/School: Kindergarten

Annual Report: Growth!


Annual Report 2019: Head of School (Elementary • Secondary  Business Manager)

Growth! When I think of this school year, I think of growth—student growth, staff growth, and organizational growth:

  • PreK and kindergarten students made letter-sound connections for reading and writing, deepened their understanding of Jesus’ parables, and solved addition and subtraction problems.
  • Elementary students wrote poems and presented them at a poetry slam, gave team presentations to students and parents at Culture Fair, studied the effects of magnetism, properly formatted Google Docs, played guitar, and used correct stroke order for writing in Japanese.
  • Middle school students did 3D printing, learned about Ryukyu Kingdom history, increased their understanding of Jesus and His ministry, participated in a variety of athletic teams, and connected how temperature, pressure, and density affect weather.
  • High school students analyzed diet plans to determine if they are healthy and sustainable, used spreadsheets to complete research projects in math, studied Biblical principles on stewardship, and developed speeches that take into account occasion, audience, and purpose.


  • Staff participated in book discussions on The New Art and Science of Teaching, Setting the Standard for Projected Based Learning, and How to Differentiate Instruction in Academically Diverse Classrooms; attended training for child safety, MAP testing, mentoring, and social and emotional learning; and interacted with resources from the 17 professional memberships OCSI holds.
  • Organizationally, OCSI upgraded a variety of things, including playground equipment, bus service, food service, and instructional materials for science.


And though OCSI has until 2024 to accomplish the 5 recommendations left by the visiting accreditation team in March 2018, we have already accomplished 3 recommendations by…

  1. Re-evaluating compensation and benefits.
  2. Providing additional support staff to meet the growing needs.
  3. Establishing clear guidelines and deadlines for the completion of curriculum maps.

To learn more about what’s happening at OCSI, check us out on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) and check out PTF on Facebook.


Thank you for partnering with us as we equip students to walk with Jesus and impact the world for Him. On a personal note, I’m grateful to have been part of the OCSI community over the past 4 years. I will miss being part of OCSI as I head to the US, and I am confident that OCSI will continue to grow.

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


P.S. Check out the other sections of our annual report (Elementary • Secondary • Business Manager) and our growth plans for next year:

Strategic Plan


May 22nd, 2019|

Annual Report: Celebrating progress

Screen Shot 2019-04-25 at 2.08.44 PM

Annual Report 2019: Elementary (Head of School • Secondary  Business Manager)

Reflection is an important aspect of both a good education and a successful life. It’s important to remember where we started from and the progress we’ve made, and to look forward with goals and hope in mind. Over the past year, OCSI elementary has worked each day to equip students to walk with Jesus and impact the world for him by working toward our expected student outcomes. We’ve made progress as a school, and I know your child has made progress as well.

Reflecting on this year is a great way to celebrate all of the progress we’ve made and helps us make goals for the future:

Understand God, His world, and their place in it:

  • Students learned about God and His world at camp.
  • Students learned about Biblical character traits during Service Week through Athletes in Action and Kids’ Club activities.

Think critically and Biblically:

  • New science curriculum (FOSS) challenged students to think critically.
  • Weekly chapel services encouraged students to grow in their spiritual walk.

Collaborate with others, respecting them as God’s image bearers:

  • Students worked together to share music and drama at the Christmas concerts.
  • After-school clubs taught students new skills in soccer, basketball, crafts, cooking, and literacy.
  • New playground equipment engaged students in play-based learning.

Communicate truthfully and effectively:

  • Elementary report cards are now standards-based to give parents more information.
  • Families celebrated reading during the Week of Reading and Family Reading Night.
  • Older and younger students enjoyed being reading buddies.

Create ideas, products, and solutions:

  • Students created items for the Culture Fair, Author’s Tea, Book Fair, and Kid City.
  • Project-based learning curriculum and classroom furnishings were added in Pre-K.

Screen Shot 2019-04-25 at 2.08.34 PM

We’re excited about all of the progress that was made this year and are looking forward to more growth next year! In 2019-2020, OCSI elementary will be implementing social-emotional learning and a new Bible curriculum, and will benefit from increased technology in an upgraded elementary computer lab and with 1:1 chromebooks in grades 4 and 5.

Megan Roe, elementary principal
Equipping students to walk with Jesus and impact the world for Him
Calendar • Contact • Donate • Handbook • Prayer Guide • Facebook • Typhoon

Megan Roe

P.S. Check out the other sections of our annual report (Head of School • Secondary • Business Manager) and our growth plans for next year:

Strategic Plan

May 22nd, 2019|

Thank you for the privilege of educating your children


OCSI Connections:

We are glad to partner with you in the education of your children! We want to help your children grow, and we’re glad to see…

  • PreK students reaching out to each other. For example, one student helped another student cut pieces of paper.
  • Kindergarten mathematicians solving addition and subtraction problems.
  • First grade linguists expanding their vocabulary by using action worlds.
  • Second grade authors writing award nominations for their favorite books.
  • Third grade scientists collaborating while working to understand the effects of magnetism.
  • Fourth and 5th grade musicians learning guitar chords.
  • Sixth graders comparing the Biblical beliefs with beliefs of other religions.
  • Seventh grade scientists using microscopes to investigate what living things are made of.
  • Eighth grade artists thinking about how they draw and practicing their techniques.
  • High school students developing their leadership skills.
  • Tenth grade readers learning how to analyze a literary work from different perspectives.
  • High school scientists using concept maps to deepen their understanding of key principles and exploring Greek and Latin in order to master vocabulary.
  • Seniors applying for college entrance.
Check out the books written by our first graders!

Check out the books written by our first graders!

To learn more about what’s happening at OCSI, check us out on social media (FacebookInstagramTwitter) and check out PTF on Facebook.


Key dates:

  • 2/11: Open enrollment begins
  • 3/21: Conferences – no classes
  • 4/8-12: Spring Vacation – no school
  • 5/3: Golden Week Holiday – no school
  • 5/27: Memorial Day – no school
  • 6/12: Last day of classes, early student dismissal at 12:30
  • 8/21: First day of classes (see calendar for further dates)

Please note: Please remember that we will be having class on February 18 (previously a school holiday). If you have questions or concerns about sending your child(ren) to school on February 18, please contact the appropriate principal.


Thank you for the privilege of assisting you with the education of your children. If you have questions or concerns, please contact the appropriate staff member.

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


February 7th, 2019|

Helping students become effective communicators

Communication 3

Elementary Connections:

At OCSI we want your children to become effective communicators, including being effective writers. Through the Writer’s Workshop program, your child is encouraged to write on a variety of topics and in a variety of genres. Writing can help your child discover new things, reflect on their experiences, and teach others a new skill or idea. Here are some of the ways the teachers here at OCSI are helping your children become better writers:

Communication 2

“In Pre-K, students draw and write in notebooks. They are practicing their pre-writing skills. Parents can help at home by providing time with playdough to strengthen fine motor skills to prepare for future writing activities. In PreK we start helping our children the proper way of holding the pencil. Figuring out if the student is left or right handed.
We do appreciate parents’ support at home. In your child’s free time please give them a crayon or pencil and a paper to write, draw etc. It is also great if you as parent could spend time with your child. Make it a fun or game type of writing or drawing with your child. Not just giving your child a crayon and a paper.” — Mrs. Pallmann

“In Kindergarten, many of my students like to draw pictures, and I always encourage them to write something about their pictures. Most of them can tell what they drew but are hesitant to write. So, we start by just labeling their pictures and hoping they will become comfortable writing something about their pictures soon. Parents at home can integrate technology and mobile devices to motivate their students to write. Perhaps do a selfie adventure with their students and then use the pictures to encourage them to write something about their adventure. They can also take selfies of their favorite books, pets, or places they have been. With helpful prompts, I believe students will have fun writing!” — Mrs. Ikehara

“In 1st grade we have just completed our ‘how to’ writing unit! We have learned all about how to use “time” words and tell things in sequential order. We are moving into a short letter writing unit and will even be writing to first graders in Singapore! Parents may want to help their children by writing notes or letters to their child at home. They may also want to help their children write to someone who lives far away and go to the post office together to mail the letter!” — Mrs. Fox

Communication 1

“In 5th grade we become better writers by becoming better readers and then by writing what we read about. This quarter we read biographies and the students created posters and gave presentations on their findings. This was great for understanding informational texts and looking at historical figures through the different lenses of the authors the students read.” — Mr. Doerksen

Megan Roe, elementary principal
Equipping students to walk with Jesus and impact the world for Him
Calendar • Contact • Donate • Handbook • Prayer Guide • Facebook • Typhoon

Megan Roe

February 5th, 2019|

Our students are involved in science

Screen Shot 2018-10-16 at 6.37.09 PM

Elementary Connections:

This school year OCSI elementary is implementing the Next Generation Science Standards from kindergarten through 5th grade. Our new curriculum includes both hands-on experiences and literacy connections. Science and engineering education includes investigations into the natural world as well as how engineers design and build systems. We hope to encourage all students to build, deepen, and apply their knowledge of core ideas in the following domains: physical science, life science, earth and space science, and engineering.

Screen Shot 2018-10-16 at 6.39.38 PM

What does this look like in your child’s classroom?

  • Pre-K: Students have the opportunity to take care of stuffed animals in the dramatic play center which is set up like a pet store, and they are learning how to care for animals.
  • 1st grade: Students investigated how an apple tree grows and changes. They made predictions and then looked at the inside of an apple and counted the seeds and made homemade applesauce. Next, they’ll be exploring how an animal’s body parts help it live, grow, and find and catch food.

Screen Shot 2018-10-16 at 6.43.30 PM

  • 2nd grade: Students learned about habitats and biomes and created a classroom pond habitat they could develop and add their own animals to.
  • 4th grade: Students began an investigation with magnets and explored the question, “What sticks to magnets?” Students made predictions about what materials would stick to the magnets, as well as discovered the two sides of a magnet and the invisible magnetic field.

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

October 17th, 2018|

Thank you for partnering with us


Elementary Connections:

Thank you, families, for partnering with us to equip your children to walk with God and impact the world for Him. This school year brings with it numerous exciting changes that will help your child grow and learn more. I hope this school year brings more opportunities to deepen the partnerships between our school, our families, and our community.

Some of the exciting new things in elementary include…

  • New science curriculum (K-5) that encourages a hands-on approach to learning and investigation; for more information about FOSS kits and the Next Generation Science Standards, please go to https://www.fossweb.com/what-is-foss
  • Standards based report cards that help families know how to best support their children.
  • Playground structures and campus improvements to increase safety and student enjoyment.
  • New lunch program that meets the individual needs and preferences of students.


Ways you can partner with us…

  • Do you have an idea for a learning trip? We’d love to hear it!
  • Volunteer with PTF to help in the classroom, with special events, and more.
  • Help support our students and classrooms with supplies from the Elementary Wish List.
  • Share how much you love OCSI with your friends that might be looking for a school (see the Referral Coupon for details).

We look forward to seeing you around campus, and please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions, concerns, or to request more information.

  • Questions or information about bus, lunch, or billing: info@ocsi.org
  • Questions or information about academic topics: classroom teacher or elementaryprincipal@ocsi.org
  • Questions or information about PTF events and volunteer opportunities: ptf@ocsi.org
  • Questions or information about new student admissions: admissions@ocsi.org

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

August 28th, 2018|

Students celebrate at promotion ceremonies


At the June 12 kindergarten promotion ceremony, students sang “The Phonics Song,” recited the Lord’s Prayer, sang “First Grade, First Grade,” and received their diplomas.


Also on June 12, the OCSI community celebrated with 5th grade students at their promotion ceremony. Those attending the ceremony enjoyed watching the student processional, listening to three songs and two student speeches, and watching students receive their certificates..


On evening of June 13, the 8th graders celebrated their completion of middle school. The promotion ceremony included a video, speeches from two students and one teacher, and students receiving their certificates.

June 13th, 2018|

Summer is almost here

Elementary Connections:

Summer is almost here! It’s been a great school year here at Okinawa Christian School International and we’re looking forward to welcoming you all back in August for the start of the 2018-2019 school year. The Summer Packet with information about next school year will come to you via your Jupiter mail this July, thank you for your attention to this important mail and for helping us save paper by going digital.

Mega Sports Camp 18image00133802500_248332272382844_2401361930825498624_o

Summer can be a great time for children to be outside and having fun, but it’s also a great opportunity to join one of the great children’s programs at one of Okinawa’s local churches. If you’re looking for an exciting, safe, and fun opportunity for your child this summer- check out any of the events below:

  • Neighborhood Church Okinawa Mega Sports Camp: July 23-27, to register: http://bit.ly/NCOMSC2018
  • Koza Baptist Church VBS: July 30-August 3, to register: http://kozabaptistchurch.org/
  • Calvary Chapel Okinawa VBS: August 6-10, to register: http://www.calvaryokinawa.com/vbs.html

Want to help your child continue making progress? Make reading a priority this summer… take your child to the library, take them to the beach to read, beat the heat and head to a coffee shop with a book. Need more books? Our library will be open from 8:30-11:30 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday as well as Thursday evening from 7:30-8:30 p.m., during the summer school term (June 21-July 17).

This year we say goodbye to Mrs. Cleek and her family! We have been so blessed by her time here at OCSI, please join us as we wish her well as she moves back to the United States.

We’re so blessed to have amazing teachers here at OCSI and three new teachers will be joining us in elementary which means there will be some shifting around.

  • Mrs. Anna Lyons is from the United States and is a graduate of Moody Bible Institute; she will be joining us in Okinawa with her husband.
  • Mr. Andrew Logan is from the United States as well, but has been living in the Kobe area for several years; he will be joining us here in Okinawa with his wife and 1 year old daughter.
  • Ms. Lindi Barkman is joining us from Wheaton College in the United States but grew up in Japan and graduated high school from Christian Academy of Japan in Tokyo.

Screen Shot 2018-06-06 at 8.54.14 AM Screen Shot 2018-06-06 at 8.54.20 AM  Screen Shot 2018-06-06 at 8.54.38 AM

2018-2019 Elementary Classroom Teachers

  • PreK – Mrs. Pallmann, Mrs. Rulida, Mrs. Cruzado
  • Kindergarten – Mr. Carpenter, Mrs. Ikehara
  • 1st Grade – Mrs. Fox, Ms. Turner
  • 2nd Grade – Mrs. Lyons, Ms. Guiles
  • 3rd Grade – Mr. Logan, Ms. Engbers
  • 4th Grade – Ms. Sorley, Ms. Barkman
  • 5th Grade – Mr. Doerksen, Mr. Fox

Have a great summer!

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

June 6th, 2018|

Let’s celebrate growth!

Screen Shot 2018-05-22 at 4.49.36 PM

Annual Report 2018: Elementary (Head of School  Secondary • Business Manager • Board)

I’m thankful to be a part of this school community and excited to share all of the growth we made in the elementary program this year. Thank you parents and guardians for all you do to support the school and for partnering with us as we equip students to walk with Jesus and impact the world for Him.

  • We continue to develop and improve our curriculum so it is in line with best practice and research, including new Daily 5 classroom libraries, a Writer’s Workshop program, new social studies resources, and a robotics unit in 5th grade.  
  • Through partnership with the Parent Teacher Fellowship (PTF) we’ve been able to provide parent Bible studies, cooking classes, a Culture Fair luncheon, Week of Reading, and provide new recess toys for the students.
  • In response to parent feedback, we were excited to be able to offer six elementary after school clubs this year- cooking, STEM, crafts/puppets, basketball, soccer, and running.
  • Elementary and Kindergarten Christmas programs highlighted the talents and energy of even our youngest students.

Screen Shot 2018-05-22 at 4.48.54 PM

The OCSI elementary program recognizes that students are our future. They are full of potential, are responsible for their learning, and are responsible for using it to serve God and others. This school year has proved to be a time of growth not only for our school, but growth for the individual children in our classrooms as well.  Let’s celebrate their growth!

  • PreK students worked together to problem solve while playing and daily circle times encouraged participation and oral communication.
  • Kindergarten students worked together to explore their world through fun, hands-on activities and are reading on their own through our Daily 5 program.
  • 1st grade students are sharing their original stories and informational writing with peers in order to get feedback and make edits.
  • 2nd grade students have worked hard to develop a community where all students feel valued and can pray for each other and study mentor texts in order to become better readers and writers.
  • 3rd grade students developed their writing and continue to improve their reading comprehension and math fluency.
  • 4th grade students have developed research skills so they can publish informational reports and continue to work on improving their reading and writing skills daily.
  • 5th grade students worked hard in their literature circles, read and wrote biographies, and explored the world of robotics to create their own droid.

Megan Roe, elementary principal

May 30th, 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.

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|