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.
 

Ways to Connect

Stephan Bisaha / KMUW File Photo

Wichita’s middle and high school students should brace for at least nine more weeks of virtual learning.

On Thursday, the Wichita Public Schools Board of Education voted 5 to 2 to start the school year with remote-only classes for the district’s middle and high schools.

"It's the right thing to do for the kids and the city," said board president Sheril Logan. 

School activities will also be remote only, meaning there will be no fall sports competition. The school board will revaluate the restrictions nine weeks after school starts.

Stephan Bisaha / KMUW

Jay Golden started 2020 with a new job as president of Wichita State University.

Three months later he announced the school was going remote-only because of the cornavirus. 

Since then, classes have been entirely online and educators worried students wouldn't want to enroll in college during a pandemic. But Golden says more students have signed up than last year. They're moving into the dorms and getting ready for in-person classes to start again on Monday. 

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service

WICHITA, Kansas — Online schooling got off to a rocky start in Kansas, with teachers quickly piecing together virtual offerings. Parents complained about needing to be constantly involved while the work failed to engage their students.

Now faced with sending their children back to a physical classroom this fall, Kansas parents are trying to enroll kids in the state’s virtual schools. Lawrence’s received more than three times as many applicants compared to this time last year, and Wichita Public Schools' Education Imagine Academy filled up in a week.

Stephan Bisaha / Kansas News Service

WICHITA, Kansas — Kansas teachers that don’t feel safe going back to crowded hallways as schools reopen could take medical leave or teach online. But at the many districts that don’t have those options, teachers eye another choice: quitting.

Stephan Bisaha / Kansas News Service

Ehlaina Hartman is among the hundreds of college athletes in Kansas awaiting word on when their team — specifically Emporia State women's basketball — will return to the court.

Having just graduated high school, Hartman is familiar with uncertainty and rapid change. One minute, her Spearville team is in the state basketball tournament, looking for a title. The next minute, they're processing that it's been canceled while eating at Olive Garden.

But the college freshman seems unflappable, showing off her shot and her optimism to the Kansas News Service.

Stephan Bisaha / KMUW/File photo

Wichita Public Schools voted unanimously on Thursday to delay starting the school year until after Labor Day.

"It behooves us in Wichita to listen to our medical advisors," Wichita Public Schools board member Julie Hedrick said during the meeting.

The decision comes after the State Board of Education rejected Gov. Laura Kelly's plan to push back the start date for all schools in the state.

Chris Neal / For the Kansas News Service

WICHITA, Kansas — Kansas’ elementary, middle and high schools can reopen for in-person instruction in August, despite Gov. Laura Kelly’s push to delay the 2020-21 school year until after Labor Day.

The Kansas State Board of Education voted 5-5 Wednesday — the tie being enough to reject Kelly’s executive order that would have delayed the start by three weeks. Her order, which affected instruction and all extracurriculars, needed the board’s approval.

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service file photo

WICHITA, Kansas — Jennifer Mathes kept her expectations for the spring low.

A sudden, pandemic-driven shift from classrooms to online instruction was bound to throw the Blue Valley school district a curve. That would be a loss for the quality of teaching she could expect for her daughter.

But for the fall?

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

Curtains have been allowed to lift since Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly’s stay-at-home order ended in late May.

But local theaters are still figuring out how to do so safely. And the ones that have opened are struggling to convince audiences to take a seat.

"People are not buying tickets," said J Basham, owner of The Crown Uptown Theatre in Wichita.

The Crown reopened in early June. To keep the audience safe, the theater cut its capacity in half. But even with fewer seats, Basham says he’s not filling them.

Nomin Ujiyediin / Kansas News Service file photo

WICHITA, Kansas — Gone are the days of sneaking late into a crowded lecture hall. Reading college students' disapproving faces won't be easy. And Thanksgiving is the new Christmas.

There’ll be a lot of adjustments this fall for students and professors at Kansas’ universities, institutions that have been finalizing plans for how they’ll keep everyone safe from the coronavirus when in-person instruction returns.

Pages