Okinawa Christian School International

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For all you parents looking for a preschool that suits your kids, we’re hoping to add a little something to aid in your search. Parents of children who attend various preschools on island have filled out a series of questions about the schools for the benefit of the rest of us. We welcome more than one voice on each school since everyone has a different experience, so please feel free to add in your two cents in the comments.

If your child attends a school that has not been reviewed on this site, please contact our Submissions Manager for the template.

CONTRIBUTED BY KRISTEN SINGLEY

Name of School: Okinawa Christian School International
Address: 1835 Zakimi, Yomitan
Phone: 098-958-3000
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.ocsi.org
Ages Accepted: K3 through 12th grade

Ages of Your Kid(s) in this School: 4 years

General Location: Yomitan

Admissions/Enrollment:

What is the maximum number of students that your school has? Varies, year 2007-2008 364 students in grades K4-12 

What is the current number of students? Around 364

Is enrollment open/year-round enrollment or per semester? I believe year round if space is available. We moved here in late Nov. and our son started in Jan after Christmas break

Does my child have to be potty-trained to attend? Yes

Can I bring my child in for a pre-enrollment visit? Yes, you actually have to have an interview

Days and hours:
What are the school’s hours? 8:30am – 3:00 pm

Is the school on a Japanese or American schedule? American, follows closely to Dodds calendar, but not exactly the same

How flexible is the school with pickup and drop-off times?  Not flexible. If you are late you have to go to the office for a tardy. It is a real school.

Costs:

What are the registration fees? 20,000 yen for first student in family, 14,000 yen for each additional student

What are the tuition fees? Elementary 530,000 yen   Secondary 590,000 yen

If any, what are the assessment and school supplies fees? Family fee 30,000 yen (for capital improvement), PTF fee 1,000 yen, Retreat/Camp fee grades 4-12 10,000 yen, Lab Fee grades 6-12 5,000 yen, Activity Fee grades 6-12 1,000 yen, Insurance fee 1,000 yen grades 1-8,  5,000 yen grades K4, K5 and 9-12, Lunch Fees if you choose school lunch, PE uniform 1,800 yen required for grades 3-12, Bus Fees if choose to take the bus vary by where student lives.

Are any discounts offered for referrals, siblings, volunteering, working there, etc.?Yes, you can get a discount for referrals and siblings but I can’t seem to find the amount right now. It’s on the website www.ocsi.org

Is there a late-pickup fee? I don’t know, don’t think so.

How and when does the school require payment (in yen, dollars, etc.)?  You use GI bill pay or Okinawa Bank, Ryukyu Bank, or Kaiho Bank. You can pay in 10 monthly installments or one lump sum. Annual Fees need to be paid no later than July 1 for GI bill pay and July 10 for the other banks. 10 month payment plan begins in August and ends in May.

Parent Involvement and Interaction:

Does the school encourage spontaneous visits from parents? Not really, because it is a real school and it would disrupt classes. But I do volunteer in my son’s class once a week.

How do you communicate with parents? Is there a regular newsletter, or a notice board? I get a weekly newsletter on Fridays and I can email his teacher directly or go to the website.

Is there a daily report or other process for informing parents of what children did during the day (naps, BMs, snacks, etc.)?  No, just the weekly newsletter or a note sent home if something is needed

Are there parent/teacher conferences? Yes

Classroom Structure and Size:

How are the kids grouped? There are 2 K4 classes and 2 K5 classes. I’m not sure about the rest

What’s the teacher-child ratio in each group? My son made the 10th student in his class with one teacher

How many full-time teachers do you have? I’m not sure

What is the school’s educational philosophy? It is a Christian school with primarily an American curriculum.

Is the school program developmentally-based or does it have an academic focus? Academic

Is there a playground for the children to play on? Yes

What do the children do on any given day? What’s the general schedule/routine? K4 has chapel once a week, PE every other day, Art class once a week, Library once a week, and subjects covered include bible, language arts, music, social studies, science and math. They also have recess, lunch, and nap time during the day. A snack is given after naptime.

Are there extracurricular activities or field trips? Some field trips and school events such as basketball or soccer games that you can attend

How does the school discipline children? Time out is what I’ve heard most from my son.

How does the school comfort children? My son’s teacher has been extremely compassionate and loving towards him. He had a very hard time adjusting and cried for about 2 weeks when he first started. In the beginning she would hold him during nap time and let him sit with her during class. I’ve been amazed at how all the teachers know my son’s name and greet him kindly and tell me what a good kid he is. Everyone I have encountered has been very kind and friendly.

Final Comments or Observations about the School: 

We chose OCSI for our son because we wanted a Christian education for him and it was a great opportunity to have not only a Christian foundation but also an international school. He doesn’t have to speak Japanese to attend, but he will learn Japanese and he is making friends with children from all over. We had planned on putting him in a preschool once we arrived and then switching him to OCSI for kindergarten, but once we got here and realized they had K4 we opted to start him there to eliminate having to switch schools. We love the school and so does our son. His teacher is Japanese but bilingual and has lived in the states too. She said she is glad to have Owen to help the other students with their English. He is picking up some Japanese and they learn songs in Japanese. They do teach Japanese but not until 1st grade. The school has a student body represented by eight countries. It has been a good experience for our family.

Directions 

 

OCSI is in Yomitan just a few minutes from Torii Station. From Lester take 58 to 6, turn right at Torii’s main gate and follow the road around, as you start to head towards the water the school will be on your left. It has an amazing view of the East China Sea. You can also stay on 6, go past Torii, and make a right just before a Family Mart and go up the hill to the school. The school will then be on your right. The building has a big cross on it. You can’t miss it.

1835 Zakimi, Yomitan-son, Okinawa 904-0301 Japan

 

12 COMMENTS

  1. I went to OCSI in the 90’s. Spent most of the time in the Urasoe campus but did go to the ‘new’ Yomitan campus. I had a great time at the school. The school doesn’t focus on academics but on character and the individual. I learned a lot through the extra curricular activities such as drama and especially athletics. Even now, I keep in touch with the teachers and friendships I made during my time there. After OCSI, I went on to graduate from a 4 year college in the stateside as a foreign student and am now a US permanent resident working here. Next year I will get my US citizen.

  2. OCSI has made many imorovements in the past few years. AC has been added to all of the classrooms, more elective courses are being offered for atudents, and more advanced classes are being offered for students. If you are lookings for not just a Christian education, but also a quality education that is accrediated by the US, then you should consider OCSI.

  3. My name is Nicole and I just finished grade 4 at OCSI. I have been there since grade 2. I wanted to tell you about OCSI from my perspective.

    I enjoyed OCSI because a lot of kids struggle and the teachers are there to help you most of the time. When I had a hard time learning cursive, my teacher offered to tutor me after-school to help me.

    In math we usually had a work book,but the thing is the work books came from the U.S. So they had some questions saying you need 28 kids to do these 4 pages. The good thing is that there are some pages called math boxes. there is usually 6 boxes. In Spelling we have a work book too, I think it’s a lot easier because most of the pages have an activity to do like cross-word-puzzle,compound word and other fun things. I don’t have any thing bad to say about spelling.

    At OCSI we don’t have any music, so that was a bummer. But, we still did a Christmas program and worked with the highschoolers. That was fun. For bible we had a work book again, it was a huge book! The bad thing was that only the Teacher knew all the answers, because one day I came home with 1 page out of my work book and my mom and dad did not know the answers to the questions.

    In science and history we had a book to read and our teacher gave us work pages to do. But the teacher had a helper, but she got all the pages mixed up. The good thing was that we had science experiments, and have history fair, that was so fun! I also really liked the camp and read-in which was a sleepover in the library.

    In the whole school we had all old stuff like chairs, desks, books,EVERYTHING WAS SO OLDDDDDD! But my teacher made it pretty with a tiki reading room and we could see the water from our room. That was very pretty.

  4. I have had both my sons in OCSI since 2008 and I can only say that I have been extremely thankful for it. My sons, now, are 18 and 10. My eldest just graduated from OCSI. He first entered OCSI in Nov 08 after starting out at one of the DoD schools. I was extremely disappointed in what the DoDs schools offered in the way of an objective, focused academic education. A percentage of the teachers there in DoDs have agendas up to and including teaching left leaning political views and “alternative” life styles in addition to hosting student clubs that do the same. Sorry, but I raise my children and did not want that taught to my son, so I simply could not tolerate it. My son initially did not want to leave DoDs due to all his friends and the familiarity of the system. However, I can only say this, following his graduation a little more than a month ago, he openly stated that he was thankful that he had the opportunity to go to OCSI. He realized that from an academic standpoint he gained more there and he became more mature do to the environment at OCSI. His grades went up, which I feel were due to the opportunity to focus on academics and not all the distractions that teenagers typically encounter in DoDs or other stateside schools. The class sizes are smaller and more manageable to allow for students to get more “one on one” time. The grading scale is a little harder than that found in DoDs, but the academic challenge was welcomed as my son worked towards his college preparation. I feel that he’s better prepared and will be more than able to handle the academics and social experiences at the next level due to our raising him with the right values reinforced by OCSI.

    My youngest son has been at OCSI from the get go and has not had any problems with adjusting to the school. He’s the typical 10 yr old, but I feel OCSI does a wonderful job of balancing that with a well rounded, Christian education. I know many will be frightened off by the term “Christian education”, but fret not. OCSI does not push one domination over others. It’s a good continuous introduction to the Bible and what many of us would feel are the principals and values we live by. I’m not a Sunday church goer, but my beliefs are strong in God, so do not think that OCSI is exclusively for those that attend church. But do understand it is a Christian school that does teach the Bible.

    I can only say, my wife and I have thoroughly enjoyed the OCSI experience. I will not say every aspect was to my liking, but overwhelming I agree with what they’re doing. Give them a look if you are sincere about your child’s education and the environment that it is conducted in.

  5. I attended OCSI for one year, and although the students there are amazing, the staff however is not all that great. Personally, since Lesly Turley has taken over the school many many new rules have been implemented that have nothing to do with gaining education. Such as guys can no longer have hair covering their ear lobes or touching the collar of their shirts and guys are also now required to wear collard shirts.(and if you’ve been on Okinawa for ONE day, it’s not a cold island)
    Also, many problems came about in the class room when a teacher was questioned on their disciplinary action. I was personally given two disciplinary offences that were no where found in the schools hand book and when I qestioned the teacher(s) they would not even admit they were wrong and I still had to serve the detention or get a demerit. I was also given a detention for taking to long in the bathroom(I have IBS) and when I asked the teacher why, she made the assumption that I had “reading material” AKA PORN in the bathroom.
    The tuition for OCSI isn’t exactly cheap for some parents either, and they waste the money on Mac computers that are not needed, and air conditioning in the office for the staff. Selfish much?
    I’m done now. In the end, I hated the school but I loved the students.

  6. Ocsi isn’t that great of a school. I noticed there were not any comments on the highschool/middleschool side of the school. There is no A/C in classes except for the office and library. Knowing how hot it gets in Okinawa i felt bad for my son when he came home smelling like he just went to work out.(The Dress code only allows him to wear collared shirts) I also visited recently at the school and although they say that all the teachers are degreed, most of them do not have a teaching degree. I thought this was strange so i sat in one of the classes with my son.(he was not embarrassed, but he wanted to show me how it was in a normal school day) After seeing his science class, taught by Mr. Anthony Njoku, I was not impressed. You could barely understand him at first and all he basically did was copy and paste the book onto the board. By the afternoon I was literally covered in sweat. The heat in the school is outrageous, no wonder my son is having a hard time paying attention in class. I talked to some of the students that I passed by and they honestly told me that this school was not worth it. There is no variety in classes that are taught there except for the occasional J-Term where the students get 2 classes for the whole day throughout January. Since this school has no way to make a nice studying environment for their students I do not agree with their strict dresscode. Once I can I will be happy to say that i will enroll my son back to Dodds school (kubasaki) for his last remaining years of high school. if you’re wondering he has spent 3 years at OCSI (from 8 to 11th grade)

  7. I attended OCSI for all 4 years of High School. One of the best experiences of my life. I’d recommend this school over any of the DoDDS schools, or even the other Christian schools. I attended DoDDs for my 3rd-5th grade years, I had 1 teacher I really liked. At OSCI I never had a teacher I didn’t really enjoy after all 4 years.

  8. our son attended kindergarten and is now in first grade at OCSI. our experience with the school has been wonderful! he has made a lot of growth academically, emotionally, socially and spiritually and he just loves going to school. the teachers are very compassionate and approachable also. the student body is pretty diverse and it has been fun for us meeting families with all kinds of backgrounds.

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