Number of K-12 Schools: 33
Number of K-12 Students: 5,456
Number of K-12 Distance Education Programs: 2
Number of K-12 Distance Education Students: ~250
Note that these profiles are taken from the most recent edition of the report, please review additional annual profiles below.
Governance and Regulation
The Education Act, 2002 allows the Minister of Education to provide distance education courses and charge fees for students to access those courses. Distance education is defined as a program of study or course taken by a student where the content and resources are sent to the student to work through independently of a school.
Yukon Education supports of territorial-based online and blended learning programs. However, the Department still relies on a small number of distance learning providers in British Columbia.
For the most part, distance education is funded in the same manner as brick-and-mortar education. Parents may be eligible for reimbursement of essential school resources related to distance education and/or online learning as determined by the Deputy Minister.
K-12 Distance and Online Learning Activity
Aurora Virtual School is the only English-language online school in the territory and during the 2021-22 school year it enrolled a total of 220 students. The only French-language online program is École Nomade, which enrolled 20 students during the 2020-21 school year.
Additionally, there were also 10 students doing language courses delivered by online learning schools in British Columbia and French immersion courses in Ontario during the 2021-22 school year.
K-12 Blended Learning Activity
Yukon Education defines blended learning as a formal education program in which a student learns in part through digitally managed content, instruction and feedback and in part through face-to-face group activities at a supervised physical location away from home and with some element(s) of student control over time, place, path and/or pace.
The Department funds a learning management system (i.e., Moodle) and digital content, which is made available to each of the territory’s schools. Yukon Education uses the data from Moodle to formally track the number of students who are enrolled in at least one blended learning course. During the 2021-22 school year there were approximately 650 students engaged in K-12 blended learning.
Fall 2021 Reopening
Schools opened to in-person learning for the 2021-22 school year with no mandatory physical distancing requirements but mandatory masking for students on buses and outside of classrooms. Even though students were in school full-time, a technology-enabled blended learning approach was adopted. This choice of mode was put in place so that teachers could combine in-person instruction with digitally managed instruction. With a bring your own device (BYOD) policy, if students needed a digital device school administrators were asked to loan the needed technology or find alternative solutions for students without internet connectivity. If caregivers chose not to have their child attend in-person learning, they also had the opportunity to enrol their child in the Aurora Virtual School or home education. To assist with a teaching focus of a ‘trauma-informed leadership lens’ for working with students and their ‘recovery learning’, a website was offered as a source for professional learning for teachers, which included pre-recorded videos (e.g., how to use assistive technology) (LaBonte et al., 2021).
2021-22 School Year
As the new school year progressed, school closures for COVID outbreaks began with affected staff and students required to self-isolate at home and a mandatory mask requirement was reinstated November 13. Schools remained open to in-person learning and the planned return to school after December holidays on January 4, 2022 was not altered as in other jurisdictions. However, due to increasing community spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, new public health measures came into effect January 7, 2022 limiting personal gatherings, indoor and outdoor, a limit of 25 for recreational team sports practice with no games or travel allowed. The Yukon government began distributing rapid tests to schools and communities January 21. February saw the gradual release of community restrictions across Canada and the government increased capacities for indoor team sports for youth age 18 or under to 25 or fifty percent, whichever is less, February 5, later (February 11) for adults. However, mandatory masking remained in place in indoor and outdoor settings where physical distancing was not possible and limits on gatherings continued. Effective March 4 only the mandatory masking requirement remained in effect which was later lifted on March 18 (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 Terrorial Profiles
History of K-12 E-Learning
K-12 distance education, or distributed learning as it is referred to in the territory, can be traced back to a pilot Grade 11 course in Information Technology by the Yukon Department of Education that was delivered to 12 students (10 of whom completed the course successfully). The pilot was continued for several subsequent years. By 1999-2000, students from the Yukon Territory participated in a national distributed learning project, The Hurley Island Project, which was developed and implemented by the Ontario Independent Learning Centre. The project saw 25 students from across the Canada in an online Grade 11 Information Technology course and Grade 12 Environmental Science course.
Beginning in 2004, the Yukon maintained a territory-wide video conferencing program that allowed schools to take advantage of teaching specialists in neighboring community schools. This program operated until the 2012-13 school year when it was replaced by the establishment of the Aurora Virtual School in September 2013. That same year, the Yukon Territory embarked on a blended learning pilot project based at Watson Lake Secondary School. Both the Aurora Virtual School and the blended learning project are still in operation.
In addition, the Government of the Yukon has entered into agreements with a variety of course content providers in British Columbia and Alberta. For example, since January 2001 Yukon students have been able to take advantage of courses offered through British Columbia’s Open School. In fact, the Annual Report for the 2008-09 school year reported that the Yukon had agreements with eight distance education schools in British Columbia, Open School BC and the Alberta Distance Learning Centre (ADLC). The agreement with ADLC was to allow French students access to distributed learning through the Centre francophone d’éducation à distance (a French-language partner program of the ADLC).
Yukon Department of Education. (2009). Annual report 2008-2009 school year. Whitehorse, YK: Queen’s Printing for the Yukon. Retrieved from http://www.education.gov.yk.ca/pdf/2008_- _2009_Department_of_Education_Annual_Report.pdf
- Francophone Collaboration North of 60 (2019)
- A. Fraser, Aurora Virtual School Teacher (2018)
- Student Perceptions at Aurora Virtual School (2017)
- Aurora Virtual School (2016)
- Watson Lake Secondary School (2013)
- Nelnah Bessie John School (2011)
- Northern BC Distance Education School (2009)
Individual Program Survey Responses
|Program||Most recent response||Medium||# of Students||# of Teachers||# of Courses|
|Aurora Virtual School
|2019-20||Online (gr. 8-12)
|3 full time
|17||2 part time||56|
To update this information, visit http://tinyurl.com/sotn-program-survey
Inter-territorial and International
Students in the Yukon are able to take distance education courses from other jurisdictions. However, the territorial government will only fund those courses offered by authorized providers. Students who take courses from non-authorized providers can have the course evaluated for equivalent courses in the Yukon (i.e., British Columbia) program of study. If the academic requirements were met an equivalent credit would be assigned to the student. This process is the same one that is followed when a student transfers from another province or territory.
Students from outside of the Yukon are not eligible to enroll in the territory’s video conferencing distance education program.