Reimagining Dismissal Workflows with Google Workspace

Many schools are likely reviewing their dismissal plans for next year ensuring they comply with social distancing guidelines. I’ve been thinking a lot about how our existing communication tools can help ensure a safe and efficient process for all students and families.

This approach uses Google Forms and Google Sheets seamlessly linked with some Apps Script to digitize a scalable and flexible workflow. The process begins at the car line. Each student is assigned a pin number, preferably visible from outside the car. Dismissal staff equipped with smart phones or other mobile device submits the pin number into a Google Form. The data is timestamped and logged in a Google Sheet, and further distributed to class specific sheets. Assuming students will be called from their classroom, the teacher or staff member supervising the students could be monitoring their class specific Google Sheet. Once the student’s name appears in the Google Sheet, they will know to send them down. The Google Sheets can be automatically cleared each night to be ready for the next day and there is little need for use of walkie-talkies or PA system.

This add-on is available for purchase as a Google Sheets add-on.

11 thoughts on “Reimagining Dismissal Workflows with Google Workspace

  1. Ashley Turnbull

    Hi, How did you get the information to populate into the Google sheet (i.e. other info besides their PIN number?). It appears to populate the name in addition to the PIN number. Is that some type of code or formula? Thanks!

    • Richard Anderson Post author

      Yes, there’s another sheet containing all of the data. A formula looks up the rest of the data based on the pin number submission.

  2. Leslie Drake

    Could you share the formula that you used to assign the number to populate with the students name?

    • Richard Anderson Post author

      There are several, but they look like this:

      ={“First Name”;arrayformula(iferror(vlookup($C$2:$C,Students!$A$2:$E,3,FALSE)))}

      All pulling from a mastersheet that has all of the data.

  3. Sydney D’Ornellas

    Hi Richard. My school is looking into a new dismissal process, very similar to this. Would you be willing to meet and walk through this?

    • Richard Anderson Post author

      Absolutely. Let me know some times that work for you.

    • Richard Anderson Post author

      Hi Sydney,
      My apologies as this somehow went to my spam folder. I’ll send you an email directly.

  4. Dan

    Have you updated this app at all to allow someone at the school to indicate a child has been picked up and exited the line? With an auto sort to move the child’s row down to the bottom effectively showing children to be picked up at the top and children already picked up at the bottom?

    • Richard Anderson Post author

      Hi Dan,
      Good question. This was something we had considered early on, but we wanted to avoid a bottleneck at the exit re-entering PINS confirming pick-up. Children are escorted by staff to their cars so we feel pretty good about our departure process.

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