Population: 781,024
Number of K-12 Schools: 302
Number of K-12 Students: 102,934

Number of K-12 Distance Learning Programs: 3
Number of K-12 Distance Learning Students: ~5,451

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

Governance and Regulation

While there is no specific legislative language concerning K-12 distance, the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development defines distance learning as the delivery of a course where the teacher responsible for assessment and instruction is in a location physically remote from the student. Online teachers communicate with the school to relay information about student progress.

Both the Anglophone and Francophone sectors of the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development manage their own K-12 distance learning programs. These programs are funded through the Department directly, and are provided at no cost to schools or districts. The Department has published policy handbooks and web resources, different for both the English and French programs, which outline who can take distance courses, list the courses offered, describe the registration process, and outline duties of each role in the process. Additionally, as of the 2019-20 school year, the organization of distance learning courses in the French-speaking sector had a new structure to allow school districts to be involved in decision making through a management committee.

The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development defines blended learning as the use of online and distance learning resources to support a teacher delivering a course onsite to students. Students continue to have access to the online material outside of class time for independent work.

K-12 Distance and Online Learning Activity

The two distance learning programs service secondary students in New Brunswick in either of the province’s two official languages. Both distance and blended courses use content created by the department and information is recorded in a learning portal, which records information about courses taken, school of origin and basic student demographic information. Some additional registrations, such as adults upgrading high school, are manually recorded, but not tracked with the same level of detail. During the 2022-23 school year, there were 3,541 regular students enrolled in 65 different courses in the Anglophone program, while there 1,918 students enrolled in 63 different courses in the Francophone program.

Additionally, the Anglophone program offered a free online summer program that allowed interested high school students and recent graduates the opportunity to take a single course for credit. During the Summer 2023 there were 756 students enrolled in 16 different courses. Similarly, the Francophone program offered three mathematics courses led by three teachers during the summer session to enable students to complete a course, repeat a failed course or change their change course or get ahead with their credit count.

Finally, the pilot project that began during the 2021-22 school year and had a single school district deliver Advanced Placement (AP) courses across a small network of schools has continued. This pilot enabled smaller schools to offer these courses through a primarily synchronous delivery model.

K-12 Blended Learning Activity

All students are enrolled in Microsoft Teams sites for courses that integrate with the student information system. Additionally, the content that has been created for all of the distance learning courses is available to all teachers in the province as a professional learning resource. Teachers can request access to this content in D2L’s Brightspace environment to use in their classroom teaching. While the Ministry tracks the number of courses requested by teachers, it does not track the number of students enrolled in the system.

Previous Provincial Profiles

History of K-12 E-Learning

Since its inception in 2001, the distance learning program has evolved to offer over 40 courses online with an additional 10 as a F2F resource. Initially based on the WebCT platform, by 2008-09, the program was staffed by 20 teachers and served more than 4000 students and teachers. In the following year restructuring saw the program contract to half that size, and with a shifted focus to core courses and supplemental support. Since then, the program has grown to be supported by 14 teachers, and offers a diverse mix of courses that are able to satisfy the province’s graduation requirements.

Almost since the beginning, the program has offered a Mi’kmaq language course and supplemental materials for Wolastoqey. In 2015-16, both languages saw the release of new courses so that both of the province’s First Nations groups can have access to language instruction via distance. The program now offers courses in five languages.


Individual Program Survey Responses

Program Most recent response  Medium  # of Students  # of Teachers  # of Courses 
2021-22 Online 1,584 online 14 full time 33 online
New Brunswick Virtual Learning Centre
2020-21 Online
3,150 online
3,500 blended
24 full time
1 part time
60 online
1,900 blended

* Blended program is delivered by local classroom teachers in schools and courses are available to anyone who requests them.

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

Inter-provincial and International

While the graduation requirements for the province are currently under review, for a student in New Brunswick to receive credit for a course taken from an online program in another province or territory the student would need to have enrolled in the course in New Brunswick and been unsuccessful in completing it. In such instances the online course would be considered an independent study course. Students can only have one independent study course count towards their graduation requirements.  Approval to apply outside credit for a single course is infrequently sought or approved.  The same process applies for a student seeking to obtain credit for a course from an online program in another country.  In both cases the curriculum for the course in question would need to be reviewed and approved, typically in advance of the student beginning the course.

In instances where a student living in another province or territory, or another country, took a course from an online program located in New Brunswick, a transcript would be issued by the Ministry and sent to the district or school-based coordinator responsible for the student. Whether the student receives credit for the course is determined by the individual jurisdiction where the student resides.  At present both Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island have agreements in place to allow students to receive credit for courses taken through New Brunswick’s French language distance education program. Typically a review of the New Brunswick curriculum is carried out first by the school authority interested to ensure the student would receive credit should they complete the course (in much the same fashion that New Brunswick reviews the curriculum of other programs before granting credit to students who wish to take courses from other jurisdictions).