The Little Flower School, located on North Wading River Road, Wading River, New York, is the only residential Special Act public school district on Long Island. Little Flower was originally founded as a Catholic parochial school in 1931 by a nationally acclaimed educator of disadvantaged children, Mother Katherine Drexel, of Philadelphia. She spent her considerable inheritance as a Drexel family heiress to establish sixty-two schools for disadvantaged children throughout the United States.
Constructed on a boarding school model, the students live in cottages at the campus in Wading River. The New York State Department of Family Assistance (formerly the New York State Department of Social Services), has licensed Little Flower Children and Family Services of New York as a residential treatment center (RTC).
While Little Flower UFSD also provides programming for day students, the majority of the students reside in cottages on the campus in living groups based on their age, sex, developmental needs and individualized treatment goals. Counseling and psychotherapy are provided to every student.
Students are referred to the Little Flower public school by other local schools in New York State through their Committee on Special Education (CSE). The classes are designed to focus on the individual needs of each child.
The teaching faculty and staff are specially trained in the education and behavior of learning disabled and emotionally handicapped children. Certified Special Area teachers provide instruction in Physical Education, Art, Music, Technology, Home and Career Skills, Computer Literacy, and Business Education.
The tuition rate is established by the New York State Department of Education. The tuition is paid by the referring local school district for each child. The referring district is reimbursed for the tuition cost under a formula established by the State under the education law.