Will Carleton Academy is a K-12 tuition-free public charter school in Hillsdale, Michigan founded in 1998. Will Carleton Academy devotes itself to serving the community as a charter school where parents can choose a traditional curriculum and educational atmosphere that is committed to both the intellectual development and the character formation of the students.

Our Mission Is


To Educate

  • Back-to-basics curriculum
    • K-8th-Core Knowledge Sequence
    • 9th-12th: Michigan Merit/College Preparatory Curriculum
  • Small classroom sizes at all grade levels
  • Emphasis on character education
  • Highest-achieving public school in Hillsdale County
  • Top 50 SAT scores in the State of Michigan

To Enrich

  • Advanced Placement class offerings on demand
  • Dual Enrollment, Early/Middle College, and Vocational-Technical Programs
  • Extensive extracurricular offerings at all grade levels
  • Diverse field trip opportunities, including foreign travel
  • MHSAA-sanctioned athletics in all three seasons

To Enlighten

  • Orderly, disciplined environment
  • Focus on the whole child, with the goal of helping to mold outstanding citizens
  • K-12th Art and Music curriculum
  • 4th-12th French curriculum
  • Monthly Core Virtues instruction

Why Choose a Charter School?

A charter school, by definition, is a school of choice. Because of this, parents play an important role in every part of their child’s education. Our small size allows more one-on-one attention and the ability to tailor our curriculum to meet each child’s educational needs. Our faculty and staff are committed to nurturing the whole child, fostering the safe and respectful environment where learning can best occur.

Learn More About Enrolling Your Student

Annual Education Report

National Accreditation 

Annual Education Report

Annual Education Report

Want to learn more?

What families are saying about Will Carleton Academy

"Our kids are thriving at WCA, and that is very important to us.  Thank you, WCA, for making a great place to educate our kids!"
-Cathy K.

"While I firmly believe our children's development starts at home, I truly feel that WCA is an extension of my home in raising my kids to become good people."
-Rob T.

"My son's learning needs are met with consideration and respect...making him feel supported, encouraged, and empowered."
Jennifer S.

"They welcome parent involvement and always take the time to make sure parents know how their children are doing."
-Lucy B.

"Will Carleton Academy strives for excellence, and they inspire their students to strive for the same."
-Jessica H.

"We love the individualized education and the clear sense that teachers and staff are rooting for students."
-Christina M.


  • 2020 Best of the Best Preschool in Hillsdale County

    November 20, 2020

            We are incredibly honored to announce Will Carleton Academy Preschool has been voted 2020’s Best of the Best in Hillsdale County!  Every year, Hillsdale Daily News puts on the Best of the Best contest for Hillsdale County. Out of all the contestants that entered this year, our preschool was declared the … Continue reading “2020 Best of the Best Preschool in Hillsdale County”

  • Cross Country

    September 17, 2020

    Our Cross Country team traveled to Colon yesterday for their first SCAA meet. We are so proud of our team! Gabe Gadwood received 6th place. James VanCamp and Tyler Barnes achieved new personal records and Gus Heath and Corbin Craddock had a great first race! Way to go Cougars!

View All Updates