Stephan Bisaha

News Reporter

Stephan Bisaha covers education and young adult life for KMUW and the Kansas News Service. Before coming to Wichita, he was an NPR Kroc Fellow. Stephan has reported national stories for Morning Edition, All Things Considered and other NPR programs. His work has ranged from analyzing data for an investigation into the Department of Veteran Affairs to the business of emoji pillows.

Stephan was honored with a 2020 Regional Murrow Award in Sports Reporting for Kansas Community College Football Now Has Its Own Stars, Netflix Series And Scandals. He received two honorable mentions, in the sports feature and hard news categories, from the Kansas Association of Broadcasters in 2020, along with second place in news features from the Public Media Journalists Association. His 2019 sports feature, Are Video Games A Sport? Hoping To Attract Fans And Students, Kansas Colleges Say Yes, received second place from the Kansas Association of Broadcasters. Stephan has a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism with a concentration in data journalism.
 

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Kansas News Service

WICHITA, Kansas — Spring break is canceled.

Public universities in Kansas made the call early in the fall as a way to slow the spread of COVID-19. They reasoned that during a pandemic it’s just not a good idea to give students a week to spend in South Beach, or even just travel to see family.

Yet Kansas State University students said they need at least some time off because of another health crisis — the damage to their mental health posed by a semester without a pause. K-State agreed and scheduled a “wellness day” for the spring.

Chris Neal / For the Kansas News Service

Hybrid learning has become the go-to compromise for Kansas’ largest school districts to get students back in classrooms.

Districts in Lawrence, Topeka, Olathe and elsewhere rotate students between in-person and online lessons. Kids get physical time in front of a teacher without risking crowded classrooms during the pandemic.

But some Kansas teachers say the hybrid model isn’t much better than keeping students online full-time.

Stephan Bisaha / Kansas News Service

Since March, K-12 students at the state’s largest districts have been sent home, brought back and then told to leave their classrooms again.

Now, many of those students will return to school buildings again this month as educators and researchers redefine what it means to hold in-person classes safely.

Stephan Bisaha / Kansas News Service

College life at public universities in Kansas had one defining trait last semester: isolation.

Stephan Bisaha / KMUW

Norton’s Brewing Company in Old Town has a solution for outdoor dining this winter: igloos.

Forget images of packed snow: These igloos are made from PVC pipe and transparent vinyl. The sun heats up the air so quickly inside that umbrellas cover the honeycomb dome to slow down the greenhouse effect.

"We have it shaded right now because during the daytime it gets really hot in here with the sun," said Becky Norton, owner of Norton's Brewing Company. 

Stephan Bisaha / Kansas News Service/File photo

The Kansas Board of Regents formed a closed committee on Wednesday to recommend whom the Regents should select as Wichita State University's next president.

Wichita lawyer Dan Peare will chair the Wichita State University Presidential Search Committee. Peare earned two degrees at WSU. He also serves on the WSU Foundation Board of Directors and National Advisory Council.

Regent Allen Schmidt will represent the board on the committee alongside Regent CEO and President Blake Flanders.

The other committee members include:

Stephan Bisaha / Kansas News Service

WICHITA, Kansas — Consider the mounting money problems facing public universities in Kansas.

Decades of ballooning tuition have made students and their families increasingly worried about college debt. Tech schools offer cheaper faster paths to a solid job. Help from taxpayers has waned.

Then came the pandemic. Campuses had to spend heavily to retool for safety during the outbreak. Still, large numbers of students and the money they would have spent on dorms, tuition and the like stayed away.

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service

WICHITA, Kansas — The way kids in Kansas learn to read is in for a major rewrite.

Teachers will soon ditch their time-worn old memorize-and-context-clues methods. In their place, they’ll work with state teacher colleges on new styles meant to accommodate dyslexic students and other children who struggle with books. For instance, they’ll train kids to break down words and to methodically drill through English’s tricky rules.

Stephan Bisaha / KMUW

All elementary students in Wichita Public Schools will learn remotely, starting this week.

The district's school board voted Monday night to make the switch because of the county's worsening coronavirus crisis.

Briana O'Higgins / KMUW

WICHITA, Kansas — Between concerns about schools staying open and the challenges of learning remotely, teachers and students are haunted by another question that goes beyond 2020: Will snow days disappear forever?

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