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Facing History School, The

Grades: 9-12
525 West 50th Street
Manhattan NY 10019
Phone: 212-757-2680

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)





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School Stats

Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Is this school safe and well-run?

From 2018-19 NYC School Survey

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
75% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
86% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
37% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
79% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
80% Citywide Average

From 2017-18 NY State Report Card

How many students were suspended?
2% Citywide Average

From this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Are teachers effective?

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
76% Citywide Average
Years of principal experience at this school

How do students perform academically?

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

How many students graduate in 4 years?
82% Citywide Average
How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
48% Citywide Average
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
41% Citywide Average
How many graduates stay enrolled in college for at least 3 semesters?
67% Citywide Average

Who does this school serve?

From 2019-20 Demographic Snapshot

Free or reduced priced lunch
Students with disabilities
English language learners

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
38% Citywide Average

How does this school serve special populations?

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

How many students with disabilities graduate in 4 years?
66% Citywide Average
How many English language learners graduate in 4 years?
68% Citywide Average

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


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


Hell's Kitchen (District 2)
Trains: C Line, E Line to 50th St
Buses: M104, M11, M12, M20, M31, M34A-SBS, M42, M50, M57, X12, X14, X30, X42


Dana Panagot
Parent Coordinator
Rita Laguer

Other Details

Shared campus?
This school shares the Park West Educational Campus with four other schools
Metal detectors?

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