Planning a Field Trip with Parents, Students, and Multiple Approvers

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Many of our customers in Form Workflow Plus are admins or coordinators in schools or universities, and the most common approval workflows have to do with organizing students and teachers. Some literal “old schools” still use paper forms, but the modern school has gone paperless, using online tools and applications to manage the most basic processes.

In this blog post, we demonstrate how to use Google Forms, Google Sheets, and Form Workflow Plus for organizing a field trip to help you get started with your own process planning.

Organizing the student body

No matter what level, whether it’s kindergarten or school or college, the ratio of students to teachers is usually many dozens to one. 

Organizing students can be challenging when there are between tens to hundreds of students per class, and even more so when taking them outside of school grounds, where you not only need to figure out who’s going or not to figure out the headcount and resources you need to book such as admission tickets and buses, but also secure waivers from parents if they are underaged, and collect any payments for additional fees required for expenses not shouldered by the school. 

At the end of the day, it ends up that there is one person in charge of overseeing and coordinating everything. This is not only a humongous responsibility, but also one where you cannot afford to make mistakes. 

How to begin organizing the trip

First, decide what information you need in order to organize the trip and get things done. As a coordinator, you may need to find out at a high level: 

  • How many people want to go to the field trip so that you can book the right number of admission tickets you need to book (if any) or how many buses you need to take the students to the field trip destination.
  • The ages of the students going on the field trip to secure liability waivers from parents and guardians, and/or add parents who will accompany students so that you can add them to the resources you need. (This is easier with elementary students and more complex at the high school level where you get a mix of minor and adult ages per class.)
  • How many attendees have actually paid the appropriate fees for the field trip so that you can follow up on anyone who hasn’t paid yet or exclude them from the final headcount after the deadline has passed.
  • Miscellaneous information that is important to key stakeholders like the principal, the PTA, concerned parents, bus operators, the management at the venue of the field trip, etc. If your school doesn’t yet have a procedure for field trips, it’s important to keep in touch with and be able to assure transparency with all parties involved. 

Second, break down what you need in steps to make it easier for everyone to coordinate with each other: 

  • Teachers can coordinate per classroom or section the number of students attending, their ages, waivers required, and any accompanying parents
  • OIC for payments (this can be another representative per class, a department head, or a faculty leader per year level, depending on what the school’s organizational structure is like) can approve final headcount after confirming payment for field trip fees
  • Coordinator can base the booking of resources and finalize the itinerary based on the final headcount, which will then be shared back with the school heads and teachers

How to set up the field trip with Form Workflow Plus

The best way to accomplish this in Form Workflow Plus is to create a Google Form form to collect responses, and then set up a workflow with at least two steps of approvals. 

REQUEST FORM: The Google Form must request information such as Name, Grade/Year Level, Class Name, Homeroom Teacher, etc. For fields that will require filtering later on (such as by class), we recommend setting up the answers as a drop-down menu or multiple choice rather than free text forms to avoid typos and mistakes.

Click the “Create” button to create and link a form automatically
Edit the default form

(On Form Workflow Plus, click Add-Ons > Form Workflow Plus > Start > Create and then Edit Form. You can then edit the default form with the questions you want, such as below.)

Customize the form to tailor to your needs

STEP 1: The workflow creator would ideally set up multiple conditions, one for each class, so that the approver for each class would go to the specific homeroom teacher assigned to it. 

Teachers are the first line of approval and they can cross-reference their class lists and note the information and consents prior to sending the approval to the next level. 

Approval workflows can be as simple or as rich as you want
If you are overseeing the workflow or process, you can set the default approver as yourself
Add your conditions, such as one approver per class
Filter requests per classroom to go to the homeroom teacher in charge

STEP 2: The workflow creator can set this up in two ways: either set up specific approvers per class again, or the same approvers for all second level approvals (this can be the principal or an accountant/finance manager or an administrator). They would then look after whether the field trip attendees have paid up prior to approving. 

In this example, we’ll set up the approvers per Year Level Head, who will check if everyone attending has paid up or not. 

Filter all first-level approved requests by year level so that the second approvers can check

The workflow creator can then set up the coordinator/administrator to be CC’ed upon final approval, OR set up an optional third approval step for the coordinator to approve once actions have been taken. 

Under “Final notification” you can put the email address of the people who need to take action on the approved requests

OPTIONAL: STEP 3 and Onwards. You can set up as many conditions and filters and approval steps as you like, based on the question fields and conditions you set. 

Overseeing workflows 

Form Workflow Plus allows different user roles to make workflow management easy. If the coordinator/administrator is also the workflow creator or has been set up as an admin or owner, they can also oversee the requests at every step of the way without needing to set up a third step with the admin/coordinator as an approver, unless it is required as a formality. You can do this via the web app by clicking on “Manage Workflows” at the bottom of the add-on or logging in directly from your browser at // 

More power to the people

Fortunately, now that everything can be done online, virtually anyone can create an approval workflow. Form Workflow Plus makes it easier for those who work for schools by empowering anyone at any level to set up an approval process for their needs, with multiple steps and multiple conditions for each step, and be fully transparent to all users.

Try Form Workflow Plus now, or schedule a demo with us. 

We offer a 40% discount off our standard rates for educational institutions and non-profit institutions. If you need us to fill out vendor verification or send you an invoice for a purchase order, you may also contact

Leica PalileoPlanning a Field Trip with Parents, Students, and Multiple Approvers
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Form Workflow Plus – Set up approval workflows within minutes via Google Sheets add-on or web app!

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Watch our video about Form Workflow Plus.

Install the Google Sheets Form Workflow Plus Add-on for creators or the Form Workflow Plus web application for all roles from the G Suite Marketplace now or schedule a demo with Marko, our Customer Success Manager at your convenience!

Leica PalileoForm Workflow Plus – Set up approval workflows within minutes via Google Sheets add-on or web app!
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Why are workflow creators suddenly seeing “This app isn’t verified” when installing the Form Workflow Plus Add-on?

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Approving permissions

Form Workflow Plus is both a standalone Google application and a Google Sheets add-on. Anyone can install the Form Workflow Plus application, but only workflow creators need to install the Form Workflow Plus Add-on via Google Sheets on the G Suite Marketplace. 

UPDATE: Form Workflow Plus has been re-verified by Google and users should no longer see the below error. However, we’re keeping this post up as knowing what we use the permissions for is still useful and informative.

It’s come to our attention that as of October 28, 2019, any Form Workflow Plus workflow creators installing the add-on on a new device or spreadsheet are now getting a message saying “This app isn’t verified” similar to the screenshot below:

What does “This app isn’t verified” mean? 

This can sound alarming, but what this simply means is that the app developer needs to submit the add-on for review to Google every time we push a new version of the code. To go under review means that we need to identify and explain how we use the permissions that we ask for when installing the add-on. 

In some cases, this review can take some time, and users trying to install the add-on will see the message come up. 

We are currently working with Google with regards to verifying the latest version of our add-on, and once it has been verified, you will no longer see this message. 

What changes were made? 

The change is on Google’s end. Despite Form Workflow Plus using the same scopes since the beginning, and was originally verified, Google has identified that the ContactsApp API is now classified as a sensitive scope and thus the app needs to be reviewed again for verification. 

Form Workflow Plus uses the ContactsApp API when adding reviewers during the setup of steps and conditions so that it auto-completes, as a convenience to the user. 

Since this is now a sensitive scope, we will be removing this and no longer ask for permissions to access the workflow creator’s contacts. This will then be submitted to Google for review, which is expected to be completed within 3-5 days, depending on Google’s turnaround time. 

In the meantime, you can review our Privacy Policy, Security Policy, and Terms of Service

Form Workflow Plus does not rent, sell, trade or disclose users Personal Information to third parties.

How do I proceed with installing the add-on?

Click on Advanced, then click Go to Form Workflow Plus Add-on. It will then show you the permissions that the add-on is requesting. Click Allow to complete the installation of the add-on.

What permissions are being requested? 

The permissions we ask for are only used to manage workflows (via the spreadsheet and forms), add reviewers (access to contacts allows for autocomplete), display a third-party text editor (for creating email templates), sending approval emails (from the workflow creator’s address), and communicate with the Form Workflow Plus application (where you can manage workflows, users, your subscription, etc.). 

Our Privacy Policy includes details on how we use the following permissions in detail. 

That said, we’ll try to explain a little more in layman’s terms how we use these permissions. 

See, edit, download, and permanently delete your contacts: Contact access is used for adding reviewers when setting up the steps and conditions for your workflow approvals. When adding a reviewer, it is the access to your contacts that allows the add-on to auto-complete the addresses. 

See, edit, create, and delete your spreadsheets in Google Drive: Form request submissions are recorded in a spreadsheet (each form = 1 row). The add-on pulls information from the spreadsheet to display data that helps you to manage your workflows. 

View and manage your forms in Google Drive: Form Workflow Plus allows you to create your own forms. You can also link any existing form to the spreadsheet, and browse Google Drive to select the form to be used. 

Connect to an external service: While the add-on is only used by Creators, the external service in this case is the Form Workflow Plus application where creators, owners, reviewers, and requesters can view and/or manage the forms or approval workflows, as well as status reports, and it pulls information from the add-on and spreadsheet. 

Send email as you: Emails sent to requesters and reviewers are sent from the workflow creator’s email address.

Allow this application to run when you are not present: Requesters can submit forms, which trigger emails to reviewers for them to approve at any time. 

Display and prompt third-party content in prompts and sidebars inside Google applications: We use a third-party editor to create email templates.  The saved/completed templates are stored with Form Workflow Plus and are not visible to the third party. 

You may also refer to our Help Center article about this here: I’m getting “This app isn’t verified” when installing the Form Workflow Plus add-on. What does this mean and how do I proceed?

Why should I trust Form Workflow Plus? 

Form Workflow Plus, powered by the team, has been around for a while and we have many loyal paying customers, mostly schools, universities, and small-to-medium businesses, that have renewed their subscriptions over the past three years because the add-on does what we say it does and we have never compromised any of their data or their businesses.  

Google recently changed the availability of the application and the add-on to just G Suite Marketplace, where the Form Workflow Plus add-on has an average rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars, but you can also check out the old Chrome webstore listing for other great reviews. 

Please rest assured that we will never sell or share your data to third parties, nor use the permissions we ask for for anything other than the specific functions required for Form Workflow Plus to function as per the user’s specifications.

We are also currently working with Google with regards to changes we’ve made to the add-on to reduce asking for sensitive or restricted permissions. 

What permissions do you think are absolutely necessary to get Form Workflow Plus to work optimally for you?

Leica PalileoWhy are workflow creators suddenly seeing “This app isn’t verified” when installing the Form Workflow Plus Add-on?
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