Landscaping and Excavation Site Work

Assist with site work for landscaping, septic systems, and new homes. Learn to read blueprints and repair heavy equipment.


  • Essential Question: How can I become more efficient in my job and a bigger part of the company?
  • Area of study: Career Exploration
  • Type and amount of credit earned: Full year, 1-4 credits
  • Community partner: Owners of a landscaping, sitework, and construction company


  • Hands-on experience in the field – learn about landscaping and excavation equipment and safety/skill sets.
  • Problem solving – make sense of a situation and assist in finding a solution.
  • Willingness to learn – take direction from supervisors and apply knowledge learned.
  • Communication – know when it is appropriate to ask questions.
  • Responsibility – be accountable for their personal actions, decisions and any errors.

See the detailed ELO description for the full text of these competencies.

Student activities

  1. Learn how to read and interpret septic and piping blueprints.
  2. Measure and cut piping for driveway and drainage problems.
  3. Haul fill on job sites.
  4. Operate machinery.
  5. Run retail out of the shop selling stone, mulch, and dirt.
  6. Assist in troubleshooting and machine repairs.
  7. Research a specific career within the industry and write a reflection paper about it.
  8. Keep a journal and write bi-weekly updates.


  • Biweekly check-ins with ELO Coordinator
  • Journal updates
  • Reflection career exploration paper
  • Final presentation including project blueprints, pictures of work sites, and description of what student learned
  • Phone call/email updates with business owners

More information

Due to the nature of the business, keep in mind that it may be challenging to make onsite observations. It was difficult to coordinate time to observe the student at his various work sites. The schedules of the ELO Coordinator, student, and business locations never seemed to sync up.

The amount of credits awarded are determined by the number of verified hours worked (i.e. 1 credit = 100 hours), reflection input, and final presentation assessment. This particular student had a lot of flexibility within his schedule. He had only one required class to fulfill and had the rest of the day to spend at his work-based ELO.

The student had the opportunity to work at various site locations, train on the excavator machinery and front loader equipment as well as experience real world problem solving. An example of problem solving occurred when the student noticed an error on the blueprints and addressed the issue to his supervisor. He learned how to do grading for driveways, dig out for patio work and move brush. Keep in mind, students must be 18 years old to run the equipment. The student was also able to learn about customer relations through observation and business site interactions. Learning skills outside of the classroom environment was more beneficial to the student rather than filling up a daily schedule with courses that the student did not need to graduate. The opportunity provided more time to explore a career path of interest.

This ELO was submitted by Holly Londo, Extended Learning Coordinator, Raymond High School.  Email teacher for more information

June 2022