/Parent Newsletter

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
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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.

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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|

OCSI Elementary Connections: August

Welcome back to OCSI for our 2016-2017 school year!  We are so excited to have all our families back here to begin what will be a wonderful adventure in learning!  I will be sending out a monthly memo this year to let you know of all the activities taking place each month and let you know about school events.  You will find a calendar of events for the month, specific details of major events, and thoughts regarding your child’s education.  Please note that we have changed our school handbook to an electronic version. You can locate all information about our student handbook, and it can be read in English or Japanese.

We are eager to start working with your child and look forward to meeting you at our Open House this Friday on August 26th (6:00- 7:00 PM for grades 1-5)This is a time to meet your child’s teacher and to learn about our new math program:

  • 6:00 – Start in cafeteria with Mr. Jernberg.
  • 6:20 – Meet with your child’s teacher.
  • 6:40 – Meet with specialists or second teacher.
  • Students who attend must stay with parents.

Please keep the following dates in mind (for further information, please check our school calendar):

  • 8/26: Open House 6:00- 7:00 PM (grades 1-5)
  • 9/8: Welcome new families!  Coffee and cookies from 6:00-7:00PM, sponsored by PTF!
  • 9/15: Math Night (6:00-7:00PM): You can learn even more about our math program.

Thank you for part of our school community. I’m looking forward to see you on Friday at Open House. 

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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August 22nd, 2016|

School starts tomorrow!

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We are excited! Why? Because school start tomorrow. Because we’ll get to see your child(ren). Because we’ll get to help you equip your child(ren) to walk with God and impact the world for Him.

We want tomorrow to go well. You can help. Five key things to keep in mind are:

  1. How to drop your student off.
  2. Making sure your child(ren) have their supplies (kindergarten, grades 1-12).
  3. That classes for grades 1-12 start at 8:25.
  4. That kindergarten orientation begins at 9:00 and ends at 10:30.
  5. That classes for grades 1-12 finish at 3:00.

See you tomorrow!

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

August 17th, 2016|

OCSI Connections: July

Check out the new benches woodshop students made using materials purchased with Walkathon/Bazaar funds!

Check out the new benches woodshop students made using materials purchased with Walkathon/Bazaar funds!

Like you, I love my children. My two daughters are grown and married now, and when they were younger, I sent them to school because I wanted them to…
  • Understand God, His world, and their place in it.
  • Think critically and Biblically.
  • Collaborate with and respect others.
  • Communicate truthfully and effectively.
  • Use their learning to serve God and others.
 
I’m grateful for the education my daughters received, and I count it a privilege to work to provide you the kind of education I wanted for my daughters. Here at OCSI our mission is to equip your child(ren) to walk with God and impact the world for Him. To carry out our mission, we provide a program that…
  • Addresses the whole person.
  • Is communicated in English.
  • Uses an American-style approach.
  • Is Biblically based.
  • Encourages Biblical thinking and living.
 

Thank you for the privilege of assisting you with the education of you child(ren). We are looking forward to seeing them on Thursday, August 18!

Sincerely,
Michael B. Essenburg, superintendent
Equipping students to walk with God and impact the world for Him
P.S. Check out our updated online handbook.

July 29th, 2016|