Absentee or Work Stoppage Policy

Candidates in demonstration teaching  are always expected to exhibit professionalism, including attendance. The expectation is for you to attend every day of your scheduled demonstration teaching assignment. You will follow the same school calendar as your host teacher and you should attend all professional development meetings and all activities that your host teacher is required to attend. If the expectation is for the host teacher to be at school, so are you. If your host teacher is absent; the expectation is still for you to be at school.


Occasionally an emergency may arise such as illness, natural disaster, strike, or weather closure. In case of such emergencies, you are allowed a total of no more than three full-day absences (consecutive or not) of any type during your demonstration teaching assignment. While we understand weather-related absences are out of your control, it is our responsibility to ensure that you spend the required time in the classroom in order to be able to graduate and receive certification according to your program and state requirements. 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. Read Absentee Form Instructions (opens new window) for instructions on how to report an absence.


Guidelines for Reporting Absences

  • Do not submit weather-related closures 2 hours or less as absences.
  • Use the following guidelines to report all non-weather related absences -
    • If you miss less than 3 hours, submit a half-day or .5 absence and
    • If you miss more than three hours, submit a full-day absence.
  • Two separate half-day (.5) absences equals one full day absence.
  • Do not report an absence for school holidays.
  • Professional development days are scheduled demonstration teaching days, report an absence if you did not attend or you leave early.


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


Make-up Days

Make-up days required by the district or school may count as a make-up day 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 is a full-time, intensive, in-class, 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 demonstration teaching 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 (opens new window) article in this handbook and contact the Teacher Success Team at 866-889-0132, option 4, or teachersuccess@wgu.edu for questions or to make appropriate arrangements.