/Parent Newsletter

Welcome to PTF

PTF Connections:

Welcome to PTF PTF (Parent Teacher Fellowship) is a great way for parents to get involved in their child’s education at OCSI. The purpose of PTF is to support teachers, strengthen our school community, and connect with other parents. There are many opportunities for service throughout the year in the classroom, at Holiday Market, and during Teacher Appreciation Week. We invite and encourage every family to become an active part of the PTF.

We are going to have a PTF information meeting on Friday, September 8, at 2:15 p.m. in the school cafeteria. Even if you think you can only help once during the school year, please come to the meeting! All parents are welcome to attend. We will get to know each other and talk about our plans for the year.

We will also start the weekly English Bible study for parents from October 6 at 1:30 p.m. in the PTF room. This is a great opportunity to improve your English skills and to learn about and discuss Biblical parenting values.  All parents are invited to join.

Please check our Facebook page for updates.  If you have any questions, suggestions, or comments, please email ptf@ocsi.org.

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

August 31st, 2017|

Middle schoolers excited to be back at school

Middle School Happenings:

Well, for many the summer was w-a-y too short. Still, most students were excited and glad to be back at school! These first couple of days saw friends reunited, many new faces (both students and a few teachers, as well), and getting used to different schedules. While we did have a few confused or temporarily misplaced students, we were able to avoid any major issues as we kicked off the 2017-2018 school year.

Students have received many papers to be signed. These should have already been turned in. Teachers will be in contact if there is anything missing.

Here are a few upcoming events to be aware of:

  • Open House – This is a great time to meet your child’s teachers. Please join us on the evening of September 1, 2017, at 7 p.m.
  • MAP Testing – This is the replacement to the Terra Nova tests. MAP tests will begin in September. There is nothing to prepare for, but please ensure students get enough rest and a good breakfast.
  • Friendship Friday – September 22nd – This is an after school event (3:00-6:00) that all middle school students are highly encouraged to attend. It is a great chance to get to know new students and to begin new friendships. More information will be sent out soon.
August 30th, 2017|

High schoolers are in the swing of things

High School Happenings:

With the beginning of school, all the high school students are back in the swing of things. On the first day of school the National Honor Society students welcomed new students and helped direct them to their classes. There was excitement in the air as students greeted old friends and made new friends. Students are already steadily working on projects and various assignments. The 2017-2018 school year is off to a great start!

We would like to welcome the following teachers to high school:

  • Mrs. Angela Doerkson: 9th & 10th grade English
  • Dr. Deena Vardhini: biology, chemistry, and marine biology
  • Ms. Brynn Childers: 11th & 12th grade social studies and dean of students.

We are excited to have them and they are a wonderful addition to the high school faculty.

High school has the following events on the horizon:

  • Open House – September 1st at 7:00 pm in the cafeteria
  • Friendship Friday – September 22nd at 3:30 – 6:00 p.m. (permission slips will go out soon)
  • PSAT Testing – October 11th during the school day
August 30th, 2017|

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|