RIVERTON — A kindergartner wound up in unfamiliar territory Monday after she mistakenly got on a school bus instead of meeting up with a car pool that was supposed to take her home.

The Monte Vista Elementary student figured the school bus would take her to her house, said Steve Dunham, spokesman for the Jordan School District. The bus driver stopped at Jordan Credit Union in nearby South Jordan when his route was over and he believed all the students were off the bus. He left the school bus, and the little girl got out after him.

"The little girl saw him leave, and she got up and pushed some buttons," Dunham said.

She walked away from the credit union, crying, and some students from Riverton High School apparently stopped and asked her what was wrong. After looking in her backpack, they learned she attended Monte Vista Elementary and drove her back to the school, according to a relative of a student who found her.

Dunham said it wasn't clear if the girl simply couldn't find where her car pool was meeting, or if it drove off without her. The district is working with the family to get a seat for the girl on a bus that has a route near her neighborhood. She lives close enough to the school that the district isn't required to provide busing. But since there is space available on the bus route, the family won't have to worry any more about car pools.

Dunham said disciplinary action has been taken against the bus driver. District policy dictates that drivers walk the entire center aisle once the route is over to make sure the vehicle is empty. They're also required to lock the bus whenever they leave it.

"Our protocol is to prevent this from ever happening, whether the little girl is supposed to be on the bus or not," Dunham said. "We really feel fortunate that some responsible students stepped in to help the child."

e-mail: mfarmer@desnews.com