Fire Island School District

Fire Island Union Free School District No. 14 is a school district headquartered in the Town of Islip and on Fire Island, in New York. The school is adjacent to but not in Ocean Beach.[2]

Fire Island School District
Fire Island
, New York, 11770
United States
District information
NCES District ID3621540[1]
Students and staff
Student–teacher ratio6.62[1]
Other information

The district includes, portions of Fire Island west of Ocean Beach Estates. This means, in addition to Ocean Beach: Saltaire,[3] Fire Island Beach, Great South Beach, Kismet Park, and Point-O'-Woods.[4] The district includes areas in the towns of Babylon, Brookhaven, and Islip.[3]

It includes Woodhull School, grades Kindergarten to Six.[5] It is named after Richard Woodhull, a principal and teacher in the period 1935 to 1962.[4] Within the community it is known as the "Fire Island School".[6]

Students who graduate from Woodhull can choose to go to either the Bay Shore School District or the Islip School District for secondary levels.[4] The respective high schools are Bay Shore High School and Islip High School.


A school bus on the sands of Fire Island

Mina A. Woodhull, the mother of the namesake of the current school, opened the first school of the district in 1918 in a private residence rented by Fire Island UFSD. The district itself was designated on November 18, 1902 with a re-designation on July 24, 1916. In 1925 a permanent one room school facility opened. At one time the district had a separate school in Kismet Park. It was consolidated into a single Ocean Beach school that opened in 1954. Woodhull received its current name in 1978.[4]

Wendell Chu became the superintendent of the district in 2001 and served as such until 2008, when he became superintendent of the East Islip School District.[7]

In 2009, a study was conducted on whether to consolidate the school, and the advice was to not do so as property taxes would significantly increase. Due to a reduced enrollment, in 2011 the school began allowing people not living in the district to enroll their children. It charges an annual tuition of $3,000.[8]

As of 2017 the community maintained course by keeping its school.[9]



The school has a combined gymnasium and auditorium with a maximum capacity of 403.[6] It was established in 1975.[4]



In 1992, the school had 47 students, with nine residing on U.S. Coast Guard property and three living on the Fire Island Lighthouse and Sailor's Haven U.S. park ranger properties.[6] Circa 2001 the district had 61 students. In 2011 enrollment was down to 19.[8]

In 1992, most teachers did not live in the district territory and so took the district school buses to commute back and forth.[6]


Fire Island UFSD school bus

As Fire Island lacks paved roads, the district uses four wheel drive buses.[4]



In 1992, Diane Ketcham of The New York Times stated that due to a lack of entertainment in winter periods and lack of television channels, "Fire Island children love to go to school."[6] The school through its after school activities functions as a community center for area children.[6]

See also



  • "Ride On The Beach and Go Inside The Fire Island School". LITV. 2017-03-14.


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Search for Public School Districts – District Detail for FIRE ISLAND UNION FREE SCHOOL DISTRICT". National Center for Education Statistics. Institute of Education Sciences. Retrieved 2022-09-09.
  2. ^ "FIRE ISLAND UNION FREE SCHOOL DISTRICT". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved 2021-07-12. Physical Address: Surf Rd-corneille Estates Fire Island, NY 11770 - The district states the physical address is: "0 Surf Road, Corneille Estates, Fire Island National Seashore" - Compare with map of Ocean Beach
  3. ^ a b "2020 CENSUS - SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERENCE MAP: Suffolk County, NY" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. p. 5. Retrieved 2021-05-02.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "History". Fire Island School District. Retrieved 2021-05-03.
  5. ^ "Woodhull School". Fire Island School District. Retrieved 2021-05-03.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Ketcham, Diane (1992-02-16). "ABOUT LONG ISLAND; Going to School on Fire Island in Dead of Winter". The New York Times. Retrieved 2021-05-03.
  7. ^ Bessen, Jeffrey (2008-06-26). "Shaking hands with the new superintendent". Islip Bulletin. Retrieved 2021-05-03. - Posted on Yumpu. View online.
  8. ^ a b Ruud, Candice (2012-06-11). "Fire Island school to admit nonresidents". Newsday. Retrieved 2021-05-03.
  9. ^ "Ride On The Beach"