Thanks for the input- I had not thought of a medical issue or bathing issues. This is a small private school- so no nurses, social workers, counselors etc.
A bit more BG on Mary- strictly from an observational point of view from myself, the other leaders, and other teachers. Mary is a "difficult" student- her desk is always positioned away from other children and close to the teachers desk. My DD doesn't make it a habit of reporting day to day issues, but CL's DD does and says that Mary is always in trouble for something. I can tell by watching her that something is not right- I just don't know what, and I don't care to speculate on it since I am uneducated in that realm. Whatever her issue is, it is not severe enough that she needs intervention or special ed. She has two older sisters, one of whom is in my group- they are outgoing, friendly and usually dressed ok- not designer brand- but in good repair. Mary, OTOH, is usually unkempt and well, to be honest, looks and smells homeless. Ratty clothes, unwashed, etc. Her behavior at the beginning of the school year was pretty bad during our meetings- but she seems to have responded to use- we are rather strict with her- keeping her on task and reminding her she's a big girl- no crying etc. Her behavior this last meeting was actually pretty good- a few listening issues but nothing major. I don't think I've ever seen her mother- but I think she is in the picture because Mary said she usually bathes with her Mom. I've sort of met the dad- he keeps to himself and tends to let Mary run over him a lot. I've also met Grandma- she's pretty useless. Mary is also overweight- where her sisters, and her younger siblings who aren't in school yet are all fairly thin.
I didn't want to make this a discussion about CPS- I don't plan on doing that at all. I don't think there is neglect there- maybe just parents giving up a bit when faced with a difficult child. CL did say something to Mary about taking a bath- but with the way she listens, I don't think it made much of an impact.
Overall, Mary can be just as affectionate as she is difficult. You can tell that she wants to be noticed and be part of a group, but just goes about it the wrong way. I worry for her in the future because right now, all of the little girls in the class are nice and share with her and play with her- but we're only a few years away from that changing.
At this point, I will probably wait until the next meeting, which is early next month and see what happens. If she is still dirty, I will probably talk to the teacher or principal just to let them know what we are seeing at our meetings