The Fire Island UFSD is comprised of areas known as Fire Island Beach and Great South Beach. Fire Island Beach is a detached portion of the Town of Islip lying south of the Great South Bay, it being the westerly end of what is known as Great South Beach. About thirty-five miles of Great South Beach lies east of Fire Island Beach and is in the town of Brookhaven. The students of the school district come from a variety of communities on Fire Island, with Davis Park on the east and Station Fire Island, a Coast Guard base near Robert Moses State Park, on the west being the farthest points.
The school district was originally laid out and designated by Millard H. Packer, school commissioner, on Nov. 18, 1902. Nothing, however, happened with this designation, and on July 24, 1916, Mr. J. Henry Young, district superintendent of the Second Supervisory District, made a new designation as follows: Bounded on the north by the Great South Bay, on the east by the eastern boundary of Ocean Beach Estates, on the south by the Atlantic Ocean, and on the west by Fire Island Inlet. On Sept. 10, 1919, the boundaries were amended by Superintendent Young so as to extend to the northerly side of the Great South Bay, thus reaching Bay Shore and Islip, and easterly to the Brookhaven town boundary line, reaching nearly to Point-O'-Woods. The westerly boundary was not well defined, but seemed to include Oak and Captree Islands. Today, the District includes the incorporated villages of Ocean Beach, Point-O'-Woods, and Saltaire, the Fire Island National Seashore and Fire Island Lighthouse, as well as many small communities along the shores of this barrier island.
The school was founded in 1918 by Mina A. Woodhull and maintained in a house hired by the District until 1924. A one-room structure was built and then first occupied by Mrs. Florence M. Lee, teacher, in 1925. Mr. Erwin W. Claus followed Mrs. Lee as teacher. At one point, two schools were operated by the District, one in Ocean Beach and the other in Kismet Park. The current school was built in 1954. A gymnasium was added in 1975. In 1978, the school name was changed to Woodhull School for Richard Woodhull, son of Mina, who served as teacher and principal from 1935 until he retired in 1962. The library was added in 1980 and dedicated to Harold Wilder in 1986. A detached bus garage was built in 1983. The Alexander M. Van De Mark Wing was added to the school and an extension was built on the bus garage in 1991. Mr. Van De Mark served as teacher, principal, and superintendent from 1962 until his retirement in 1990.
There are no roads on Fire Island and highways are "walks" in most communities, made of wood or concrete and used by beach goers, or sandy trails left fairly rustic between communities and areas of the National Seashore. All of the buses that carry students have 4-wheel drives so that they can easily traverse the beach, walks, and conventional roadways they use to transport students each day.
Woodhull School educates students in grades Pre-K-6. Older students choose between the Bay Shore and Islip school districts to complete their secondary public school careers. High academic expectations coupled with flexibility and a low student-to-teacher ratio are the hallmarks of the instructional program at Woodhull. Classes are composed of students in a variety of grades working with a team of teachers in a multi-aged setting. Pre-K and kindergarten form the Primary Team, grades 1 and 2 make up the Early Elementary Team, grades 3-4 are the Elementary Team and grades 5 -6 are the Intermediate Team. Classroom teachers are supported by a special education teacher, a school psychologist, and speech teacher. Students participate in special area classes in music, art, physical education, library skills, and technology. Additionally, there are many after school and extra-curricular activities offered such as swimming, karate, Lego club, and needlework club. A one-to-one laptop program provides students with access to the latest technology and information. There is a very active and supportive PTA and parents are welcome in the school at any time. The school is focused on meeting the individual needs of students and allowing all students to work and learn at their own pace.
PO Box 428
Ocean Beach, NY 11770