In the Middle School, character education is especially important as students undergo a period of rapid growth, physically, intellectually, and socially. The Student Life staff offers education and counseling regarding health, sexuality, and social concerns. The teacher and deans offer feedback and support to help students handle academic, social, and emotional concerns. Service-learning programs encourage students to use their interests and talents to contribute to their community. Artists, community leaders, and social-change agents speak frequently at Middle School assemblies about how they engage with audiences to make a difference. Trips to New Orleans and Alabama show students how the civil-rights movement and weather disasters like Hurricane Katrina have shaped communities, and how individuals can rebuild their own lives with the help of others.