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
Ages of Your Kid(s) in this School: 4 years
General Location: Yomitan
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.
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.
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