Population: 1,409,223
Number of K-12 Schools: 826
Number of K-12 Students: 207,814

Number of K-12 Distance Learning Programs: ~38
Number of K-12 Distance Learning Students: ~6,650

Note that these profiles are taken from the most recent edition of the report, please review additional annual profiles below.

Governance and Regulation

The only reference in the Public Schools Act regarding distance education is mention that the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Learning can approve courses of study, including correspondence and other courses. Historically, “distance learning” was defined by Manitoba Education and Early Childhood Learning as:

  • a method of accessing courses of study even though learners and their teachers, instructors, or tutor/markers may be in different physical locations; and
  • programs that provide flexibility and equitable access to diverse learning opportunities, while at the same time respects local community decisions regarding program implementation.

The Manitoba Student Records system has a mechanism to indicate whether the credit earned was obtained through some form of distance education, but this method of data collection is dependent on the individual schools categorizing and entering the data correctly. By default, most schools report the credit as earned in a traditional manner, regardless of the method of instruction. As such, the data reported here may be significantly lower than the actual involvement in distance or online learning.

Following a comprehensive review of the K-12 education system (Manitoba Commission on K to 12 Education, 2020), and an examination of the distance and online learning options that were provided prior to and during the pandemic (Manitoba Education and Early Childhood Learning, 2022; Saftich et al., 2022), the province began a process to “develop a provincial remote learning strategy, including an online high school, to enhance access to programming and learning across the province” (Manitoba Education and Early Childhood Learning, 2022, pp. 15 & 23). Unlike other jurisdictions, which strictly used the term “remote learning” to refer to the temporary measures put in place to address safety concerns around in person learning during the pandemic, the Government of Manitoba defined the term “remote learning” in much the same way they had described “distance learning” (as well as operationalizing the terms online learning, synchronous learning, and asynchronous learning).

Remote learning: Remote learning is synchronous and/or asynchronous learning, and includes a variety of formats and delivery methods, such as online learning, video calls, phone calls, and hard-copy packages.

Online learning: A method of learning that relies primarily on communication between students and teachers by means of the Internet.

Synchronous learning: Synchronous learning is learning that involves a teacher and their student(s) interacting in real time.

Asynchronous learning: Asynchronous learning is independent learning that does not require real-time communication between a teacher and their student(s). (Manitoba Education and Early Childhood Learning, 2023a, p. 24)

As the conclusion of this consultative process, the province released a K-12 Action Plan: Provincial Remote Learning Strategy (Manitoba Education and Early Childhood Learning, 2023b), as well as the creation of a “Remote Learning MB” support website (Manitoba Education and Early Childhood Learning, 2023c).

For the most part, remote learning options are funded in a manner similar to brick-and-mortar education with a few exceptions. There are two remote learning schools that are available to all Manitoba students. The Teacher Mediated Option (TMO) and InformNet operate under funding agreements with Manitoba Education and Early Childhood Learning. A fee per seat registered has been established in partnership between TMO, InformNet, and Manitoba Education and Early Childhood Learning.

K-12 Distance and Online Learning Activity

Manitoba Education and Early Childhood Learning continues to partner with lnformNet, the Teacher Mediated Option (TMO), and the Division scolaire franco-manitobaine (DSFM) to operate distance/remote learning programming for Manitoba students in Grades 9 to 12. Each school division in the province has participated in one or more of the above options. However, participation varies from year to year depending on the changing needs of students and schools. During the 2022-23 school year, InformNet, TMO and the MRLSC collectively provided remote learning to approximately 3500 students.

Manitoba Education and Early Childhood Learning licenses D2L’s Brightspace learning management system and makes it available to all K to 12 teachers. Teachers can use the learning management system’s interactive and collaborative tools to create learning experiences, as well as post content and lessons accessible to students outside of the traditional classroom and school day. An additional 3000 or more students participated in distance/remote learning at their local school or school division through the provincial learning management system, Brightspace.

K-12 Blended Learning Activity

Manitoba Education and Early Childhood Learning formally defines blended learning as “a combination of traditional face-to-face classroom learning and online/remote learning” (Manitoba Education, 2020, para 1). The Ministry does not formally track participation in blended learning.

Remote Learning

With respect to the temporary remote learning measures that were put into place, following the return to full time in-person classroom learning, the Manitoba Remote Learning Support Centre (MRLSC) wound down operations in June 2023. For the 2023-24 school year, the Manitoba Remote Learning Support Centre’s students will be welcomed back to their local schools and be supported by their local teachers. Students in K to 8 who continue to require accommodations will be supported by their local school division through dedicated staff.


Manitoba Commission on K to 12 Education. (2020). Our children’s success: Manitoba’s future. https://www.edu.gov.mb.ca/educationreview/publications.html

Manitoba Education and Early Childhood Learning. (2020). Distance learning: Blended learning. https://www.edu.gov.mb.ca/k12/dl/blended_learning.html / https://www.edu.gov.mb.ca/k12/dl/docs/blend_learn.pdf

Manitoba Education and Early Childhood Learning. (2022). Manitoba’s K to 12 education Action plan. https://www.edu.gov.mb.ca/k12/action_plan/index.html

Manitoba Education and Early Childhood Learning. (2023a). Provincial online high school: What we heard report and next steps. https://www.edu.gov.mb.ca/k12/action_plan/docs/online_highschool_report_eng.pdf

Manitoba Education and Early Childhood Learning. (2023b). K-12 action plan: Provincial remote learning strategy. https://www.edu.gov.mb.ca/k12/action_plan/studentengagement/remote_learning_strat.html

Manitoba Education and Early Childhood Learning. (2023c). Remote learning MB. https://www.mbremotelearning.ca/

Saftich, A., Telfer, L., Falconi, A., Potter, L., & Commerford, D. (2022). Report to provide recommendations to support the Manitoba remote learning strategy. https://www.edu.gov.mb.ca/k12/action_plan/docs/prls_ibm_recommendations_en.pdf

Previous Provincial Profiles

History of K-12 E-Learning

Distance education started in Manitoba in 1927 with print-based correspondence courses with a mandate to provide educational opportunities, through correspondence or independent study, to school-aged children and adults in rural and remote areas where access to school was difficult or impossible due to proximity or illness.  Prior to 1987, correspondence/independent study courses were delivered by the Correspondence School.  However, beginning in 1987 the Distance Education and Technology Branch was established and the Correspondence Branch was incorporated into this (later renamed the Independent Study Program in 1991).  In 1991, the Independent Study Program (now called the Independent Study Option [ISO]) was decentralized to Winkler, Manitoba in what is now the Distance Learning Unit.  Historically, courses for grades 1-6 were developed by Alberta Education while courses for grades 7-12 were developed by Manitoba’s Program Development Branch.  By 2009, Grade 7 ISO courses were discontinued and students directed to Alberta Education (the same occurred for Grade 8 ISO courses in 2010).  Beginning in 2014, the ISO program began using Blackboard Learn as a learning management system.

The Teacher Mediated Option (TMO) program began in 1984 as a cooperative program by the school divisions.  In 1992, Manitoba Education assumed responsibility for the administration of the TMO program and it was operated from Wawanesa, MB (within the Southwest School Division).  In 2007, the TMO program moved to the Distance Learning Unit in Winkler, MB.  Around 2010 to 2012 discussion began with participating school divisions about the continuation of the TMO program. It was decided a consortium would be established with participating school divisions and TMO teachers would be placed under the host’s collective agreement.  In 2012 – 2013 this consortium was established with an Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the consortium members and Manitoba Education.  The Sunrise School Division acts as the host division, and ISO course materials are used as foundation for instruction.  This MOU has been renewed annually, but in 2014 – 2015 Pine Creek School Division began to act as the host division.

The Web-Based Courses (WBC) were first implemented in 1999 with Applied Math 30S being the first course developed as a pilot.  After a successful two year project that involved 15 school divisions, WBC development and implementation continued to flourish and by 2006 41 courses were available for grades 9-12.  In 2008, a Task Force was established to review the distance learning programs and processes.  Finally, beginning in September 2014 the Ministry approved a three year pilot for the operation of a virtual collegiate by an educational organization recognized by Manitoba.  To date, two “virtual collegiates” have received a school code (i.e., Wapaskwa Virtual Collegiate and InformNet Virtual Collegiate). WBC continue to be developed and revised to meet accessibility standards and the needs of 21st century learners.   These courses are made available to Manitoba teachers within the province as a resource, as a deliverable distance learning course, or to use in a blended learning environment.


Individual Program Survey Responses

Program Most recent response  Medium  # of Students  # of Teachers  # of Courses 
Beautiful Plains School Division
2015-16 Online 36 1 full time 1
Evergreen School Division 2010-11 Online 38 6 part time 6
Flin Flon School Division 2015-16 Correspondence
36 distance
24 blended
1 full time (counsellor)
1 blended
25 distance
12 blended
Garden Valley School Division 2011-12 Correspondence 5 0 2
InForm Net
2021-22 Online 1,750 10 full time
8 part time
Lakeshore School Division 2010-11 Correspondence
Mountain View School Division
2010-11 Correspondence
115–130*** 5*** 12+***
Southwest Horizon School Division VC
2012-13 Online
Video Conference
100 12
Turtle Mountain School Division VC Courses 2016-17 Correspondence
Instructional television
40 **** 4
Wapaskwa Virtual Collegiate (Manitoba)
2021-22 Online 96 12 full time 60

* This includes registration of Evergreen students in other division’s programs and other division’s students enrolled in Evergreen’s program.
** Additional information unavailable
*** This includes both their participation in Ministry-delivered programs and their own video conferencing and French immersion programs.
**** Teachers were already employed, just required a timetable adjustment.

To update this information, visit http://tinyurl.com/sotn-program-survey

Inter-provincial and International

If a student in Manitoba enrolls in a course offered by an online program in another province or territory it is up to the individual school administrators to assign “Out-of-Province” credits for the course(s) that have an equivalent Manitoba provincial course or locally developed course.  The same process is used for students who attended a school out of province and then move to Manitoba.  When the school administrator accepts the transfer a designation of “S” for “Standing” is used to report credits granted in the place of a percentage mark.  As such achievement in out-of-province courses cannot be used to calculate an average, and any transfer of credit is at the school administrator’s discretion.  This process applies to any out-of-province courses, regardless if it is another jurisdiction in Canada or internationally.

Under current regulations Manitoba schools cannot deliver any online courses to students in other jurisdictions for credit.  Schools can offer a course to an out-of-province or out-of-country student, but cannot issue Manitoba standing (i.e., credit) to an out-of-province or out-of-country student.  Students must be registered in a Manitoba school to earn Manitoba credit(s).