Marisa Gustafson, School Social Worker
Marisa Gustafson



My name is Marisa Gustafson (she/her) and I am so excited to join the Dowling community this year. I am the new social worker, and my role is to support students, families, and staff as we work to grow and learn together.

I attended Macalester College and the University of Minnesota for my degrees. I am currently working to finish my clinical license in social work. I live in South Minneapolis with my partner and our dog. I love to garden and enjoy the outdoors and lakes, and to work on projects around the house.

If you have questions or concerns regarding your child, I will do my best to help as much as possible. I believe in building connection and empowering our students and families to be happy, healthy, and achieve their goals.

During distance learning, the best way to contact me is by email. You can also call my school number, and call/text my google number. See below for all of my contact information. I do my best to respond in a timely manner.

I look forward to meeting and supporting all of our students and families!




Marisa Gustafson, MSW, LGSW

Office: 612-668-4414

Google Voice (call & text): 612-568-7092


If you need immediate help with a crisis situation, please utilize the free 24/7 Hennepin County service, Child Crisis 612-348-2233.

Find information on resources to support families during distance learning here

Access social/emotional resources at the MPS Caring Corner (available in multiple langauges)

Free school meals from MPS (pickup locations)

Other food resources

MN Housing Resources

Bridge to Benefits - Housing & Utilities resources

Free legal help for renters


ALL families with children enrolled in the Minneapolis Public Schools district should complete an Application for Educational Benefits each year.

Applying matters! Information provided on Applications for Educational Benefits provides funding for our school, access to more resources to support students, and free/reduced lunch for families!



Dowling Internet Safety and Netiquette

If you haven't already seen the video, please make sure to watch the "Dowling Internet Safety and Netiquette" video. 

Please contact Media Specialist Melina Mangal with any questions:


or visit during her Virtual Office Hours: Tuesdays 2:30-3:30, Fridays 8-9 am // code: Dowling Media.


If you are experiencing housing instability..

There are supports available to promote school stability and academic success for students. If you are living in temporary or unstable housing, please let your school social worker know.  Eligible students are protected under the McKinney-Vento Act and have the right to:

● Stay in the same school.

● Automatically qualify for free school meals.

● Immediately enroll in school without education records, immunization records, or proof of residency.

● Participate fully in school activities.

● Get school transportation, even across district lines.

● Receive other educational services. Learn more at


Resources for those experiencing housing instability

Hennepin County Emergency Housing Assistance. Hennepin County is offering emergency rent and mortgage assistance for low-income households who have lost income due to COVID-19. If you’ve fallen behind on rent or utilities or are worried about making payments on time this month, apply now for Hennepin County rental assistance.

Rent is still due during the statewide moratorium on evictions as part of Governor Walz’s emergency declaration. Take advantage of assistance to make sure unpaid rent doesn’t add up. You may be at risk of eviction if you are behind on payments when the state of emergency ends.  Apply now for Hennepin County emergency rent help if you’ve lost income due to COVID-19.

Apply as soon as possible to ensure you receive adequate support in time. Learn more and apply at

Eviction Moratorium -  Most evictions in Minnesota are on pause during this emergency. There is an eviction moratorium during the peacetime emergency declared by Governor Walz. Your landlord can’t end your lease or file an eviction case against you right now. There are very few exceptions to this rule and there are free legal resources available if you are uncertain about your rights. Visit Homeline at or Legal Aid at for more information.