CALGARY -- A voluntary rapid test pilot program for asymptomatic staff and students is underway at Rundle School, the first of two participating schools in Calgary.

The Calgary Board of Education's Rundle School (K-6) and the Calgary Catholic School District's St. John XXIII (K-9) will receive 100,000 test kids to screen for COVID-19 within the school building.

The province says the schools were selected based on several factors, including accessible space for hosting testing, and neither is considered unsafe for students and staff.

According to the ministry of education, parents and staff have received information sheets and those electing to participate are required to sign a consent form.

The pilot program is scheduled to commence at St. John XXIII on March 22.

Testing teams arrived at Rundle School on Rundlehorn Drive N.E. Thursday for the first round of testing of volunteer participants. If required, the first round will continue Friday.

Tests will be repeated approximately a week following, and the program will be completed after a third round of testing.

Alberta's education minister says this is one of the first rapid testing pilot programs of schools in the country.

Officials have stated that those who test positive through rapid testing will be required to undergo a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test to confirm the results.

Once complete, the school pilot program will provide Alberta Health with information about how it can be expanded to other schools in other areas of the province.