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.
Do I need to have a computer to take a course?
Yes – you need access to a computer and to the internet 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.
Will Red Comet work for students with language barriers or special needs? What about gifted students?
Yes. We provide tools that allow 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 can make accommodations for students with special needs and will work with the students’ case manager at their resident school.
For students where English is not their first language, we provide translated versions of the course content for some of the core courses in select languages. Spanish translations of most courses in core subject areas are available.
Gifted students can access our Advanced Placement (AP) courses. Schools can request us to assign thesis projects to gifted students so that they may be challenged appropriately.
What subjects does Red Comet offer?
Red Comet offers the following subjects:
Can I preview a Red Comet lesson?
Yes, you can. Please call us and we will provide you guest access to a sample course.
Who can take Red Comet courses?
Any student in grades 6-12 who is eligible to attend a public or private school may take courses at Red Comet. Home schooled 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.
Red Comet also offers several middle school courses. Advanced middle school students may enroll in some of the high school courses as well (including electives).
Is Red Comet accredited?
Yes. Red Comet is fully accredited by the Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC) and AdvancED.
Can students graduate and earn a diploma from Red Comet?
Upon approval from your resident school, credits earned at Red Comet may be transferred towards graduation at your home high school. Red Comet offers a comprehensive high school curriculum and students wanting to earn a high school diploma through Red Comet can do so – although it is not encouraged. We encourage students to be associated with a school district or a private school where they can graduate with a diploma – while taking courses from Red Comet.
Do students earn credit for Red Comet courses?
Red Comet offers credits through the Toppenish School District which is a public school district the State of Washington. Per federal law, students may use transfer credits issued from a public school district at any other public school throughout the country. However, it is the students responsibility to ensure that their resident high school will accept these transfer credits towards graduation. Student / parent needs to work with the resident school to determine which credits the student is lacking in and enroll in the appropriate Red Comet course.
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, then you may have to pay to take Red Comet courses (unless they are paid through separate school / district funds).
For students in ALL other states (except WA State) – Yes – students will have to pay for Red Comet courses.
How much is the course fee?
Please call us at 1-888-730-1101 to find out about the course fee.
Is tuition for Red Comet courses refundable?
No. Course fees are non-refundable.
What courses are offered during the school year?
Red Comet offers core, AP and elective courses year-round. For a full listing, please click here to view our course catalog.
Does Red Comet offer courses during the summer session?
Yes. Red Comet will continue to offer all courses even in summer.
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 fulfill all course requirements all over again.
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.
Red Comet supports the following:
Students may study course material on iPads, iPhones and other mobile devices. However, when it is time to take the final tests / submit final essays & assignments, we recommend that the students log in from a regular computer / laptop.
Dialup Internet Connections – (not recommended)
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.
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 communicate with their student’s teacher(s) / Red Comet staff to check the student’s progress.
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 home school address.
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.
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 can provide grades 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 is fully accredited by the Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC) and AdvancED.
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 through the DLD catalog. We are an approved OSPI online provider. Washington State’s DLD department offers over 170 courses from Red Comet.
If your school is a private high school in WA State, then your student can enroll in Red Comet courses and may qualify for tuition-free courses.
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.
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. Students may take Red Comet courses for credit retrieval, credit recovery or original credit.
How does Red Comet work for students with special needs?
Red Comet courses are courses written at the identified grade span reading level. However, students can spend as little or as much time to complete the course. Our program allows special needs students to work at their own pace and complete the course work. Red Comet teachers will make the necessary accommodations to assist students with special needs and help them successfully complete the coursework. These accommodations include extending timelines to complete the coursework, providing tests on paper format (tests must be administered by a proctor), providing PDF versions of the courses so that the student may use the Voice Reader on their computer. In the past, students with special needs (autism, ADD, ADHD, visually-impaired, blind, hearing-challenged, impairments due to substance abuse, etc.) have successfully completed their coursework on the Red Comet platform.
However, 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. Red Comet does not offer any counseling services to students with IEP.
How does our school receive final grade information?
When a student completes a course, Red Comet will mail a “Course Grade Report” to the school. The Report contains information regarding the final grade and credit earned. The Grade Report is emailed to the school contact and a Transcript is sent via US Mail to the school.
I have more questions about a student attending Red Comet. Whom should I contact?
Please contact us so that we may address all your questions. You may also call us on the toll free number: 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 may accept a student who has been expelled or has a long-term suspension. These students will be treated as homeschooled students.
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?
The grading policy for each course is published in the course.
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 quizzes. We are a self-paced program – we do not in any way force the student to spend specific amounts of time studying the curriculum. If a student is re-taking the course, s/he may jump to the final tests, essays, assignments and projects associated with that section.
Some courses have Reading Comprehension modules. Go through the Reading Comprehension modules; read the passages and answer all questions correctly.
Complete all assignments, essays and projects as part of the coursework. Please refer to the grading policy to figure out what you need to complete to get your final scores. Go to your grade book to keep track of your scores.
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 whom we can stay in touch; we will send updates on the student’s progress and contact you in case of non-progress.
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 need a working computer and reliable high bandwidth connection.
Do you check for plagiarism?
Red Comet verifies all student submissions for plagiarism. We verify the student’s submissions against ALL content available on the internet + previous student submissions. If we detect plagiarism, then we will zero out the scores and send a warning to the student and the school contact. Upon repeat plagiarized submissions, student will be suspended from the course. Student may not resume work until s/he follows the intervention procedures.
How many courses can my students take?
Students may take as many courses as they need as long as your school approves. If you are taking tuition-free (state-funded) courses from Red Comet, then you may take a maximum of 4 courses at any given time.
When can my students get started?
Your students can get started as soon as we receive all necessary student information (student name, email id, DOB). We will also need to know how to invoice you / collect payment for the course.
Students from private schools who will be enrolling in the tuition-free program at Red Comet must fill out all the necessary forms and submit the Choice Transfer Request to their local school district. These students will be enrolled in their courses ONLY after we receive the necessary approvals from the students’ local school district.
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?
Each course also has a navigation module, which provides details on course layout 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 business 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.
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.
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 (Pacific Standard Time).
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 have a separate sub-domain that we create for you. We will create a separate sub-domain if you have at least 25 students enrolled at any given time.
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 email. Teachers will respond to the students’ email and clarify any questions / issues the student has.
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?
Yes – that is possible.
Can my student take all the final 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?
Yes – there will be time extensions ONLY if there is a valid reason (illness, accident, family issues, unforeseen circumstances, etc.)
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 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 the same amount 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?
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. The prices for our courses are published in our course catalog. 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.