December 2023 MICIP Continuous Communication

MICIP Continuous Communication

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In this issue of MICIP Continuous Communication

Happy Holidays from the MICIP Team!holiday image

This jam-packed issue of MICIP Continuous Communication includes important information about future plans for MICIP, MICIP Training opportunities, resources available to support your work, user group experiences with the continuous improvement process, and much more!


Did you know that a district can request a plan to be deleted from its portfolio?

Send an email to Terry Nugent ( requesting to delete a plan/data story. Be sure to include the exact title.

Ben Boerkoel RetiresBen Boerkoel Headshot

Congratulations to Ben Boerkoel who is retiring from the Michigan Department of Education and as MICIP Professional Learning lead.

Ben’s focus on statewide system of support and MICIP professional learning was a valuable contribution to MICIP’s success.

Ben helped put attention on Michigan’s pathway for districts to improve student outcomes by assessing whole child needs to develop plans and coordinate funding. He will be missed.

Ben’s contribution to MICIP were:

  • Led two creative teams that were responsible for the vision of planning and implementation process.
  • Created several webinars and resources to support districts in their planning process including the Professional Learning Bites.
  • Of the approximately 2,000 hits to the MICIP web page over the past 5 years, approximately half represent hits to resources Ben provided.
  • Delivered over a hundred presentations at national and state conferences over the past four years.
  • Wrote many articles in the Continuous Communication newsletter.

"As long as I have known Ben, he has had an unwavering focus on helping districts create systems that will improve outcomes for students. I have never heard him say "no" to any ISD, district, or school who asked him for support on their continuous improvement journey. His passion for this work will be truly missed," said Dr. Jennifer Sell, Executive Director Calhoun Intermediate School District.

Until a new MICIP Lead is hired, you can contact Terry Nugent ( for MICIP platform and process support and Renie Araoz ( for MICIP user management support.

Those who wish to send Ben a note of congratulations can do so at


Living Into Continuous ImprovementCI Logo

At the September meeting of the Michigan Continuous Improvement Facilitators Network (MCIFN), attendees were asked to answer the question,

“What does it look and sound like to live into continuous improvement?”

As part of our Living Into Continuous Improvement theme for this year, we will be sharing these responses in Continuous Communication throughout this academic year. Some of the responses included the following:

  • Not being afraid to change course.
  • Keeping each other accountable for implementation with fidelity.
  • Questioning: How is it going? How do we know?
  • Planned and intentional.
  • Teams that are well-identified in the district. Teams in which roles are identified. Intentional plan to build capacities of teams to do systems work.

Statewide Field Team: Co-Creation and EngagementSWFT Logo

Here is the link to the Statewide Field Team November Newsletter: Co-Creation and Engagement.


Platform LogoLooking Forward in MICIP

As we close 2023, it is our practice to review what we have achieved this year.

The MICIP platform was improved 10 times.

These improvements included that ability for a district to create a limited maintenance goal, to tag buildings to activities, and ability to monitor all maintenance goals along with many bug fixes.


Looking ahead in 2024, MICIP platform will address the problem of overriding work, known as concurrency. The problem that MICIP team is correcting is when two or more users are working on a district plan in the same place the user who saves his or her edits last may erase other user’s edits.

The current work around is for anyone who is saving their work to refresh then save, thus protecting everyone’s edits.

Planned Solution: The solution to the concurrency problem will be a locking feature preventing multiple users to work in the same space at the same time.

Real-time collaboration, like google docs, is beyond the scope of the MICIP development team at this time due to cost and time considerations. This solution will be reconsidered in future development if resources become available.

There will be training available prior to its release on January 23 & 25. (For specific information of date and time, see Resource article below.) it is recommended that ISD support users attend, but the training is available to everyone.

User GroupPlan on the Shelf vs. Plan in the Classroom

At the November User Group meeting, participants were asked to discuss what it means to address this year’s MICIP theme of Living Into Continuous Improvement, including how we move from the old model of writing a plan and putting on the shelf to a new model of making the plan be part of what we do in our classrooms on a daily basis. 

Ideas included the following:

  • All school personnel need an opportunity to contribute to the plan.
  • The MICIP mindset still needs to shift from being driven by compliance to compliance being a result.
  • The content of the plan needs to be about what is happening in the classrooms as well as about systems to support those actions.
  • Reviewing monitoring data needs to be a regular part of the conversation at staff meetings.
  • All school personnel need to understand their role in implementing and monitoring the continuous improvement plan and need to follow through on their roles.
  • Strategic plans and continuous improvement plans need to be strongly aligned.
  • It’s critical that we gather data from those being impacted by the strategies and activities in the plan, i.e., gathering street data.
  • There needs to be an understanding that continuous improvement is comprised of iterative cycles of improvement.
  • A real focus on building systems and a culture around data – what does your data dashboard look like? Is it one that generates the discussions needed for monitoring and adjusting?
  • We need to support new principals, superintendents, and other staff on the MICIP process of implement, monitor, and adjust so nothing is lost even if personnel change.
  • Use the tools to engage in the process. The process should be simple yet rigorous.

ResourcesUpdated MICIP Resource

The MICIP Activity Planning Tool was recently updated to better align with the monitor and evaluate components in the MICIP platform.

This tool is helpful both for planning as well as for monitoring and evaluation.

MICIP Collaboration Series and User Group

Due to the busyness of the holiday season, neither the MCIP Collaboration Series nor the User Group will meet in December. 

  • The Collaboration Series will resume from 9:00 – 11:00 am on Wednesday, January 17.
  • The next User Group will take place from 9:00 – 10:00 am on Wednesday, February 14.

ResourcesImplement/Monitor/Adjust Webinar Resources

The resources from the November Implement/Monitor/Adjust webinars are now available. 

The webinars differentiated between schools identified for CSI and those not identified for CSI; however, the resources are identical except for the additional four slides for those schools identified for CSI. 

Schools not identified for CSI can simply ignore the final four slides of the power point and the final few minutes of the recording.

  • Living Into Continuous Improvement - Implement, Monitor, Adjust – Fall, 2023 (video)
    • Slides with notes
    • Slides with hyperlinked resources

Professional learning logoMICIP Training

The MCIP development team is currently working on a fix that will allow multiple users to work in the same plan at the same time, sometimes called concurrency. 

While the fix is planned to go live in February, we will be providing two opportunities for training in January:

  • 10:00 – 11:00 am on Tuesday, January 23
  • 1:00 – 2:00 pm on Thursday, January 25

Connection information for both trainings is as follows:

The trainings are identical, so users only need to attend one opportunity.  They will also be recorded.

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 Previous issues of MICIP Continuous Communication are available on the MICIP web page.

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 (