Our Story Makes Us Unique

31.03.21 04:56 PM By Samantha Lape

What is COMET?

Assessments | Outcomes | Accountability | Collaboration

Since 2008, the COMET team has been working to support the success of children. 


The COMET® System, a web-based data management tool, was created to solve the problem of data being processed and analyzed too slowly to help children. The goal of COMET is to support our customers' organizations and missions by providing data management to improve programs and youth outcomes. We work with educators, parents, program providers, policymakers, and researchers to support informed decision-making in pursuit of this goal.


COMET Informatics (COMET 4 Children) was developed out of a partnership between two leading experts in their fields: A. Dirk Hightower, Ph.D., Executive Director (former) Children's Institute, a center of excellence in supporting the social and emotional health of children, has been working with communities, schools, and other not-for-profits for over 30 years to support the success of children; and Serge Lossa, Ph.D., CEO SophiTEC, Inc., a software development firm specializing in web-based, database applications. 


COMET was founded as a tool for measuring outcomes.  At its core, features to assess and understand the progress of children in a variety of programs, to identify gaps, and report the gains help our partners provide appropriate and timely interventions.  As the COMET System evolved, the imperative to support service providers and collect attendance resulted in a rich set of capabilities to operate a child-focused organization, including tracking and reporting on membership, programs, classes and activities, counseling and therapeutic services and their associated outcomes.

Our partnerships with such a variety of child-serving organizations brought attention to the silos of information that are created when the organizations serving a child are not also sharing information about that child. This led to the creation of our Collaborative Solutions. COMET Collaborative allows multiple organizations to share data about all of the children in a community. This type of sharing allows communities to come together to serve the needs of a child across all facets of their lives.


The COMET team has experience supporting collaborative community initiatives and community funding organizations by integrating data from program sites, schools, and homes. These efforts are HIPAA and FERPA compliant, using a rigorous data usage consent methodology and our customized to meet the goals of the community initiatives and stakeholders. 


Whether a School-Age Collaborative, focused on bringing together data gathered in schools and Out-of-school time organizations for a full picture of a child’s capabilities, or Whole Child Health, focused on the creating a singular picture of a child from the data collected in the medical systems and by community based organizations to provide better access to services, COMET Collaborative is molded to the organization to create and support an environment of continuous improvement, allowing the community to analyze and leverage comprehensive data revealing emerging trends supporting preventative and corrective action, supporting flexible analysis. Data-driven decision-making, creating an integrated system allowing for process changes that reduce waste and duplicative data-gathering efforts.


COMET Informatics started as a collaboration of two Rochester, NY organizations (Children's Institute & SophiTEC) that wanted to make sure that our children were receiving the assistance they needed as quickly as possible so that they may thrive, and developed into a collaboration of organizations across the country working towards the same goal like the Boys & Girls Club, and local organizations such as, Upstate Cerebral Palsy, CIDS, SPCC, and The United Way, and finally, on to the collaborations of entire communities in Ohio (Aspire Toledo), Rochester and the Southern Tier (Get Ready To GROW Rochester & Chemung County).


Samantha Lape