School Social Work Services


6,000 Licensed Mental Health Care Professionals have volunteered their services for free.

Callers to the hotline will hear an introduction to the "New York State COVID-19 Emotional Support Helpline," and then will be directed to a trained volunteer. You can reach the hotline at 1-844-863-9314.

Sleep Issues During Stay At Home Order

Many people are having issues sleeping at this time. I encourage you to have a bedtime routine; this will encourage sleep. Naming things that you are grateful for is also helpful. Here is an article with some additional tips:

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance

Financial assistance program providing support for Americans who are unable to work due to COVID19 , but do not qualify for traditional unemployment insurance. Run through the New York State Department of Labor.

Click here to be redirected to more information:

RESOURCE ASSISTANCE: Call the NY State Hotline (for Coronavirus response) 888-364-3065 for information on food pantries and other assistance or go to their website: You can also CALL 211 and provide your zip code for information on resources.

Helpful Tips for Managing Anxiety:

SELF-CARE: "Coping Skills/Emotional Regulation Tools" are available here (in the menu above). Find ways to support yourself and your family during this challenging time.

Social-Emotional Learning tools are available by clicking on "Social Emotional Learning" in the menu above.

Michelle Cottle, LMSW, BFA

District School Social Worker

Dover Union Free School District, K-12

845-877-5700 x1287 ~

Hello Dover,

I am thinking of the entire Dover community, especially those students with whom I work with regularly. Please tell them I miss them and am thinking of them!

Please visit the "Coping Skills/Emotional Regulation Skills" page here with resources and suggestions for emotional support and regulation. Also, here is a link to a website resource for tools and tips to manage anxiety:

I will check my voicemail regularly and am available by email. You can also send me an email to arrange a time to talk by phone.



Please see the menu across the top of the page to find information here that best supports your family.

Click on "Local Community Resources" for an ever-expanding list of local and regional resources including mental health support, financial resources, family support, food pantries and much more.

I feel fortunate to be a member of the DUFSD community providing support for students, parents and teachers of the district.

As your school social worker, I can provide support in a number of different ways for students, parents, and teachers:

  • to help students build stronger social-emotional skills in order to function better at school and at home (small groups at WES and DES, classroom push-ins at DES, and individual school counseling at the DHS and DMS)
  • to create a plan with a parent to support their child's participation in school
  • to connect families to basic resources and case management services
  • to offer referrals to outside counseling services
  • to provide venues of support for students whose families have experienced divorce, displacement, or loss of a parent (At DES, I am running Banana Splits groups for the 3rd, 4th and 5th grades)
  • to share my knowledge of students' psychological needs to teachers in the district

I can also assist with:

  • improving communication between a teacher and parent
  • problem-solving school avoidance issues
  • arranging for parenting classes in the community for parents interested in improving their parenting skills
  • teaching students ways to reduce their anxiety and improve their ability to handle frustration, irritation and anger

See the 'Role of a School Social Worker' page here for more ways I can be of support.

I want to partner with you to make your community more vibrant and resilient. Please feel free to reach out to me. We can talk in person or by phone to discuss your concerns. I can be reached at 845-877-5700, extension 1287 or via email at

My social work background includes:

  • Clinical work in an outpatient mental health clinic setting where I worked with adults aged 18-70. My work focused on helping clients gain insight into their thoughts, feelings and behaviors coupled with teaching skills to manage symptoms for a broad spectrum of diagnoses.
  • Case management services with medically fragile children and their families at Sunshine Children’s Home providing.
  • Masters Program Clinical Internship at Mahopac High School where I worked with alternative high school students and students in the school avoidance/ reintroduction program.

My movement and mindfulness background:

  • Taught mindful movement and exercise for thirteen years in individual and group settings to adults, teens and children, utilizing the Pilates and Gyrotonic movement techniques which include a focus on utilizing breathing to support movement and calm the body.
  • Earned my BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography from SUNY-Purchase.