Ashley: Hi I’m Ashley Johnson, this is The BusinessMakers Show. I’m joined by Tabatha Barron with KYKS, thanks for joining me today Tabatha.
Tabatha: Thank you for having me.
Ashley: Awesome. So tell me what does KYKS do?
Tabatha: KYKS is a management system that allows for administrators, bus drivers and even parents to know where their children are and where they’re supposed to be. For example, every day your child gets on the bus. Well sometimes the younger ones don’t really know they’re supposed to be on bus #2, they need to be on bus #4, so they’ll show up at #2. Currently in certain situations the bus driver doesn’t know where they belong either so they’ll either receive them or they will say you don’t belong here but they don’t tell them where to go. KYKS allows you to be able to say you don’t belong on bus #2, you belong on bus #4, so therefor go ahead and find that bus.
Ashley: What inspired you to start KYKS?
Tabatha: I was on the phone with my mother the second time they put my niece on the wrong school bus. The first time they put her on the school bus she didn’t know any better, she was a Kindergartner. The second time they put her on the school bus she told them this isn’t my bus and they told her to get on it anyway and they left her off in a really busy intersection and if it wasn’t for one other child getting off of that bus that day she would have been in a situation that we would have been dealing with differently. So that’s the reason why.
Ashley: Is this a common problem that we’re facing in America?
Tabatha: Actually it happens more often than you know. After doing some investigation I actually found out it happens every single day. Somewhere, somehow for every one story you hear about on the news there are about three other ones that are not reported, so that’s one. The other thing is that there are certain people that I have met that said my most traumatic experience of my life was when I was 4 or when I was 5 I got on the wrong bus and the bus driver said I don’t know where you belong.
So that means that the problem has been in existence for a longer period of time. It has just gotten so much worse because people don’t – because there’s a shortage in bus drivers and then people are really concerned with their own home lives so it makes it a little bit harder to manage those students. And there’s more – we’re asking them to do more. So when you’re asking the bus driver initially when they were doing it to only do one route, and now you have them up to two and three, and that means multiply the students per morning, per afternoon. You’re looking at 150 or more students and you’re supposed to remember their name ad their face and what bus stop they go to along with your route and how you’re supposed to manage that. So it does become a lot for each bus driver to deal with.
And then if you go to the campus side think about the fact that the campus has about 900 students per elementary school campus. So when you only have 1 child or 2 children then you’re looking at them saying hey, why can’t you remember where my kid goes? But that’s not the case, they have 1,000, you have 1. So therefore we have to give them some type of assistance to allow everybody to be kind of on the same page in order to be able to move fluently through their day.
Ashley: Absolutely. How does your technology work exactly?
Tabatha: Each administrator gets a tablet, each child gets a card, and it depends on what system we choose because the four dismissal options are yellow bus, child care, car rider and walkers and bikers. You get to choose which system you want to implement so dependent on that system depends on what we give you. So the child gets a card and they’ll always have it with them and the administrator gets a tablet and currently we’ll talk about being on the campus. So on the campus each time the child goes to a childcare center – we’ll just say ABC Childcare Center – the administrator will scan the child – each one of them, if there are 5 on the roster then they will scan 5 to the bus – and now you know my 5 got to your 5 and now you’re good to go. That way they’re able to move fluently through the line.
If you place it on the bus the bus driver gets the tablet, he gets to confirm and reject any child that’s potentially trying to attempt to get on the bus or get off at the wrong stop. If a child is sleeping on the bus and they’re at their stop the roster doesn’t allow them to move to the next level. So if you have Johnny who did not scan off of the bus at that point you can’t go anywhere else because now you can’t even let anybody else off the bus. So you say Johnny, wake up Johnny, get up Johnny – and then you can get him off at the right time. Then that saves the bus companies gas, it saves them time, and then it saves the parents that panic. The panic comes in so many different waves that it’s just not right.
Ashley: So what are you seeing right now is a common struggle? What’s kind of your barrier to entry right now?
Tabatha: Ultimately it’s an adoption thing. A lot of times a lot of people have to admit that they have a problem in order to want to review and evaluate whether or not it would be good or bad for them to start something new and that’s where the barrier comes in that. That’s where most of my challenges are is just trying to have that conversation, opening up the door enough for me to say can I take a look at your system and say is it possible or if it’s not. And so one school I did go and evaluate and I evaluated all four of their options and I looked at her and I said this is good, I wouldn’t touch this, and I will work on your other stuff. She was very appreciative of that because I’m not going to sell you something that first you don’t need and that other thing I’m not going to mess with something that’s already not broken.
Ashley: Right, you just want to help the kids.
Tabatha: I just want to help the kids. I’m like poor little Johnny needs a voice. I need him to have a voice.
Ashley: So how do the kids keep track of these cards?
Tabatha: That’s a good question right? So we thought for sure these kids were going to lose these cards. No, they don’t lose them. And one little boy – I know about him – he was so excited to see his picture on the screen that he would leave his book bag and bring his card. So he broke the card but he kept bringing it back. It was the funniest thing. And he was one of their problem children but at the same time he continued to bring the card because to him it was important.
It was important because he can get lined up first, he can get scanned and hear that beep and then he can see his picture and he knew where he was going to be and it was so much better. So normally we normally tie them to their book bags and ultimately the card doesn’t have any information on it. There are 6 digits on the card period. It does not track, it can’t go to the kid’s place and even if you find it on the street all you’re going to do is return it to the school because that’s the only address that shows up. So anybody who tries to be oh, I know whose card this is, no they can’t figure it out because the school can’t even figure it out until they put it into the system. I made sure everything that I did was definitely surrounded by safety.
Ashley: So what would you say are your future goals with KYKS?
Tabatha: I would love to – so there are 67,000 elementary schools across the United States. I don’t anticipate that I want to get into every single one of them but I would like to get into the ones who’ve had issues at some point in time and be able to say let me see if I can help. If we can help then great, we can move forward. But if we can’t then we’re going to go ahead and walk away and we’re going to allow you to continue with your manual process. So my goal ultimately is just to give as many children a voice as possible and that’s the whole entire foundation of this.
Ashley: I love it, I love it. And you have future goals too of helping in nursing home even.
Tabatha: Yes. What I learned is what little people need today, older people will need today too. So eventually – there’s a roadmap that actually brings us straight back to the elderly so we’ll help on both sides because it’s extremely important we support the ones that are coming and the ones that may be on their way out. But at the end of the day those active seniors need to be controlled a little bit. They need voices too because we have a tendency to make them quiet and it’s not necessary.
Tabatha: And we have all kinds of things that are on board for that road map and it’s going ot be awesome.
Ashley: Tabatha thank you so much for joining me today, I really appreciate it. It was great getting to know you and learning more about KYKS and I am Ashley Johnson, this is The BusinessMakers Show.
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