August 13, 2020 MICIP Continuous Communication

MICIP Continuous Communication

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Welcome to this edition of MICIP Continuous Communication!

You will see a new name on a familiar series of aricles as "Getting Ready for Continuous Improvement" will now be called "Engaging in Continuous Improvement." Now that the MICIP team has covered building and developing your teams, it will discuss how to engage in the continuous improvement process.

Also in this issue, the MICIP team answers your most pressing queries. Have a question you'd like to see answered in a future edtion of the Continuous Communication? Email us at

Engaging in Continuous Improvement – Root Cause Analysis

Professional LearningThe Data Story Summary identifies the “what” of the asset or need; the root cause analysis process helps identify the “why.” The 5 Whys and Fishbone tools are built into MICIP to help your team identify the root cause. Districts can also use their own tool in MICIP.

There is no right or wrong answer regarding which tool is the “right” tool to use for root cause analysis; in part, it depends on what you are trying to do. Frequently, the Fishbone and the 5 Whys are used together.

Starting with the initial data summary statement, the Fishbone is often used to brainstorm and organize a variety of potential contributing causes into categories/sub-categories.

The team then determines which category(s) they want to investigate deeper, and the 5 Whys is used to conduct the investigation and drill down to the root cause in one or more of the categories.

The group then decides which of the root causes to address in the challenge statement.

The tools can also be used in reverse, with the 5 Whys being used to drill down to a root cause and the Fishbone being used to identify various causes-and-effects for that root cause.

Next Issue: Setting goals with end and interim targets

Your MICIP Questions Answered

Here are some answers to questions the MICIP team has received. For more information about MICIP and MICIP resources, go to our web page.

What guidance does your organization provide for schools to get started on their CIP team?

  • The first step is to build a continuous improvement team; that may mean just reviewing the roles of those who are currently on the team. The MDE recommends that the roles represented by the various systems as well as by the Whole Child non-academic factors be present on the team. We realize that for smaller districts many of those roles are represented by only a few people. What is most important is that the perspectives be represented, not necessarily that each perspective be represented by a separate person.

  • The second step is to identify data that a district might consider in the areas of academic, non-academic, and systems. The MDE provides academic data through MISchoolData ( If your district is part of the data hubs, the hubs may also have data that you will want to consider in the areas of non-academic or systems. If you are missing data, you might want to consider how to get it in the future. You may also want to consider identifying a data protocol by which you will analyze your data. Your Intermediate School District (ISD) or Educational Service Agency (ESA) may be able to help you with these processes.

I have a concern around who should be in the room to get this initial information around MICIP. Understanding the process and planning is vital.

  • This shift must start with shifting mindset and focus of district leadership first (e.g. superintendents) and then build their capacity to support building admin & staff. The MDE believes that it is critical that all users—and especially leadership at all levels—be informed about MICIP. Therefore, in addition to professional learning provided through the MICIP website and in conjunction with our ISD/ESA partners for all stakeholders, we are also working with the leadership of educational organizations throughout the state to bring the information to their members, including the organizations for those with leadership roles.

How do we make sure we emphasize the right driver for continuous improvement - moving away from compliance to meeting the needs and assets of students?

  • The MICIP message around compliance is that it should be the result of high-quality continuous improvement and not the driver. If plans truly incorporate the elements of the MICIP model, the plans that drive the continuous improvement process address the needs and assets of students and those elements build compliance requirements.

REMINDER: Changes in DIP/SBDIP/SIP/PET due by Sept. 1

Districts, Single Building Districts, and Schools making changes to their plans or program evaluation tool (PET) in ASSIST are reminded that those changes must be made and submitted no later than September 1, 2020. After that date COGNIA and MDE will begin the process of downloading PDFs of the most current submitted version of the DIP/SBDIP/SIP for upload into the MICIP platform. Districts and schools may be receiving deadline notifications regarding their plans or PET; these automatic notifications are part of the system and can be ignored. Anyone needing assistance in completing their plan or PET by September 1 should contact Renie Araoz (

Note: There was an error in indicating that the Program Evaluation Tool (PET) will be available with the upload of plans. Only current plans will be uploaded. Districts and schools wishing to archive the PET should upload and save a PDF of the PET to their own files.

Fall 2020 Michigan Continuous Improvement Conference goes virtual

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WE'RE GOING VIRTUAL! This year’s Continuous Improvement Conference will be a one-day virtual event on Tuesday, October 20.

Registration is $125 per person and includes a SCECH fee. More information about registration and submitting requests for proposals (RFPs) can be found at this conference information link.


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Feedback is Essential for Continuous Communication!

Have a question, an idea, a suggestion, or a compliment? The MICIP team is always eager to hear your feedback! Send us an email using the MICIP email address (