Out-of-School-Time Organizations

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How will your organization succeed? ... Use data to create more compelling stories and drive decision-making

♦ Communicate your impact
♦ Have meaningful outcome data on programs and activities
♦ Gather, manage, understand, and communicate
♦ Improve probability of academic success

We know that a lot of responsibilities come with caring for children in an out-of-school time setting. With COMET, a complete web-based data management system, you can operate your organization and track all the data you need - related to pick-up/drop-off permissions, programs, staff hours, professional development and more. COMET is reliable and secure to help you maintain strict data confidentiality. With a data collection process in place, take your work further and track outcomes for children in your care with COMET assessment tools. We offer our users an efficient way to screen, monitor and evaluate children served. Included are "instruments" - measurement tools to screen, assess, test and survey - critical to an organization that uses information and evidence to drive decisions.

Out-of-School Time (OST) Organizations

  • encompass a variety of programs for children and youth, with supervised activities designed to encourage learning and development outside of the typical school day
  • include afterschool programs, programs offered before the school day, and summer learning programs
  • may occur on school days and when school is not in session (weekends, holidays, summer breaks ...)
  • may serve any age range in a safe, structured and supportive environment
  • can be specifically focused such as educational outcomes, psychological well-being and social competence, financial literacy (Junior Achievement or "JA") and many others
  • may identify as a “club”, such as Boys & Girls Clubs (BGC) or as a "team" perhaps with a fitness and health focus
  • may be offered in school-, faith-, and community-based settings (community-based organizations or CBOs)

   Boys & Girls Club (BGC) Specific Functionality

COMET has been adopted by approximately 100 Boys & Girls Club organizations, at over 400 sites, across 28 states!

  • NYOI Requirements: As an approved vendor with the National Youth Outcomes Initiative, COMET automatically sends required data to BGCA national.
  • Support for Annual Report: Each year, we update reporting to support the latest requirements from BGCA national, streamlining your annual report efforts.
  • BGCA Programs: COMET comes pre-loaded with BGCA programs, making it east to set up your offerings and measure results.

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Would you like more information about COMET's support of Out-of-School-Time Organizations?

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Notable 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

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
Reporting is what makes data useful. The COMET team believes in making data useful and accessible for our users. The path to improving outcomes starts with evaluating programs so we know what works, and what doesn't. Evaluating programs requires collecting the right data but also reporting on it in meaningful ways. Standard Reports: Available to all customers, COMET comes equipped with a library of standard report formats that can meet most of our customer's needs. These reports are available for assessment & test data, attendance records, administrative tasks, notes and student/user management. Examples include: Pre-Post for individual and group Response grid and histograms Average daily attendance Attendance trends Demographics, etc. Advanced Reports: The COMET System has an advanced reporting module which allows the user to pick and choose from hundreds of data fields what 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, we truly believe that. Reports are always available to be exported as a pdf, a print-formatted document or an Excel file. Whether you export one simple report, or multiple excel files with all your data - do with your data what you need to, we encourage it.
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

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

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.​

OST Customer References

Boys & Girls Clubs of Buffalo
“With COMET and Children’s Institute we can demonstrate outcomes and understand the impact we make. The staff finds COMET easy to use and is very pleased with how easily we can generate reports for funders and for ourselves.”

Boys & Girls Clubs of Woonsocket
“Being web-based, it is more user-friendly, flexible, and reliable. I have results at my fingertips to show funders that we are fulfilling our mission. I strongly recommend COMET.“

Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida
“I am excited...Until now, we have been unable to reasonably afford a tool that will empower us to assess our own programs.”