The Teacher Mediated Option (known as TMO) is a unique inter-divisional way of delivering high school courses via an audio teleconference system. Students dial into class to join the teacher, along with other students from around the province. Each student has a course package which the teacher references when giving instruction over the phone. Classes are 50 minutes in length and occur four times over a six day cycle. Assignments are then submitted to the teacher for marking.
In addition to all the compulsory courses (ELA, Math, Science & Social Studies), TMO offers a variety of electives such as Agriculture, Art, Bible, Electricity, Foods, French, German and Intro to Drafting. Class sizes vary from 10 – 25 students. Throughout the semester, teachers travel to schools to meet with students, teach on location and help students with their work. These visits also help to build rapport between teacher and student and give a “face” to the voices that are heard over the phone. Teachers are also available via email or phone outside of class time.
Many schools use TMO as a way to expand course options for students. All classes are recorded to allow for playback if there are scheduling conflicts. TMO increases access to education for small schools where staffing may be limited and allows students to obtain high school credits without having to relocate to a larger center for high school.
Pine Creek School Division has taken the lead on this program since Dec 2014 and employs the teachers in the program as well as an administrative assistant, principal and teacher leader who coordinates the program. A consortium made up of five school divisions gives direction to the program. Students call in from a variety of communities including Hutterite colony schools, schools in more remote parts of the province, rural schools, and even from their own home.