-shirt, snack bag, or insurance.

(4) If my student doesn’t want to walk, can he/she still come that day and join the fun? Of course! Once your student registers and pays ¥3500, your student can participate in the games and will receive a T-shirt and snack bag.

(5) What’s for lunch? Instead of lunch, we are providing all participants with a snack bag at the finish line.

(6) Are we going to race? The main focus this year is fun, fellowship, and fundraising. Participants are free to go at their own pace.

(7) What does the (approximately) 6-kilometer course look like? Please see the course map on our Walkathon page.

See you at Walkathon on Saturday, November 12!

Sincerely,
Brad Jernberg, elementary principal
Equipping students to walk with God and impact the world for Him
Elementary Connections: September, August
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P.S. Thank you for using our handbook. I just wanted to review that according to School Hours and Expectations, our playgrounds are not be supervised before 8:00 a.m. or after school. Consequently, we ask that parents arrange to have their children arrive on campus no earlier than 8:00 a.m. and leave the campus at the close of classes. 午前8時以前及び放課は後監督者がいませんので、朝8時前に子供達を登校させないように、学校が終わったら速やかに下校するようにしてください。

walkathon

 

October 21st, 2016|

Friendship Friday a success

High School Happenings:

The high school students, as well as high school teachers, had a fantastic time at Friendship Friday! Many students enjoyed swimming and volleyball at the beach, while others played capture the flag. Then everyone enjoyed pizza and fellowship, and we recognized the high school students who are new to OCSI. The Student Council also thanked Ms. Hadley for all of her hard work and dedication to the Student Council for the past several years, as she will be leaving us this month and heading back to the U.S.

Students and teachers are looking forward to heading to camp this week! Please remember that students coming to OCSI need to be here by 8:15 am on Thursday morning, October 20th (unless they are a bus rider). Students meeting at the port will need to be there by 9:15am. All students must bring a sack lunch on Thursday! Lunches need to be in easily disposable containers. Students will not have access to microwaves or hot water. Students will return to port at 4:40 pm on Friday, October 21st. Those who are returning to OCSI should arrive around 6:00 pm, depending on traffic.

logo_playsafely_500Walkathon is coming soon! We had our kick-off assembly last Thursday, and the students are ready to go! This year we are raising funds for the PlaySafely Campaign, which will go towards putting poles and netting between our playing field and the new public road going in at the far side of the campus. Please encourage your students to participate!

Middle School Happenings:

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Middle School Friendship Friday was a blast! With over 95% of students attending, we all enjoyed spending some time outside of the classroom. There were several games led by our Servant Leaders, which were a lot of fun. New students were introduced and officially welcomed, as well. We finished the day by enjoying some Subway sandwiches for dinner. These kinds of opportunities are a great way to make new friends and have fun in a safe environment.

Another opportunity is just around the corner: Middle School Camp is next week! Camp is a highlight of the year for many. We will engage in many team building and other fun activities. Students will get to do some boating this year. We will go kayaking and canoeing in a nice, calm boating area at the camp, Eco-Park. We will also have the normal skits, bonfire, s’mores, and several chapel times, as well. Should be tons of fun! Camp will be from Wednesday, October 19 until Friday, October 21.

Sincerely,
Latasha Calvin, secondary principal
Equipping students to walk with God and impact the world for Him
Calendar • Contact • Handbook • Prayer • Facebook • Instagram • Pinterest • Twitter • Typhoon

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P.S. Please note the following important dates:
  • 10/19: PSAT & WorkKeys testing
  • 10/19-21: MS Camp
  • 10/19: XC meet at OCSI & VB game @ OCSI
  • 10/20-21: HS Camp
  • 10/21: 1st quarter ends
  • 10/24: 2nd quarter starts
  • 10/25: OCSI VB @ Kubi
  • 10/26: OCSI XC @ Kubi (Note date change)
  • 10/27: OCSI VB @ Kadena
  • 10/29: OCSI VB tournament at Kubi
  • 11/1: Final day for seniors to pay for their cap and gown in the front office\
  • 11/3: Parent Teacher Conferences–No school for students 11/3: Last day to register for the December 3 SAT
  • 11/4: Last day to register for the December 10 ACT
  • 11/6-9: XC away at Far East
October 18th, 2016|

Help needed for PTF Holiday Market

PTF Connections:

Thank you to all the parents who attended our New Family Information Meeting and PTF Information Meeting last month!  It was great to meet parents and see your enthusiasm for getting involved in your child’s education.

This fall PTF is focusing on planning for the Holiday Market on Saturday, November 19. The Holiday Market is a PTF fundraiser; all the money raised is given to school projects and scholarships for seniors. This event is open to the community, and I encourage you to invite your friends and plan to attend with your family – you can buy unique items from craft vendors, make crafts together, and enjoy delicious food from local restaurants and bakeries.

We need your help with the Holiday Market!  We are still accepting applications for vendors, so if you have a small business or know someone who would be interested in coming as a vendor, please email ptf@ocsi.org.  We also have some parents who will be making crafts to sell at the Holiday Market. They are meeting every Friday in October from 8:30-9:30 a.m. in the school cafeteria.  Anyone is welcome to join us!

Thank you for your support, and please continue to check our Facebook page for updates, or send us an email if you have any questions.

Sincerely,
Julie Woolery, PTF director
Calendar • Contact • Handbook • Prayer • Facebook • Instagram • Typhoon
P.S. We also need items for our raffle table at the Holiday Market!  Please ask your favorite restaurant or bakery if they would be willing to donate a gift certificate.

ocsi-holiday-market-2016

October 6th, 2016|

Join me in celebrating growth

OCSI Connections:

Growth—that’s what I see when I look around OCSI! Students are growing, staff are growing, and OCSI as an organization is growing.

How are students growing?

  • K5 mathematicians learned the concepts of greater than and less than.
  • Third grade geographers studied the rivers of the world and made a travel brochure for Australia and the Murray River.
  • Fifth grade writers learned the spelling rules for plural nouns.
  • Our 8th grader readers discussed what motivates people to action to reinforce character motivations as seen in “The Endless Steppe.”
  • High school musicians discussed music in the Middle Ages and the role of the Church.
  • Ninth grade scientists learned how to approach their science fair projects by first making observations and then formulating a research question.
  • Grade 12 social scientists used current events to analyze the responsibilities and challenges of leadership.
  • High school computer programmers learned how to make video games.
Staff reflect on effective communication.

Staff reflect on effective communication.

Staff grew as a result of our September 19 professional day:

  • Staff deepened their understanding of how effective communication keeps us safe.
  • Teaching staff further developed the curriculum and identified additional ways to implement our upgraded math curriculum.
  • Support staff learned more about using Google Docs.

Organizationally, we have…

  • Focused our culture even more on our values: Christ-centered community, focus, empowerment, best practice, and growth.
  • Enhanced our communication through newsletters, social media (FacebookInstagramPinterestTwitter), and this blog.
  • playsafely-largePrepared for the new public road that will run from back entrance to the big road above OCSI. We have planned for a fence with netting between the end of the playing field and the new road, for enhancing the back entrance to school, and for extending the fence by the elementary playground (for a total estimated cost of ¥7 million / US$70,000). And we have launched our PlaySafely Campaign.

Join me in celebrating growth!

Sincerely, 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

MichaelEssenburg

 

September 29th, 2016|

Our school year is off to a rapid start!

OCSI Elementary Connections: 

Our school year is off to a rapid start! I trust that your family has started this year smoothly.  It was nice to see so many people at our Open House!  

We are now halfway through our first quarter, and progress reports will be available on Friday, September 16, on your Jupiter account. If you are having trouble locating information, remember that you can locate all information in our student handbook, and it can be read in English or Japanese.  

Please check the upcoming events and activities below and review the school calendar on our website to keep current on all our school events.

Events:

  • 9/19 and 10/10: Teacher Professional Work Days
  • 9/20-21:  Student Picture Day
  • 9/27-30:  4th & 5th Camping at Nakijin
  • 10/21  End of 1st Quarter
  • 11/3   Parent-Teacher Conferences
  • 11/12 Walkathon

Activities:

  • Kindergarten Sports Day: Families of kindergarten students will be having an exciting activity day on September 22 at the park below our school. There is no school for kindergarten on this day. Bring your picnic lunch and enjoy at time of meeting other families around games and a picnic!
  • Our Parent Math Night has been moved to a different night: Thursday, October 13, from 6:30-7:30 PM. The event will include online training on tutorial and math activities in CPU lab, video training in the library, and refreshments and teacher interaction in the cafeteria.

Sincerely,
Brad Jernberg, elementary principal
Equipping students to walk with God and impact the world for Him
OCSI • Calendar • Contact • Handbook • Prayer • Facebook • Instagram • Pinterest • Twitter Typhoon

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playsafely-largeP.S. As you may recall, Yomitan is connecting the road by the back entrance (Sera-en) to the big road above OCSI. Due to road construction, we are preparing to put in a fence with netting between the end of the playing field and the new road. We are also preparing to enhance the back entrance to school.

To raise funds for these important projects, we have launched our PlaySafely Campaign. We will send more information about our campaign soon.

September 16th, 2016|

OCSI Secondary Connections: September

High School Happenings: Exciting times are on the horizon for high school! With Friendship Friday right around the corner and High School Camp at the beginning of October, high schoolers are looking forward to food, fellowship and fun as they grow closer together in the high school community!

Friendship Friday is Friday, September 23 (3:30-6:30 p.m.), at Cape Zanpa Beach. Permission forms are due Friday, September 16. Students will not be able to attend without a signed permission form. Students must ride OCSI transportation to and from the beach. At the end of the event, students can either be picked up by their parents from Zanpa or they must ride back to OCSI. Students are not allowed to leave from Zanpa on their own or with anyone other than their parents.

High School Camp is October 5-­7 at Tokashiki Island. Unfortunately, due to a change in the ferry schedule, we will not be leaving for Tokashiki until the afternoon. We will start our camp activities at school Wednesday morning. Therefore all students are required to go to OCSI Wednesday morning October 5. We will be meeting in the cafeteria. Again,  students who were planning to be dropped off at the port will now need to come to OCSI by 8:25 a.m. Please don’t be late! We are looking forward to a great time! 

Middle School Happenings: We are in full swing in middle school! Students are enjoying what they are learning in their core classes of English, math, science, and social studies. They are also developing various skills in elective classes as well.

In 6th grade, students will take a semester long class of  keyboarding  with Mr. Kline. Here they learn typing skills and other computer software skills. For the other semester, students take a  study skills  class with Ms. Nelson. In this class, students learn and practice techniques for better study habits.

The 7th and 8th grade students rotate quarterly among four different classes. Students will have a quarter of  art  class with Mrs. Lloyd, woodshop with Mr. Cusumano, music class with Mr. Reasoner, and a quarter of study hall.

Sincerely,
Latasha Calvin, secondary principal
Equipping students to walk with God and impact the world for Him
OCSI • Calendar • Contact • Handbook • Prayer • Facebook • Instagram • Pinterest • Twitter Typhoon

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P.S. Important dates:

  • Sept. 10: ACT Test
  • Sept. 14: XC meet at OCSI, 4 p.m.
  • Sept. 16: Progress reports
  • Sept. 19: Professional Development Day – no school for students. Education USA College Fair in Naha.
  • Sept. 20: School pictures
  • Sept. 21: School pictures, senior parent meeting at 6:30 p.m., XC meet at Kubasaki – 4 p.m.
  • Sept. 22: Senior formal and cap and gown pictures
  • Sept. 23: MS & HS Friendship Friday
  • Sept. 28: XC meet at Kadena, 4 p.m.
September 9th, 2016|

PTF Connections: September

Welcome to PTF!  PTF (Parent Teacher Fellowship) is a great way for parents to get involved in your child’s education and OCSI. The purpose of PTF is to support teachers, strengthen our school community, and connect with other parents.  Our OCSI parents bring many unique talents and resources to our school community, and I am excited to work together with you this year to share ideas and continue to develop ways for parents to serve at OCSI.

There are many different ways you can get involved in PTF, so I encourage you to come to our PTF information meeting on Friday, September 16, at 8:30 a.m. in the school cafeteria. Even if you think you can only help one time during the school year, please come to the meeting! We will get to know each other and talk about our plans for the year.

Please continue to check our Facebook page for updates, or email ptf@ocsi.org if you have any questions.  

Sincerely,
Julie Woolery, PTF director
Equipping students to walk with God and impact the world for Him
OCSI • Calendar • Contact • Handbook • Prayer • Facebook • Instagram • Pinterest • Twitter Typhoon

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P.S. Thanks to community participation in OCSI’s Walkathon and Bazaar, OCSI was able to purchase new science lab stools! This year’s Walkathon is Saturday, November 12—see you there!

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September 2nd, 2016|

OCSI Secondary Connections: August

High School

High school is starting off wonderfully! We are excited to see familiar faces as well as new faces! We have two new teachers in social studies and mathematics. Mrs. Roe joins us from Christian Academy in Japan (CAJ) in Tokyo and is teaching 11th grade US History and 12th grade Government and Economics. Ms. Toffenetti is from the U.S. Virgina, U.S., and taught at OCSI in 2006. She is teaching Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II. Ms. Rush is still at OCSI, but she has moved to social studies and teaches 9th grade World Geography and 10th grade World History. 

Our Bible Department has also grown. Mr. Baumgart is from Michigan, U.S., and is teaching Bible for 9th, 10th and 11th graders,  and Mr. Roe is also from CAJ in Tokyo and is teaching Bible 12, as well as serving as elementary chaplain. Mr. Reasoner returns to Okinawa from Colorado, U.S., and is our new high school chaplain. He is also teaching high school music.

We are looking forward to a wonderful year! 

Middle School

Middle school students are excited to be back at school! For 8th graders, this is their last year in middle school as they prepare to enter high school. They may now join sports teams as well, so that adds to the excitement. The 7th graders can look forward to different specials this year. Each quarter they will change to either art class, music class, wood shop or study hall. For the 6th graders, everything is new, so there is some nervousness. However, there is much excitement as well, as they have now joined the secondary side of the school, which allows some new opportunities.

We are looking forward to a great year with some awesome teachers and some great students!

Sincerely,
Latasha Calvin, secondary principal
Equipping students to walk with God and impact the world for Him
OCSI • Calendar • Contact • Handbook • Prayer • Facebook • Instagram • Pinterest • Twitter Typhoon

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P.S. Here are some important dates (for further information, please check the school calendar):

  • August 26: Open House, 7:00 p.m.
  • September 1: Deadline to register for the October 1 SAT
  • September 5: No school
  • September 10: ACT
August 26th, 2016|

OCSI Connections: What is a community?

Playing together is part of building Christ-centered community.

Playing together is part of building Christ-centered community.

What is a community? That’s a good question. OCSI strives to be a Christ-centered community, so it’s important that we all understand what a community is. I think a community is a connected, caring, collaborative, like-minded group of people:

  • Connected: We know each other, call each other by name, and share memories.
  • Caring: We ask when someone isn’t feeling well.
  • Collaborative: We work together help children grow.
  • Like-minded: We focus on helping students reach their potential and on equipping students to walk with God and impact the world for Him.
  • Group of people: We come from different countries—that’s great!

How can we continue to build community together? Another good question! Ten things that come to mind are:

  1. Speaking the truth in love.
  2. Understanding OCSI’s procedures, for example, how OCSI handles typhoons. We post school closings on our website, and we use Jupiter to send out emails about emergency closings.
  3. Keeping each other safe.
  4. Following OCSI on FacebookInstagramPinterest, and Twitter.
  5. Respecting each other as God’s image bearers.
  6. Checking the handbook for whom to contact when you have a question. 
  7. Talking about what’s on our hearts.
  8. Being aware of the school calendar. Please remember that Monday, September 5, is a school holiday.
  9. Praying together.
  10. Attending school events. Friday night, we have open house for grades 1-12

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

Sincerely,
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
MichaelEssenburg

P.S. Thanks to community participation in OCSI’s Walkathon and Bazaar, we were able to purchase new instruments (including xylophones and world drums) for the the music room!

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Mr. Jernberg, elementary principal, holds one of OCSI’s new world drums, purchased with funds raised from Walkathon and Bazaar.

August 25th, 2016|