Rural education

Schools K - 12

Rural education

School councils, First Nations, school staff and parents are all essential to helping expand educational opportunities and support for rural students.

REM studentsScroll to learn about these initiatives:

Rural Equity Action Plan (REAP)

REAP has been providing innovative learning options for rural students since 2013. Examples of REAP initiatives:

  • Alternative high school programming and flexible learning approaches to support students to continue their education in their communities.
  • On-site trades programs using the mobile trades trailer operated by Yukon College’s Centre for Northern Innovation in Mining. Students in Dawson City, Pelly Crossing, Ross River, Carmacks and Mayo have participated in locally-delivered training in welding, electrical, millwright and piping trades.
  • The Rural Experiential Model, which brings experiential learning opportunities to rural communities.
  • A Rural and Alternative Learning Consultant who visits rural schools to provide programming and training support.

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Rural Experiential Model (REM)

A REM is a week-long program of intensive study that offers hands-on learning experiences to rural students. Students earn two credits in the Fine Arts and Applied Skills course, which is required for graduation. REMs help connect students with possible career paths.

Students from several rural schools come together for every REM. Since September 2013, more than 300 students from as many as 11 rural schools have participated in REMs in Dawson City, Watson Lake and Carmacks.

Some example REM courses:

  • Ancestral Technologies/On the Land
  • Hair and Esthetics
  • “Mini Med School”
  • First Nations Fine Art
  • Guitar and Song Writing
  • Robotics
  • Wood Shop



REMs involve a variety of evening recreational activities including:

  • Dene games
  • First Nations art and carving
  • Sports
  • Beading
  • Storytelling
  • Digital fabrication
  • Music
  • Hiking
  • Movies

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Blended learning

Blended learning offers students more course options and lets them work at their own pace. We have invested in training, equipment and infrastructure for blended learning.

Students work through online courses while teachers provide traditional instruction and one-on-one support.

Blended learning models in Watson Lake, Haines Junction, Carmacks and Dawson City have shown positive results in student achievement, especially in Grade 10 exam results.

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Internet access and mobile technologyREM students learning robotics

We continue to work with Northwestel to improve bandwidth and Internet connectivity in rural schools.

Internet speeds have increased, and upgraded wireless networks in all rural schools support the increasing use of mobile devices, including tablets and laptops.

Mobile devices are provided for students participating in blended learning models.


Wood Street Centre programs

Rural students participate in the experiential education programs at the Wood Street Centre in Whitehorse. School staff are available to help students with their applications, including auditions for the Music Arts and Drama (MAD) program.

Rural students in Wood Street programs can stay at the Gadzoosdaa Student Residence.

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Learning supports for rural students

Examples of programs for developing literacy, numeracy and essential skills for learning include:

  • A Reading Recovery teacher in every elementary school.
  • Curriculum consultants who help teachers provide balanced literacy instruction and strategies to meet individual learning needs of students.
  • The Learning Together preschool program at Eliza Van Bibber School in Pelly Crossing and Johnson Elementary in Watson Lake to help prepare children and their caregivers for school.

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Helping rural students with special needs

Yukon schools follow an inclusive education model, based on the principle that all students can learn, and can learn together, even if in different ways and at different rates.

Educational Assistants and Remedial Tutors support inclusion by working one-on-one with individuals or with larger groups of students in a class so that teachers can focus their attention on students who are struggling.

Student Support Services team members make scheduled visits to rural schools. They also consult using video conferencing, telephone and email.

Specialists in these fields work with students and provide mentoring and on-site training to school staff to help them support students with special needs:

  • Occupational therapy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Educational psychology*
  • Speech and language
  • Hearing impairment
  • Vision impairment
  • Assistive technology
  • Social-emotional learning.

*Educational psychologists based in Dawson and Watson Lake provide services to schools in those communities and to other communities in their regions.

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Building healthy school communities

We offer resources and services to schools to foster healthy school communities. Examples include:

  • Resources for peer support groups and initiatives led by staff in schools (e.g., Challenge Day, gay-straight alliances, positive behaviour intervention).
  • Resources and strategies to address bullying behaviours.
  • Information from the Cyber-Safety Panel about staying safe online, cyber-bullying and peer exploitation risks for parents of school-aged children.
  • Restorative approaches to repair harm and restore relationships.
  • Safe and Caring Schools Support to help students and families learn about healthy relationships, bullying behaviours and positive mental health.

We provide mental health services and training and support in responding to crises. Examples include:

  • Mental Health First Aid, a two-day course on mental illnesses and crisis First Aid.
  • Violence Threat Risk Assessment training to help staff determine whether someone who makes a threat poses a risk.
  • The Applied Suicide Intervention Training Skills workshop and SafeTALK training to help build suicide prevention networks in school communities.
  • Critical Incident Stress Debriefing, a small-group crisis response process that helps people recover from traumatic events.
  • Grief and loss support during and following serious incidents and events.

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Professional development for rural teachers

In addition to opportunities in Whitehorse, we offer professional development to rural teachers in their own communities. Examples include:

  • A one-to-one coaching model that helps teachers improve literacy instruction and student achievement at some rural schools, with regular visits from the Primary Consultant.
  • Professional development about Tlingit cultural curriculum in Teslin for teachers from Teslin Community School and Ghùch Tlâ Community School in Carcross.
  • Teacher Learning Networks and blended learning models, which connect curriculum consultants and rural teachers in creating and sharing resources and materials.

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Recruiting rural teachers

Recruiting and retaining qualified, experienced rural teachers involve efforts such as:

  • Promoting rural teaching opportunities through recruitment networks and paid advertising.
  • Incentives such as relocation assistance, travel bonuses, additional leave and an annual community allowance.
  • Providing housing in some communities.


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Rural staffing

We staff our schools using a staffing allocation formula that is fair, easy to understand and sustainable, and taking into account recommendations from the Staffing Allocation Advisory Committee. Visit our rural staffing page to learn more.

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Contact - Rural Secondary Consultant

Department of Education
1000 Lewes Boulevard
Box 2703
Whitehorse, Yukon
Canada Y1A 2C6

Yukon government staff directory >>>