Develop and Discover
Rancho Buena Vista High School encourages students to develop both their academic abilities and personal purpose
Rancho Buena Vista High School (RBV) became the second comprehensive high school in the City of Vista when it first opened its doors to students in 1987. Since then the student population has grown to 2,500 and extensive changes have been made to the school campus, school programs, and the variety of clubs and opportunities offered to students. We chat with RBV Principal Charles Schindler about the school’s history and its ongoing commitment to strong academic programs and a balanced education for all students.
Q & A With Charles Schindler, Rbvhs Principal
WHAT IS YOUR ROLE AT RBV AND WHAT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO THE STUDENTS ON CAMPUS?
As principal, my role is to provide a safe and secure learning environment for all students.
WHAT DOES RBV’S MISSION MEAN TO YOU?
To provide a challenging learning environment for all students and to provide opportunities for students to participate at school academically and in extracurricular activities.
CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT THE HISTORY OF RBV AND ITS FOUNDING?
RBV opened its doors in 1987 as the second comprehensive high school in the City of Vista. The first principal was Allan Johnson. It opened with the International Baccalaureate program, one of the first in California, and the program continues to this day. The school has a history of a strong academic program and a strong commitment by the staff to the students and the school.
HOW HAS RBV CHANGED SINCE ITS FOUNDING?
The school has grown to a student population of 2,500 with a more diverse student body than when it opened. This caused the addition of multiple portable classrooms over the years to accommodate the larger student population. The school currently offers several career technical courses and a variety of the visual and performing arts programs that provide more opportunities for students to get a balanced education.
PLEASE TELL US MORE ABOUT THE RBV PTSA AND THE LONGHORN FOUNDATION.
The RBV PTSA is very active with the school in supporting the arts and other activities and has been here since the school’s inception. The Longhorn Foundation provides support to the various RBV booster organizations and supports facilities upgrades to the school. The Foundation was instrumental in helping with the bond measure that helped fund the construction of Longhorn Stadium in 2004 – before this, the school did not have a stadium and the football team played their games at Vista High School.
WHAT DOES THE PTSA DO TO ASSIST WITH YEAR-ROUND ACTIVITIES?
The PTSA meets every month at RBV to plan activities for the school. They are major supporters of the arts program and conduct the annual Reflections Art Contest along with supporting the annual RBV Chalk Festival. The PTSA has a student group that they meet with each month to get input from the students on activities they would like to have at RBV.
HOW DOES RBV PREPARE STUDENTS FOR THEIR FUTURE ACADEMICALLY?
RBV offers College Prep, Honors, Advanced Placement (AP), and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses for students. All of these programs provide a strong academic preparation for students to support those pursuing post-secondary educational programs at community colleges, technical schools, and four-year universities.
WHAT IS THE MOST REWARDING ASPECT OF YOUR ROLE AT RBV? THE MOST CHALLENGING?
The most rewarding aspect is attending student events and being out on campus with students. The most challenging is providing programs that meet the needs of all students.
HAVE THERE BEEN ANY CHANGES OR IMPROVEMENTS MADE TO THE RBV CAMPUS IN THE LAST FEW YEARS?
We have instituted more safety and security measures on campus, including completing the fencing along Longhorn Dr. at the student parking lot. The arts department has completed murals on the Performing Arts Center representing all of the different visual and performing arts programs on campus.
WHAT IS THE TEACHER/STUDENT RELATIONSHIP LIKE AT RBV?
RBV has a very caring staff who support the students academically and socially through extracurricular and sporting activities.
WHAT ARE SOME HIGHLIGHTS OF STUDENTS’ TIME AT THIS SCHOOL?
The rallies, prom, senior activities, annual Chalkfest, ASB activities at lunch and spirit weeks, and the class projects they participate in. The annual Ranch Revue show to support the RBV Patrons is also very popular.
WHAT SPORTS ARE OFFERED?
RBV offers all sports for boys and girls at all levels – Freshman, JV, and Varsity. These include football, volleyball, cross country, water polo, tennis, field hockey, soccer, wrestling, basketball, baseball, softball, track and field, and aquatics.
WHAT CLUBS OR AFTER-SCHOOL ACTIVITIES ARE OFFERED? ARE THERE ANY NEW PROGRAMS OR CLUBS THAT HAVE RECENTLY EMERGED?
RBV has a 21st Century grant for after-school activities that supports tutoring, a weight room, extra hours for the library, and various clubs. We will be starting a PLUS program (Peer Leadership Uniting Students) to support all students on campus through student forums and peer connections.
HOW CAN STUDENTS BECOME MORE INVOLVED ON CAMPUS?
We do several club fairs for students to learn about and join clubs. Students can also join our ASB and participate in preparing for school activities and sporting events.
ARE THERE ANY EXCITING UPDATES ABOUT RBV THAT YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE?
The Visual and Performing Arts department recently completed a set of murals on the outside walls of the Performing Arts Center in our quad area. Additionally, we have added a robotics class to the campus for those interested in the science, technology, engineering, and math fields. Our AVID program is growing each year and supports more of our students with college preparation and meeting the A-G UC requirements. Also, we have added approximately 25 new teachers to the campus this year, which has lowered class sizes and allowed for more personalized learning opportunities for the students.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING TO PARTAKE IN WITH STUDENTS?
I enjoy going to sporting events with the students, participating in ASB activities, and generally being out on campus interacting with all of our great students and staff at RBV.
Name: Chuck Schindler
Education: BS in Wildlife Management, MA Educational Administration
Hobbies: Hiking and going to the beach
Community: San Diego
Family: A daughter and a son
Favorite Things about RBV: The students and the staff
Favorite Local Spot: RBV
Teachers on RBV:
HOW HAS RBV CHANGED OVER THE YEARS?
“Rancho has become more diversified in its student body. We opened with 1,800 students in three grade levels. One of our biggest challenges was the lack of a senior class. We didn’t realize what a difference that would make and how much a school relies on that group to set the tone for a campus. Therefore, our juniors had to assume the leadership roles on the campus. The positive result from this was that the Class of 1989 was a tight-knit group and one of our most memorable graduating classes.”
~Sue Butler, English teacher since 1987
“RBV has changed in many ways since opening in 1987. The school plant itself, for one thing. The school added entire new wings over the first decade or so to accommodate the large student population. At one time, Rancho was the most populous high school in the county. In the past few years Rancho’s population has declined dramatically, which means smaller class sizes and less crowding.” ~Herr Livingston, German teacher since 1987
WHAT IS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE FROM YOUR TIME TEACHING AT RBV?
“November 9, 1989 – I was in my classroom when I received word by telephone that the Berlin Wall was coming down. I remember racing out of my room to tell a colleague the happy news. Her mother lived in East Germany at the time, and I wanted to be able to tell my friend that her mom would soon be free! She cried at the news. When I came back to class, I explained to my wondering students why I had so suddenly left them. For the next few weeks it was my privilege as a German teacher to give my students a front row seat on the unfolding events. And later I was able to visit Berlin and other places in Germany with many of my students. Unforgettable!”
~Herr Livingston, German teacher since 1987
“My most memorable experiences involve being RBV’s yearbook adviser for 15 years. It was a daunting yet gratifying job to record the first years of RBV. It definitely made me feel closer to the staff and to the school. RBV became my school and I was and still am very proud to be a faculty member. Working with students on a year-long project afforded the opportunity to make connections with students on a different level than in the classroom.” ~Sue Butler, English teacher since 1987
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART ABOUT TEACHING AT RBV?
“Knowing the history of RBV and being here since the groundbreaking ceremony is the best part of teaching here. The staff and students I have worked with have become my family.” ~Sue Butler, English teacher since 1987
Students on RBV:
WHAT DO YOU LIKE BEST ABOUT RBV?
“The diversity of the campus and all the opportunities it has to offer students.”
“The teachers and administration are always there for us and they make it feel like a safe and fun place to be.”
“The teachers are always willing to help!”
HOW HAS RBV MADE AN IMPACT ON YOU?
“It has taught me that hard work and determination will get you where you need to go.”
“The school offers some of the most difficult courses and college level courses in a high school that make me feel confident for college.”
“The school has allowed me to challenge myself and to also join clubs and meet new people.”
WHAT IS A FAVORITE MEMORY YOU HAVE FROM YOUR TIME AT RBV?
“The Ranch Revue where we get to watch teachers and staff do embarrassing routines which gives us an opportunity to laugh at them in a good way and see the fun side of teachers and staff.”
“Being able to meet new people every day and hang out with my friends.”
“Performing with the Ballet Folklorico group at school rallies.”