Rochester, NY Comes Together For Its Children

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Distance Learning

The Rochester City School District (RCSD) and COMET 4 Children (COMET) have expanded their work through the Children's Institute led Rochester Early Childhood Assessment Partnership (RECAP) to develop a custom attendance module specifically for the distance learning environment created in response to the Corona Virus pandemic.  


Ann Marie White, Executive Director of Children's Institute, describes why this technology supports the wellbeing of children in Rochester. "During this pandemic, families with young children have faced crises on many fronts, as daily supports for their children's health, education, growth, and enrichment became remote. Despite these massive COVID-19-related disruptions, Rochester's universal pre-K system of school- and community-based providers have continued to partner with parents to support each child and family's wellbeing. Pre-school professionals are working daily to connect in new and meaningful ways with families' children as they shelter in place at home. We are so pleased to support this system of caring educational contacts between pre-school professionals and families during this crisis. This new record system we commissioned and designed with partners will help pre-school teachers and programs continue to forge high quality supports across early childhood education programs even during such difficult times for all."


COMET programmed the custom attendance software commissioned for RECAP to allow RCSD Pre-K teachers to track distance learning sessions with their students. These sessions can now be counted for all Community Based Organizations (CBO) students, ages three and four, who are enrolled in Rochester's Pre-K system. The new system creates the ability to trace contacts by ten specific methods: no contact, classroom post (video), classroom post (written content), home visits, Livestream Internet conference (group or individual), paper packet, RCSD Learns, telephone call (group or individual), text (group or individual), and other methods. 


Dr. Robin Hooper, Executive Director of the Office of Early Childhood at the Rochester City School District, praised the work of COMET and the staff, "In these unprecedented times, where the lives of our youngest students and their families have been so upended, we much appreciate the fast, thoughtful work the COMET team provides for our students, their families, our classrooms and our staff. Over the years, we have counted on COMET in times of unusual need; and to date, they have always come through to support our work with families and students." 


"These unprecedented times require fast adaptation and collaboration," says Leonard Gingello, COMET CEO. "Our team worked very hard to develop this technology with our partners at RCSD and Children's Institute in a very short period of time because we believe in the work being done every day in our community using data to improve outcomes for our children."