Facing History School, The

Grades: 9-12

Our Insights

What’s Special

A focus on history

The Downside

Poor attendance

Facing History High School encourages students to look at events in history as a basis for making decisions in their own lives. It is a progressive school that favors projects, research, debate and oral presentations over tests. Safe, orderly and well-run, it enjoys excellent ratings on school surveys from parents, teachers and students.

Housed on the second floor of the Park West Educational Campus, Facing History has an informal feel. Students call teachers by their first names, and the school dress code (white, black, navy or black shirts, and dark or khaki pants or skirts) is flexible enough to allow students some choice about what they wear. 

The school is part of the New York Performance Standards Consortium, a group of schools exempt from all Regents exams except English. Students receive a regular Regents diploma when they graduate.

Despite the lack of typical Regents exams, student work goes through a rigorous assessment process. Ninth- and 10th-graders present their work at a portfolio roundtable, while juniors and seniors present to a panel of judges during one-hour review sessions known as the Performance Based Assessment Task, or PBAT. In these, students often are asked to explain subjects in depth or work through a math problem on the board while the panel observes. They get used to defending their work, either in writing or in person. 

Principal Dana Panagot was among the founding administrators when Facing History opened in 2005. The not-for-profit organization Facing History and Ourselves offers professional development for faculty.

A big challenge here is that more than half the students miss a month or more of school. The majority of the incoming students are academically below grade level, and many are dealing with behavioral and social-emotional needs, according to the CEP (comprehensive educational plan). Attendance has inched up in recent years but still has a long ways to go.

Facing History shares the Park West complex with Manhattan Bridges High schoolHigh School of Hospitality ManagementFood and Finance High SchoolUrban Assembly School of Design and Construction and PS 138 (a small school for severely disabled students). The schools take turns using the cafeterias, gymnasiums, auditorium and library. Students must pass through metal detectors, but students say they feel safe on school surveys.  

Admissions: Educational Option. The school seeks a range of low-, middle- and high-performing students. (Lydie Raschka, DOE data and reports, November 2018)





School Stats


How many students graduate in 4 years?
How many students with disabilities graduate in 4 years?
How many English language learners graduate in 4 years?
Average daily attendance
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
From the 2020-21 School Quality Guide and 2020-21 NYC School Survey


Number of students
624 Citywide Average


Low-income students
Students with disabilities
Multilingual learners
From the 2020-21 Demographic Snapshot

Safety & Vibe

How many students were suspended?
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
How many students say that some are bullied at their school because of their gender or sexual orientation?
From the 2020-21 NYC School Survey and 2019-20 NY State Report Card

Faculty & Staff

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
Years of principal experience at this school
7 Citywide Average
Number of students for each guidance counselor or social worker
157 Citywide Average

Teachers’ Race/Ethnicity

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
Are teachers effective?
From the 2020-21 NYC School Survey, 2020-21 School Quality Guide, 2019-20 NY State Report Card, 2021 Guidance Counselor Report and this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Advanced Courses

Which students have access to advanced courses at this school? Learn more


Not offered in 2019-20

Computer Science



Not offered in 2019-20

Advanced Foreign Language

Not offered in 2019-20

AP/IB Arts, English, History or Social Science


AP/IB Math or Science



Not offered in 2019-20
From unpublished, anonymized data from the 2019-20 school year provided by the New York State Education Department, brought to you by

College Readiness

How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
From the 2020-21 School Quality Guide
From the 2020-21 FAFSA data released by Federal Student Aid, brought you by
How many graduates of this school received Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) funding to attend a NYS college?
How many of those TAP recipients made it through college? Learn more
From unpublished, anonymized student-level data for the class of 2014 provided by the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) in coordination with the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC), brought to you by
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data · More DOE statistics for this school

Programs & Admissions

From the 2021 High School Directory

The Facing History School

Admissions Method: Ed. Opt.

Program Description:

Our relevant, academically rigorous program and the supportive, caring structures we have in place make us an excellent learning community. With our lead partner, Facing History, we help prepare our students for the ethical and moral decisions of adulthood. As a member of the NYS Performance Standards Consortium, we are part of a waiver that allows our students to graduate with a Regents Diploma using performance-based assessment tasks in all core subjects and the ELA Regents.

Facing History School D75 Inclusion Program

Admissions Method: D75 Special Education Inclusive Services


From the 2021 High School Directory

Language Courses


Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP Computer Science Principles, AP Statistics, AP English Literature and Composition

Boys PSAL teams

Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Soccer, Tennis, Volleyball

Girls PSAL teams

Basketball, Volleyball

Read about admissions, academics, and more at this school on NYCDOE’s MySchools

NYC Department of Education: MySchools

Contact & Location


525 West 50th Street
Manhattan NY 10019

Trains: C Line, E Line to 50th St

Buses: M104, M11, M12, M20, M31, M34A-SBS, M42, M50, M57, X12, X14, X30, X42


Principal: Dana Panagot

Parent Coordinator: Rita Laguer


Other Details

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares the Park West Educational Campus with four other schools

Uniforms required? No
Metal detectors? Yes

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