Absentee or Work Stoppage Policy

Candidates in demonstration teaching are expected to exhibit professionalism at all times, including attendance. You are expected to attend every day of your scheduled demonstration teaching (DT) assignment. If the host teacher (HT) is expected to be at school, so are you. If your host teacher is absent, you are still expected to be at school. You must follow the same school calendar as your host teacher. You are expected to attend all professional development meetings and all activities that your host teacher is required to attend.


Occasionally an emergency may arise such as illness, natural disaster, strike, or weather closure. In the event of such emergencies, you are permitted a total of no more than three full-day absences (consecutive or not) of any type during your DT assignment. While we understand weather-related absences are not your fault, it is our responsibility to ensure that you spend the required time in the classroom according to your program and state requirements in order to be able to graduate and receive certification. Absences greater than three days (consecutive or not) at any time for any reason during DT, must be made up and will extend a candidate’s Demonstration Teaching by one week. Extenuating circumstances that result in extended absence(s) over five days due to military service, natural disaster, or school closing may require that a candidate repeat Demonstration Teaching. (For more information see the Extenuating Circumstances section below.)


Reporting Absences


Report any and all absences to WGU by going to the field experiences button on your degree plan to submit an absentee form. Visit the following link for instructions to report an absence: Absentee Form Instructions.


Guidelines for Reporting Absences: 


  • Weather-related closures 2 hours or less do NOT need to be submitted as absences.
  • All non-weather related absences, less than 3 hours is considered a half-day or .5 absence, more than three hours is considered a full-day absence.
  • Two separate half-day (.5) absences equals one full day.
  • You do not need to report an absence for school holidays.
  • Professional development days are scheduled DT days, report an absence only if you did not attend or you leave early.


If you take an absence without prior clearance from your clinical supervisor and host teacher (except in the case of an emergency) you are subject to removal from DT. Students who do not report absences or leaves during DT, or deliberately falsify and/or misrepresent absences or attendance are violating the Teachers College Code of Ethics, Professional Behaviors and Dispositions.


Make-up Days


Make-up days required by the district or school are allowed for weather-related absences only. To report make-up days, submit a new absentee form on the day you attended school for the make‑up day. In the reason box, your comments must explain which day you are making up from your previous weather-related absences.  


Extenuating Circumstances


Demonstration teaching (DT) is designed to be an intensive, sequential experience. While we do our best to accommodate unanticipated health issues or other circumstances beyond your control, due to the nature of the activity and the coordination required with schools and school districts, teacher candidates may not be absent for more than three days throughout the DT experience.


Extenuating circumstances that result in extended absence(s) over five days due to military service, natural disaster, or school closing may require that a candidate repeat Demonstration Teaching. Please review the Self-Withdrawal: Approved article in this handbook and contact the Teacher Success Team at 866-889-0132, option 4, or teachersuccess@wgu.edu to make appropriate arrangements.