LIVINGSTON, NJ — Following Gov. Phil Murphy’s announcement that New Jersey high schools will be able to host in-person graduation ceremonies in July and that outdoor gathering restrictions will increase significantly over the course of the month, Livingston High School (LHS) Principal Mark Stern distributed a survey to all seniors to gather input on what they would want an in-person graduation ceremony to look like.

In addition to holding a virtual ceremony on June 25 as planned, LHS has announced its intention to host a second ceremony in person during the week of July 8 after hearing that the capacity for outdoor gatherings is anticipated to increase to 500 people on July 3.

The increase would allow LHS to move forward with one of two outlined plans: one ceremony on July 8 with all graduates and no guests or three ceremonies of approximately 160 graduates each with two tickets per graduate. In the latter scenario, the ceremonies would be held on July 8 and July 9 with the graduates being assigned alphabetically.

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LHS seniors had until 3 p.m. on Thursday to discuss these options with their families and submit their preference.

According to Stern, the administration aims to finalize the plans and share details at the beginning of next week, stating that both options will “lead to different adjustments to the other graduation events as previously communicated.”

Plans will include “very specific guidelines for participation,” including parking, entry points, face coverings and ways to maintain social distancing.

“We want to keep our expectations reasonable for everyone as we make sure our priority remains focused on the health and safety of our graduates and [their] families based on the facilities at our school,” said Stern.

Stern concluded that it has been “a challenging spring” for the Class of 2020 but that he is thrilled that the seniors will be able to culminate their high school experience in person at LHS.

The public is encouraged to help celebrate the LHS Class of 2020 on Thursday, June 25, by participating in a town-wide “clap out” at promptly 7:30 p.m. following the virtual graduation ceremony. CLICK HERE to learn more.