AUBURN — The day after a pre-kindergarten student and first-grader got off at the wrong stop without the bus driver noticing, school officials met with the contract bus service to figure out how that happened and how to keep it from happening again.

Superintendent Katy Grondin said Friday that the substitute bus driver’s list of stops was missing the first-grader’s regular day care stop.

After he’d driven past it, the girl instead got off at a stop in front of the apartment complex where she lives. A pre-K student, whose stop was farther down the bus route, joined her.

Grondin said both surprised the first-grader’s father, who’d just gotten home from work, by showing up at the door.

The father didn’t recognize the pre-K student and called the bus garage and police.

“Our No. 1 priority is our students getting to and from school safely, so you can imagine when I received the phone call yesterday, my No. 1 question was , ‘Please tell me they’re safe and in an adult’s care,'” Grondin said.

As soon as the pre-K student didn’t get off the bus, her mother also called the bus garage. The bus company, Ledgemere, made the connection and sent a van to bring the student home.

Grondin said it was the substitute’s first day on the route, though he was an experienced driver.

“The driver obviously was very upset,” she said. “He assumed they were getting off at their stop; he assumed and he shouldn’t have assumed.”

The former route driver joined the substitute Friday to make sure drop-offs went smoothly, according to Grondin.

“Our priority was to meet with Ledgemere today: ‘What happened, what were the lessons learned,'” Grondin said. “We really talked about these routes have to be accurate. We also reviewed with the school that when they see a substitute driver, to make contact with that driver. Especially (when boarding) the pre-K and (kindergarten) students, say to the bus driver, ‘Here’s your pre-K student, here’s your kindergarten student,’ so that the sub driver can verify on the list that everybody is accounted for.

“There was a breakdown, obviously, and we can’t have that happening,” she said.

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School buses make their way up Court Street in Auburn in 2012. School and bus officials were examining what when wrong and why on Thursday after a pre-K student and a first-grader got off the bus at the wrong stop without the driver noticing.

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