COMET Features and Instruments

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The goal of COMET is to support our customers' organizations and missions by providing data management to improve programs and youth outcomes . The following outlines key features in COMET that help use data for continuous improvement.  Included are over 200 "instruments" - measurement tools to screen, assess, test and survey - critical to an organization that uses information and evidence to drive decisions.

  • COMET Outcomes: COMET was founded as a tool for measuring outcomes.  At its core are features to assess and understand the progress of children in your programs, to identify gaps and report the gains.  This information can be used by your team to provide appropriate interventions.
  • COMET Operations: As the COMET System evolved, the imperative to support "dosage" and attendance resulted in a rich set of capabilities to operate a child-focused organization, including tracking and reporting on membership, programs, classes and activities, as well as their associated outcomes.
  • COMET Services: Specific features for organizations that need to track details of individual child services are supported in COMET Services. With all the features of Outcomes and Operations, our service module also supports recording activities, case management and referral tracking.
  • COMET Backbone: The COMET team has decades of experience supporting collaborative community initiatives and community funding organizations, integrating data from program sites, schools, and home to get a better understanding of impact on children’s lives.  These efforts are HIPAA and FERPA compliant, using a rigorous data usage consent methodology, and start with meeting to understand the goals of the community initiatives in order to define specific data and system integration services required.

COMET Outcomes Features

There's so much important information about children and youth; track it all with COMET!

One of the trickiest parts of working with data is managing all that information - keeping it organized, up to date and easy to access. COMET knows that quality outcome evaluation starts with clean data. Manage your data with ease, including the following features:

  • Identify and merge duplicate records with one-click
  • Track longitudinal student/member data over time
  • Over 100 student/member data fields available
  • Add new fields to student/member records to track your unique information
  • Supports multiple IDs for a single student/member - for example: a program ID, school ID and state ID

Track progress and demonstrate outcomes using reliable data.

The screening, pre-post assessment, and testing capability in COMET allows you to evaluate child and youth progress in real-time. Educators and providers at all levels agree that individual assessment and program evaluation are two best practices needed to deliver quality programs and improve outcomes. COMET offers multiple assessment, testing and screening options that are intuitive and easy to get started with. COMET can help you collect the data you need to inform policy at all levels and truly make a difference in the lives of the children and youth you serve. 

  • Individual assessment for children and youth
  • Monitor response progress to increase completion rates
  • Aggregate data to report at the group level
  • Individual pre- and post-assessment reporting to support instruction
  • Group pre- and post-assessments to evaluate program effectiveness
  • Screen students for RtI and/or benchmark an intervention's progress
  • Summarize and report assessment results with a few clicks
  • Share data with stakeholders to inform decision-making
  • Think long-term and track data longitudinally to understand trend

Download our Assessment Catalog

What is 'Individual Assessment'?

Collecting data on the individual children and youth you serve, beyond just demographics, is critically important. For example, an individual assessment, collected multiple times throughout a program (generally at the start and at the end) will help you gage an individual's progress. Results can be aggregated to learn about the program as a whole, or use that child-level data to understand how each program member is doing.

What is 'Program Evaluation'?

At its most basic, program evaluation is answering questions. The most common question is - does my program work? Demonstrating the impact you make with your programs is not as hard as it seems. The COMET system and our team are here to support you as you get started with evaluation. But first, you need to know what your question is. How are effective approaches determined? Screening is the first step because it leads to early identification of at-risk children and youth. Real-time feedback is an effective tool for developing plans and interventions. But, assessment and testing are important at the group level, too. Use aggregate data to track progress and inform decision-making.

Record and report on who is attending your programs with ease. Simplify complex attendance requirements with COMET. Schools and youth service providers are required to record and report attendance, and those requirements are becoming more complex every year. Paper records are time-consuming to summarize and the data is often unreliable. Other attendance systems can be complicated and expensive to set-up. The COMET attendance module is user-friendly and supports the simplest to most advanced attendance tracking needs. Features:
  • Choose from 9 customizable attendance recording formats
  • Record not just present/absent but the duration of time spent in a program or activity
  • Extensive reporting options to meet funder and policy-maker requirements
  • Built-in features to identify duplicates and merge records
  • Track staff and volunteer hours all in one system
  • Record attendance at multiple sites for multiple programs, down to activity and classroom
  • Cleaner data thanks to features for identifying incomplete records
  • Captures instructional time, time on task and program dosage
  • Record attendance for parents at engagement activities or one-on-one sessions
  • For therapy or intervention services: track one-one-one and small group sessions
  • Enable 'electronic signature' for records that require a supervisor's sign-off
  • Standard Reports: Available to all customers, COMET comes equipped with a library of preconfigured reports that can meet most of our customer's needs. These reports are available for all of modules. Examples include: Pre-Post for individual and group, Response grid and histograms, Average daily attendance, Attendance trends, Demographics, etc.
  • Advanced Reports: COMET’s advanced reporting module allows the user to pick and choose from hundreds of data fields they would like included in a report. Combined with smart filtering, this module makes it possible for a school or provider to get a clear picture of the population they're serving. This feature is also helpful for organizations with lots of funding sources - pull reports for specific zip codes, ages, programs, etc.
  • Customized Reports: The COMET team is always looking for ways to improve our system. Customer requests for custom reports are one of the ways we make improvements. For a small fee, COMET engineers can develop custom report formats for a client. Once a new format is developed, it's available to all users at no charge.
  • Longitudinal Studies: The ability to easily report on data collected over multiple years is a unique feature on COMET. Our reports allow you to customize the date range and with that you can go back 5 months or 5 years! The longer you use COMET, the more data you collect, the richer your reporting and evaluation becomes.
  • Data Export: The data you enter into COMET is your data. Reports are always available to be exported as a pdf, a print-formatted document or an Excel file.
COMET provides the cability to leverage student/member family contact information to send emails and texts based on custom filters to notify parents/guardians when a member checks in and out of a club or program (i.e. field trip). Messages can be sent by text and/or email message and no phone app is required by the parents.  In addition, a Communications Module is available to support a more consistent, automated approach for organizational communiations.  
Confidential, secure and with the highest continuity of service. Designed with the most stringent data security and confidentiality requirements, COMET utilizes proven methods and algorithms from the banking, defense and healthcare industries to prevent data breaches. COMET's approach to security protects individual and group information better than our competitors. Confidential client information is stored and protected on COMET servers, with the highest level of security. Our customer agreement clearly outlines our obligations and responsibilities related to security. COMET uses a multi-layered approach to protect customer data: COMET is a web application and all data transfers between your computer and the COMET server are performed under the https:// protocol which ensures data encryption. COMET systematically protects its transactions. Access to the COMET database is protected by several layers of firewalls, filters, page servers and other protective devices, making direct access to the database from the internet extremely difficult. COMET uses field-level U.S. Department of Defense approved encryption algorithms. COMET servers are hosted in a professional data center where physical access to the system is controlled and monitored. The data center offers protection against fire, power and internet access failure. In the event of a brute force attempt to break into the system, the COMET security team is notified immediately.

The STAR system is composed of two complementary capabilities: (1) a powerful filtering tool that produces a list of students, family members or staff and (2) the ability to record and reuse specific parameters. The STAR reporting mechanism is currently integrated in dozens of "group" reports allowing users to create specific filters (e.g.: teenage girls who attended the fall swimming class) and use this filter with many report formats and compare one group to another group or with the rest of the population. Recording report parameters allow users to create "canned" reports and re-run such reports again and again. With over 600 metrics to filter with, our reporting output capabilities is second to none. Custom filters allow you to get the data out of COMET  that you need in a way that is powerful, reliable and repeatable

COMET Operations Features

Membership offerings can be simple, with manual entry of membership dates, or automatic, managed by offerings.  Example offerings are annual memberships, summer programs and specific classes.  You can set up programs, activities and classes, as well as associated discounts for specific account types.  Offerings can also be for miscellaneous charges and merchandise.

Anything that has a fee associated to it can be tracked within COMET including: memberships, summer camps, special events, merchandise, and replacing lost ID cards. You can define the amount, split billings for subsidized charges, apply discounts, record payments received as cash, checks or charge, create family accounts, track transactions within pre-defined General Ledger Accounts, show account history, print receipts and create bank deposit statements. All this information is automatically tied to the participant's record without any merge/reconciliation process.​​​ Track basic data related to:

  • View account balances
  • Print receipts
  • View statements and audit trails
Service and case management features are designed to track services provided on an individual basis such as mentoring, tutoring or family support services (translation, legal support, food, etc.). First, users configure the services that will be recorded and which information is relevant for each service type. Then, services are recorded according to their specific configuration. Service records can be closed immediately (service rendered), left open (service in progress) or referred. Extensive reporting allows for measuring counts, dosage and costs. 
One-on-one needs: Students or members with special needs sometimes receive support and services from child professionals and staff on a one-on-one basis. This module helps administrative personnel to track the activity around these specialized services, specifically the amount of service delivered for evaluation, billing and payroll purposes.
Have COMET serve as your organization's communications hub for emergencies, alerts, announcements and updates.  Supported technologies include email, text, phone and even fax. The communications module can also support your accident/incident communication needs
An important additional capability is being developed to support parent interaction.  The COMET parent portal will allow parents to login and view their children's basic information, review attendance and assessment results and recieve alerts and notifications.  They will also be able to securely register their children for classes and make payments.
Does your organization need to manage parental consents for specific activities, actions or gathering information?  (sports, accessing the Internet, emergencies, allowing the child to walk out of the facility, accessing school records, etc.) With COMET, users can configure the information managed with each type of consent (valid until date, signed by, witness, scanned paper copies). These consents can be recorded for each child and our reports allow users to identify which consents are still valid, reprint the scanned documents and more. Customize the consents you need to track and use advanced features to monitor expirations and ensure full compliance with parental requests.
An important additional capability is being developed to manage immunization information.  The immunization module will allow an organization to define the types of immunizations they wish to track, and then enter and track the details of these immunizations, including support for reporting, alerts and reminders.

With COMET you can track time spent for volunteers and hourly paid staff. In addition, a "time-sheet" module allows staff to record their hours by day and activity on a weekly basis. Use this module to track staff and volunteer hours to facilitate payroll processing and volunteer tracking. A COMET template is available to create barcode IDs in two different formats (wearable badge and keychain tag). Included can be the person’s name, organization logo, site location, their individual barcode and picture. No special printer is required and additional customization of the ID card template is possible through COMET.​


Wondering about COMET features? We would be happy to answer your questions.

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COMET "Instruments"

COMET provides support for the following parent/family assessments and surveys:

  • Child-Parent Relationship Scale  The CPRS is a self-report completed by a parent to assess their perceptions of the relationship he/she has with their child. It is appropriate for use with parents of children ages 3-12. Author: Robert C. Pianta
  • Parent Appraisal of Children's Experiences  The PACE is a parent-completed measure used to collect information about the life experiences a child has had including health information, family situation and school readiness. It is typically used for students entering kindergarten and provides schools and communities with the information they need to understand their incoming kindergarten students. Owned by: Children’s Institute, Inc.

COMET provides support for the following social-emotional screenings & assessments:

  • Rating Scales: ACRS, TCRS, PCRS, SRS, YRS, CRS  Instruments in this series assess the social-emotional health of children across four domains: task orientation, peer social skills, anxious/withdrawn, behavior control. The instrument can be completed by different parties: parent, teacher, child associate or by the child/youth him/herself. Owned by: Children’s Institute, Inc.

COMET provides support for the following afterschool program assessments:

  • BGCA Pre-Post Program Tests  Designed by Boys & Girls Clubs of America to evaluate the progress of children enrolled in their programs, these surveys are available on COMET for programs such as Healthy Habits, Stay Smart, and more! Developed by: Boys & Girls Clubs of America
  • Youth Risk Behavior Survey  Developed by the CDC, the YRBS asks about various types of risky behaviors for youth and adults including: violence, risky sexual behaviors, HIV infection, alcohol and other drug use, tobacco use, unhealthy diet and inadequate physical activity. Developed by: U.S. CDC
  • DESSA  Full and Mini The full DESSA includes 72-items. It’s a normalized, behavior rating scale that assesses social-emotional competencies and protective factors for children in grades K - 8. COMET has the full form and four mini forms. Owned by: Aperture Education

Similar to recording data in a neutral spreadsheet, COMET can provide convenient data storage for responses in an answer sheet format. These support keeping responses and scores from external, third-party providers appropriately linked to the children. Currently available in COMET are answer sheets for tools in a variety of domains including:

  • Program/Classroom Quality
  • Academic
  • Child Development
  • Social-Emotional
  • Intelligence (IQ)

Interested in more details?

COMET Intro Screen

COMET Overview

We would be happy to send you more details regarding the features available in COMET.