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|

We want our students to grow


OCSI Connections:

At OCSI, we want students to grow. One way we help students grow is by having students reflect on questions, for example:

  • FullSizeRenderWhy do you think what you think?
  • What does this story teach us about God or about what we should do?
  • What does it mean to be human?
  • How did God make me special?
  • When faced with two conflicting instructions, how do you determine which to follow?
  • How do predictions help comprehension?
  • What does it mean for a computer/robot to be considered intelligent?

Another way we help students grow is by involving them in service projects like cleaning up beaches and churches, visiting nursing homes, using the fine arts to share the Gospel, engaging OCSI elementary students in music and sports, and more!

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

Key dates:

  • 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)

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


March 14th, 2019|

Teachers discuss differentiation

Eleven faculty members are participating in a 7-week book discussion of How to Differentiate Instruction in Academically Diverse Classroom by Carol Ann Tomlinson. Why are they reading this book? Because students come to school with very different abilities, passions, and life experiences, and so they need different types of support, opportunities, and challenges in order to reach their fullest potential.

Each week the teachers discuss how to use varied content, process, and product to address differences in students’ readiness, interest, and learning needs. At the end of each discussion, each teacher identifies action steps, which they report on at the next discussion.

Says Kim Essenburg, book discussion facilitator, “The teachers are excited to be growing together. It really makes me use what I’ve read when I have to set a goal and then tell the group how it went. And I always enjoy hearing how other teachers are using what we’ve talked about to help students learn even more.”

September 21st, 2017|

Mrs. Oechsle, thank you for 22 years of service!

Mrs. Oechsle is retiring from OCSI after 22 years of service!

September 19th, 2017|

New staff are preparing for school!

New staff are preparing for the upcoming school year. They are working in their classrooms, and they are reflecting on OCSI’s philosophy by focusing on 6 questions:
  1. What’s your perspective?
  2. What’s true?
  3. What’s the Bible about?
  4. What’s distinctive about Christian education?
  5. How does OCSI compare?
  6. How does understanding our students’ perspective help?

Comments Kim Essenburg, curriculum coordinator, “We’re off to a good start. I’m enjoying getting to know our new staff. They are very engaged and funny!” (see photo)


August 10th, 2017|

OCSI wins dragon boat race!

On May 5, OCSI participated for the first time in the 43rd Naha dragon boat race. Pioneered by Elementary Principal, Brad Jernberg, OCSI’s team brought home their first trophy!

It was an amazing team-building effort that gathered parents, students, and teachers together. In addition, many had the opportunity to share OCSI’s mission and purpose with others in the community.  This event was created to continue on our theme of building unity and share the great things that are happening at OCSI:

Romans 15:5-6 May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

We used the rally term of 団結 – danketsu, which means UNITED. Teachers, students, family members and school board members made up our team.

This is a 360 degree video. Use your mouse to click and drag inside the viewport to change the camera angle. You can also view this on your smartphone or tablet and control the camera angle by panning your device.

May 20th, 2017|

Teachers discuss effective instructional strategies

Fourteen teachers participated in a 6-week book discussion of Better Learning Through Structured Teaching: A Framework for the Gradual Release of Responsibility by Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey. During the discussions, teachers talked about focused instruction, guided instruction, collaborative learning, and independent learning. At the end of each discussion, each teacher identified action steps, which they reported on at the next discussion.

Say Kim Essenburg, book discussion facilitator, “It was exciting to hear people talking about how they used what they had learned during book discussions to help students learn even more during class!”
April 1st, 2017|

Staff focus on mission, vision, and philosophy

As part of OCSI’s professional development program, new teachers participate in 12 hours of training on OCSI’s mission, vision, and philosophy. They reflect on the following 12 questions:
  1. Philosophy 3What’s your perspective?
  2. What’s true?
  3. What’s the Bible about?
  4. What’s distinctive about Christian education?
  5. How does OCSI compare?
  6. How does understanding our students’ perspective help?
  7. What are the implications of OCSI’s philosophy?
  8. What are the implications of OCSI’s vision?
  9. What are the implications of creation-fall-redemption-restoration?
  10. What does/doesn’t connecting God’s world/Word look like?
  11. How does God’s Word connect to the part of God’s world your students study?
  12. How can you help your students connect God’s world/Word?

Philosophy 1They also focus on the following key ideas:

During the final session, teachers develop a lesson plan designed to help students connect the part of God’s world they are studying with God’s Word.
March 24th, 2017|

OCSI serves on Iejima

Once a month, a group of OCSI teachers and students drive up to Motobu port and board a ferry for Iejima, an island off Nago to teach English to the elementary students on the island as well as encourage the church on the island. Pastor Fumio Nomura was previously on the board of OCSI and invited some teachers to come teach English about 5 years ago. We’ve continued ever since!

For the first few years, we taught English at Pastor Nomura’s home and Kumon building, but as last year, the Board of Education of Iejima asked if we could start teaching at the nearby community center and connect it with the school systems. Every month we teachers think of a theme and activities for an hour and a half of English teaching. The students range from grades 1-6, and we average about 18 students every week.


We also invite OCSI high school and middle school kids to join us. It has been incredible to watch the OCSI kids interact with the Iejima kids and tangibly see the OCSI kids walk with God and impact the world for him. If you’ve ever like to join, us talk to Ms. Turner or Ms. Guiles!


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February 3rd, 2017|

Mrs. Essenburg published on NCTE’s blog

2017-01-31 Mrs EssenburgMrs. Essenburg, curriculum coordinator and high school English teacher, was recently published on the blog of the National Council of Teachers of English. Her article, “Pairing Texts for Deepening Reading Comprehension,” reflects how she helps her students better understand what they read.

Congratulations, Mrs. Essenburg!

January 31st, 2017|