One of the most exciting developments to come from COMET is happening - The COMET Parent Portal! We have a beta version in production and one special customer, GROW Rochester, who is in a pilot rollout phase. We also have secured funding to develop phase 2 of the portal with some exciting additional features - the ability for parents to complete assessments through the portal, a messaging system, ability to view attendance records, and much more!
With 2019 approaching, we wanted to take some time and share with you our thoughts for what next year will bring. This past year was filled with change for us as both of our founders, Dr. Serge Lossa and Dr. Dirk Hightower, are retiring and we moved to our office. Along with all this change, we're excited to bring our customers some new features that have long been requested and some more exciting updates to our product.
Our partner, Children's Institute, recently released a new website and we're so excited for them! A lot of hard work goes into building a new website (we should know) and we wanted to celebrate that work. So, this week on our blog, we're highlighting some of the exciting things going on at Children's Institute (CI), both old and new. We hope you find something intruiging on this list and encourage you to browse around their site.
The Rochester Pyramid Model Summit 2018 is less than one month away. Have you registered yet? If not, there'e still time. The focus of this year's Summit is Promoting Social and Emotional Competence and Addressing Challenging Behaviors.
The Pyramid Model, also called the Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (CSEFEL), is a conceptual framework of evidence-based practices for promoting young children’s social and emotional competence and for preventing and addressing challenging behavior. It teaches life-changing strategies for all who work with young children. Training on this model is offered through our partner, Children's Institute, and one of their partners, Rochester Childfirst Network, has spearheaded an initiative to host the first Pyramid Model Summit in our hometown of Rochester, NY.
...and by value, we mean necessity. If your programs are collecting data about the children and youth enrolled, you have hopes of sharing that data outside of your organization and you know parent consent is needed, here are some things to think about.
We work with a lot of organizations who collect data and ask us to help them understand how to share that data with another organization (a partner, a funder, a school district, etc.). We usually explain to them that the how of sharing the data is almost always doable. There is often time and cost involved but connecting two data sources is not an impossible task. There also need to be legal agreements in place to share data between the organizations (more on that topic here). However, often the hardest part which not everyone considers, is securing parent permission to share that data.
This past Saturday I had the opportunity to be part of the Glasses for Kids Program offered by the Flaum Eye Institute and work with them on a trial phase use of the COMET database. I went into the morning not knowing what to expect; my only understanding of the program was the notes that I had taken at our monthly meetings and the setup that we'd done internally for their database. I must say, I was completely blown away! The program was a well-oiled machine, from the in-take services to the vision screening, ultimately resulting in children being fitted for their own pair of glasses.
Here at COMET we’re lucky to have a not-for-profit partner who understands all the ins and outs of program evaluation. Children’s Institute (CI) evaluates their own programs regularly to make sure they’re effective and keeping up with best practices. They also work with many organizations in the Rochester community as an independent evaluator for their programs. Many of those organizations are also COMET customers, utilizing our system to collect the data used in their evaluations.
Our monthly newsletter, "COMET Kindred Spirits" provides resources, best practices and information on new features to those who share COMET's passion for using data to make a difference. Keep up to date with the latest and greatest in the world of data and COMET.