Contents

Single user installation instructions. 2

Multiple User installation instructions. 2

System configuration. 4

VBS Information Screen. 4

Additional Configuration Screens. 7

Class Assignment Descriptions. 7

Grade Level Maintenance Form.. 9

Religion Maintenance Form.. 10

Grade Completed Form.. 11

Emergency Contact Relationship form.. 12

Referral Source Maintenance Screen. 13

Add/Edit Students. 14

Back up data files. 18

Recondition Database. 20

Import Student Records. 22

Export Student Records. 24

Check for Updates. 25

Help … About 26

 


Installing VBS Registrar

 

Single user instructions

Follow these instructions if you intend to install the software on a single PC and you don’t need access to the same data files from another workstation connected to your PC.

 

Place the CD in your CD drive, wait for it to spin up.  (Or download the setup file from I/O Technologies’ web site and save it to your desktop.)  Then double-click on VBSregsetup.exe.   We recommend accepting the default file locations, but you may change them if desired.  Remove the CD from your CD drive.

 

Multiple User installation instructions

Follow these instructions if you want to install the software on a network, so that multiple users can access the same data from multiple workstations.

First workstation only: 

Place the CD in your CD drive, wait for it to spin up.  (Or download the setup file from I/O Technologies’ web site and save it to your desktop.)  Then double-click on  VBSregsetup.exe..  Be sure to install the application into a shared folder on your network.  For example, if all users are able to read and write to the h:\apps\ folder, change the target install folder to h:\apps\VBSreg.  Continue with the installation and press the Finish button to complete the install.  Remove the CD from your CD drive.

 

All subsequent workstations: 

Navigate to the folder where the application was installed (using our example above, you would navigate to h:\apps\VBSreg.  Double-click on VBSreg.exe, and the application will be automatically installed on your workstation.  All workstations will be working with the same data files.  Any future updates that are made to the application will be automatically distributed to each workstation.

 


Configuration

Before turning volunteers loose on entering records into the student information screen, please take a few minutes to review and update each of the following maintenance screens.  You can access each of the screens from the Maintenance pad on the main menu.

 

VBS Information Screen

 

When you first launch the application, you will see the dialog above, prompting you to provide information about your upcoming VBS program.  You can also launch this screen any time in the future by choosing Maintenance…VBS Information from the main menu.  Press the Edit button and enter the desired information.

 

 

To navigate to the …

Press

Next Day

+

Previous Day

-

Today

T

First day of the Week

W

Last day of the weeK

K

First day of the Month

M

Last day of the montH

H

First day of the Year

Y

Last day of the yeaR

R

 

Backup Folder – We strongly recommend that you perform regular backups of your data.  Specify a folder (preferably one on a different network drive or device) where you wish to save backups. 

 

Number of backups to retain – Each time you perform a backup, a new file will be saved to the backup folder.  You can choose to set this number very high (the maximum value is 2,147,483,647).  Otherwise, if you want to conserve disk space on your network, set this to a lower number.  The default value is 5.  In other words, after you’ve created five backups, VBS Registrar will automatically delete the oldest backup file, so that the five most recent backups are available in the backup folder.

[ ] Child’s Religious Affiliation.   If you want to keep track of students’ religious background, check this box.  A Default Religion dropdown will appear.  Use this dropdown to identify the most likely religion of the majority of your VBS students.  This can be overridden for each student, but setting a value here will make data entry easier when registering new students.

[] Child’s Baptism Status – if your church wants to track whether students have been baptized or not, check this box.  A corresponding checkbox will then appear on the student data entry form.

[] Extra Services – If your church offers daycare before or after VBS or offers breakfast or lunch, check this box, and a section will be added to the student data entry form which will allow you to enter this information for each student.

[] Bus transport needed.  If this box is checked, a checkbox will appear on the student information screen to track whether the student needs bus transportation.  The Bus Riders report will display any students where this box has been checked.

[] Photo on File.  If this box is checked here, a check box will appear on the student information screen, allowing you to track whether a photograph of the student is on file.


Additional Configuration Screens

 

To make data entry as quick and easy as possible, there are a number of dropdown boxes on the main student information form.  Since no two churches are the same, you’ll want to update the values that appear in these dropdowns so that they correspond to your VBS’s circumstances. 

 

The followings screens will allow you to manage the values that users can select during data entry:

Class Assignment Descriptions

 

To edit an existing record, click on the item and press the Edit button.  To add a new item, press the Add button, enter the value and press the Save button.

Depending on how many students will be enrolled in your VBS, you may have multiple classes for each grade level.  Or you may group multiple grade levels into one class.  This form allows you to manage this grouping of students.  The class roster report will use these groupings to generate class rosters, one per group. 

For example, if your church plans to enroll approximately 150 students this year, broken out into fifteen groups of ten students each, you would want to list each class in the Class Descriptions screen, so that students can be assigned to the appropriate class.

Another example:  if your church is in a rural area and you only plan to enroll thirty students, you might only have staffing for four classes.  So you would use this screen to list each of the classes.

 

We’ve provided a couple of “starter records”.  To delete them and start over, highlight each class with your mouse and press the Delete button.  Or, to override the descriptions, press the Edit button and change the description as applicable.  To add additional records, press the Add button.

 


Grade Level Maintenance Form

 

The grade level maintenance form allows you to identify the current grade levels of  your students.  The form above allows you to break grade levels out in any manner that makes the most sense to your congregation.  (Currently the field in the student information screen is more for informational purposes, and doesn’t drive the criteria of any reports.)  To edit an existing record, click on the item and press the Edit button.  To add a new item, press the Add button, enter the value and press the Save button.


Religion Maintenance Form

 

If your church wants to track the religious denomination of your students, this form allows you to add or edit the list of religions that appears on the student information form.  To edit an existing record, click on the item and press the Edit button.  To add a new item, press the Add button, enter the value and press the Save button.

 


Grade Completed Form

 

Most churches won’t need to change the values that appear in this form.  However, if you’re using the Import feature to import records from a comma-separated file, you may need to change the values here to correspond with the values used in your CSV file.

To edit an existing record, click on the item and press the Edit button.  To add a new item, press the Add button, enter the value and press the Save button.

These values appear on the Grade Completed dropdown of the student information form.


Emergency Contact Relationship form

 

This form manages the data that appears in the Emergency Contact Relationship dropdown on the student information form. 

To edit an existing record, click on the item and press the Edit button.  To add a new item, press the Add button, enter the value and press the Save button.

When specifying the emergency contact for your students, you may need to augment the list above to accommodate other relationships. 

 


Referral Source Maintenance Screen

 

 

Use this form to add/edit values that appear in the Referral Source dropdown on the student information form.

To edit an existing record, click on the item and press the Edit button.  To add a new item, press the Add button, enter the value and press the Save button.


Data Entry

 

Add/Edit Students

 

 

After you’ve configured the system, this screen will auto-launch when you first start the application.  You can also launch it by choosing Students… Add/Change from the main menu.

This is the primary data entry screen, which you’ll use to enter students as they register.  The current registration year will appear in the green box at the top right of the screen.  This is based on the VBS Start date which was entered in the VBS Information Screen.

When you press the Add or Edit buttons, the captions on the buttons will change so that Add becomes Save, and Edit becomes Undo.

 

As you enter new student records into the database, their first and last names will be added to the list on the left side of the screen.  You can sort that list by last or first name by clicking on the column headers.  Click on a record in the list on the left, and the child’s information will appear in the detail fields on the right side of the screen.

Most of the above fields are self-explanatory.  But note the following:

The student’s age will be automatically calculated and refreshed, based on his/her date of birth.

If you checked the Extra Services option on the VBS Information maintenance screen, the Extra Services box will appear on this form.  It is designed to help track which students will be in need of extra services your congregation offers in conjunction with VBS.  Many churches offer before-and-after child care.  Some offer breakfast and/or lunch.  If you check the Child Care checkbox, you’ll be able to enter the start and stop time for child care services.  Check Breakfast and/or Lunch if your church will be providing these meals to the student.

The Religion dropdown is defaulted with the value that was entered in the VBS Information screen.  You can override it here for each student. 

When you press the Notes button, a popup window will appear which will allow you to enter free-form notes about the student.   A quick indicator of whether notes have already been entered: the Notes caption will appear in bold blue font. 

 

 


When you press the Attendance button, you’ll be able to log attendance for each of the days of the VBS program, using the following popup:

 

The list of dates that appears on the screen is based on the date range specified in the VBS Information screen.  To log a student as present on a given day, double-click the date.  To un-mark, double-click again.


 

System Maintenance

Back up data files

If your application was installed in a network environment which is fully backed up on a regular basis, you don’t necessarily need to use this functionality.  However, we recommend making periodic separate backups anyway—just in case.  If you’re of the mindset that backups really aren’t necessary, fine.   Just be warned that while we can fix issues with the application, we can’t retrieve lost data.  All hard drives crash—eventually.  It’s just a question of when it will happen.

 

To back up your data files, select this option from the main menu.  To specify the target folder where your backups will be created, use the Maintenance … VBS Information screen.  We’d recommend saving the backup to a detachable hard drive or USB drive, so that you’re able to take a backup off site periodically.  During backup, the following dialog will be displayed:

 

 

Backups are stored in .Zip format to save space.  They can be opened using file compression applications such as WinZip as well as recent Windows operating systems, such as XP, Vista and Windows 7.

 


Recondition Database

To keep your application running at top speed, it’s a good idea to recondition the database tables at least once per year.  Run this functionality at the beginning of a new year, after archiving old records.  When you do, you’ll see the following message:

 

 

After you’ve ensured that no one else is running the application on any other computers, press the OK button.  You’ll see a status box like this:

 

 

When the processes have all completed, you’ll see the following dialog:

 

 


Import Student Records

This menu option allows you to import student records entered on a web site or separate system.  Currently the system allows importing of a comma-separated values (CSV) file having the following format:

Column

Description

Data Type

Width

Notes

1

Unique ID#

Integer

7

This column is not retained inside VBS Registrar, but is useful to determine whether to import a record or not.  For any row headers or other records you prefer not to import, set the value of this column to 0 (zero).

2

Date Added

DateTime

8

Date/time the record was added to your external system.

3

First Name

Character

20

Student’s first name

4

Last Name

Character

20

Student’s last name

5

Keep student with

Character

30

If student should be kept in the same class with another student, specify the other student’s name here.

6

Address1

Character

50

Student’s street address

7

Address2

Character

50

Apartment number, PO Box number, etc.

8

City

Character

30

Student’s city

9

State – Full

Character

20

State spelled out – for example: “Texas”,  “Washington”

10

Zip code

Character

10

If using Zip+4, you can either leave the hyphen in, or remove it.

11

Student’s DOB

Date

8

Format:  MM/DD/YYYY

12

Student’s Age / Filler

Integer

3

VBS Registrar calculates the student’s age automatically, so this column is not actually imported.  If not specified, default to 0.

13

Grade Completed

Character

15

The value specified in this column must match up with the values entered in the Grade Completed form found in the Maintenance menu.  Default values are “Kindergarten”, “1st”, “2nd”, etc.  If your external system uses different values, be sure to update them in the Grade Completed form before running the import.

14

Parent First Name

Character

20

VBS Registrar allows you to specify separate mother and father names.  Most external systems do not.  The value entered into this column will be imported into the Mother’s first name field inside VBS Registrar.

15

Parent Last Name

Character

20

The value entered into this column will be imported into the Mother’s last name field inside VBS Registrar.

16

Home Phone

Character

20

Home phone number.  The import process will strip out hyphens, parentheses and spaces, resulting in a standard format inside VBS Registrar.

17

Emergency Contact Phone

Character

20

The import process will strip out hyphens, parentheses and spaces, resulting in a standard format inside VBS Registrar.

18

Allergies/Medical conditions

Character

50

 

19

Attends church?

Character

3

Values:  “Yes “ or “No”

20

Church Name

Character

50

Student’s home congregation.

 

Export Student Records

 

Use this function if you’d like to export student records to another system.  For example, if you want to generate custom letters using Word Mail Merge, you could export the data to an Excel spreadsheet and generate a mail merge from the Excel spreadsheet.  You’ll be asked whether you wish to export only Prospect records.  This can be useful, if you’re going to be doing follow up work with prospects and don’t wish to export student records for current members of your congregation.

You’ll be prompted for a path and filename where you’d like to save the export file.  The application will suggest students.xls or students.csv, but you can override the name to whatever is memorable. Once you’ve done so, press Save to create the export file.

 


Check for Updates

 

I/O Technologies, Inc may provide periodic updates to the software under the current  version number.  Use this functionality to check for new updates. 

Note:   there are two basic requirements that must be met in order for this feature to work properly:

1)      your computer must be connected to the internet

2)      your firewall must not block FTP traffic. 

If you’re not familiar with these terms, don’t worry.  Just try using the screen.  If your Windows Firewall displays a message indicating that this application is attempting to connect to an FTP site, press the “I  know what I’m doing—go ahead and let me do this” button (actual  button captions may vary).   Once you’ve done so, you’ll see a list of messages scroll by in the window above.  Depending on whether updates are available or not, the messages will vary. 

If you receive a message that the application was unable to connect to the FTP server, please double-check your internet connection, and then ensure that your firewall allows FTP traffic.

If an update is found, it will be installed automatically.  All you need to do in order to take advantage of it is exit the software.  The new updates will be available when you launch it again next time.

 

Help … About

 

 

Choose this option to view the current version date and time stamp, as well as hyperlinks to our web site and email address.  Please email all suggestions and enhancement requests to this email address.

 

Reports

Individual Student Details

After you've chosen to run this report from the menu, the following selection dialog appears:

 

After you've selected the student (or checked All Students), press OK.  The following report will be available to preview or send to the printer:

Alphabetical Student Roster

When you run this report, you'll be asked whether to limit the list to prospects only.  This feature is especially useful after VBS has finished--answering "yes" will provide you with a list of prospects and their parents with whom you can follow up on.

Class Roster

You can use this report to give VBS teachers a means of tracking attendance.  Since most churches will find a way to include even kids who are registered at the last minute, it's easy to regenerate this report once the final registration process has finished.   When selecting this report from the menu, the following dialog appears:

Select one or more classes to print, and the following report layout will be used: