The Charter School Program

The charter school model was established in the 1990s with the purpose of providing parents greater choice for the education of their children. Although this freedom leads to more independence for the school and its leaders, charter schools must maintain high standards of achievement and progress, as mandated by the State of Michigan. Additionally, similar to traditional public schools, charter schools are tuition-free and must uphold open admission standards.

In 1998, Will Carleton Academy was founded by a group of mothers looking for a better educational choice for their children. The school is dedicated to presenting students with a strong understanding of the world around them, while also forming the character of each student.

About Our School

Having received its charter from the Hillsdale Intermediate School District, Will Carleton Academy operates under the public school academy governance structure. The Will Carleton Academy's Board of Directors is a seven member group which supports the faculty and staff with the daily operations of the academy. Parents and community members interested in the continued development of the program comprise the members of the Will Carleton Academy Board of Directors.

Will Carleton Academy has received its accreditation from the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI), an accreditation division of AdvancED. The academy currently has a student population of nearly 300 and a student to teacher ratio of 14:1. Located two miles southwest of downtown Hillsdale, the campus resides on 26 acres of beautiful Michigan countryside.

Mission & Vision of WCA

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. The school will provide students with an orderly and beautiful environment maintained through discipline and strengthened by constant exposure to the wonder and joy of learning.

The High School at Will Carleton Academy provides students with a secondary education driven by the purpose of forming the character of the students and challenging them to develop intellectually, socially, and morally. The Will Carleton Academy High School pursues this mission through challenging curriculum that emphasizes core academics, while also exposing students to arts, culture, and athletics. This program will prepare students to enter college, the workforce, and their communities as citizens of personal integrity and responsibility.

Will Carleton Academy dedicates its mission to the memory of the school's namesake, Will Carleton, a poet and public speaker in Michigan in the late nineteenth century. According to Jerome Fallon in his monograph, "Will Carleton, Michigan's Poet of the People," the love of learning that drove Carleton's life reflected itself in his poetry-writings that promoted "the homely virtues of honesty, thrift and integrity, and the importance of family and home." Everyone who is a part of the WCA family strives to uphold these values each and every day.