SIMI VALLEY : Bereaved Classmates to Be Offered Help

Simi Valley school officials said they will provide counseling for students who have difficulty coping with the deaths of two classmates in a recent car accident.

Lowell Goddard, 10, a fourth-grade student at Abraham Lincoln Elementary School, and Summer Schyvynck, 14, a ninth-grader at Hillside Junior High, were killed in an auto accident Sunday night near Bishop. A third child, a 4-year-old Bishop girl, also was killed when the car in which the children were riding veered off an icy roadway and plunged 400 feet down a steep embankment.

Lowell and Summer's parents, Karen and Steven Goddard, were seriously injured in the accident.

Susan Parks, assistant superintendent of Simi Valley Unified School District, said that both the elementary and the junior high schools will have a psychologist and a counselor available for students who may need their assistance. Parks said school officials expect that many students will not learn of the deaths until they return to school on Jan. 6, after Christmas vacation.

James Lian, principal at Abraham Lincoln, said he plans to meet next week with school psychologist Pat Madden to discuss how best to help students deal with the loss.

Lian said Summer, who had been a junior high school cheerleader, was a former student at Abraham Lincoln, so he knew both students.

"They were super kids," he said. "Summer was doing very well in junior high. Lowell was unassuming, quiet, with lots of friends. They were just nice kids."

Lian said when school opens officials will meet to discuss organizing a tribute to them. He said the school may plant a tree in their memory.

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