Population: 525,972
Number of K-12 Schools: 252
Number of K-12 Students: 63,805
Number of K-12 Distance Learning Programs: 1
Number of K-12 Distance Learning: ~950

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

The research team did not receive a response from officials in the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador to our repeated requests for information. As such, updates to this profile for the 2022-23 school year are limited and based on data provided by key stakeholders and document analysis.

Governance and Regulation

There is no language in the Education Act related to K-12 distance education. According to the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development:

Distance education is delivered by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development’s Centre for Distance Learning and Innovation (CDLI). Its mandate includes the development and delivery of senior high school distance education programming, development and delivery of online teacher professional development, and oversight of K-12 technology integration initiatives. CDLI currently offers 38 courses to students attending 103 schools, primarily located in rural, remote and isolated communities across the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. (Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, 2023a)

While the CDLI was a division of the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District (NLESD) since 2017, the Government has begun the process of integrating the NLESD into the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, 2023b). To date, one of the aspects of the NLESD that has been integrated into the Department is the oversight of the CDLI.

The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development continues to track the method of delivery that students complete their studies through distance learning.  Historically this data was available through the annual Education Statistics: Elementary-Secondary publication, but that ceased in 2018-19. It was also available in the K-12 School Profile System, however, as of the 2019-20 school year this system also stopped reporting data related to distance learning.

K-12 Distance and Online Learning Activity

Historically, approximately 1.5% of students in the province have participated in distance education courses.

K-12 Blended Learning Activity

The CDLI also offered online course reviews for students in both online and blended contexts for a variety of courses throughout the secondary level. The reviews utilized recorded instruction and solutions to sample questions related to provincial learning outcomes. The CDLI allows any provincial educator (i.e., including classroom teachers) to register in their portal and use the CDLI’s asynchronous course materials with their face-to-face students. While the CDLI has tracked the number of educators that are registered in the portal, an account in the system does not necessarily mean that the person uses the resources in their classroom. No data on the number of educator accounts was provided for 2022-23.


Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. (2023a). Distance Learning. https://www.gov.nl.ca/education/k12/distance/

Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. (2023b). Integration of the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District into the provincial government. https://www.gov.nl.ca/education/integration/

Previous Provincial Profiles

History of K-12 E-Learning

Unlike most provinces, the history of e-learning in Newfoundland and Labrador has been well documented.  Between federally-funded research initiatives (e.g., National Centres of Excellence-TeleLearning and the Killick Centre for E-Learning Research at Memorial University of Newfoundland) and independent researchers, there has been a great deal of academic literature produced describing the development of e-learning in the province.  A Colloquim published in 2005 provides a brief overview of the history of e-learning programs from a telematics project in the 1980s to a variety of online initiatives in the 1990s to the province-wide virtual school in the 2000s (see Barbour, 2005).  Additionally, Barbour (2007) provides a comprehensive overview of the Centre for Distance Learning and Innovation,


Barbour, M. K. (2005). From telematics to web-based: The progression of distance education in Newfoundland and Labrador. British Journal of Educational Technology, 36(6), 1055-1058.

Barbour, M. K. (2007). Portrait of rural virtual schooling. Canadian Journal of Educational Administration and Policy, 59. Retrieved from http://www.umanitoba.ca/publications/cjeap/articles/barbour.html


Brief Issue Papers

Individual Program Survey Responses

Program Most recent response  Medium  # of Students  # of Teachers # of Courses 
Centre for Distance Learning and Innovation
2020-21 Online 1,029 online 31 full-time 45
2020-21 Online 33 5 full-time 42

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

Inter-provincial and International

If a student in Newfoundland and Labrador were to take a course from an e-learning program in another jurisdiction that student would have to apply to High School Certification to have an equivalency completed to assess whether the course meets the curriculum requirements for Newfoundland and Labrador.  If the course was found to be equivalent the student would then receive credit.

Students living in other jurisdictions can only take courses from CDLI if they are registered with a school in the province.  For example, if a student were to move to Qatar with their parents for work reasons and they were registered with a school in Newfoundland and Labrador, they could then take their courses through CDLI.  Students living outside of Newfoundland and Labrador who have not been registered with a school in Newfoundland and Labrador are not eligible to enroll in courses through the CDLI.