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. Students 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. Students / Parents / Schools must submit proof of IEP documentation in order to be eligible for any type of accommodations.
Gifted students can access our Advanced Placement (AP) courses.
What subjects does Red Comet offer?
Red Comet offers the following subjects:
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 be allowed to enroll in some of the high school courses or electives with permission from the school that they are currently attending.
Is Red Comet accredited?
Yes. Red Comet is Accredited by Cognia AdvancEd.
Do students earn credit for Red Comet courses?
Yes, you earn credits for Red Comet courses upon successful completion of all course requirements. We do not award partial credits for incomplete courses.
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 go to https://redcomet.org/course-catalog to choose the courses that you need. At check-out time, you will be informed about the prices for the various courses that you have chosen. At that point, you can decide if you want to go ahead with your order or not.
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 uses Agilix Buzz® which supports the following browsers:
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 require that the students log in from a regular computer / laptop (Recommended browser – Chrome).
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. The 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.
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?
For all part-time students, 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.
4. SCHOOL OFFICIALS & STUDENTS
Is Red Comet accredited?
Yes. Red Comet is Accredited by Cognia AdvancEd.
Will Red Comet help my student in picking courses?
Students must work with academic counselors at their public or private school to decide on which courses they must enroll in.
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 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. Students may enroll in Red Comet courses for original credit, credit retrieval or to better their grades. 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 written at the identified grade span reading level. 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, and providing tests on paper format (tests must be administered by a proctor). Red Comet may be able to provide a podcast audio file for some courses. Students can access the file on site or download to listen to offline. 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. Students / Parents / Schools must submit proof of IEP documentation in order to be eligible for any type of accommodations.
Can a student print or download a copy of the course lessons to study offline?
No, the course material is not available off-site; however, if the student needs special accommodations, Red Comet can provide a podcast version of the Core course lessons for students to listen to offline. This will be provided upon request and as time allows.
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 home-schooled 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. Essays, assignments and other key course requirements will be excused only in the case of IEP Accommodations. Students without a formal IEP that is submitted to Red Comet teachers will NOT be excused from completing essays, assignments and other key course requirements.
What is your grading policy?
The grading policy for each course is published in the course.
What are the general course requirements?
Prior to starting course work, Students must read and ‘accept’ the Written Student Learning Plan prior to starting the course. The Written Student Learning Plan clearly outlines the syllabus and other course requirements.
In order to receive credit, all courses require the student to complete the following as part of course work:
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. For students who are paying for the course (or if your school is paying for the course), then the student may start the course anytime during the calendar year. Red Comet will enroll the student and send an Orientation email within 24-48 hours of receiving the order. Students may start as soon as they receive the Orientation email with instructions.
Students 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. The tuition-free program is offered ONLY during the school year (and not summer) and is offered in 2 sessions – Fall session and Winter session. Students must start and complete their courses on the given dates.
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 to 48 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 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 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 Help desk 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?
Students can communicate with the teacher on our Learning Management Platform. Students can also contact their Red Comet teacher by sending an email. These emails will be answered within 24-48 hours. Students may also call our toll free phone (1-888-730-1101) and leave a message for the teacher to return the call. This information is posted in the Getting Started section of every Red Comet course.
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?
Students can get academic help from their teachers at school. However, if students have questions on the tests, essay prompts or submissions, then they must direct these questions to the Red Comet teacher.
I want teachers at my school to evaluate the student assignments. Can this be done?
Please contact us if you want your teachers to grade your students’ submissions. This cannot be done for individual students who enroll but if you have more than 25 students enrolling in Red Comet courses, then we can discuss options with you.
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. In this case, your school must issue the transcript & credit to 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 on the Learning Management Platform or 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 take all the final tests at once?
Yes – if you are not enrolled in the Tuition Free program or in a NCAA course. However, this is seriously discouraged
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?
For some of the elective/enrichment courses, you will have an option of typing your work on your computer and uploading a file to the site.
For some elective courses (like Foreign Languages/Arts / Music / Physical Education), you will need to scan or record your work and upload a PDF file, Audio file etc. to the site.
For most courses, students will type their answers in a dropbox provided for each assignment on the site.
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?
Yes – if the student is not enrolled in the Tuition Free program.
Is it possible to complete a course in a week’s time?
No. A student needs to put in at least 75 hours of study and work time to complete a course. Please note that most students complete a Red Comet course in 3 to 4 month time.
Will the student get a final grade for the course? What if the student could not complete all the course work?
Students will receive a transcript only when they have successfully completed all course requirements and have passed the course.
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?
We do not have courses that are categorized as credit retrieval. Once student completes all course requirements and successfully passes the course, the student will receive credit for the 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.
Will Red Comet AP courses count towards AP credit or guarantee a passing score on the College Board AP Exam?
Red Comet AP courses, by design, have more academic rigor than a regular catalog subject area course. Expectations for student submission and responses to questions are significantly higher than an ordinary subject area course without the AP designation. Rubrics are embedded within the course to guide teachers and students toward the level of understanding expected to be successful on the College Board AP exam.
To answer the above questions, we have to look at the differences between online and in-person courses.
There are two significant differences between taking an online AP course versus the classroom version. First, most, if not all, classroom models involve teachers who are AP certified. Universities have special training programs to certify AP instructors, and many schools require anyone teaching an AP course to be AP certified. This certification is in addition to state teaching endorsements. Online teachers may or may not hold this advanced training. In a classroom environment, AP certified teachers teach the lessons, while in an online environment, the student engages in self-paced learning.
Next, students enrolled in classroom AP courses many times are selected based on a set of criteria that includes pre-testing and or teacher recommendations. This type of selection ensures that students have the necessary skillset and discipline required to succeed in an AP environment. In contrast, the enrollment process for online students depends on the honor system. In an online environment, the enrolled students may or may not be suited for working in an AP course. Because of this, we often see a higher than average dropout rate in AP courses (when compared to regular core courses) before course completion.
Completing an AP course through Red Comet does not of itself count towards advanced college credit. However, students can take it for high school credit or if they want to take the College Board AP test (that awards advanced college credit).
Ultimately, successfully passing a Red Comet AP course will improve students’ chances of successfully passing the College Board AP exam. However, enrolling in the Red Comet AP course cannot guarantee success in the College Board AP tests.
In conclusion, just like online courses in core areas are not for every student, we can say the same for online AP courses. Online AP courses are not for everyone, and students and parents must ultimately decide to enroll in one.