Our mission is to provide you with answers to all your questions, regarding your online learning needs. We have compiled answers to questions that our students have come across in the past, to help you find answers at the tip of your fingers (literally!). However, we are always available, if you need to talk to someone in person, to get your questions answered.
|1. GENERAL||2. TECHNICAL|
|3. PARENTS||4. SCHOOL OFFICIALS & STUDENTS|
How does Red Comet differ from other online high school programs?
Red Comet online program is different because it brings a tuition-free individualized high school experience within your reach in an online environment. Today’s savvy high school students are very well-versed with the online environment – and this is a bonus point for us since we have fully utilized the online technologies available to deliver a memorable user experience.
We offer a rigorous curriculum, experienced state-certified teachers that know how to inspire, and credits recognized by colleges and universities nationwide. Parents have easy access to the students’ progress and they can choose to be as involved as they would like.
We support online students and their parents in ways other schools do not:
- Leading-edge technology
- 24/5 on-demand academic help
- 24/7 on-demand technical help
- A statewide-recognized curriculum
- Over 60 courses
Do I need to have a computer to take a course?
Yes – you need access to a computer to take a Red Comet course. If you plan on working on the courses at home, you need to have access to a computer. If you plan to complete most of your school work on the school premises, then you can avail yourself to the computers at your school. If this is not possible, you should seek out computers at your local library, recreation centers, community centers or religious centers.
How do you protect against cyber predators?
We realize that online learning can raise fears about online predators. This is why we make our courses password-protected and secure. We encourage parental involvement and partner with both students and parents to keep and maintain a safe online learning experience. Strong parenting coupled with educating students of the risks of online predators remains vital and essential.
How much time do students spend on the computer?
In order for students to complete a Red Comet course, we expect them to spend at least 80 to 90 percent of their time on the computer. The rest of the time may be spent reading outside literature that is readily available at local libraries and schools. Computers help us provide you with effective assessment, planning, and time-management tools. Computers also act as powerful teaching tools that can motivate, stimulate, and inform students about the world around them. This is why we use a unique multimedia approach that also includes reading books as well as going through various educational websites and pertinent videos on the internet.
What computer skills are required?
Some basic skills are required. Use of the computer is an important part of the program. The program is user-friendly.
How do I apply for a job?
See our job listings on our Careers page.
Will Red Comet work for students with language barriers or special needs? What about gifted students?
Yes, the Red Comet online program allows students to work at their own pace. Red Comet works for students who need extra time to master a subject, as well as those who learn quickly. Red Comet teachers are not endorsed in special education, and students with special needs must continue to work with their case manager at their resident school.
For students where English is not their first language, we provide translated versions of the course content as well as assignments, essays and reading comprehension exercises.
Gifted students can access our Advanced Placement (AP) courses and prepare for a bright career beyond high school.
What subjects does Red Comet offer?
Red Comet offers the following subjects:
- Language Arts/English
- Social Studies
High school students can take courses in the above subjects, as well as arts, music, school-to-work, health and PE, AP courses, and other electives.
Can I preview a Red Comet lesson?
Yes, you can. Please call us and we will provide you guest access to a sample course.
What are your educational standards?
The Red Comet team developed an online program with extremely high standards. Our comprehensive program is designed to meet or sometimes exceed national and state educational standards. Our goal is to help you provide an education that is comparable or superior to that provided by the nation's best public schools.
Who can take Red Comet courses?
Any student in grades 9-12 who is eligible to attend a public or private school may take courses at Red Comet. Homeschooled students take Red Comet courses as well. If you are attending a public / private school, please ensure your school approves your taking courses at Red Comet.
Is Red Comet accredited?
Yes. Red Comet is accredited by the Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC) link: http://www.northwestaccreditation.org/
Can students graduate and earn a diploma from Red Comet?
Credits earned at Red Comet may be transferred toward graduation at your home high school upon approval of your resident school. Red Comet does not offer a comprehensive high school program and does not issue diplomas.
Do students earn credit for Red Comet courses?
Credits are awarded for courses, but it is the student's responsibility to ensure that their resident high school will accept Red Comet credits towards graduation. If you are from WA State, please contact your school to find out how you can enroll in Red Comet courses.
If you are from outside WA State, please download the application form and get it signed by your school principal / registrar / counselor. Once the application is complete, you may register for our courses. (Please click here for Application Form)
Do I have to pay for Red Comet courses?
If you are a student enrolled in a private high school in WA State or are a homeschooled student in WA State, then you may be eligible for tuition free Red Comet courses. If you are a student enrolled in a public high school in WA State, and if your public school has already claimed funding from the state for the course (for example for credit retrieval, credit enhancement, or if you are exceeding the number of courses allowed by the state in a given semester), then you will have to pay to take Red Comet courses.
For students in ALL other states (except WA State) – Yes – students will have to pay for Red Comet courses. You can approach your school or community center to check if there are any scholarships available. If you locate a scholarship that will cover the course fee, then you can avail yourself of the scholarship. Red Comet does not offer any scholarships at this time.
How much is the course fee?
Please click here and choose your state to view our course catalog and pricing.
Is tuition for Red Comet courses refundable?
No. Course fees are nonrefundable.
What courses are offered during the school year?
Red Comet online program offers core, AP and elective courses year-round. For a full listing, Please click here and choose your state to view our course catalog and pricing.
Does Red Comet offer courses during the summer session?
Yes. Red Comet will continue to offer core, AP and elective courses. For a full listing, Please click here and choose your state to view our course catalog and pricing.
How long do I have to complete a course?
You will have 4 months (120 days) from the date of registering in which you must complete the course. If you do not complete the course in 120 days, you will not receive a grade for this course. After 120 days, you will be denied access to the course material – including the assignments and essays that you had completed as part of the coursework.
If you want to re-take the course, you must re-register and pay for the course again. You will have to complete ALL essays, assignments and fulfill other course requirements all over again.
If you are a student enrolled in a public high school in WA State, please contact your registrar to inquire about the school policy regarding re-taking courses
Will popup blocker software affect my use of the Red Comet web site?
Yes. You will be required to allow pop-ups on the Red Comet website.
Will my computer meet Red Comet technical requirements?
Virtually all PCs will run Red Comet courses, but we have listed system requirements just in case. Please note that Red Comet students are required to use either Internet Explorer 7 or Firefox 3. Using other browsers such as Safari, Google Chrome, Netscape, or Opera, may create situations where the student may possibly lose work. For these other browsers, we do not guarantee a reliable and stable system.
The following is a list of minimum system requirements to access Red Comet courses:
- Operating System: Windows XP/Vista/Windows 7
- Audio: 16-bit soundcard or equivalent; speakers or headphones
- Display: 1024x768 pixel resolution; 256 color depth
- Operating System: OSX v10.4
- Audio: 16-bit soundcard or equivalent; speakers or headphones
- Display: 1024x768 pixel resolution; 256 color depth
Access to Red Comet courses and other content is available using most flavors of Unix, but support for Unix is not available through Red Comet.
Dialup Internet Connections - (not recommended)
Students and parents can successfully access Red Comet courses and other content over a dialup Internet connection, but the experience will be sub-optimal. Red Comet does not support dialup connections and strongly recommends DSL or cable Internet connections.
Headsets - (highly recommended)
To provide the best online learning experience for the student, it is recommended that noise-cancelling headsets be used. Red Comet recommends the LogicTech ClearChat Comfort USB headset. These headsets can be found at various stores or Online for under $30.
How can I help my children be successful?
Be involved with their learning! Encourage them to develop a schedule for working on their courses. Help them set aside a specific time each day when they can focus on Red Comet courses. If this time slot is the same every day, it helps set the routine for your student and you will see good progress. Make a list of assignments / essays / modules that must be completed by certain specific dates – this will give your student a timeline that he/she can follow. Discuss assignments with your students. Share in their learning. Celebrate their success. Each week, log into the Red Comet site as a parent and check your student’s progress in each enrolled course. Contact teachers if you have questions. Contact Red Comet staff if you have concerns.
How do I communicate with my student's teachers or with the Red Comet staff?
Red Comet staff and teachers encourage and appreciate parent communication. Your Red Comet issued login id is the best vehicle for communicating regarding your concerns / questions. Phone calls are also effective means of communication when you have a question. Appointments may be made by contacting teachers by email or phone.
How will my student's teachers communicate with me?
Our online learning platform will automatically send you an email when a teacher / staff member responds to your query. Our learning platform will also send out regular information notices which include welcome notes, class progress and updates, and student progress. In case of non-progress, our staff will send you an email notifying you of this situation. You can then work with your student to ensure he/she stays on track.
As a parent how can I monitor my student's progress?
Parents can monitor student progress by checking online and seeing what portion of the course the student has completed. Parents may also use their Red Comet login Id to communicate with their student's teacher(s) / Red Comet staff to check the student's progress.
Can I use my own personal e-mail account to communicate with teachers?
We require you to log into our system and enter your messages for teachers / staff. This will help us to effectively track all communication and provide better customer service.
What if my phone numbers change or any other contact information? How do I update my student's contact information?
Please login to the Red Comet platform and send a message to the Red Comet staff.
How will my student receive their final grade?
Final grades will be sent to the registrar at the resident public / private school in which your student is enrolled. You will be notified when this happens so that you can follow-up with your registrar. This registrar will then issue a final transcript.
If you are home schooled, then final grades will be sent to the registrar at our partner public school in WA State. You will be notified when this happens so that you can follow-up with the registrar. This registrar will then issue a final transcript.
Once summer begins, how will I receive permission from my school since school is closed and no staff member is available?
It is your responsibility to plan in advance and make sure you receive all the necessary approvals prior to registering for a course in summer. We cannot make any exceptions to this rule.
If my child is registered for a course during summer and completes the course, how will I know his final grade?
You must wait for school to re-open and then contact your school to receive the final grade and transcript. We do not provide grades and transcripts to students / parents.
What if I plan on being gone during a portion of the summer for a family vacation?
You will have 120 days to complete the course. Make sure you plan your coursework so that you can finish it by the 120-day deadline.
4. SCHOOL OFFICIALS & STUDENTS
Is Red Comet an accredited institution?
Yes. Red Comet online program is accredited by the Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC). link: http://www.northwestaccreditation.org/
Can a student enrolled in my school take a class with Red Comet?
Yes – a student enrolled in your school can register for courses on Red Comet if your school will accept credits from Red Comet.
If your school is a public high school in WA State, then your student can definitely enroll in Red Comet courses. We are an approved OSPI online provider.
If your school is a private high school in WA State, then your student can definitely enroll in Red Comet courses. The student/parent will have to pay for the course.
If your school is a located outside WA State, then your student can definitely enroll in Red Comet courses. The student/parent will have to pay for the course. The student must fill out an application form and get appropriate signatures of approval prior to enrolling in the course.
What courses does Red Comet offer?
Red Comet offers core, AP (Advanced Placement) and elective courses. We also offer credit retrieval courses for students who have previously attempted a course but did not earn the credit. For a full listing, please see our online Course Catalog
Does Red Comet offer credit retrieval courses?
Yes. Some students take Red Comet courses to make up for a failed course at their high school.
We are a public high school in WA State. How do we release FTE to fund the class?
Each district designates an official to release attendance using a district-designed form. These are usually available only at a district's main administrative office. This Release of Attendance is then sent to the Red Comet where students are accepted under the Choice Law. Each Red Comet course requires a .2 FTE release.
How does Red Comet online program work with students with special needs?
Red Comet courses are mainstream, general education courses written at the identified grade span reading level. However, students can spend as little or as much time to complete the course (within 120 days). Our program allows special needs students to work at their own pace and complete the course work.
Red Comet teachers are not endorsed in special education and students with an IEP must continue to work with their case manager at their resident school to meet the objectives of the IEP.
How does our school receive final grade information?
When a student completes a course, Red Comet will mail a "Course Report" to the school. The Course Report contains information regarding the final grade, teacher comments, and credit earned. An official transcript may be requested by contacting Red Comet staff
I have more questions about a student attending Red Comet. Whom should I contact?
Tollfree Phone: 1-888-730-1101
Can our school use Red Comet online courses but use our teachers to teach the course and conduct all the grading?
Yes – you definitely have the option. Please contact us so that we can understand all your requirements and deliver a solution that fully addresses your needs.
Can I recommend Red Comet to students who have been expelled or are involved with a long-term suspension?
Red Comet will not accept a student who has been expelled or has a long-term suspension until the student has completed the Re-Entry process back into his or her own resident school district. Unless they are homeschooled, students must be enrolled in a public or private high school in order to register for our courses.
My student did not score well in the final test. Can you allow him to re-take the test so that he can ‘better’ his scores?
No. Under no circumstance will Red Comet allow a student to re-take a test. All grades are final.
What is your grading policy?
Please Click Here for our grading policy.
What are the general course requirements?
All courses require the student to complete the following as part of course work:
Go through all course modules and answer all the practice test questions
Go through the Reading Comprehension modules; read the passages and answer all questions correctly. There will be at least 5 Reading Comprehension modules.
Complete at least 5 assignments as part of the coursework.
Submit at least 5 essays / compositions which will contribute to the final score.
Take 5 final tests which will contribute to the final score.
What will the school have to do?
The school must approve the student to register in a Red Comet course.
We need a school contact with who we can stay in touch; we will send updates on the student's progress and contact you in case of non-progress.
School staff (teacher / counselor / principal) must proctor all final tests. Students often take the final tests at school in the presence of the proctor.
Are there employment opportunities with Red Comet?
Please see our Career page. We are always looking for state-certified teachers to assist us with student work. If you would like to seek a position as a ‘Red Comet champion’, please submit your information on our website.
Is there software I will need to access information on my registered students?
No – our platform is web-based. You do not need any special software to access our system. You just log-in to our platform to view progress reports on your students.
I have detected plagiarism during the proctoring process. I want the final grade for the student rescinded. What is the process?
We expect the proctors to be very diligent but sometimes, despite best effort, plagiarism can occur. Please contact our Red Comet staff to discuss next steps.
How many courses can my students take?
Students may take as many courses as they need as long as your school approves.
When can my students get started?
Your students can get started as soon as they have the approval from their resident school.
Can my student access online classes all day, every day? Including weekends?
Yes – our online system is available 24/7.
Will my student receive instruction on how online learning works?
We have an orientation video, which details the steps that a student must follow. Each course also has a navigation module, which provides details on course layout etc.
How many hours of study will a course require?
All Red Comet courses require around 75 hours of study. Some of these hours will be spent working on assignments, essays / compositions, taking final tests, reading passages related to the subject matter, exploring external educational sites, viewing educational videos, etc.
Will teachers answer email right away?
Teachers receive many emails each day so they strive to reply to students needing help and answering questions within 24 hours during the school week while correcting and returning assignments within 5 days.
Are all assignments written in email, or are there other types of projects?
Students will rarely send assignments via email. Most assignments are turned in through web tools provided on our online platform. On occasion, a student may need to submit work in formats other than a text response (for example, charts, PowerPoint presentations, drawings etc.) This depends entirely on the subject matter dealt with in the course.
Do the students need to come to the Red Comet office for any reason, such as tests?
No – students are not required to visit the Red Comet office. All questions can be answered via phone or email.
Do the students have to go to school to work on the course?
No – students can do most of their work at home or at another location. However, they do need to go to school to have their final tests proctored by a school staff member.
My student does not have access to a computer. What are his options?
The student can login from the school computer. When school is closed, the student can log in from a public library or a community center. Alternately, the student can also work from a friend / mentor’s home. All work will be saved on the Red Comet platform. The student can continue his/her work from different locations.
We are not in WA State. My student does not have money to pay for the course. What are his options?
Some schools have helped students in need find scholarships. Please check with some of your local foundations or associations to see if there is a scholarship program that the student can qualify for. Sometimes, there might be some district funds that can be used to fund scholarships.
What if my student needs technical help?
Students are responsible for contacting the Red Comet Helpdesk for assistance. Computer problems do not excuse the student from required work so it is very important to seek solutions for technical problems immediately. If the problem cannot wait, the student can also call our toll-free number to seek assistance. Technical support will be available from 9:00 to 5:00 Mondays to Fridays.
How will my student contact the Red Comet teacher?
The student will have to log into to the Red Comet platform to contact the teacher for assistance. All teachers also have voice mails and you can leave a message for the teacher.
The teachers at my school are superb. I want the students to use the teachers at my school to help my students. Can this be done?
Yes – this can be done. If your student has any questions, he can get them answered by the teachers at school.
I want the teachers at my school to evaluate the student assignments. Can this be done?
Yes – this can be done. Your teachers can evaluate and provide feedback for the student assignments. However, please contact us so that we can inform you of our process.
I want the teachers at my school to grade the final tests. Can this be done?
No – this cannot be done, unless you ‘lease’ the course from us. If you lease the course from us, then your teachers can grade the final tests in addition to evaluating the student assignments and offering academic help to the students.
Do the Red Comet teachers have office hours so my student can make an appointment or call to talk directly with them?
The best way to contact a teacher is via messaging through our online platform. Teachers also post office hours when they are available to answer student questions. During these hours, the student can set up an appointment or simply call the teacher to receive academic help.
When do my students submit their assignments?
Students can turn in their assignments as soon as they complete them. We do not put any time restrictions on the submission of assignments.
When do my students submit their essays / compositions that contribute to the final grade?
Students can turn in their essays / compositions as soon as they complete them. We do not put any time restrictions on the submission of essays.
Can my student skip the course material and take the final tests?
The final tests for a course module will not become available until the student has gone through the complete course material for each section. However, if the student is confident about the subject matter, he/she can opt to take the practice test at the beginning of the course section . If the student scores a high enough score (80%), the final tests will automatically become available for him/her to take. If the student scores less than 80%, he/she will have to go through the entire course section module before he/she can take the final test for that section.
Can my student take all the final tests at once?
Yes – if the student has completed all the course requirements, then he/she can take all the tests at once.
Will the student have to complete ALL the assignments, essays / compositions, reading comprehension modules, practice tests and final tests before getting the final grade?
How will the student take the tests?
All tests are online. For most courses, you must type your essay / composition and take the final test online.
How will the student submit assignments?
You will need to scan your work and upload the pdf file to the platform for some elective courses (like Arts / Music / Physical Education). For some courses, you may have to upload an excel spreadsheet. For most courses, assignments require you to upload a word document.
How long will the student have to complete the course?
Students will have 120 days (about 4 months) to complete the course.
Can the student register for a course anytime during the year?
Is it possible to complete a course in a week’s time?
No. A student is expected to put in at least 75 hours in completing the course.
Will the student get a final grade for the course? What if the student could not complete all the course work?
Yes. When the student has finished the course or has been enrolled in the course for 120 days, a final grade will be sent to your school. If the student has not completed ALL the work to pass the course, an F will be recorded on your transcript as the final grade. Incomplete course work will always earn an F. There will be no exceptions.
Can my student get a time extension for a course? There were special circumstances that prevented the student from completing the coursework?
No – there will be no time extensions. The student will have to re-register for the course and re-take all the tests.
Can we get a refund for a course?
Can a student receive partial credit for a course?
Do students earn credit for completing a credit retrieval course?
How can I help my student be successful?
We have seen that the chances of a student successfully completing a course are much higher when a school staff member or the parent is involved. School staff members can monitor progress on our online program and assist a student who does not understand the subject matter. School counselors can keep a tab on student progress – this will make the student more accountable. Teachers can follow-up with the student on a weekly basis to ensure the student is completing all assignments on time.
How many hours per week should students devote to a Red Comet course?
A student has about 16 weeks to complete the course. It would be ideal if a student can devote 5 hours a week OR an hour each weekday on the course. This will ensure steady progress.
How many hours will a regular summer course require?
All our courses require about 75 hours of work. It does not matter if the student registers for our courses during the school year or during the summer session.
How many courses can the student take during summer?
As part of our online program, the student can take as many courses as he can handle and as many as the school approves.
Will summer courses cost less?
Not necessarily. Occasionally, we will run some special discounts which you can make use of.
Once my student pays tuition, is there a cutoff time for getting a refund?
We do not offer refunds. The student / parent must ensure that this is the right program for them before they enroll in a Red Comet course.
Who is eligible to take credit retrieval courses?
Any student who has already taken the course and did not earn credit, as shown on their transcript is eligible to take a credit retrieval course.