In order to help CS students across Minnesota connect with each other (as well as their teachers), we've set up a Discord server. Discord is similar to Slack and other group/work chat programs, but has a lot more functionality. And don't worry, it will be heavily moderated.
The main reason I like it is because many of your CS students are already using it, so it's not one more app to install. During COVID, I found it was a especially effective way to reach students that would otherwise disengage.
And feel free to join the conversation as well!