Population: 159,249
Number of K-12 Schools: 63
Number of K-12 Students: 20,131

Number of K-12 Distance Learning Programs: 1
Number of K-12 Distance Learning Students: ~260

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 reference to distance education in the Education Act, 2016, pursuant to section 8 of the School Act, 1988, there have been two Ministerial Directives concerning distance education (i.e., first Ministerial Directive No. MD 2001-05, which was superseded by Ministerial Directive No. MD 2008-05). According to MD 2008-05, distance education was defined as:

a mode of instruction in which the student and teacher are separated in either time or space or both, and where two-way communication takes place through non-traditional means for the most part. There is a broad range of both individualized and team instructional approaches and strategies used in distance education. Distance education communication may utilize various technologies and media, including but not limited to print, computers and computer networks, telecommunications, and audio-visual equipment and resources.

Internal regulations continue to be driven by this Ministerial Directives, which applies to courses delivered during the regular school day. The directive also outlines a series of beliefs about the nature of distance education instruction.

Additionally, individual schools and districts that participate in distance education programs must adhere to guidelines found in the provincial Distance Education Handbook document. The updated document specifies the use of distance education for students in particular circumstances.

K-12 Distance and Online Learning Activity

Historically, the province had maintained a small K –12 distance education programme using a video conferencing system primarily for the purpose of French-language courses, which ended at the conclusion of the 2010–11 school year. Beginning in February 2021, the Ministry piloted a new virtual school that again focused on French-language courses. The pilot program was modeled after the Conseil scolaire acadien provincial virtual school in Nova Scotia. After two semesters the Ministry handed it off to the La Commission scolaire de langue française to operate, although students from the Public School Branch were also able to enroll in its courses. During the 2021-22 school year, approximately 40 students were enrolled.

Through an inter-provincial agreement students in Prince Edward Island are funded to take online courses from the New Brunswick Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. During the 2021-22 school year there were 220 students enrolled in online courses through this agreement.

K-12 Blended Learning Activity

According to the Department, there was no intentional blended learning (i.e., specific projects or initiatives) occurring in public schools.

Remote Learning

Fall 2021 Reopening

All schools began the 2021-22 school year in-school with ‘low-risk’ measures that included health and safety precautions (e.g., masks, physical distancing, and cohorts). Assemblies, extra-curricular activities, and sports also continued. If cases of COVID-19 rose and remote learning resumed, the platform used across the province, Google Classroom, would include a blend of synchronous and asynchronous learning time. If all children within a class or a school were forced to remain home, the expectations for remote learning would include: Kindergarten will have 60-80 minutes of instruction per day in increments of 15-20 minutes at a time; for grades 1-6 would have two and a half hours per day; for grades 7-12 would follow their regular class schedules. ‘Considerations and support’ are offered to students with limited access to the internet or learning devices. Assessments and reporting would continue (LaBonte et al., 2021).

2021-22 School Year

Schools remained open to in-person learning, with some local school closures despite the government moving to an ‘elevated risk’ status. Prior to the return to school from December holidays, due to increasing community spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, it was decided to close schools to in-person learning in January with students returning to remote learning. The reopening of schools was delayed until January 17, 2022 to allow time for schools and parents to prepare for new measures including cohorts of students, distribution of new HEPA air filters, removal of excess furniture to allow for greater physical distancing, and the requirement for students to take two rapid antigen tests 48 hours apart prior to returning to school. February saw the gradual release of community restrictions across Canada with some relaxation regarding sport and recreational activities in PE, but it was not until April 5, 2022 when the Prince Edward Island government lifted the limit on sports teams while rescinding the provincial State of Emergency. The mask mandate remained in effect until May 24 when the requirement for students to conduct regular antigen tests at home for school students prior to a return to school was relaxed (LaBonte et al., 2022).


LaBonte, R., Barbour, M. K., & Mongrain, J. (2022). Teaching during times of turmoil: Ensuring Continuity of learning during school closures. Canadian eLearning Network. https://canelearn.net/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Teaching-During-Times-of-Turmoil.pdf

LaBonte, R., Barbour, M. K., & Nagle, J. (2021). Pandemic pedagogy in Canada: Lessons from the first 18 months. Canadian eLearning Network. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1gaNFXDCt44W9DaAC9iRAf33pDTKup2C8/view

Previous Provincial Profiles

History of K-12 E-Learning

According to the Department of Education, Early Learning and Culture, historically students could enroll in correspondence courses offered through the New Brunswick Community College system to gain secondary school credit with certain restrictions.

Beginning in the early 2000s, Prince Edward Island schools had used a locally developed distance education video conferencing system. Throughout the decade the use of this method of distance education decreased significantly. In fact, since the beginning of this study in 2008, the video conferencing system was used solely for the purpose of French-language school board high school courses.  During the 2010–11 school year, there were two students enrolled in a single course offered through this system. There was no video conferencing activity for distance education purposes in 2011–12.  While still available, this system has not been used for teaching purposes since 2014.

In addition to the provincial video conferencing system, students in Prince Edward Island have the ability to access some online courses offered by the New Brunswick Ministry of Education.  This ability appeared to correspond with the decline of the province’s own video conferencing distance education.


Individual Program Survey Responses

Program Most recent response  Medium  # of Students  # of Teachers  # of Courses 

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

Inter-provincial and International

The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development approves distance courses by correlating outcomes found in online programs to those found in the Prince Edward Island authorized curriculum documents.  Students must apply in advance to enroll in approved courses through their school principal.  Students completing online programs are awarded the Prince Edward Island equivalent course on their school mark transcripts.

As Prince Edward Island does not offer any distance education programs of its own, students from other jurisdictions are unable to enroll in their courses to receive credit.