/Expected Student Outcome: Student Learning

Elementary in action

Elementary Connections:

Merry Christmas! It was so wonderful to see all of your children performing in the Christmas program last week, and I’m looking forward to the PreK and kinder program this Friday. We really do have such talented students here at OCSI. We would like to say thank you for partnering with us in the education of your children. I am so grateful for a school community that supports each other and partners with teachers to do what’s best for student learning.

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Want to see what a typical morning at school looks like for your child? On January 8, we would like to invite you to campus for Kite Day celebrations and to spend time observing in your child’s classroom.

We are excited to be able to offer after school clubs for our elementary students in kindergarten (K5) through 5th grade beginning from January 23. We know that providing extra-curricular opportunities are important to families, and we hope that you will find a club that interests your child. A big thank you to the teachers who have volunteered to lead these clubs!

1/5 – 2/2: Re-enrollment (re-registration) begins. Reserve your seat for next school year before new students are admitted. Please come to the office to make payment (8:00-3:30). Please bring your completed re-enrollment form. For further information, please see this letter and the tuition/fee schedule which were mailed home earlier this month.

Dates to remember:

  • 1/4: School resumes

  • 1/8 Kite Day & Parent Observation time

  • 1/15: Martin Luther King Jr. Day – no school

  • 1/26: Teacher work day – no school for students

  • 2/5: Open enrollment, with new students being given available seats

  • 2/19: Presidents’ Day – no school

Sincerely,
Megan Roe, elementary principal
Equipping students to walk with God and impact the world for Him
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Megan Roe

P.S. Check out the video of the elementary Christmas program!

December 12th, 2017|

Secondary music students do radio theater

Secondary music students performed a radio-theater version of A Christmas Carol, complete with dramatic readings, sound effects, and songs like “We Need a Little Christmas, “Carol of the Bells,” and “You Are the Savior of the World.”

Said Don Reasoner, music teacher, “I am proud of how the students worked together to put on this production.”

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December 1st, 2017|

Focusing on helping students collaborate effectively and respectfully

OCSI Connections:

OCSI focuses on collaboration. We focus on helping students collaborate effectively and respectfully. It’s good to see:

  • Kindergarteners reading to a partner during Daily 5.
  • First grade writers getting feedback from a partner before editing.
  • Fifth grade mathematician creating board games with a partner to reinforce math concepts.
  • Middle school geologists analyzing different soil samples in groups and collaborating to develop a list of characteristics for classifying them.
  • Middle school theologians working in teams to produce a short video identifying the major themes and lessons of the Nativity story in Matthew and Luke.
  • High school political scientists working together to write a constitution and answer questions related to criminal and civil cases.
  • High school physicists working on a group project involving force, energy, gravitation, and velocity.
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It was also good to see our community collaborating for Walkathon and Holiday Market. Thank you to all who participated. OCSI was able to raise ¥1.3 million.
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Key dates:
  • 11/22: Professional Day – no school for students
  • 11/23-24: Thanksgiving vacation
  • 12/6: Christmas program, 12:30 dismissal
  • 12/15: 12:30 dismissal
  • 12/16 – 1/3: Christmas vacation

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Did you know that…?

  • OCSI offers the ACT and SAT?
  • Part of OCSI’s vision is students collaborating with others and respecting them as God’s image bearers?
  • OCSI’s website provides links to our calendar, guidance resources, and athletics?
  • Our JV1 girls’ volleyball team was undefeated this season and that our JV2 team did a great job and improved with each game?

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Thank you for the privilege of assisting you with the education of your child(ren)! Please contact us with your questions and concerns.

Sincerely,
Michael B. Essenburg, head of school
Equipping students to walk with God and impact the world for Him
Calendar • Contact • Donate • Handbook • Prayer Guide • Facebook • Typhoon

Superintendent

November 17th, 2017|

We want our students to collaborate

At OCSI, we want our students to collaborate. We want our students to collaborate effectively, respecting others as God’s image bearers. So, we want our students to…stick-people-2324013_640
  1. Work productively in groups to focus ideas and create artworks that address genuine local and global community needs.
  2. Discuss course content with honesty and kindness.
  3. Establish and sustain positive relationships and build Christ-centered community.
  4. Work with others to solve problems and help each other learn.
  5. Follow discussion guidelines.
  6. Respect other languages and cultures.
  7. Work in groups to serve their audience in performance and to build Christ-centered community.
  8. Demonstrate good sportsmanship that encourages both their own team and opponents to appreciate and develop their skills.
  9. Work productively in groups to design and carry out explorations and experiments.
  10. Follow debate guidelines.
  11. Use digital tools appropriately to enhance collaboration.
  12. Make purposeful suggestions to the group, as they build Christ-centered community.
To help students grow as collaborators, we use a variety of strategies, including:
  • Encouraging active listening.
  • Assigning roles within a group.
  • Debriefing how group work went.

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SuperintendentSays Michael Essenburg, head of school: “Our world needs effective, respectful collaborators. Our world needs collaborators who can serve in different cultures and make an impact for Jesus. I’m glad our students are growing as collaborators.”

November 7th, 2017|

We want students to think critically

Information is important, and thinking critically with and about information is also important. We want our students at OCSI to think critically.

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What, exactly, is critical thinking? The authors of Making Thinking Visible identify activities that make up the thinking we want to happen:

  1. brain-1294854_640Observing closely and describing what’s there.
  2. Building explanations and interpretations.
  3. Reasoning with evidence.
  4. Making connections.
  5. Considering different viewpoints and perspectives.
  6. Capturing the heart and forming conclusions.
  7. Wondering and asking questions.
  8. Uncovering complexity and going beneath the surface of things.
  9. Identifying patterns and making generalizations.
  10. Generating possibilities and alternatives.
  11. Evaluating evidence arguments, and actions.
  12. Formulating plans and monitoring actions.
  13. Identifying claims, assumptions, and bias.
  14. Clarifying priorities, conditions, and what is known.
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OCSI secondary students did this recently, for example when…
  • 6th grade historians observed how apple slices they packed in salt were preserved and considered connections to why and how the ancient Egyptians preserved the bodies of their dead.
  • 7th grade scientists considered the question, “How are these molecules the same, and how are they different?”
  • 8th grade mathematicians were asked to explain why they wrote the problem they did, what the parts mean, and what kind of answer would make sense.
  • 9th grade historians learning about Hammurabi’s code came up with examples of modern civil and criminal law cases
  • 10th grade Honors English students made connections between themes in the novel and issues in modern life or current events.
  • 11th grade AP English students constructing argument essays, researched both sides of their chosen issue.
  • 12th grade Bible scholars gave presentations on a Biblical perspective of an issue, including ways the Bible can be misused regarding the issue.
  • High school woodworkers, completing technical drawings and beginning construction of their scroll saw puzzles, learned to problem solve when issues arrive on a project or in life. Often, projects run longer than expected or errors occur. Students (woodworkers) then have to think critically to solve these issues. With strong critical thinking skills, students (woodworkers) can use their planned details with logic to not only solve problems, but even to foresee them before they occur, and avoid them.
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Kim Essenburg, curriculum coordinator
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. Check out the elementary’s new T-shirts which feature our 5 expected student outcomes!

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October 19th, 2017|

Focusing on increasing student thinking

OCSI Connections:

brain-1294854_640OCSI focuses on thinking. We focus on increasing students’ ability to think both critically and Biblically. It’s good to see…

  • PreK students working together to figure out new and creative ways to build structures from blocks.
  • 1st grade artists exploring the concept of symmetry through portrait drawing.

  • 3rd grade writers thinking about people and places that are important to them in order to write small moment narratives.

  • 4th and 5th grade students thinking deeply about purpose and values in Bible class and at camp.

  • 7th grade scientists considering the question, “How are these molecules the same, and how are they different?”

  • 11th grade AP English students constructing argument essays, researched both sides of their chosen issue.

  • High school woodworkers, completing technical drawings and beginning construction of their scroll saw puzzles, learned to problem solve when issues arrive on a project or in life. Often, projects run longer than expected or errors occur. Students (woodworkers) then have to think critically to solve these issues. With strong critical thinking skills, students (woodworkers) can use their planned details with logic to not only solve problems, but even to foresee them before they occur, and avoid them.

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It’s also good to see staff thinking about how to help OCSI be an even better school. On the October 9 professional day, for example, staff used rubrics to assess how OCSI is doing on governance, home/community relations, personnel, instructional program, student care, and values/character formation.

Additionally, the School Improvement Steering Committee has been meeting weekly to review input from students, parents/guardians, and staff; and to write reports on how OCSI is doing. These reports will be published and made available to you before our accreditation visit in March 2018.

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As you think about upcoming events, please keep the following in mind:

  • 11/3: Parent-teacher conferences – no school for students
  • 11/11: Walkathon and PTF’s Holiday Market—see you there!
  • 11/13: OCSI Holiday – no school
  • 11/22: Professional Day – no school for students
  • 11/23-24: Thanksgiving vacation
  • 12/6: Christmas Program, 12:30 dismissal
  • 12/15: 12:30 dismissal.
  • 12/16 – 1/3: Christmas vacation

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Did you know that…?

Thank you for the privilege of assisting your with the education of your child(ren)! Please contact us with your questions and concerns.

Sincerely,
Michael B. Essenburg, superintendent
Equipping students to walk with God and impact the world for Him
Calendar • Contact • Donate • Handbook • Prayer Guide • Facebook • Typhoon

Superintendent

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Meet our elementary staff! They love your kids, and they love learning.

October 19th, 2017|

Students are thinking!

Elementary Connections:

It has been such a joy to see our elementary students asking questions and thinking critically in the classroom, on learning trips, at camp, during chapel, or even at recess. I am always impressed by how well our students question, think deeply, apply a Biblical perspective, and solve problems. Here are some of the ways I’ve seen this so far…

  • brain-1294854_640PreK students working together to figure out new and creative ways to build structures from blocks.

  • Kindergarten students exploring their five senses through an apple investigation and reflecting on how happy they were that God created them with five senses to explore His world .

  • 1st grade artists exploring the concept of symmetry through portrait drawing.

  • 1st and 2nd grade students sharing prayer requests and learning they can pray for anything.

  • 3rd grade writers thinking about people and places that are important to them in order to write small moment narratives.

  • 4th and 5th grade students thinking deeply about purpose and values in Bible class and at camp.

  • 5th grade scientists asking questions and making predictions about the chemical reactions between sugar in watermelon and yeast.

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Thinking critically about the world around us and looking at this world through the lens of a Biblical perspective are skills that we all want to cultivate and grow in our children. Developing these from a young age means that children will be better at making decisions, seeing patterns, and classifying information. Want to know more about how to encourage critical thinking in your child? Check out this article.

Upcoming dates to remember:

  • Saturday, 11/11: Walkathon & Holiday Market

  • Monday, 11/13: No school (OCSI Holiday)

  • Wednesday, 11/22-24-: No school (Thanksgiving Break)

  • Wednesday, 12/6: Christmas Program (grades 1-5), 12:30 dismissal

  • Friday, 12/15: PreK & Kindergarten Christmas Program, 12:30 dismissal

Thank you for the privilege of educating your children!

Sincerely,
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

P.S. Join our annual giving campaign. One way you can do this is by coming to our Holiday Market.

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October 12th, 2017|

We want our students to think

At OCSI, we want our students to think. We want our students to think critically and Biblically. So, we ask our students to…

  1. brain-1294854_640Imagine, analyze, and evaluate art, in part by applying artistic principles.
  2. Consider what it means to live Biblically.
  3. Persist in order to solve problems.
  4. Assess their writing.
  5. Think about history and current events in light the Biblical principles.
  6. Consider (a) the interconnection of language and culture and (b) the importance of humility, love, and discipline when communicating across language/culture barriers as host or guest.
  7. Solve problems by applying patterns, use sound reasoning, and critiquing the reasoning of others.
  8. Analyze how scientific conclusions can be influenced by assumptions, carefully examine claims, and weigh evidence, including Biblical evidence.
  9. Evaluate performances and creations (their own and others’) in terms of quality, purpose, worldview, and beauty.
  10. Think about strategy, synthesize key concepts, and evaluate their own motivation in matters of health, fitness, performance, and competition.
  11. Analyze alternative solutions, synthesize ideas, and evaluate their product, process, and workplace ethics (in part, by applying Biblical principles).

To help students grow as thinkers, we use a variety of strategies, including:

  • Asking open-ended questions.
  • Having students share how they came up with their answers.
  • Classroom discussion.
  • Emphasizing the value of creative solutions.
  • Inviting students to solve real world problems.
  • Asking students to connect what they study and what the Bible teaches.

Says Michael Essenburg, superintendent: “Our world needs thinkers. Our world needs thinkers who make positive impact. I’m glad our students are growing as critical and Biblical thinkers.”
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During the October 2 staff meeting, staff discussed what they want our students to think about.

October 5th, 2017|

Focusing on increasing student understanding

OCSI Connections:

OCSI focuses on learning. We focus on increasing student understanding of God, His world, and their place in it. It’s exciting to see students grow in their understanding of things like…

  • Story sequence by identifying what part of a story doesn’t belong (kindergarten).
  • The importance of praying for others to create community (2nd grade).
  • Place value of decimals to the thousandths place (5th grade).
  • The value of reading (grades 6-8), as part of our Drop Everything and Read Program.
  • Commercial implications of chemistry in the invention of Teflon (high school).
  • How we can extrapolate principles from the Bible that are applicable today in spite of all the ways life has changed in the thousands of years since it was written (high school Bible).

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It’s also exciting to see staff increasing their understanding as they participate in professional development on student safety, engaging instruction, and differentiation. It’s exciting to learn that staff are reading books like All Things Bright and BeautifulThe Advantage, Visit the Sick, Third Culture Kids, and The Bronze Bow.

We know that our parents/guardians want to increase their understanding about what is happening at OCSI. So, we provide an online handbook, send emails, post on our blog and social media, use Jupiter, post board minutes and policy, and post key dates on our calendar, including:

  • 10/9: Professional Development Day – no school for students
  • 11/3: Parent-teacher conferences – no school for students
  • 11/11: Walkathon and PTF’s Holiday Market—see you there!
  • 11/13: OCSI Holiday – no school for students

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Check your understanding: Did you know that…?

  • OCSI’s chaplains (Mr. Roe and Mr. Reasoner) provide counseling to elementary and secondary students?
  • Last year’s college-bound seniors received US$1,339,116 in college scholarships and grants?
  • OCSI’s guidance counseling supports the college application process. To learn more, click here.
  • In situations away from school, parents/guardians are responsible for their children’s behavior, but continued public disregard for the school’s standards will result in administrative involvement?
  • OCSI provides a list of virtual tours for Japanese colleges?
  • PTF is starting a parenting Bible study on October 6.
  • OCSI’s website provides links to previous parent newsletters and to local churches?
  • OCSI has 5 expected student outcomes, one of which is “understanding God, His world, and their place in it”?

On behalf of the Leadership Team, I want to thank you for the privilege of assisting your with the education of your child(ren)! Please feel free to contact appropriate staff with your questions and concerns.

Sincerely,
Michael B. Essenburg, superintendent
Equipping students to walk with God and impact the world for Him
Calendar • Contact • Donate • Handbook • Prayer Guide • Facebook • Typhoon

Superintendent

Staff on School Improvement

P.S. OCSI has its 6-year accreditation visit in March 2018. Staff are preparing for the visit by analyzing how OCSI is doing in 8 areas. Staff are using data (including data from surveys: secondary studentsparents/guardianssupport staffteaching staff) to assess current practice and to determine growth areas. September 7-8, Dr. Mohler of ACSI visited OCSI to check on our progress and gave us a good report.

September 28th, 2017|

Middle school students and teachers Drop Everything and Read

Reading grows your brain like exercise grows your muscles! As reading grows your brain, it helps you understand God, His world, and our place in it. In addition to increasing knowledge, achievement, motivation, vocabulary, writing, and empathy (see blog here), it also strengthens concentration, relieves stress, prepares students for the world of college and work, provides a challenge, and can be enjoyable.

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Middle school students and teachers Drop Everything and Read (DEAR) for 25 minutes every Thursday afternoon. Enjoy seeing everyone reading!

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Kim Essenburg, curriculum coordinator
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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September 14th, 2017|