The ship that would take the Buccaneers to sail among commencement waters remains docked outside Red Bank Regional High School as the district has canceled the ceremony set to take place on Thursday due to Covid-19 concerns.

Superintendent Louis Moore wrote a letter to the school community on Wednesday announcing the decision after learning a senior student had tested positive for the coronavirus and may have exposed or been exposed by other classmates.

No possible makeup date for an outdoor ceremony was mentioned in the letter.

"Early this week, it was reported that one of our senior students tested positive for COVID-19 and potentially had exposure to a number of classmates. Based on consultation with the Monmouth County Regional Health Commission and local authorities, we are canceling the in-person commencement ceremony that was planned for this Thursday, July 16.  Although disappointing, we must continue to prioritize the health and safety of our students and staff."

As of Wednesday afternoon, the borough of Red Bank has had a total of 270 positive cases of Covid-19 to date, according to the Monmouth County Health Department.

Virtual graduations have been allowed to take place but outdoor ceremonies were given the go-ahead July 6 and many have gone off without a hitch, with some taking place over the course of a couple days.

Jackson Township schools were among districts splitting the Class of 2020 in-person festivities into two halves, for both of the town's public high schools.

At Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School, the Class of 2020 graduation ceremony was also split in half for graduation.

Each of their roughly 230 graduates were given two guest tickets to their own ceremony.

Each graduate was also given one ticket to the opposite ceremony, so that graduates who chose to may sit and watch friends at the opposing end of the alphabet at their ceremony.

Freehold Regional Schools Superintendent Charles Sampson previously announced that the five high schools within his district are planning for in-person ceremonies the week of July 27.

The Red Bank Regional School District held a virtual graduation ceremony for students in June, according to NJ Advance Media, who was first to report the story.

Previous reporting by Erin Vogt was used in this report.


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